Meanwhile, over at ABC News…

by Kevin Jon Heller

BsJXdWkCYAEhdi_Diane Sawyer had a hard-hitting report tonight at ABC News on the recent hostilities between Israel and Palestine. The segment opens with her saying, “We take you overseas now to the rockets raining down on Israel today as Israel tried to shoot them out of the sky.” As she speaks, a video box next to her shows explosions on an urban landscape. Sawyer then shows a still photo of two haggard men carrying clothes in front of a destroyed building and says, “here is an Israeli family trying to salvage what they can.”

There’s only one problem with Sawyer’s report: the explosions are in Gaza, the result of IDF airstrikes, and the men are Palestinian, not Israeli.

Welcome to the mainstream media’s even-handed coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

http://opiniojuris.org/2014/07/09/meanwhile-abc-news/

33 Responses

  1. If you liked that, you’ll appreciate this:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-28198622
    (BBC website using pictures from Syria to illustrate Gaza).

  2. no worries, over here in Europe, it’s exactly the other way round…

  3. Kevin – ABC indeed got in wrong. At the moment there are IDF airstrikes in the Gaza Strip and unfortunately there are casualties in Gaza, including civilians. However in order to be fair and “even handed” you should also mention that Israal is under a constant barrage of hundreds of rockets and misslies fired by the Hamas from Gaza all day long, including towards Tel-Aviv and central Israel. The only reason there are no Israeli casulaties is our defense systems and shelters, from which my kids and I have just come out after another alert. What would the UK/France/Norway etc. do if this was happening in Londond/Paris/Oslo? Israel offered the Hamas “calm for calm” – they responded with rockets and missiles. We want peace but we are not ready to be sitting ducks. Would you?

  4. …except Europe doesn’t matter at the end of the day. To think… you depend on the US for your own defense then consider yourselves capable of influencing foreign conflicts. Absurd.

  5. To quote Baruch up there, “What would the UK/France/Norway etc. do if this was happening in Londond/Paris/Oslo?” Indeed, what would they do if their well-protected military superpower occupier decided to go through a new round of cleansing? What would they do if 3 children were used as scapegoats for this mission?

  6. Dan you are delusional. The Isrealis do not “depend” on anyone other than themselves. There are no US troops or bases in Isreal. In contrast, there are tens of thousands of American troops in many other nations – UK, Korea, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, Qatar, etc.
    As for reference to scapegoats – these teens were murdered in cold blood and if you hear the phone call, the terrorists are laughing and celebrating in arabic that they killed them.
    To be honest, I think Ms Pnina is way too liberal in her usage of terms and “offers of peace”. The people of gaza are deliberately sending rockets and it is their duly elected government that is doing so. You people should just carpet bomb away gaza just like Putin would do. Heck even Obama would send in the B52s if mexico started firing rockets. Dont worry about civilian damage – no other nation would care.

  7. Pnina I agree with you. However in order to be fair and “even handed” you should also mention that the UK/France/Norway etc. are not keeping millions of people in a little strip of land forbidding them to exploit their natural resources, including their see. These terrible conditions are inflicted on a population composed mainly by refugees expelled from al-Jura, Najd and Majdal (present-day Or HaNer, Sderot and Ashkelon) and transferred by bus to Gaza.
    The comparison with Londond/Paris/Oslo is not only misleading but also morally reprehensible.

    “We want peace but we are not ready to be sitting ducks”: action speak louder than words and Israel is far from staying idle and “sitting”. And I don’t speak only about the exploitation of the Palestinian territories and the conditions in Gaza but also on the many other forms that violence can assume. This fellowing report can help you to see that also the “others” exist and complain (and have children that cannot hide in shelters):

    According to Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, of the 642 cases of settler violence Palestinians reported to Israeli police between 2005 and 2012, 90% were closed after authorities failed to mount a proper investigation.

    Between September 2000 and December 2011, Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem lodged 57 complaints against Israeli soldiers who stood by and did nothing to prevent settler violence against Palestinians or their property. Of the 57 complaints, investigations were opened into only four, two of which were closed with no action taken.

    On May 12, 2014, two former heads of Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet, Carmi Gillon and Shabtai Shavit, accused the Netanyahu government of not being interested in stopping hate crimes against Palestinians. Gillon declared: “We don’t see results, because we’re not intended to see them… There’s no such thing as ‘can’t do’ in the Shin Bet, just ‘don’t want,'” while Shavit stated: “Israel is a lawful country that does not enforce its laws.”

    In June 2012, Dan Halutz, former chief of staff of the Israeli Army, also said that the Netanyahu government isn’t serious about stopping settler violence, stating: “If we wanted, we could catch them [settlers who are attacking Palestinians] and when we want to, we will.”

    In March 2012, the Guardian newspaper reported that senior European Union officials had drafted a confidential report concluding that Jewish settlers are engaged in a systematic and growing campaign of violence against Palestinians and that “settler violence enjoys the tacit support of the state of Israel.”

    Also in March 2012, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a report documenting the growing use of threats, violence and intimidation by Jewish settlers to deny Palestinians access to their water resources in the West Bank. The report criticized Israeli authorities for having “systematically failed to enforce the law on those responsible for these acts and to provide Palestinians with any effective remedy.”

    In February 2012, it was revealed that Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman had been offering advice to extreme right-wing activists on how to seek pardons for Israeli Jews convicted of violent attacks against Palestinians and others.

    According to the US State Department Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, which was released in April 2014:
    “[In 2013, the] UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs reported 399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage. Violent extremists, including Israeli settlers, vandalized five mosques and three churches in Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to data compiled by the UN.”

    “Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank… were largely unprosecuted according to UN and NGO sources.”

  8. Response…”no other nation would care”, you are right Mister, we should praise Israel for being so human.

    I don’t think the US ethnically cleansed mexicans from it’s borders when calif, arizona, new mexico and texas became part of the US. i’m not sure how applicable your analogy is to israel.

    I understand that the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo, which transferred huge stretches of Mexican territory to the United States, specifically permitted existing Mexican residents to remain as US citizens, not as disfranchised persons or as persons subjected to an occupying regime.
    The point is not that Israel should cede territories to neighbouring states as that it should enfranchise all those subject to its sovereignty, which the United States, for all its faults, has done.

    On a more general level, today native americans or americans of mexican heritage can move anywhere they want in the US, they are not restricted to reservations or certain neighborhoods. they have the same rights in the courts as i do and the same citizenship as me. it’s not a perfect set up, but i don’t think it can be compared to israel.

    israel is still in the process of taking more land. there’s a lot of land inside israel that belongs to palestinians no one is even living on. land they are actively trying to find jewish settlers.

  9. Pnina,

    So because Palestinians launch rockets at Israel, ABC News is entitled to misdescribe the results of IDF airstrikes as the results of Palestinian rockets? That’s a very strange understanding of fairness.

    That said, I have no doubt that you and many Israelis genuinely want peace. But your government doesn’t. If you really want peace, get rid of Netanyahu and stop responding to rocket attacks — which are despicable, indefensible war crimes, as I’ve said dozens of times on this blog — by collectively punishing Palestinians and killing innocent Palestinian civilians.

  10. This is an international law site. What does anyone have to say about pushing civilians at a site to act as human shields AFTER Israel has sent a warning to the specific site?

    http://www.thetower.org/0673-in-ongoing-war-crime-hamas-pushes-civilians-to-act-as-human-shields/

  11. Urging civilians to act as human shields is abhorrent. But Palestinians do not become human shields simply by returning to their homes — even if Israel wants to bomb them.

    Note also that Israel has made clear that it intends to bomb the homes of Hamas officials. Those officials do not qualify as combatants, so they cannot be deliberately attacked. Any such attacks are war crimes.

  12. Edward, what about bombing houses and killing civilians that are inside. Btselem’s report of today:

    Bombing family homes of activists in armed Palestinian groups violates international humanitarian law

    Since the Israeli military launched Operation Protective Edge in the early hours of 8 July 2014, the IDF Spokesperson and media sources have reported deliberate attacks against the homes of senior activists in armed Palestinian groups. The IDF Spokesperson reported that 11 such homes were attacked. According to media reports, the defense establishment intends to continue attacking the homes of senior Hamas activists. The reports state that the bombings are being carried out with the “knock on the roof” procedure, whereby the military fires a small missile at the house it intends to bomb as warning, expecting inhabitants to leave the premises, and then bombs the house to destruction. In some cases, military representative call the family and instruct them to evacuate the house.
    Even if uninvolved civilians are not injured, these houses are not legitimate military targets, and attacking them is a grave violation of international humanitarian law. The gravity of the violation is compounded when uninvolved civilians are injured.
    Until now, B’Tselem has documented one case in which civilians were in a house bombed after a prior warning missile was fired:
    The Kaware’a family home in Khan Yunis
    On 8 July 2014, at around 1:30 P.M., the military called the Kaware’a home, informed the family that the house was to be bombed, and instructed them to leave the premises. The three-story building, owned by Ahmad Kaware’a, consists of seven apartments belonging to Kaware’a and his sons. One son, ‘Odeh Kaware’a, is an activist in Hamas’ military wing. At first, the family members obeyed the instruction to leave the house, but they gathered outside it with dozens of other persons.
    At approximately 2:50 P.M., a missile fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle struck the solar water tank on the roof of the building. Several minutes later, family members and neighbors began to go up to the roof. At 3:00 P.M., a missile was fired at the building from an F-16 fighter jet. At that stage, four persons were on the roof and other people were in the stairway or in the courtyard, on their way to the roof. The roof collapsed under the bombing, killing eight people, six of them children. Another 28 people were injured, ten of them sustaining severe injuries.
    The persons killed:
    Hussein Yusef Kaware’a, 13
    Bassem Salem Kaware’a, 10
    Muhammad ‘Ali Kaware’a, 13
    ‘Abdallah Muhammad Kaware’a, 12
    Siraj Iyad ‘Abd al-‘Al, 8
    Qassem Jaber ‘Adwan Kaware’a, 12
    ‘Amar Muhammad Judah, 20
    Muhammad Ibrahim Kaware’a, 50
    Bombing the homes of senior activists in armed groups violates international humanitarian law, which provides a narrow definition of what constitutes a legitimate target and permits aiming attacks only at targets that effectively assist military efforts, when damaging them can provide a military advantage. Treating these homes as legitimate targets is an unlawful, distorted interpretation of the concept, resulting in harm to civilians, whom this body of law is intended to protect.
    An IDF Spokesperson’s announcement from yesterday, after the first round of attacks, stated only that “among the targets attacked were four homes of activists in the Hamas terror organization who are involved in terrorist activity and direct and carry out high-trajectory fire towards Israel…”. In other words, the military itself acknowledged that the attacks were illegally aimed at homes that were not military targets. Only later was a new announcement made, in an attempt to retroactively adapt the described activity to the requirements of international law, stating that the targets were “the homes of senior activists that function as command and control headquarters”.
    In the case of the Kaware’a home, not only can the house not be considered a legitimate target, but civilians were on the premises at the time of the bombing. Although the military did warn the inhabitants of the impending attack and instruct them to leave, its duty does not end with giving prior warning: it must give the inhabitants enough time to leave and ensure that all civilians have indeed evacuated the spot. Given the military’s sophisticated surveillance equipment, those responsible for the bombing should have known that civilians went back into the building. According to a senior air force officer, the military did not have enough time to divert the missile once civilians were detected re-entering the building. This claim is unreasonable, as many people were already crowded around the house when the warning missile was fired, raising suspicion that not all necessary precautions were taken to prevent harm to civilians. The military must publish the footage of the attack taken by the unmanned aerial vehicle.
    B’Tselem has also received initial information regarding a home bombed in Beit Hanun as part of a targeted assassination:
    B’Tselem’s initial investigation indicates that on 8 July 2014, at approximately 11:40 P.M., the military bombed the home of Hafez Hamad, an activist in the military wing of the Islamic Jihad. According to the investigation, none of the inhabitants received prior warning from the military and the house was bombed mere moments after the family went to bed for the night. The bombing killed six persons, including a 16-year-old girl.

    The persons killed:

    Dunia Mahdi Hamad, 16
    Mahdi Muhammad Hamad, 46
    Fawziya Khalil Hamad, 62
    Hafez Hamad, 30
    Suha Hamad (wife of Hafez), 25
    Ibrahim Muhammad Hamad, 26

    A statement issued this morning by the IDF Spokesperson read: “A joint IDF-ISA operation led to the successful IAF targeting of Hafez Hamid, 77′, a commander in the Islamic Jihad. Hamid was responsible for the recent rocket attacks against Sderot.”
    According to the statement, the house was bombed as part of the assassination of Hafez Hamad. The bombing took place at night, when the military should have known that family members would most likely be present. B’Tselem’s initial investigation also indicates that none of the inhabitants was given prior warning. These circumstances indicate that the attack was disproportionate and raise grave suspicion that the incident violated international humanitarian law.
    B’Tselem will continue to investigate these incidents and other instances of harm to civilians and property in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the operation. Thus far, at least 30 fatalities have been reported in the Gaza Strip, many of them civilians. B’Tselem reiterates that intentional targeting of civilians is a war crime.

  13. So a Hamas “official” or “senior activist” does not qualify as a combatant in an ongoing war between Hamas and Israel. How do you know whether or not their job functions included combat? It is clear that they were at least involved in combat by virtue of the role they were playing. The civilians who were herded onto the roof as compulsory human shields were also combatants although forced into that role.

    As you know, the use of human shields is illegal by nations that are parties to the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Geneva Conventions. Presumably your claim is based on the idea that the house of a “senior activist” is not a military site so it is exempt. How do you know that the activist’s house is not used to plan military operations? If you perform some professional work at home, is it not true that your house is to some degree a place of business?

  14. Kevin, in what way does specifically targeting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) military targets, using pin-pointed missiles and no more than the necessary payload of munitions constitute “collectively punishing Palestinians and killing innocent Palestinian civilians.”?
    Attacking legitimate military targets is completely lawful, insofar as the attack is proportionate. Can you point to one specific incident in which the a military objective was attacked by the IDF and the damage to civilians was excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage?
    No one in Israel is intentionally targeting civilians, and even though there are munitions storages and Hamas command posts in civilian homes when these are attacked, this is done in line with art. 57 of AP-I, and warnings are given. How many military strikes do you know of outside of the Israeli/Palestinian context in which the target was pre-warned by text message/ phone call that a strike is about to take place?

    How is targeting Hamas officials’ homes a considered a war crime? Insofar as their homes are being used for planning and carrying out their military attacks? The head of Hamas’s “political” wing Khaled Mashal said only yesterday: “The resistance has fulfilled it’s promise with the bombing of Haifa”. Is there any specific home targeted that you know was not to be targeted?

    I don’t think the terms “collective punishment” or “war crimes” should be used lightly, and such statements should be supported by at least some facts.

  15. I read this sentence by Yael:
    “No one in Israel is intentionally targeting civilians”.
    How can you be so blind? Which huge state-machine can push a person to be so blind? How can you justify Everything?

    I was reading this little article from al-monitor just a few minutes ago. This journalist was intentionally killed, like him many others:

    Israeli strike hits media vehicle, kills driver

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Since the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza on the morning of July 8, I have been working from the headquarters of Media24, a local news agency, in Burj al-Ghafari, in western Gaza City. It provides electricity, cars and logistical equipment to ensure that nothing delays my writing and sending of reports.

    In the mornings, I go to areas that have been targeted to conduct interviews, and then I return to the office, where I am confident that such services as electricity and Internet access will be available. The office driver, Hamid Shehab, prepares us coffee in the evening and distributes the cups in silence, but also with a friendliness.

    Rarely do we go home to rest, because news is rapidly streaming in as events unfold and pressure grows, with increasing numbers of martyrs and injured. We stay at the office until the early hours of the morning and eat suhoor, the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan before daytime fasting begins. On the first day of the aggression, Hamid had stayed up late with us, and we ate suhoor together. On the second day, July 9, Hamid was driving photographers and journalists from the agency to hospitals and homes that had been hit by rockets and then bringing them back to the office. Quietly and without complaint, he handled the pressure and difficulty of the work under the circumstances.

    On that day, we had finished following up on stories and interviews, and everyone had returned to the office. We were all busy with something — a photo essay, report or interview — and Hamid was with us, helping and reassuring everyone. Sunset was approaching, and we began to prepare for iftar, the main meal during Ramadan. Hamid ate with us and then made Arabic coffee as usual and distributed it.

    He stood in front of the door facing everyone and said he was going to check on his family and then meet Hatim Salmi, a photographer, to follow up on developments on the ground. Barely an hour had passed when Hatim called, screaming, “Hamid has been martyred! Hamid has been martyred!”

    We could not understand. We thought, “Maybe Hatim was mistaken.” We hoped so. The director of the agency, Khaled al-Ashqar, hurried to the hospital and confirmed the news: Our friendly driver had been killed by a direct hit on the silver Skoda with “TV” written on the side in large, bright red letters.

    Hatim told Al-Monitor, “He took me home, like he did for the rest of the crew. He told me at the time that he would be back in about an hour to pick me up in front of my house to finish taking photos. He said he would bring mattresses, blankets and pillows so that everyone could sleep in the office in order to follow up on events directly and given the risk of going out at dawn.

    “Hamid later called and said he would be at my house in the Ramal neighborhood in a few minutes. I went out onto the front stairs and heard a violent explosion. I ran back to my family, thinking that the rocket had hit my home. However, I saw that they were fine. I looked out the window and saw that Hamid’s car had been destroyed by the rocket. The only thing that remained was the press sign on the front of the car.”

    “I rushed to the car, screaming: ‘Where is the driver?’ For a few seconds I thought that he had escaped, because I didn’t see a body in the car. However, someone at the scene said that there was a body. I looked closely and saw that Hamid had been split apart inside the car.”

    According to Hatim, the Ramal neighborhood is known to be a quiet place and is rarely targeted for bombings. There are no nearby military targets. He said that among those injured in the strike were four of his cousins, as well as worshippers exiting a nearby mosque.

    He told Al-Monitor, “Twenty people were wounded in the strike, including some of my relatives. I saw the mattresses and pillows that Hamid had promised to bring. The citizens were removing them from the car and collecting his body parts.”

    Ashqar told Al-Monitor, “The occupation does not differentiate in its crimes between citizens and journalists. However, the targeting of a car that has a clear press sign on it is considered a war crime. This is an attempt to terrify journalists to keep them from continuing with their work to expose the occupation’s crimes.” He stressed that those at his agency, like other journalists, would continue with their work. They would not be scared off.

    The Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, based in Geneva, condemned the targeting of the agency’s car and killing of Hamid Shehab at the age of 32. They stressed that what the Israeli forces were doing — targeting civilians and deliberately shelling houses and public and private property — had reached the level of a war crime.

    At dawn on July 10, only a few hours after the death of our colleague, things seemed different. Fear had increased among the agency’s crew, and we felt that Israel was deliberately targeting journalists. There is still a need growing among us and within us, however, to continue to cover and follow up on events, reveal facts and write reports — not just numbers, but people’s stories. These are tales of pain and torment, of children who have lost their families and others who disappeared under the ruins of their homes. Tales of the loss of a colleague who bid farewell to us before he was taken by death.

    Sleep has become a strange creature. We resist it just like we resist fear. The bombing has become more terrifying and intense than during the first day of the attacks. Home has become a far-off dream, although my house is only a five-minute drive from the office. Those at home insist, “Don’t go out. We don’t want another loss.” I remain silent. I miss my son and my daughter, but I must write and tell these stories. For we are stories, not just numbers.

  16. Shame on ABC. Factual accuracy is important. “Fake but true” is for liberals.

    Anytime Hamas wants peace it can have it. Hell, it can even have a cease fire if it wants one. All it has to do is stop firing rockets. That’s it. If Hamas stops, Israel stops. If Hamas doesn’t stop, Israel keeps bombing. I guess the only logical conclusion is that Hamas wants to be bombed.

    That, of course, fits with Hamas’s use of human shields to multiply civilian casualties. Israel gives warnings of bombings of civilian houses – forgoing tactical surprise – and Hamas uses the warning to place civilians on the roof. I wonder, Prof. Heller, is that a war crime?

  17. Hi john,

    I didn’t write that civilians weren’t being hit. Unfortunately, “zero casualty warfare” in Gaza isn’t realistic due to the urban infrastructure from which Hamas is fighting, and namely it’s extensive use of human shields.

    Civilians have been killed in this operation. This fact alone does not mean that they were *intentionally* targeted, which, as you very well know, is a requirement for concluding that a war *crime* has been committed. In the story you brought- do you have any information to support the claim that the journalist was intentionally targeted? I read the entire snip you posted and did not see any indication to that effect.

    Everyone is free to hold whichever political beliefs they wish. This is an international law blog, and I merely stated that international humanitarian law and international criminal law have standards, tests and requirements. We can keep on throwing around accusations, that doesn’t make them true. The question is whether international humanitarian law is being upheld. If you, or anyone else for that matter, think not, and think that this amounts to a criminal level (the use of the term “war crimes” implies as much), please provide information to that effect, and conduct an accurate legal analysis.

  18. Here is a video of Israel “warning” a house it is about to be attacked — and then destroying it 57 seconds later:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/seconds-warning-destroys.html

    Israel’s warnings are great PR, but that’s about it.

  19. And here’s another video of Israel warning the occupants of another house.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTArVIHDelg

    First, it is clear from the video that the Hamas spokesperson calling for Gazans to act as voluntary human shields is working brilliantly (without doubt a war crime). What is also readily apparent is that the IDF is clearly able to ascertain if people leave the house (or other structure) after the warning shot was delivered. The video uploaded to Mondoweiss does not offer the military perspective whereby the IDF would decide to continue with the strike or not based on the number of civilians evacuating the building (if any).

    Not only does Israel and the IDF go to great length to protect civilians, it is also, as Kevin aptly noted, great PR against those who intentionally distort the facts, leave out crucial facts, or just don’t know what they are talking about.

    For more videos (and great PR), please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCawNWlihdgaycQpO3zi-jYg

    I pray that the rockets stop falling so the fighting can end as soon as possible.

  20. I would love to see the IDF explanation for why 57 seconds is long enough to effectively warn civilians to leave their homes. Maybe we can find the answer on the IDF’s propaganda channel, to which Brandon links above.

  21. We should ask the dozens of civilians killed in Gaza about the “great lengths” to which the IDF goes to avoid killing them — such as giving them 57 seconds from the time they hear a loud “boom” on their roof to the time the IDF obliterates their house. But hey, a dead sprint will work. If they have babies sleeping in another room or on a different floor, they’ll just have to cut their losses.

  22. You also have to love Israel’s definition of ” being a human shield,” which includes “being in one’s family home” and “eating a family dinner.”

  23. “First, it is clear from the video that the Hamas spokesperson calling for Gazans to act as voluntary human shields is working brilliantly (without doubt a war crime).”

    A debate with HRW on human shields
    http://justworldnews.org/?p=1761
    —In Sarah Leah’s emails to me she has stressed two points: (1) The point, also made in the press release, that ““Whether or not the home is a legitimate military target, knowingly asking civilians to stand in harm’s way is unlawful.” And (2) that for Palestinian military commanders, in particular, to ask civilians to act as “human shields” in this way represented an unlawful attempt to pur civilians at potential risk.
    I have pointed out to her that by these lights, for Mandela (who was a military commander, much more than Ismail Haniyeh– who was quoted in the HRW release– ever was) to call for South Africa’s non-whites to engage in nonviolent mass actions against the apartheid regime, which were often very risky indeed, would also likewise have been considered “unlawful” or even– as HRW grandiosely terms the situation in Gaza “a war crime.”—
    Today a group of foreign volunteers acted as as human shields outside a hospital in Gaza.
    And here are some photographs, AFP, Getty etc. that you won’t see in the US press

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/140709/these-are-the-photos-gaza-too-graphic-for-some-news-media-to-show

    Gaza is a walled prison in lockdown. Why?
    —2004
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/top-pm-aide-gaza-plan-aims-to-freeze-the-peace-process-1.136686

    “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Haaretz.

    “And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

    Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Haaretz for the Friday Magazine.

    “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”—

    Israel was founded by Jews who wanted to return to the Ghetto and call it modern: a Jewish State for a Jewish People modeled on a German State for a German People. The ghetto has turned into a bunker.
    The settlements themselves are a war crime. What is there to say to someone who refers now to “Judea and Samaria”

    Watch Michael Oren use all the language of European colonialists from the past in his description of his modern oasis in the desert. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgBsTT0h_SA
    Anyone with any knowledge of history will get the references, and any of them who refuse now to admit Zionism is founded racist on colonial logic, apartheid or no, is lying. And anyone who wants to argue from the pedantry of legal and illegal combatants is confusing law with justice.
    “And is, then, all which is just pious? or, is that which is pious all just, but that which is just, only in part and not all, pious?”

  24. I have a comment with links in moderation, or the spam filter

  25. It takes me about 15 seconds – from the moment the sirens start blaring in Tel Aviv to put on shorts, yell to my dog, unlock the door, run down stairs two floors, grab my neighbors 5-year-old son in my arms (he’s got his 3 year old in his arms) and run across the street to a bomb shelter. So 57 seconds is a long time in the middle of a war.

    And here’s the link to the Hamas spokesperson encouraging Palestinians to act as human shields. Yes, they ask their own people to get in the way. What do you have to say about this video Kevin?

    http://youtu.be/eQ6S0-o3uFI

  26. I’ll try again with most of the links stripped in a way that’s obvious.
    Brandon Weinstock’s Hasbara is obscene, given so much death.
    From 2000 to 2013, the average was one Palestinian minor every 3 days.
    From 2009-May 31st of this year, B’Tselem had the score in murdered kids as 84-0

    “First, it is clear from the video that the Hamas spokesperson calling for Gazans to act as voluntary human shields is working brilliantly (without doubt a war crime).”

    A debate with HRW on human shields
    justworldnews.org/?p=1761
    —In Sarah Leah’s emails to me she has stressed two points: (1) The point, also made in the press release, that ““Whether or not the home is a legitimate military target, knowingly asking civilians to stand in harm’s way is unlawful.” And (2) that for Palestinian military commanders, in particular, to ask civilians to act as “human shields” in this way represented an unlawful attempt to pur civilians at potential risk.
    I have pointed out to her that by these lights, for Mandela (who was a military commander, much more than Ismail Haniyeh– who was quoted in the HRW release– ever was) to call for South Africa’s non-whites to engage in nonviolent mass actions against the apartheid regime, which were often very risky indeed, would also likewise have been considered “unlawful” or even– as HRW grandiosely terms the situation in Gaza “a war crime.”—
    Today a group of foreign volunteers acted as as human shields outside a hospital in Gaza.
    And here are some photographs, AFP, Getty etc. that you won’t see in the US press

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/140709/these-are-the-photos-gaza-too-graphic-for-some-news-media-to-show

    Gaza is a walled prison in lockdown. Why?
    —2004
    haaretz.com/print-edition/news/top-pm-aide-gaza-plan-aims-to-freeze-the-peace-process-1.136686

    “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Haaretz.

    “And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

    Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Haaretz for the Friday Magazine.

    “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”—

    Israel was founded by Jews who wanted to return to the Ghetto and call it modern: a Jewish State for a Jewish People modeled on a German State for a German People. The ghetto has turned into a bunker.
    The settlements themselves are a war crime. What is there to say to someone who refers now to “Judea and Samaria”

    Watch Michael Oren use all the language of European colonialists from the past in his description of his modern oasis in the desert. youtube.com/watch?v=EgBsTT0h_SA
    Anyone with any knowledge of history will get the references, and any of them who refuse now to admit Zionism is founded racist on colonial logic, apartheid or no, is lying. And anyone who wants to argue from the pedantry of legal and illegal combatants is confusing law with justice.
    “And is, then, all which is just pious? or, is that which is pious all just, but that which is just, only in part and not all, pious?”

  27. Hope this is near to the last word for now:

    “PA Official Admits: Israel Follows International Law, We Don’t.

    Palestinian envoy to UN Human Rights Council says Hamas rockets are ‘crimes against humanity’, while Israeli strikes are legal.”

    See below:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/182837#.U8KHSfldUjF

  28. “What an orgasm to see the IDF bomb buildings in Gaza with children and families at the same time. Boom boom.”

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/patrick-strickland/bombing-gaza-children-gives-me-orgasm-israelis-celebrate-slaughter-facebook

  29. There is a difference between nonviolent resistance and acting as a human shield.

  30. “There is a difference between nonviolent resistance and acting as a human shield”

    In this case there is not. And today the UN acknoeledged that Israel is targeting civilians, though it’s been obvious for days.

    But there’s a whole history of Palestinian non-violent resistance. Today see Sheikh Jarrah. In 1987 Israel deported a Christian pacifist, Mubarak Awad, while letting the founder of Hamas speak on.
    Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri, asked about Hamas: “We did not create it, but we did not hinder its creation.”
    NYT 1989- “An Alternative to the PLO- Fundamentalists”
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BshdVhTCcAE26kX.jpg:large

    Still Hamas has matured and that’s gotten them nowhere.
    And at this point I’d really like to know what Israel wants the Palestinians to do Protests get nowhere. The settlements expand regardless. Gaza is in lockdown, a walled prison. Half the population is either under Apartheid or within the the 67 borders, Jim Crow. What do you want? You want them just to crawl on their knees and beg forgiveness for living on their land. Israel keeps pushing because that’s all it knows how to do.

    I found this on twitter and I can’t think of a good reason why its not appropriate: “Blaming Hamas for firing rockets at Israel is like blaming a woman for punching her rapist.”

    Every time I see or hear a reference to the “Jewish” state or “Jewish” people or “Jewish” democracy, I reimagine it as “German”, and I cringe.

  31. Watch this and hear every standard colonialist trope repeated within about 4 minutes. Amazing that Orin could get away with such language in the 21st century

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgBsTT0h_SA

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