Some Straight Talk from the Peace Movement

A 19 yr-old US-Israeli dual citizen was arrested by Israeli police – in conjunction with an ongoing FBI investigation into the supposed wave of threats made to Jewish communities and institutions in the United States, as well as in several other countries over the past few months. So far, the suspect is said to be behind the majority of the threats – and used cyber-camouflage software to conceal his identity while carrying out his erroneous false flag actions.

September 27, 2022

It has been a normal couple of weeks for reporting on what is going on in Israel, which is to say that the bad things it has been doing have been carefully suppressed by the US government and the media.

The Israelis continue their program to isolate, humiliate and terrify the Palestinians by destroying their civil and human rights organizations while also limiting foreigner access to the remaining Arab inhabited areas on the West Bank.

Israeli Jews now routinely refer to all Palestinians as “terrorists” to justify the harsh measures used to steal their land and homes while also destroying their livelihoods.

The so-called Israel Defense Forces, whose Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim approves of his soldiers raping ‘attracting Gentile women’ as a way to keep up morale, are also continuing to kill Palestinians at an unprecedented rate and have covered-up the murder four months ago of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, admitting only that the woman was apparently killed by a soldier who claimed that he thought her to be an armed Arab rioter.

No further action will be taken. A US State Department briefer accepted the verdict saying that the action “underscore[s] the importance of accountability in this case, such as policies and procedures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.”

Actually, the Israeli statement does no such thing as it lacks any accountability.

The White House should have blocked the $3.3 billion gift that Israel gets every year from the US Treasury for starters.

And the shoot-first policies by Israeli soldiers will continue, a position emphasized by Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who firmly rejected proposals to change the Army’s current rules of engagement which led to the Akleh killing, saying that he would not allow outsiders to “dictate our open-fire policies.”

When it comes to the exercise of Jewish power in the United States, the word “hypocrisy” should immediately come to mind.

A recent report on extremism in America has been compiled by the indefatigable Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which has a “Center on Extremism” that has examined “more than 38,000 names on leaked Oath Keepers membership lists and identified more than 370 people it believes currently work in law enforcement agencies — including as police chiefs and sheriffs — and more than 100 people who are currently members of the military.

It also identified more than 80 people who were running for or served in public office as of early August… The data raises fresh concerns about the presence of extremists in law enforcement and the military who are tasked with enforcing laws and protecting the US.”

It is not hard to guess what the ADL didn’t look for: radical armed “extremist” Jewish groups fundraising and operating cooperatively in the US and Israel.

Nor did it look at black radical groups like Black Lives Matter and the other organizations that were spawned in the wake of the George Floyd death that have produced chaos in a number of American cities.

Only white conservatives need apply under the standards of “extremism” set by the ADL, which should surprise no one.

The issue of Jewish and Israeli invisibility when they are doing something horrific struck me recently when I attended a peace rally that included a number of speakers over the course of about five hours.

The theme of the gathering was resistance to the warmongering policies that have driven the US government to the verge of nuclear war.

When the event was concluded I observed that Israel or the Jewish/Israeli Lobby had not even been mentioned once, even when describing situations in the Middle East that begged for a comment regarding Israeli complicity and its dominance over US policy in the region.

One particularly delusional speaker, who would benefit from a basic course in Middle Eastern history, actually claimed that the current hostility between Washington and Tehran is the result of the CIA overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1954.

That constitutes a cute evasion of reality but the fact is that US-Iran policy is driven not by lingering concerns over Mossadegh, but rather by Israel and its lobby.

To illustrate the level of Israeli control, President Joe Biden bowed to Israeli pressure and has placed “off the table” any consideration of a new nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran, even though it would be in America’s interest.

There are no other significant American national interests as Iran does not actually threaten the United States or its economy.

The reality is that the US military is in Syria and Iraq for the same reason, i.e. to provide protection and support for Israel, while it also heavily bribes Israel’s neighbors in Egypt and Jordan to keep the peace with the Jewish state.

It is all a world turned upside down with Israel controlling Washington, as former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu have boasted, and part of the control mechanism is to manage the narrative so the American public never really sees what is going on.

But what is really interesting is how so-called peace activists, like at the gathering I attended, toe the line and are terrified of offending Israel or the powerful domestic Jewish groups that use their money and political access to promote the wars in the Middle East as well as against Russia in Ukraine.

Some of them clearly are fearful of being labeled anti-Semites, which is the weapon most frequently used by groups like ADL to ward off criticism of the Jewish state.

Interestingly, one of the speakers at the meeting I attended demonstrated how it is possible to make a point about Israel and the Jewish power behind it without using either the “I” or “J” word.

He observed that the foreign and national security policies of both major US political parties are largely driven by the personal interests of their donors, whom he described as “billionaire oligarchs, some of whom are not even Americans.”

The allusion was pretty clear to most members of the audience.

It sure sounded like arch globalist George Soros, who has used his money to corrupt local and state governments, and, more to the point, Israeli citizens Haim Saban and the recently deceased Sheldon Adelson.

Hollywood denizen Saban, the top single contributor to the Democrats, has said that he is a “one issue guy” and that issue is Israel.

Adelson, who is buried in Israel, contributed $100 million to the Republicans and was the man who in return got President Donald Trump to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognize the incorporation of the Golan Heights into the Israeli state, and have a free hand to suppress the Palestinians.

The good news is, however, that pushback is developing, and it is in part coming from some Jews.

The Jewish peace group Tikkun has recently published a devastating article by Jeffrey Sachs on the Jews who have been activists for Israel who have been agitating for the post 9/11 wars.

It is entitled “Ukraine Is the Latest Neocon Disaster” and describes how “The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the American neoconservative movement.

The Biden Administration is packed with the same neocons who championed the US wars of choice in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syria (2011), Libya (2011), and who did so much to provoke Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The neocon track record is one of unmitigated disaster, yet Biden has staffed his team with neocons.

As a result, Biden is steering Ukraine, the US, and the European Union towards yet another geopolitical debacle…”

It is actually worse than that as a global nuclear confrontation threatens.

It is time for those in America and Europe who genuinely want peace to begin to be honest about who is pushing for the wars and why.

Euphemisms and evasions to avoid offending the culprits help no one and just empower those who believe themselves “chosen” and would seek to establish the supremacy of one particular ethno-religious state even if it brings disaster to everyone else.

Shireen Abu Akleh murder was no accident

murdering Palestinians since 1948

21 September 2022

An Israeli military sharpshooter intentionally shot and killed Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh and injured her colleague while they were clearly identifiable as journalists, according to a new investigation.

The findings of the investigation, which includes previously unseen Al Jazeera footage, were published by the UK-based research group Forensic Architecture and Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq on Tuesday. Abu Akleh’s family submitted a complaint to the International Criminal Court over her death that same day.

Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq’s decisive conclusions contradict Israel’s claim, echoed by the Biden administration in Washington, that Abu Akleh was not killed intentionally. Last week the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that Abu Akleh’s death was “the tragic result of a gunfight in the context of an Israeli raid in the West Bank.”

The targets is Palestinian children in Gaza who are playing outside

“Shireen and her colleagues were explicitly targeted, despite being identifiable as members of the press,” according to the investigation.

Abu Akleh, 51, was among a group of journalists covering an Israeli raid in Jenin in the northern West Bank in the early morning of 11 May.

A spatial analysis undertaken as part of the investigation shows that the journalists, who wore helmets and vests identifying them as press, were fully identifiable as such from the vantage point of a convoy of Israeli armored vehicles some 200 meters away.

As the group slowly approached the Israeli position, and without prior warning, “the first burst of six bullets was fired at the journalists through a sniper hole in the front military vehicle,” according to Al-Haq.

“Journalist Ali Samoudi, who was leading the way, turned around and screamed ‘bullets being fired’ and started running back when he was struck by one of the bullets in his left shoulder,” the rights group added.

Moments later, a second burst of seven shots was fired at the journalists, hitting Abu Akleh in the head as she attempted to take cover by standing against a wall.

A third round of fire came from the Israeli position two minutes later, as a civilian named Sharif Azab attempted to come to Abu Akleh’s aid.

 

“Intended to kill”

Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq “undertook an extensive drone survey to reconstruct a precise 3D photogrammetry scan of the scene.” They also located all cameras that captured footage of the shooting within the model and “located the precise positions of the journalists at important points throughout the incident.”

The investigators also “identified and reconstructed the precise position of the Israeli forces” and “identified the armored vehicle from which Shireen was shot” by a marksman using an optical scope mounted on an assault rifle.

Researchers “simulated how Shireen and the other journalists would appear from the marksman’s position 190 meters away.” The model shows that “the journalists’ press vests would have been clearly visible.”

“The journalists were clearly identifiable as such,” researchers found. Abu Akleh was shot with “her press vest in full view” of the sharpshooter.

“The proximity of the shots,” including four that hit a tree shielding some of Abu Akleh’s colleagues, “confirms a professional marksman repeatedly and explicitly targeted the journalists.”

All of the shots “were aimed above the shoulders and intended to kill,” according to the investigation.

Footage analyzed by investigators shows that no other persons were between the journalists and the convoy of Israeli armored vehicles and there were no armed persons near Abu Akleh and her colleagues.

Sound analysis confirms that the only shot fired in the three minutes before the shooting of Abu Akleh came from the Israeli position.

“No other shots in any of the footage analyzed came from the vicinity of the journalists,” investigators found. “The slow movement of the journalists” towards the Israeli position before the latter opened fire “supports the assessment that there were no other fighters nor was there any crossfire at the time of the incident.”

The investigation is the most thorough yet after several independent probes similarly found that Abu Akleh was more than likely killed by an Israeli soldier, with CNN indicating that she was deliberately targeted.

Al-Haq states that the shooting of Abu Akleh amounts to an extrajudicial and willful killing, “a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, giving rise to individual criminal responsibility.”

Israel determined ahead of the conclusion of its military’s self-investigation that no soldier would face criminal charges for Abu Akleh’s death.

The family of Abu Akleh, who was a US citizen, has pressed Washington to open an investigation into the journalist’s killing.

The Biden administration insists on deferring to the Israeli military’s self-investigation mechanisms, long discredited by human rights advocates as whitewashing operations aimed at deflecting international scrutiny rather than securing justice for Palestinian victims.

Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson, said last week that “we’ve always been very clear that we’re not looking for criminal accountability” in Abu Akleh’s case.

The US has pressed Israel on reviewing its rules of engagement, only to be rebuffed by Tel Aviv, with Prime Minister Yair Lapid insisting that “no one will dictate open fire regulations to us when we are fighting for our lives.”

EU drops call for independent investigation

Like the US, the European Union is apparently satisfied with Israel’s superficial self-investigation into Abu Akleh’s death.

“EU countries are planning to drop calls for an ‘independent’ inquiry into the shocking killing” of the journalist during a meeting with Lapid next month, EUobserver reported on Monday.

The EU foreign service had proposed to say in a declaration accompanying the high-level EU-Israel Association Council meeting that the body “reiterates its call for a thorough and independent investigation that clarifies all the circumstances of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death, and that brings those responsible for her killing to justice.”

 

Instead, it now plans on delivering a watered down version in which “the EU reiterates its call for a thorough investigation … and that those responsible are brought to justice.”

On Tuesday, the International Federation of Journalists, International Center of Justice for Palestinians and Palestinian Journalists Syndicate delivered a new complaint to the International Criminal Court on behalf of Abu Akleh’s family and her producer Ali Samoudi, who was moderately injured.

 

Lawmakers in Washington continue to press the Biden administration to launch an independent probe, with senior Democratic senators introducing an amendment including “unprecedented language calling on the US to see ‘whether section 620M of the [Foreign Assistance Act] applies’ to Abu Akleh’s case within 180 days,” as the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported.

The amendment refers to the 1997 Leahy Law that prohibits the US from providing military assistance to units of foreign militaries when there is credible information that those units violated human rights with impunity.

However, as Haaretz notes, it is not clear “how the Leahy Law would operate in practice given how foreign military financing to Israel is legally stipulated” by US Congress at a floor of $3.8 billion per year.

Senator Chris Murphy, who cosponsored the amendment, told MSNBC news personality Mehdi Hassan that while he doesn’t currently support the conditioning of US aid to Israel, “all of us are watching the behavior of the Israeli government very carefully.”

Israel kills with impunity

Abu Akleh’s case is an exception to the nearly blanket impunity with which Israel kills Palestinians.

Around 90 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and settlers so far this year. It is the deadliest year in the territory since 2015, when around 100 Palestinians were fatally injured.

Around a third of those fatalities this year were in the Jenin area, which has been subjected to daily raids like the one in which Abu Akleh was killed after a wave of attacks in Israel beginning in late March.

Dozens more Palestinians were killed during Israel’s nearly three-day unprovoked bombardment of Gaza last month.

Only a handful of Israeli soldiers have faced criminal charges over the death of a Palestinian in recent years.

In one of those rare examples, Border Police officer Ben Dery was sentenced to nine months in prison in 2018, four years after shooting and killing Nadim Siam Nuwara, 17.

Dery was initially charged with manslaughter but ultimately convicted of a lesser crime of “negligence and causing severe bodily harm” after taking a plea deal.

Like in the case of Abu Akleh, Forensic Architecture was tapped by Defense for Children International-Palestine to conduct a spatial and video analysis to determine the soldier who shot and killed the teen.

And like Al-Haq, Forensic Architecture’s partner in the investigation of Abu Akleh’s killing, Defense for Children International-Palestine was designated as a “terrorist group” by the Israeli government late last year, along with four other prominent Palestinian nongovernmental organizations.

Israeli forces raided and sealed the offices of those organizations in the area of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, during August.

Last week, Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq published an analysis of CCTV and other footage available showing the raid on the latter’s office, which included breaking into an Episcopal church located on the floor below.

The footage shows that during the raid, which lasted more than an hour, soldiers rummaged through files, broke into the IT and server room and the office of Shawan Jabarin, Al-Haq’s general director, and other departmental offices.

Soldiers are also shown in the footage socializing and taking trophy photos and posing for selfies.

“With knowledge of the CCTV cameras, these actions deliver a message of humiliation and dominance over the premises,” Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq state.

Soldiers cut off power in the building some 40 minutes into the raid, shutting off the indoor CCTV cameras, before welding a metal plate to the door and posting a closure order.

Jabarin told media that he suspects that soldiers installed spyware onto Al-Haq’s computers. Pegasus surveillance software was found on the personal devices of Al-Haq staff members last year.

Al-Haq staff have been subjected to harassment campaigns including death threats over their work pursuing accountability at the International Criminal Court.

Al-Haq and Defense for Children International-Palestine, along with Addameer, another group proscribed by Israel last year, have provided evidence to The Hague court’s probe in Palestine, which was launched in March last year.

The US opposes the ICC investigation in Palestine.

 

State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated that the Biden administration does not believe that the ICC is “an appropriate venue” for an investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing. Yet during the same press briefing, he said the White House welcomed The Hague court’s investigation of war crimes in Ukraine.

During his visit to Israel and the West Bank in July, Biden pledged that Washington would work with Tel Aviv to “combat all efforts to boycott or de-legitimize Israel, to deny its right to self-defense, or to unfairly single it out in any forum, including at the United Nations or the International Criminal Court.”

Video: Mossad’s Dirty Secrets

I’ve always said that everyone loves a warm Palestinian over a cold stiff “Israeli”!
John Chris Kiriakou (born August 9, 1964) is an American author, journalist and former intelligence officer.
Kiriakou is a columnist with Reader Supported News and co-host of Political Misfits on Sputnik Radio.
He was formerly an analyst and case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, counterterrorism and a consultant for ABC News.
He was the first U.S. government official to confirm in December 2007 that waterboarding was used to interrogate al-Qaeda prisoners, which he described as torture.
In 2012, Kiriakou became the first CIA officer to be convicted of passing classified information to a reporter disclosing the identity of a CIA officer.
He received a 30-month sentence for his crime. Kiriakou was born on August 9, 1964, the son of elementary school educators in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and raised in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania.
His grandparents had immigrated from Greece.[12] Kiriakou graduated from New Castle High School in 1982 and attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs.
Kiriakou was recruited into the CIA by a graduate school professor who had been a senior CIA official.
[13] Kiriakou spent the first eight years of his career as a Middle East analyst specializing on Iraq.
He maintained a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance.
He learned Arabic and, from 1994 to 1996, was assigned to the American Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, as an economic officer. 
returned to Washington, D.C., and to work on Iraq until 1998 when he transferred to the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. He became a counter-terrorism operations officer and worked in Athens, Greece, on Eurocommunist terrorism.
In Greece, Kiriakou recruited foreign agents to spy for the United States, and was nearly assassinated by leftists.
In 2000, Kiriakou returned to CIA Headquarters. Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Kiriakou was named Chief of Counterterrorist Operations in Pakistan.
In that position, he led a series of military raids on al-Qaeda safehouses, capturing dozens of al-Qaeda fighters.
Kiriakou led a raid on the night of March 28, 2002, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, capturing Abu Zubaydah, then thought to be al-Qaeda’s third-ranking official. Following a 2002-2004 domestic assignment, Kiriakou resigned from the CIA in 2004. Original Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5B-f…

The Birth of a New Specimen of Human being

Investigating the Victim: On Abbas’ “Holocaust” and the Depravity of Israeli Hasbara
by Ramzy Baroud / August 31st, 2022

What truly requires urgent investigation and condemnation is Israel’s continued exploitation and denigration of the memory of the Holocaust to score cheap political points against Palestinians, to silence critics and to hide the true extent of its numerous massacres, criminal military occupation and racist apartheid regime.

“There was no Massacre in Jenin” was the title of a Haaretz editorial on April 19, 2002, one week after Israel ended its deadly onslaught on the besieged Palestinian refugee camp in the northern West Bank.

The unwarranted conclusion by Haaretz, other Israeli media and, ultimately, numerous western outlets was not the outcome of a thorough investigation carried out by an independent commission of inquiry.

In fact, on April 9, a UN convoy was prevented by Israel from reaching the Jenin camp and, on April 30, Israel officially blocked a United Nations inquiry into the killings. 

Haaretz’s seemingly conclusive statement was the outcome of two types of arbitrary evidence: the Israeli army’s own claim that it did not commit a massacre in Jenin, and the fact that the number of Palestinian victims was downgraded from an estimated hundreds of dead to scores of dead.

In Israel itself, “many feared that Jenin would be added to the black list of massacres that have shocked the world,” Haaretz reported with obvious relief.

Though Israel has committed numerous crimes and massacres against Palestinians prior to April 2002, and many more after that date, Israelis remain comforted by their persisting illusion that they are still on the right side of history.

Those who insisted on the use of the phrase ‘Jenin massacre’ were attacked and smeared, not only by Israeli media and officials, but by western media as well.

Accusing Israel of massacring Palestinians was equated with the ever-predictable label of ‘antisemitism’.

This accusation was the same label unleashed against those who accused Israel of responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila massacres, which killed thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese in September 1982.

Commenting on the horrific bloodbath in the South Lebanon refugee camps, Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Menachem Begin, retorted, “Goyim kill goyim, and they come to hang the Jews.”

Though it was Begin who ordered the invasion of Lebanon which killed an estimated 17,000 Palestinians and Lebanese, he still felt completely innocent, and that the supposedly unfounded accusations were yet another antisemitic trope, not only targeting Israel, but all Jews, everywhere.

Ironically, the official Israeli Kahan Commission found Israeli Defense Minister at the time, General Ariel Sharon, “indirectly responsible for the massacre”.

Tellingly, Sharon later became the Prime Minister of Israel.

The recent frenzy generated against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for using the word ‘Holocaust’ in describing Israeli crimes against Palestinians should, therefore, be placed within the above context, not in the word itself.

Indeed, many Israelis are fully familiar with the use of the word ‘holocaust’ in Arabic media, as various pro-Israeli organizations monitor Arab and Palestinian media as a matter of course.

They must have already encountered many similar references to the ‘Syrian holocaust,’ the ‘Iraqi holocaust’, the ‘Palestinian holocaust’, and so on.

In Arabic usage, the word ‘holocaust’ came to represent something equivalent to a horrific massacre, or many massacres.

Unlike ‘mathbaha’, meaning ‘massacre’, holocaust carries a deeper and more heart-wrenching meaning.

If anything, the usage of the word further accentuates the growing understanding that Arabs feel towards the mass killing of the Jews and other vulnerable minorities by German Nazis during World War II.

It neither negates, dismisses nor attempts to replace the reference to Adolf Hitler’s despicable crimes.

In fact, a simple discourse analysis of Abbas’ reference is enough to clarify his intentions.

Speaking in Arabic, the Palestinian leader said, “From 1947 to the present day, Israel has committed 50 massacres in Palestinian villages and cities … 50 massacres, 50 holocausts and until today, and every day there are casualties killed by the Israeli military.”

It is doubtful that Abbas was referencing 50 specific massacres because, frankly, if he was, then he is certainly wrong, as many more massacres were committed in the period he specified.

The Nakba, Jenin, and many such mass killings aside, the Israeli wars on Gaza in 2008-9 and 2014 alone witnessed the combined killings of almost 3,600 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

Whole families in Jabaliya, Beit Hanoun, Rafah, Khan Younis, Zeitun, Buraij, and elsewhere perished in these one-sided ‘wars’ against a besieged population.

Abbas was simply illustrating that Israeli crimes against Palestinians are many, and are yet to end. His (Abbas’) remarks, uttered at a press conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz were a response to a strange question by a German journalist on whether Abbas was ready to apologize for the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

The question was strange because the group which carried out the attack then was a fringe Palestinian group that did not represent the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian leadership in exile at the time.

But also because, a week or so before the Abbas-Scholz meeting was held, Israel had killed 49 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 17 children in its latest unprovoked war on Gaza.

It would have been more apt for the inquisitive journalist to ask Abbas if he had received an Israeli apology for killing Palestinian civilians; or, perhaps, ask Scholz if Berlin is ready to apologize to the Palestinian people for its blind military and political support of Tel Aviv.

None of that, of course.

Instead, it was Abbas who was attacked and shamed for daring to use the term ‘holocaust’, especially in the presence of the German leader who, in turn, was also chastised by Israeli media and officials for not responding to Abbas there and then.

To stave off a political crisis with Israel, Scholz tweeted the following day, of how “disgusted” he was by the “outrageous remarks” made by Abbas.

He condemned the Palestinian leader for the “attempt to deny the crime of the Holocaust”, and so on.

Expectedly, Israeli leaders relished the moment.

Instead of being held accountable for the killing of Palestinian civilians, they found themselves in a position where they supposedly had the moral high ground.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid raged against Abbas’ “moral disgrace” and “monstrous lie”.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz joined in, describing Abbas’ words as “despicable”. US State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Deborah E. Lipstadt, also jumped into the fray, accusing Abbas of “Holocaust distortion” that “fuels antisemitism”.

Despite Abbas’ quick apology, the Germans continued to escalate, as Berlin police have reportedly “opened a preliminary investigation” against Abbas for his use of the term “50 Holocausts”. The repercussions of these comments are still ongoing.

In truth, Palestinians – officials, academics, or journalists – do not deny the Holocaust, but rather use the term to underscore their ongoing suffering at the hands of Israel.

Unlike the West’s true Holocaust deniers, Palestinians see affinity between their victims and those of Nazi Germany. In that, there is no crime to investigate.

What truly requires urgent investigation and condemnation is Israel’s continued exploitation and denigration of the memory of the Holocaust to score cheap political points against Palestinians, to silence critics and to hide the true extent of its numerous massacres, criminal military occupation and racist apartheid regime.

The King David Massacre
The Massacre at Baldat al-Shaikh
Yehida Massacre
Khisas Massacre
QAZAZA MASSACRE
The Semiramis Hotel Massacre
The Massacre at Dair Yasin
NASER AL-DIN MASSACRE
THE TANTURA MASSACRE
BEIT DARAS MASSACRE
THE DAHMASH MOSQUE MASSACRE
DAWAYMA MASSACRE
HOULA MASSACRE
SHARAFAT MASSACRE
Salha Massacre
The Massacre at Qibya
KAFR QASEM MASSACRE
Khan Yunis Massacre
The Massacre in Gaza City
Al-Sammou’ Massacre
Aitharoun Massacre
Kawnin Massacre
Hanin Massacre
Bint Jbeil Massacre
Abbasieh Massacre
Adloun Massacre
Saida Massacre
Fakhani Massacre
Beirut Massacre
Sabra And Shatila Massacre
Jibsheet Massacre
Sohmor Massacre
Seer Al Garbiah
Maaraka Massacres
Zrariah Massacre
Homeen Al-Tahta Massacre
Jibaa Massacre
Yohmor Massacre
Tiri massacre
Al-Naher Al-Bared Massacre
Ain Al-Hilweh Massacre
Oyoun Qara Massacre
Siddiqine Massacre
A-Aqsa Mosqie Massacre
The Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre
The Jabalia Massacre
Aramta Massacre
Eretz Checkpoint Massacre
Deir Al-Zahrani Massacre
Nabatiyeh (school bus) Massacre
Mnsuriah Massacre
The Sohmor Second Massacre
Nabatyaih Massacre
Qana Massacre
Trqumia Massacr
Janta Massacre

24 Of June 1999 Massacres

israel-commits-massacre-jenin
Western Bekaa villages Massacre:

The Gaza Cast Lead Massacre (2008-2009)
The Mavi Marmara Massacre May 31, 2010
The Nakba Day Massacre May 15, 2011
The ongoing Silent or Silenced Massacre
The June 5 2011 Naksa Day Massacre

2012 Gaza Massacre

israeli-crimes-in-gaza-2014

True Christians Not welcome in Israel and Never Were

In Palestine, Muslims and Christians have been hand in hand resisting against the Israeli occupation.

Large segment of America supports Fascist elements

Palestiniana in Israel Christians have a special relationship with the holy land of Palestine for it is the birthplace of Christianity.

They have been living in Palestine since the time of Jesus for over 2000 years.

Cities such as Bethlehem and Nazareth hold major importance, not only for Palestinian Christians, but for Christians all around the world as Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus in Christianity.

Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, Palestinian Christians have been subjected to brutal military occupation in their homelands.

Israel does not differentiate between Palestinian Christians and Muslims when it carries out its occupational policies.

As a result of Al Nakba in 1948, Al Naksa in 1967 and many other wars on the Palestinian people, the majority of Palestinian Christians have been forced to flee and seek refuge in neighbouring countries and abroad.

To put this in numbers, before 1922, the total percentage of Christians living within the borders of the Palestinian territory was 4% but in 2005, it was estimated that the percentage of Palestinian Christians living in the Palestinian territories has dropped down to from 3.4% to 2.1%.

Bethlehem is dominated in equal measure by churches and mosques, a symbol of the increased diversity of the region’s people.

Since 1948 many Palestinian Christians have been living in refugee camps outside the sacred city.

The Christian population in Bethlehem now stands at a mere 28% of the total population.

Just as other Palestinians they face many challenges moving from one city to another due to Israel’s Apartheid checkpoints.

It is virtually impossible for them to travel to the Gaza Strip which is home to some of the oldest Christian holy sites in the world.

Likewise, Christians living in Gaza face many obstacles when traveling to Bethlehem or other holy cities in the West Bank. Since Shalit’s capture by the Palestinian resistance, only 20% of Gazan Christians who apply for permission are issued permits.

People between the ages of 16-36 years are not allowed to travel due to security measures implemented by Israel .

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Israeli soldiers confront Palestinian protestors in Masafer Yatta in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian residents of Bethlehem are all subjected to the same military occupation.

This includes going through humiliating military checkpoints, targeted assassinations, house demolitions, curfews and an Apartheid wall that encircles Bethlehem.

Inside the Church of Saint Porphyrius, Gaza
INSIDE THE CHURCH OF SAINT PORPHYRIUS, GAZA

A representative from the Centre of Political and Development Studies (CPDS) had the opportunity of visiting the Church of Saint Porphyries.

The church which is located in Saha Area, Gaza city was built approximately 1600 years ago and is the oldest of its kind in Gaza.

A mosque by the name of Kitab Wiliya stands directly next to the church. The only thing that separates the two places of worship is mere thin wall. The church is administrated by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Although politically Palestinians may be divided, religion ironically brings all Palestinians together.

The Palestinian Christians have the same dream of returning back to their homelands that was stolen from them with the creation of the state of Israel. Palestinian Christians stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Muslim Palestinians.

For this reason the Palestinian Christians have sacrificed a lot to keep the Birthplace of Christianity protected and preserved.

In the fifth century, St Porphyries came to Gaza and built a church.

It took him five years to build it and he got the financing from Constantinople.

Today the St Porphyries church stands as one of the oldest churches in Gaza.

St Porphyries himself was buried inside the church.

His tomb and icon are still inside the church.

Israel has been trying to portray the Palestinian issue as a “Muslim Versus Jew” conflict.

However, this is not the case. I conversed with a Palestinian Christian in Gaza and put forward some questions concerning the role of Christians throughout the long history of conflict. The Interview went as follows:

How do you feel when you know that there are Christians that support Israel?

A: They are Christian Zionists not Christians. Jesus taught to forgive, love your enemy and to carry on the brother hood in the whole world.

They are not true Christians.

How is your relationship with the Muslims in Gaza, do you both want freedom for Palestine?

A: Of course. In Palestine, Muslims and Christians have been hand in hand resisting against the Israeli occupation.

We are Arab and Palestinians. We share the same feelings and suffering from the Israeli occupation. So we work together.

How do you perceive the Palestinian cause?

A: Thanks for this question. I don’t like it when people talk about Islamic holy sites and forget about Christian ones.

There are also many Christians living in the area of East Jerusalem.

You have to talk about Palestinian Muslims and Christians together.

Palestine Christians expect from their fellows all over the world to stand by them to free Palestine, so that all people of Palestine, regardless their religion can pray peacefully for a better tomorrow.

Israeli Professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan said in a speech, “Israel has reached an unimaginable peak of evil. And indeed many people all over the world find it hard to imagine that this is so.”

Who could imagine Jewish thugs, wearing black boots and helmets, armed with guns and batons, lashing dogs at small children and old people, or letting asylum seekers die of thirst in the desert and prisoners die of hunger strikes, punishing them and their families by sending them to confinement;

who would conceive of Jewish doctors driving a wounded man out of hospital and letting him die of thirst on a deserted road, who would think of Jewish soldiers breaking the neck of a young girl with a pink scarf for protesting against oppression.

Who could imagine the education of Jewish girls as consisting of beating up and harassing women and children, or a Jewish soldier girl receiving a badge of courage for murdering a Palestinian boy who went to fetch his birthday cake.

The only possible conclusion must be that Israeli evil has nothing to do with Judaism and that what is manifested in Israeli behavior is not Jewishness. “

The Real Holocaust Denial

Ex-government minister’s recent warning to Palestinian flag-wavers of another forced expulsion exposes the lie at the heart of Israel’s founding

Here is a puzzle. What did Israel Katz, an Israeli legislator and until recently a senior government minister, mean when he threatened Palestinian students last month with another “Nakba” if they continued to wave the Palestinian flag?

He urged them to “remember 1948” and speak to their “grandfathers and grandmothers”.

“If you don’t calm down,” he told the Israeli parliament, “we’ll teach you a lesson that won’t be forgotten.”

Nakba denial was the Israeli state’s default position

And similarly, what was in the mind of Uzi Dayan, a former army general who is also a member of the Israeli parliament, when he warned Palestinians two months earlier “to be careful”?

They would face “a situation you know, which is Nakba”, if they refused to passively submit to Israel’s dictates.

Both threats – and similar ones from senior Israeli politicians over the years – fly in the face of long-held claims by successive Israeli governments that the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba, the Arabic word for “catastrophe”, constitutes a vile distortion of the region’s history.

JFJFP

According to Israeli officials, Palestinian accusations that they were violently and willfully expelled from their homeland in 1948 are a slur against Israel’s character and its army, supposedly “the most moral in the world”. It is even suggested that commemorating the Nakba equates to antisemitism.

And yet paradoxically, Israeli politicians seem only too ready to echo these supposed calumnies against the founding of the self-declared “Jewish state”. In 2017, Tzachi Hanegbi, while serving as a senior cabinet minister, warned Palestinians that they faced a “third Nakba” – after the mass expulsions of 1948 and 1967 – if they resisted the occupation.

“You’ve already paid that crazy price twice for your leaders,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Don’t try us again, because the result won’t be any different. You have been warned!”

Nakba denial

According to Palestinians and a growing number of scholars researching Israel’s archives, Zionist leaders and their militias waged a violent, premeditated campaign of ethnic cleansing in 1948 in which four-fifths of all Palestinians were driven off their lands and into exile. As a consequence, the Zionist movement was able to declare a Jewish state on most of their homeland.

Today, many millions of Palestinian refugees are dispersed across the Middle East and much of the rest of the world, unable to return. Israeli officials have been so adamant that this narrative is a lie to demonise Israel that back in 2011 the government of Benjamin Netanyahu passed a law to erase from the public space any commemoration of the Nakba.

Why is Israel so afraid of the Palestinian flag?

 

The so-called Nakba Law threatens to strip Israeli institutions – including schools, universities, libraries and municipalities – of state funding if they allow any such commemoration.

In its original form, the law would have led to a three-year jail term for anyone taking part in such an event.

But even before the legislation, Nakba denial was the Israeli state’s default position.

In contrast to the Palestinian narrative, Israel denies any premeditation or malicious violence by its leaders and soldiers, and instead blames the Palestinian exodus in 1948 on other factors.

Jewish homeland is a lie. It’s imperialism, stupid!

It claims that most Palestinians left on the orders of Arab leaders, rather than that they were ethnically cleansed by the new Israeli state’s army.

Officials argue too that the Israeli army attacked Palestinian communities largely in response to violence from Palestinian fighters and units of Arab soldiers from neighbouring countries that came to their aid.

Noted Israeli historians like Benny Morris continue to argue that “at no stage of the 1948 war was there a decision by the leadership of the Yishuv [pre-state Jewish community] or the state to ‘expel the Arabs’.”

On this official view, most Palestinians either chose to leave or were responsible for provoking the violence that led to them being forced out.

Israel’s hands are supposedly clean.

But if Israelis really believe this to be the case, why are veteran politicians such as Katz, Dayan and Hanegbi using the Palestinian terminology of Nakba themselves – and threatening that Israel will carry out a second or third time what officials insist never happened in the first place?

Operation Broom

Israel’s narrative is so dominant that until recently most Israeli Jews believed that their state’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, urged the Palestinian population fleeing the large port city of Haifa to return in 1948.

Palestinians supposedly preferred to wait out the fighting until the Zionist forces were defeated. 

Nakba Day: How Britain rewards Israel for its war crimes

Read More »

According to this account, Ben-Gurion sent Golda Meir, later prime minister herself, on a mission to reassure fleeing Palestinians.

In her autobiography, Meir recounts: “I sat on the beach there [in Haifa] and begged them to return home… I pleaded with them until I was exhausted but it didn’t work.”

But a letter written in early June 1948 by Ben-Gurion came to light seven years ago that undermines Israel’s propaganda.

In it, he responded angrily to reports that the British consul was “working to return the Arabs to Haifa”.

Ben-Gurion demanded that Haifa’s Jewish leaders actively stymie these British efforts.

In fact, an Israeli scholar who was handed an archive file in error disclosed nearly a decade ago that the story of Arab leaders insisting Palestinians flee their homeland in 1948 was a nonsense. It was concocted by Israeli officials as a way to end US pressure on Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return.

Beginning in the 1980s, a new generation of Israeli historians started trawling through Israel’s archives as sections of it were briefly opened. They unearthed documentary evidence of an entirely different set of events that accorded with the Palestinian narrative.

Military operations had suggestive titles like “Operation Broom” and commanders received orders to “clean” areas. Many hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed as soon as their populations had been driven out by Zionist soldiers, with the clear intent never to let them return.

Reign of terror

And despite Israel’s best efforts to keep it under wraps, archival evidence has kept emerging of Israeli massacres of Palestinian civilians, making explicit why the vast majority of Palestinians fled in 1948. 

A Palestinian woman in Gaza holds up a key symbolising the right of return on the 74th anniversary of the Nakba (Reuters)
A Palestinian woman in Gaza holds up a key symbolising the right of return on the 74th anniversary of the Nakba (Reuters)

 

 

In one of the worst, around 170 unarmed men, women and children were executed by the Israeli army near Hebron, and hundreds more wounded, even as they offered no resistance. 

A letter from the time by Shabtai Kaplan, a soldier and journalist who witnessed the Dawayimah massacre, was found in 2016. He observed that the killings were part of “a system of expulsion and destruction”.

The rationale, he wrote, was: “The fewer Arabs who remain, the better.” 

Five Israeli landmarks built on the remains of Palestinian communities

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Another long-denied massacre of Palestinians – at Tantura, on the coast south of Haifa – was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year after a new Israeli film included testimonies from former soldiers in which they admitted committing the massacre

Katz, Dayan and Hanegbi understand what the word Nakba means for Palestinians and are aware too that the Palestinian narrative of the events of 1948 has been confirmed by the archives.

Nakba – for them, as for Palestinians – means a reign of military terror to drive out the Palestinian population in areas Israel wishes to further colonize with Jews, or “Judaise” as official Israeli terminology puts it.

It means yet another wave of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, both those under occupation and the minority living with highly degraded citizenship inside Israel.

In threatening a second Nakba, Katz and Dayan are simply confirming that Israeli leaders, despite their protestations, have always known what the Nakba was – and have always approved of the goal of ethnic cleansing Palestinians.

The irony is that, while Israel denounces Palestinians and their supporters as liars for speaking of the Nakba, its own officials publicly cite the Nakba as a real event that can be repeated if Palestinians do not submit completely.

Genocidal rhetoric

That should not surprise us.

After all, the goal of expulsion did not end with the events of 1948 – the reason Palestinians speak of an “ongoing Nakba”.

Israeli officials regularly employ genocidal-type rhetoric.

As head of Israel’s military, Moshe Yaalon compared the threat posed by Palestinians to “cancer” that had “to be severed and fought to the bitter end”.

Ayelet Shaked, currently Israel’s interior minister, has characterised all Palestinians as “enemy combatants” – a term suggesting they are legitimate military targets.

She has referred to any Palestinians that fights Israel’s decades of belligerent occupation as “snakes” and indicated that their entire families can be eliminated, including their mothers, otherwise “more little snakes will be raised there”.

Leading rabbis in Israel are even more explicit.

Two wrote a notorious handbook, The King’s Torah, arguing that it is permitted to kill Palestinians, even babies, pre-emptively because “it is clear that they will grow to harm us”. Neither faced prosecution.

‘Finish the job’

These types of menacing comments are not just directed at Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Notably, the recent Nakba threats were chiefly aimed at Israel’s 1.8 million Palestinian citizens, who, Israel falsely maintains, enjoy equal status with Israel’s Jewish citizens. 

Palestinian citizens are the descendants of the small numbers of Palestinians who managed to avoid expulsion in 1948 – due largely to oversights and international pressure.

Bezalel Smotrich
Far-right Israeli politician Bezalel Smotrich has made barely veiled threats of expulsion. ‘Arabs are citizens of Israel – for now, at least,’ he said in April 2021 (AFP)

 

 

Exemplifying Israelis’ cognitive dissonance on this issue, historian Benny Morris has cited the existence of a Palestinian minority in Israel as proof that the Nakba is a lie and that Israel never intended to ethnically cleanse Palestinians.

He has done so even as he lamented the fact that Ben-Gurion “got cold feet during the [1948] war” and “faltered” in failing to expel every last Palestinian.

In this, he shares the sentiments of far-right politicians like Bezalel Smotrich, another former government minister.

Last year, Smotrich addressed legislators representing the Palestinian minority, saying: “It’s a mistake that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948.”

On another occasion, Smotrich made a barely veiled threat of expulsion: “Arabs are citizens of Israel – for now, at least.”

Caught in a trap

Such threats are far from idle. In its first decades, Israel continued to secretly expel vulnerable communities of Palestinian citizens, such as the Bedouin in the Naqab, and plotted to expel more.

Israel’s security forces carried out an early massacre of Palestinian citizens, almost certainly to incentivise them to leave. Israel has also conducted at least one secret military exercise to prepare for a scenario in which there is a mass expulsion of Israel’s Palestinian minority.

Israel’s most senior politicians have proposed opaque plans to strip much of the Palestinian minority of its Israeli citizenship and their right to live in the state of Israel.

Israel-Palestine: Would western media walk on eggshells if Arabs were chanting ‘death to Jews’?

Read More »

And in addition to comments by Katz and Dayan, Israeli politicians – even former prime ministers such as Netanyahu – have incited against Palestinian citizens as freely as they have Palestinians under occupation, suggesting they are terrorists and murderers.

And all of this takes place as the jurisdiction of Israel’s settlements continues to expand relentlessly in the occupied territories, and Palestinians in the West Bank face ever more pressure and violence to leave their homes and their homeland.

While Palestinians are effectively banned from publicly referring to the Nakba and may soon be barred even from waving a Palestinian flag in public spaces, Israelis can march through Palestinian communities calling out: “Death to the Arabs!” and “May your village burn!

The reality, as hinted at by Katz and Dayan’s latest statements, is that Palestinians are caught in a trap.

If they assert their national identity, or even their most basic rights such as by waving a Palestinian flag, they risk providing Israel with the pretext to forcibly expel them, to carry out another Nakba.

But if they stay silent, as Katz and Dayan demand, the process of incremental ethnic cleansing, a second Nakba, takes place anyway – if a little more quietly. 

Palestinians pay the price either way – while Israel’s policy of Nakba continues unabated.

Israhell Admits

Israel initially (traditionally) denied bombing the area and claimed the deaths were caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket.

Israel on Friday launched a series of air strikes and artillery fire on Gaza in an attack that has left at least 15 Palestinians dead, including a five-year-old girl.

At least 75 people have been wounded, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, as one of the air strikes hit a residential building in central Gaza.

Palestinian and Israeli analysts told Middle East Eye that Israel’s latest assault on the besieged territory is unprovoked and strange.

How did it start? 

Illegal European Jews invade Palestine

Earlier this week, Israel arrested Bassam el-Saadi, a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed faction, in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. 

Although the group did not respond, Israel launched air strikes that killed several Palestinians, including a top member of the group, Tayseer Jabari, in Gaza.

Israel claimed that the organization was planning an attack. However, it provided no evidence for that.

In response to the bombardment of Gaza, the PIJ said, it fired more than 100 rockets into Israel, and that “there are no red lines in this battle” and the city of Tel Aviv will fall under rocket fire.

Hamas, the de facto ruler in Gaza, and the PIJ, the second-biggest armed group in the Strip, have promised a heavy response to the Israeli aggression.

Why did Israel attack Gaza?

Not everyone is buying the Israeli account that it was attempting to prevent an attack by the PIJ.

“The bottom line is that after Israel allegedly tried to prevent Islamic Jihad attacks, it is now receiving rockets that apparently would not have happened if Israel did not attack first,” veteran Israeli analyst Meron Rapoport told MEE.

The analyst noted that Israel was essentially punishing the PIJ for not attacking in retaliation to Saadi’s arrest, given that the group only launched rockets after Israel made air strikes on Gaza.

Israel is expected to go to the polls in November, and Israeli politicians may be seeking to burnish their strong-man credentials in a bid to out-manoeuvre former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is leading the polls.

“One possibility is that [Prime Minister Yair] Lapid wants to establish his position as a ‘strong’ prime minister, less than three months before the general elections, while the [opposition] Benjamin Netanyahu bloc is gaining strength in the polls,” said Rapoport.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, Sami Abu Shehadeh, slammed the military operation in Gaza as part of an election campaign by caretaker Prime Minister Lapid and Defence Minister Benny Gantz. 

“Israel’s latest aggression in Gaza shows the will of Lapid and Gantz and their [governing] coalition to do anything to stay in power, including the killing of a five-year-old girl.

The Holocaust gave Israel the money, population, resources and approval from other countries, which allowed Israel to survive and thrive.

This new war crime is part of an immoral electoral campaign to show they can be as criminal as Benjamin Netanyahu,” Shehadeh told MEE.

Netanyahu, now leader of the opposition, led three military campaigns against Gaza during his time as prime minister.

“The Palestinian people are in urgent need of international protection.

The Israeli government has increased its attacks and crimes in Palestine, and this isn’t only about a particular faction: their attacks go from human rights organizations to the families of Sheikh Jarrah,” Shehadeh, a lawmaker with the Joint List, said, referring to people evicted, and facing the threat of eviction, from their homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood.

Unhinged Jewish Sadism Unleashed


Israel is getting away with these many crimes for a single reason: They use Mafia gangster tactics to anyone who opposes them.

What does this mean? First they use polite smiling face bribery to get Congress to do their bidding.

If that fails, then everyone in Congress knows that some relatives may have accidents or disappear from the landscape or more.

Israel is run by very evil criminal thugs who must be stopped.

Who did 9/11/01 to our country with the aid of criminals Bush, Cheney and some four star generals?

Israel again!

It was deliberately blamed on Muslim Patsies but Israel did it!

Congress has been bribed and threatened to support this evil group of cowards.

Congress must all resign today or be voted out of office and replaced by other Americans who will reject the evil criminal activities of the despicable Al Capone Gang running Israel and aided by Donald Adolph Hitler our reprehensible coward so called President or orders murders of officials of other countries he hates like General Solemani of Iran.

Israel hits Gaza (the original, legal owners of the Israeli land) with air attacks

A young girl – and 55 wounded in a series of missile attacks throughout Gaza.

the original, legal owners of the Israeli land

How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.
That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza.
They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel.
This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.
But watching the news shows, you’d think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force.
The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story.”
Robert Fisk: Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony,
The Independent, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

KEEP READING

The health ministry in Gaza said at least 10 people were killed including al-Jabari and a five-year-old girl. At least 55 people were wounded and being treated at hospitals as a result of the Israeli raids.

Smoke poured out of the seventh floor of the building in Gaza City. Civil defence teams rushed to the scene to evacuate people and put out a fire caused by the attack.

“We’ve just had Friday lunch and my children were playing. Suddenly a huge explosion hit the tower in which we live. We ran away. The sound was massive. We were very shocked as the place is full of civilians.

I saw many casualties that were evacuated,” one resident told Al Jazeera with blood covering his clothes.

Gaza
A Palestinian woman reacts as people gather at the site of an explosion in Gaza City [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

Gaza-based author and activist Rana Shubair, who lives in the al-Remal neighbourhood in the western side of the Gaza Strip, said she heard “four to five loud bangs” when Israel attacked the Palestine Tower nearby.

“I was asleep and found myself waking up running, wondering what happened,” Shubair said.

“There was panic in the area, people running. You can imagine … the amount of horror that this caused for the people living in the building,” she added. “There were children playing … this was something really unpredictable for us.”

Multiple blasts could be heard and seen throughout Gaza. Israeli reconnaissance drones could be heard hovering over the besieged enclave.

Attacks also struck the southern areas of Khan Younis and Rafah, as well as the al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood.

Privacy Policy

In the first response to the attack, rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel could be seen as Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system lit up the night’s sky with explosions.

‘Duty to defend ourselves’

Renewed air strikes also struck the eastern Gaza Strip, with Israeli fighters jets continuing to roam above the densely populated city on Friday evening, Al Jazeera’s Youmna al-Sayed reported.

The attacks follow days of tension with the Islamic Jihad after the arrest of senior Palestinian leader Bassam al-Saadi in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

They also came after days of border closures, including the closure of the Karam Abu Salem commercial crossing, which is responsible for the flow of fuel needed for Gaza’s sole power plant.

In a statement, the Islamic Jihad said: “The enemy has begun a war targeting our people, and we all have the duty to defend ourselves and our people, and not allow the enemy to get away with its actions which are aimed at undermining the resistance and national steadfastness.”

Ghazi Hamad, a senior official for Hamas – the group that governs the strip – said the latest attack is “a brutal crime, a massacre done by the Israeli occupation against our people”.

Hamad told Al Jazeera there is “no justification” for the attacks, adding that the Palestinian factions have the right to defend themselves and “protect” their people.

According to him, factions in Gaza have maintained “good coordination” and are exploring the “best option for the Palestinian people”.

“I think Israel is not interested in any mediation … there is no place for mediation, no place for peaceful talks,” Hamad said. “Our people are waiting for the Palestinian resistance to take the decision and retaliate.”

Gaza
Palestinians react at a hospital following Israeli strikes in Gaza City [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

An Israeli military spokesman said “we are assuming about 15 killed in action” in Gaza, referring to Palestinian group fighters.

“We haven’t finished yet,” spokesman Richard Hecht told reporters, adding Israel expected retaliatory rocket fire against by Palestinian factions in Gaza.

Israeli also announced 25,000 reserve troops were being activated.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said his country has “zero tolerance” for attacks from Gaza but “no interest” in a broader battle.

‘A special situation’

Earlier on Friday, the Israeli army said it was striking Gaza, adding “a special situation has been declared on the Israeli home front”.

Israel closed roads around Gaza earlier this week and sent reinforcements to the border as it braced for a response after the arrest of a senior member of the Islamic Jihad group in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said in a statement it would respond to Friday’s “escalation”.

“The Israeli enemy is the one who started the escalation against the resistance in Gaza, and a new crime was committed, and it bears the full responsibility,” said Barhoum.

“The resistance will defend our people in the Gaza Strip with everything it has and will continue to respond.”

Israel Gaza PIJ
An injured Palestinian child is carried to a hospital following the Israeli air strike on Gaza City [Anas Baba/AFP] 

‘External strength’

Ahmed Mudalal, an Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, said the group had made demands on Israel through Egyptian mediators, including the release of detained leader al-Saadi and another prisoner, a halt to West Bank raids, and the lifting of the Gaza blockade. He said they have not yet received a response.

Israel and Hamas, which govern Gaza, have fought four wars and engaged in several smaller skirmishes over the past 15 years.

Washington defended Israel’s deadly air strikes on Friday.

“The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians in Israel,” a White House National Security Council official told Al Jazeera. “We are urging all sides to avoid further escalation.”

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz visited communities near Gaza on Friday, saying authorities were preparing “actions that will remove the threat from this region”, without elaborating.

“We will operate with internal resilience and external strength in order to restore routine life in Israel’s south,” he said. “We do not seek conflict, yet we will not hesitate to defend our citizens, if required.”

Israel and Egypt have maintained a tight blockade on Gaza for 14 years, and critics say the policy amounts to the collective punishment of the region’s two million Palestinian residents.

The Israel Lobby Is Spending Millions to Defeat Progressive Democrats in Primary Races

Pro-Israel lobby groups have spent “shocking” amounts of money to change the course of multiple Democratic congressional primaries over the past year alone, reports our guest Peter Beinart. The latest is in Maryland, where former Congressmember Donna Edwards is being outspent sevenfold by corporate attorney Glenn Ivey in her bid to win back her old seat in the state’s 4th Congressional District. Beinart, the editor-at-large of Jewish Currents, says the AIPAC-led PACs disguise their attack ads with local issues but in reality are designed to oust candidates who take stances in support of Palestinian rights and working people.

 

Fmr amb. to Palestine Occupation “access to Saudi airspace: ‘Not significant’

 

Former U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, contradicted President Biden’s tout that opening airspace over Saudi Arabia to allow for flights to and from Israel is a “big deal,” contrarily remarking that he had flown over Saudi territory many times.

Friedman also told “Fox & Friends Weekend” Sunday that Biden’s Middle East trip was a “huge missed opportunity.”

AMB. DAVID FRIEDMAN: It’s not significant because I’ve flown over Saudi Arabia lots of times already on the way to Abu Dhabi, on the way to Bahrain, on the way to Dubai.

I think most significantly, I don’t think the Saudis themselves view this as significant.

I mean, they’ve made it clear that this has nothing to do with any normalization or reconciliation with Israel.

They’ve walked it back already.

You know, by the time the president was on Air Force One, this was being walked back.

So, no, it’s not significant then… I think we would expect much more in the future with that relationship.

US amb. to “Israel” : The US State Department’s two-state policy is grounded in anti-Semitism “The US State Department – with a hundred-year history of anti-Semitism – promotes the payoff of corrupt Palestinians in exchange for their completely duplicitous agreement to support a two-state solution.” (August 2015)

US must cancel plans to build embassy on Palestinian land in Jerusalem

Owners of the land, which include US citizens and Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, demand the Biden Administration and Israeli government cancel plans to build a US embassy on privately-owned land.

New evidence reveals that US plans to build an embassy in Jerusalem would place the diplomatic compound on privately-owned Palestinian land that was confiscated from its owners by Israel, following the Nakba and the establishment of the state in 1948. 

The owners of the land, which include US citizens and Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, are now demanding that the Biden Administration and the Israeli government move to cancel the plan. 

In February of last year the US government coordinated with the Israeli government to draft plans for a large diplomatic complex in Jerusalem that would eventually house the US embassy.

The plans to build the embassy at the site date back to the 1990s, when the same Palestinian residents in question asked the US government to cancel the plans. 

In a statement on Sunday, two days before US President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel, legal rights group Adalah said that documents from Israeli state archives prove that the land was owned by Palestinian families, and leased temporarily to British Mandate authorities before 1948. 

Like much of the land that became state land after the establishment of the state, the land in question was confiscated from its Palestinian owners after they were made refugees in 1948 during the Nakba. 

Under the 1950 absentee property law, Israel seized large swaths of privately owned Palestinian land on the grounds that their owners, who were made refugees by Israel and prevented from returning to their homes, were “absentees.”

The Absentee Property Law has been criticized by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch “as a major tool of Israel’s oppression and domination of Palestinians within a broader Apartheid system.”

According to Adalah, archival lease agreements prove the Palestinian landowners include individuals from the Habib, Qleibo, El Khalidi, Razzaq, and El-Khalili families, among others. 

“The fact that the US government is now participating actively with the Israeli government in this project means that it is actively infringing on the property rights of the legitimate owners of these properties, including many US citizens.”  

Rashid Khalidi

Palestinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi, one of the descendants of the owners of the land, said in a statement: “The fact that the US government is now participating actively with the Israeli government in this project means that it is actively infringing on the property rights of the legitimate owners of these properties, including many US citizens.”  

“If built, the US embassy compound will be located on land that was seized from Palestinians in violation of international law,” Adalah said in its statement, adding that using the Absentees’ Property Law to confiscate land in Jerusalem also violates the city’s special status under international law.

“Given these flagrant violations, in Adalah’s view, the US and Israel must cancel this plan immediately to avoid building a diplomatic complex on this land, belonging to the descendants of the original Palestinian owners, who are both East Jerusalem residents and US citizens,” Adalah said.