Israel's Campaign to Avoid Accountability for War Crimes Must be Rejected

Justice Richard Goldstone’s opinion piece (April 1, 2011) in the Washington Post ‘Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes’ does not ‘vindicate’ the State of Israel as the government of Israel would have us believe, nor was the Op-Ed piece a ‘retraction’ of the report in its entirety as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal would have had us believe.

Goldstone’s opinion piece simply stated that in light of evidence presented by Israel through military investigations, he does not believe Israeli forces intentionally targeted civilians “as a matter of policy” during Operation ‘Cast Lead,’ Dec. 27, 2008 – Jan. 18, 2009.  The original report initially asserted that in certain cases, Israeli forces carried out “direct intentional strikes against civilians.”

Assessing whether specific Israeli attacks on civilians during the conflict were deliberate is extremely difficult because the Israeli military has not released the evidence that would allow independent parties to evaluate its conclusions.  Amnesty has not argued that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) targeted Palestinian civilians “as a matter of policy”, but that IDF rules of engagement and actions during the conflict failed to take sufficient precautions to minimize civilian casualties.  Justice Goldstone’s recent comments do not dispute this assessment.

Over 1400 Palestinians, including some 300 children were killed by Israeli forces during the conflict.  Whether a policy existed intentionally targeting civilians or not does not change the fact that each allegation of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity documented by the FFM team and other independent NGO’s, including Amnesty, should be investigated so victims – both Palestinian and Israeli – can receive justice.   Amnesty is arguing that since both the Israeli and Hamas authorities have failed to conduct independent investigations, we need an international justice solution.

Postcard created by AI-UK during their campaign against new, restrictive measures being considered that would limit the international justice option of Universal Jurisdiction in the United Kingdom.

When the UN fact-finding mission (FFM) – appointed by the Human Rights Council (HRC) - went to the Gaza Strip (and sought to go to southern Israel) in 2009, Israel refused to cooperate citing  HRC bias against it.  No one would deny that politics play a large role in actions various UN bodies take, but Goldstone himself worked to ensure that the final mandate of the FFM he led was balanced.  The team was sanctioned to examine alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by all parties to the conflict, including Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip.

Amnesty believes recent calls by the Israeli government for the United Nations “to retract the 2009 report” are a cynical attempt to avoid accountability for war crimes and deny both Palestinian and Israeli victims of the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict the justice and reparations they deserve.

Many of those leading the charge to have the entire report rescinded are Israeli political leaders, some of whom were members of the Israeli war cabinet which made the policy decisions during the Gaza operation.

And even though the Israeli military has conducted investigations, it would be a mistake to see these as independent.  More than two years on, serious incidents still have not been investigated, while many other cases have been closed after finding the IDF was justified – but without releasing the evidence in question.  In general, the military investigations have failed to meet international standards of independence and transparency.  The report by the Committee of Independent Experts, headed by Justice Mary McGowen Davis and appointed to assess the domestic investigations undertaken by Hamas and Israel, concurs with Amnesty’s assessment on many points.

All of this makes it hard to accept the conclusions of the Israeli investigations in “good faith”.   All the investigations are overseen by Israel’s Military Advocate General, which also provided legal advice during Operation ‘Cast Lead’ and could have a vested interest in their outcome.  Even in cases where unlawful actions are identified, we cannot assume Israel will hold those responsible accountable and deliver an appropriate sentence.  History simply does not bear this out.

An environment of impunity has long  been enjoyed by the IDF and Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as well as by members of armed Palestinian groups and the security forces of both Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.  This has been well documented over the years by Amnesty as well as B’Tselem , Human Rights Watch and other NGO’s.   In light of this record, the failures of the Israeli and Hamas investigations are not unexpected and this adds weight to the growing calls for international justice.

Although the Israeli military claims to have adopted  procedures to better protect civilians during urban warfare, these changes have not been made public so there is no guarantee that they meet Israel’s obligations under international law. For instance, in July 2010 Israel reported that the IDF is “establishing permanent restrictions” on the use of white phosphorous (WP) in urban areas.  The use of WP is legal – when used properly (ex: as a smoke screen or marker in open, non-populated areas) - but, it should NEVER be used directly against enemy combatants, let alone air-burst over densely civilian areas as Israel repeatedly did during the Gaza operation.

Cases where Israel’s military investigations have found no wrong doing include incidents where civilians were killed by indiscriminate (ex: mortars, white phosphorous, flechettes) or precision weapons (ex: drone missiles with fiber-optics, tank shells, rockets from attack helicopters and F16 bombs dropped that require chain of command clearance), and cases of so-called ‘white flag killings’ and civilians used as ‘human shields’ by Israeli troops.  All these cases demand justice and accountability.

More than 1/3 of the incidents highlighted by Goldstone’s FFM are still “unresolved or unclear”. To date, only four Israeli soldiers have been indicted on criminal charges relating to the Gaza action two years ago and only one has served prison time (for credit card theft).  Israel has failed to investigate those higher up in the chain of command – those who designed, planned, ordered and oversaw the engagement policies.

Amnesty International Justice poster used during recent 'Demand Justice' campaign. Top photo shows white phosphorous in air-burst pattern over densely populated city fired by Israeli forces while photo on bottom shows rocket fired from within population center by Hamas towards southern Israel.

Amnesty re-affirmed its commitment to the international justice process and the recommendations of the Goldstone Report which call for accountability, justice and reparations.  No – the Goldstone Report should not be rescinded, nor have its findings and recommendations recanted.  The international justice process must be left to continue, taking into consideration any new evidence provided.

The international community must firmly reject any attempts by vested parties to escape accountability and act decisively for international justice, as it has done on Libya, Sudan and other situations where war crimes and possible crimes against humanity have been committed.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

82 thoughts on “Israel's Campaign to Avoid Accountability for War Crimes Must be Rejected

  1. Thanks; important to know your update. P.S. Any idea if the U.N. Human Rights Council took up Israel/Gaza Justice?
    Thanks. LarryE.

  2. Hi Larry,

    Yes they did. Thanks for asking.

    Because of action taken at all levels of Amnesty from local groups around the globe on almost every continent participating in online actions, writing personal letters and organizing events (like your spectacular groups did out in Washington state) through national staff meeting with their foreign ministries all the way up to the international secretariat lobbying in Geneva our voice was able to be heard and we delivered over 109,000 signatures on the petition demanding justice for the victims – Israeli and Palestinian – of the Gaza action two years ago to the Human Rights Council (HRC) President.

    We were successful in our main goal of moving the international justice process out of the HRC where it had been stagnating for several months, but the resolution passed by the body was flawed.

    The resolution passed urges the General Assembly to call on the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is a positive step although we are now concerned that the General Assembly ensure the issue is placed on the Security Council’s agenda in a way that facilitates meaningful action and concrete steps – specifically the referral to the ICC.

    The resolution passed March 25th contains flaws though. The resolution refers the Goldstone report back to the General Assembly which has already voted in support of the report and its recommendations, but not the two reports of the Committee of Independent Experts which found that both the domestic investigations by Hamas and Israel have failed to meet international standards. These reports should also be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly.

    The resolution also does not include a direct reference to violations committed by Palestinian armed groups during the conflict, or to the Hamas authorities’ failure to conduct adequate investigations. This is another grave flaw within the resolution that Amnesty had worked to rectify without success on this point.

    The resolution that was drafted by the Palestinian Authority was adopted by the HRC with 27 states voting in favor, three against, and 16 abstentions. Had the resolution addressed offenses by all parties involved and referred the two reports by the Committee of Independent Experts to the General Assembly (that found both parties had failed to conduct credible investigations) support for the resolution could very well have been far stronger.

    Another hurdle to over-come or at least the next step to be taken is to have the ICC Prosecutor seek a determination from the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber on whether he can open an investigation into crimes committed during the conflict on the basis of a declaration issued by the Palestinian Authority in January 2009. (Basically, does the ICC have legitimate jurisdiction to open an investigation into the allegation of violations. The question lies in the status of the PA as a 'state'.)

    So you can see – we were successful in pushing the process forward, but due to the resolutions flawed nature – it will continue to be an uphill fight.

    The General Assembly is scheduled to meet again September 2011. Israel's cynical call to rescind the entire report simply based on Goldstone's opinion piece just creates more hurdles to stand in the way of justice for the victims. It's just really a shame.

    For more details, see the public statement Amnesty issued March 25, 'UN resolution must be translated into international justice for Gaza conflict victims' at http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/021/2011….

  3. Hi Larry,

    Yes they did. Thanks for asking.

    Because of action taken at all levels of Amnesty from local groups around the globe on almost every continent participating in online actions, writing personal letters and organizing events (like your spectacular groups did out in Washington state) through national staff meeting with their foreign ministries all the way up to the international secretariat lobbying in Geneva our voice was able to be heard and we delivered over 109,000 signatures on the petition demanding justice for the victims – Israeli and Palestinian – of the Gaza action two years ago to the Human Rights Council (HRC) President.

    We were successful in our main goal of moving the international justice process out of the HRC where it had been stagnating for several months, but the resolution passed by the body was flawed.

    The resolution passed urges the General Assembly to call on the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is a positive step although we are now concerned that the General Assembly ensure the issue is placed on the Security Council’s agenda in a way that facilitates meaningful action and concrete steps – specifically the referral to the ICC.

    The resolution passed March 25th contains flaws though. The resolution refers the Goldstone report back to the General Assembly which has already voted in support of the report and its recommendations, but not the two reports of the Committee of Independent Experts which found that both the domestic investigations by Hamas and Israel have failed to meet international standards. These reports should also be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly.

    The resolution also does not include a direct reference to violations committed by Palestinian armed groups during the conflict, or to the Hamas authorities’ failure to conduct adequate investigations. This is another grave flaw within the resolution that Amnesty had worked to rectify without success on this point.

    The resolution that was drafted by the Palestinian Authority was adopted by the HRC with 27 states voting in favor, three against, and 16 abstentions. Had the resolution addressed offenses by all parties involved and referred the two reports by the Committee of Independent Experts to the General Assembly (that found both parties had failed to conduct credible investigations) support for the resolution could very well have been far stronger.

    Another hurdle to over-come or at least the next step to be taken is to have the ICC Prosecutor seek a determination from the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber on whether he can open an investigation into crimes committed during the conflict on the basis of a declaration issued by the Palestinian Authority in January 2009. (Basically, does the ICC have legitimate jurisdiction to open an investigation into the allegation of violations. The question lies in the status of the PA as a 'state'.)

    So you can see – we were successful in pushing the process forward, but due to the resolutions flawed nature – it will continue to be an uphill fight.

    The General Assembly is scheduled to meet again September 2011. Israel's cynical call to rescind the entire report simply based on Goldstone's opinion piece just creates more hurdles to stand in the way of justice for the victims. It's just really a shame.

    For more details, see the public statement Amnesty issued March 25, 'UN resolution must be translated into international justice for Gaza conflict victims' at http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/021/2011….

  4. Hi Larry,

    Yes they did. Thanks for asking.

    Because of action taken at all levels of Amnesty from local groups around the globe on almost every continent participating in online actions, writing personal letters and organizing events (like your spectacular groups did out in Washington state) through national staff meeting with their foreign ministries all the way up to the international secretariat lobbying in Geneva our voice was able to be heard and we delivered over 109,000 signatures on the petition demanding justice for the victims – Israeli and Palestinian – of the Gaza action two years ago to the Human Rights Council (HRC) President.

    We were successful in our main goal of moving the international justice process out of the HRC where it had been stagnating for several months, but the resolution passed by the body was flawed.

    The resolution passed urges the General Assembly to call on the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is a positive step although we are now concerned that the General Assembly ensure the issue is placed on the Security Council’s agenda in a way that facilitates meaningful action and concrete steps – specifically the referral to the ICC.

    The resolution passed March 25th contains flaws though. The resolution refers the Goldstone report back to the General Assembly which has already voted in support of the report and its recommendations, but not the two reports of the Committee of Independent Experts which found that both the domestic investigations by Hamas and Israel have failed to meet international standards. These reports should also be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly.

    The resolution also does not include a direct reference to violations committed by Palestinian armed groups during the conflict, or to the Hamas authorities’ failure to conduct adequate investigations. This is another grave flaw within the resolution that Amnesty had worked to rectify without success on this point.

    The resolution that was drafted by the Palestinian Authority was adopted by the HRC with 27 states voting in favor, three against, and 16 abstentions. Had the resolution addressed offenses by all parties involved and referred the two reports by the Committee of Independent Experts to the General Assembly (that found both parties had failed to conduct credible investigations) support for the resolution could very well have been far stronger.

    Another hurdle to over-come or at least the next step to be taken is to have the ICC Prosecutor seek a determination from the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber on whether he can open an investigation into crimes committed during the conflict on the basis of a declaration issued by the Palestinian Authority in January 2009. (Basically, does the ICC have legitimate jurisdiction to open an investigation into the allegation of violations. The question lies in the status of the PA as a 'state'.)

    So you can see – we were successful in pushing the process forward, but due to the resolutions flawed nature – it will continue to be an uphill fight.

    The General Assembly is scheduled to meet again September 2011. Israel's cynical call to rescind the entire report simply based on Goldstone's opinion piece just creates more hurdles to stand in the way of justice for the victims. It's just really a shame.

    For more details, see the public statement Amnesty issued March 25, 'UN resolution must be translated into international justice for Gaza conflict victims' at http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/021/2011….

  5. Thanks; important to know your update. P.S. Any idea if the U.N. Human Rights Council took up Israel/Gaza Justice?
    Thanks. LarryE.

  6. Hi Larry,

    Yes they did. Thanks for asking.

    Because of action taken at all levels of Amnesty from local groups around the globe on almost every continent participating in online actions, writing personal letters and organizing events (like your spectacular groups did out in Washington state) through national staff meeting with their foreign ministries all the way up to the international secretariat lobbying in Geneva our voice was able to be heard and we delivered over 109,000 signatures on the petition demanding justice for the victims – Israeli and Palestinian – of the Gaza action two years ago to the Human Rights Council (HRC) President.

    We were successful in our main goal of moving the international justice process out of the HRC where it had been stagnating for several months, but the resolution passed by the body was flawed.

    The resolution passed urges the General Assembly to call on the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is a positive step although we are now concerned that the General Assembly ensure the issue is placed on the Security Council’s agenda in a way that facilitates meaningful action and concrete steps – specifically the referral to the ICC.

    The resolution passed March 25th contains flaws though. The resolution refers the Goldstone report back to the General Assembly which has already voted in support of the report and its recommendations, but not the two reports of the Committee of Independent Experts which found that both the domestic investigations by Hamas and Israel have failed to meet international standards. These reports should also be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly.

    The resolution also does not include a direct reference to violations committed by Palestinian armed groups during the conflict, or to the Hamas authorities’ failure to conduct adequate investigations. This is another grave flaw within the resolution that Amnesty had worked to rectify without success on this point.

    The resolution that was drafted by the Palestinian Authority was adopted by the HRC with 27 states voting in favor, three against, and 16 abstentions. Had the resolution addressed offenses by all parties involved and referred the two reports by the Committee of Independent Experts to the General Assembly (that found both parties had failed to conduct credible investigations) support for the resolution could very well have been far stronger.

    Another hurdle to over-come or at least the next step to be taken is to have the ICC Prosecutor seek a determination from the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber on whether he can open an investigation into crimes committed during the conflict on the basis of a declaration issued by the Palestinian Authority in January 2009. (Basically, does the ICC have legitimate jurisdiction to open an investigation into the allegation of violations. The question lies in the status of the PA as a ‘state’.)

    So you can see – we were successful in pushing the process forward, but due to the resolutions flawed nature – it will continue to be an uphill fight.

    The General Assembly is scheduled to meet again September 2011. Israel’s cynical call to rescind the entire report simply based on Goldstone’s opinion piece just creates more hurdles to stand in the way of justice for the victims. It’s just really a shame.

    For more details, see the public statement Amnesty issued March 25, ‘UN resolution must be translated into international justice for Gaza conflict victims’ at http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/021/2011/en.

  7. Edie:
    You stated above in your blog: "Over 1400 Palestinians" were killed.
    Tragic numbers of civilians died, not deliberately targeted as Goldstone now admits was all along a bald faced lie, but why must you also falsely imply ALL those killed were civilian?

    This is of course yet again another example of your favorite propaganda technique, namely your trick where you combining the numbers of Palestinian fighters from the Hamas security forces who were killed, together with the numbers of Palestinian civlian casualties in order to derive the biggest possible number.

    Hamas publicly declared a state of war on Israel and Israel had every legal right to defend its civilian population, even the UN and Amnesty said so. Killing during a war the armed members of the security services of an enemy which has declared war on you and is engaged in mercilessly attacking your civilians is under international law **not** a war crime.

    More than 700 Hamas security service members were killed during that war. That is the number Israel has always said were killed and that is the number that even the Hamas Minister of the Interior himself agrees with.

    ========================================================
    http://www.maannews.net
    Published Monday 01/11/2010

    GAZA CITY (Ma'an) — Between 200 and 300 members of Hamas' armed wing died in Israel's winter offensive on Gaza, the Interior minister acknowledged in remarks published Monday.

    Fathi Hamad told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that "They say it was the people who paid the toll of that war, but aren’t we [Hamas] part of this people?"

    He added: "Furthermore, on the second day of the war, Israel targeted police headquarters and 250 martyrs fell and they were affiliated to Hamas and other factions. In addition, about 200-300 members of Al-Qassam Brigades died martyrs as well as 150 security officers."

    =========================================================

  8. Edie:
    You stated above in your blog: "Over 1400 Palestinians" were killed.
    Tragic numbers of civilians died, not deliberately targeted as Goldstone now admits was all along a bald faced lie, but why must you also falsely imply ALL those killed were civilian?

    This is of course yet again another example of your favorite propaganda technique, namely your trick where you combining the numbers of Palestinian fighters from the Hamas security forces who were killed, together with the numbers of Palestinian civlian casualties in order to derive the biggest possible number.

    Hamas publicly declared a state of war on Israel and Israel had every legal right to defend its civilian population, even the UN and Amnesty said so. Killing during a war the armed members of the security services of an enemy which has declared war on you and is engaged in mercilessly attacking your civilians is under international law **not** a war crime.

    More than 700 Hamas security service members were killed during that war. That is the number Israel has always said were killed and that is the number that even the Hamas Minister of the Interior himself agrees with.

    ========================================================
    http://www.maannews.net
    Published Monday 01/11/2010

    GAZA CITY (Ma'an) — Between 200 and 300 members of Hamas' armed wing died in Israel's winter offensive on Gaza, the Interior minister acknowledged in remarks published Monday.

    Fathi Hamad told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that "They say it was the people who paid the toll of that war, but aren’t we [Hamas] part of this people?"

    He added: "Furthermore, on the second day of the war, Israel targeted police headquarters and 250 martyrs fell and they were affiliated to Hamas and other factions. In addition, about 200-300 members of Al-Qassam Brigades died martyrs as well as 150 security officers."

    =========================================================

  9. Edie:
    You stated above in your blog: "Over 1400 Palestinians" were killed.
    Tragic numbers of civilians died, not deliberately targeted as Goldstone now admits was all along a bald faced lie, but why must you also falsely imply ALL those killed were civilian?

    This is of course yet again another example of your favorite propaganda technique, namely your trick where you combining the numbers of Palestinian fighters from the Hamas security forces who were killed, together with the numbers of Palestinian civlian casualties in order to derive the biggest possible number.

    Hamas publicly declared a state of war on Israel and Israel had every legal right to defend its civilian population, even the UN and Amnesty said so. Killing during a war the armed members of the security services of an enemy which has declared war on you and is engaged in mercilessly attacking your civilians is under international law **not** a war crime.

    More than 700 Hamas security service members were killed during that war. That is the number Israel has always said were killed and that is the number that even the Hamas Minister of the Interior himself agrees with.

    ========================================================
    http://www.maannews.net
    Published Monday 01/11/2010

    GAZA CITY (Ma'an) — Between 200 and 300 members of Hamas' armed wing died in Israel's winter offensive on Gaza, the Interior minister acknowledged in remarks published Monday.

    Fathi Hamad told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that "They say it was the people who paid the toll of that war, but aren’t we [Hamas] part of this people?"

    He added: "Furthermore, on the second day of the war, Israel targeted police headquarters and 250 martyrs fell and they were affiliated to Hamas and other factions. In addition, about 200-300 members of Al-Qassam Brigades died martyrs as well as 150 security officers."

    =========================================================

  10. Good morning Judo,

    Actually, I'm not implying the over 1400 Palestinians killed were civilians. If those killed were in fact civilians, I would have clearly written "civilians". I did not.

    I think you miss one of the main points of concern – Hamas has completely failed in its obligation to investigate and the military investigations undertaken by Israel have failed to meet international standards of independence and transparency. Any numbers released by parties involved in hostilities, of course, must be understood as coming from a party with a vested interest in the outcome of those investigations. That is what makes the standard of 'independence' so important. And 'transparency' allows outside, independent parties to substantiate the findings. If these criteria had been met by Hamas and Israel – I think we would have an easier time accepting figures given. Even Goldstone in his oped piece added a note that Hamas has reason to inflate their numbers killed during the conflict.

    One reason the number of civilians killed put out by Israel and Hamas is much higher than the figures issued by independent NGO's is that the municipal police members that were killed during the initial Israeli air strikes (some 250) are not considered part of the military or legitimate military targets. Although police are usually armed, they are considered civilian in nature unless directly participating in hostilities or planning of military maneuvers. The majority of police killed were participating in a graduation ceremony for civilian duties, such as traffic work and criminal investigations, at the time they were targeted.

    I'm not sure we can say that the Goldstone team 'lied' about direct attacks on civilians at the time. The report made clear that without Israel's cooperation (sharing of evidence concerning the military actions), the team had to base their conclusions on the evidence available at the time. Now that more facts are coming to light, Goldstone is changing his opinion on one aspect of the report. I also wouldn't say ALL the attacks have been explained away. Goldstone mentions one case (the al Sammouni incident) out of 11 direct attacks on civilians that resulted in civilian deaths and even in that case, we cannot take the information as "establishing validity" or at face-value. It is definitely something to be taken into consideration when now re-evaluating the circumstances of the incident though.

    You ARE absolutely correct that Israel has not only the right, but an obligation to protect it's citizens, but it must do so within the boundaries of the law. It is never acceptable to violate international humanitarian and human rights law and each instance should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible held accountable and reparations made where appropriate. All the victims – Israeli and Palestinian – deserve justice.

  11. Edie:
    You stated above in your blog: “Over 1400 Palestinians” were killed.
    Tragic numbers of civilians died, not deliberately targeted as Goldstone now admits was all along a bald faced lie, but why must you also falsely imply ALL those killed were civilian?

    This is of course yet again another example of your favorite propaganda technique, namely your trick where you combining the numbers of Palestinian fighters from the Hamas security forces who were killed, together with the numbers of Palestinian civlian casualties in order to derive the biggest possible number.

    Hamas publicly declared a state of war on Israel and Israel had every legal right to defend its civilian population, even the UN and Amnesty said so. Killing during a war the armed members of the security services of an enemy which has declared war on you and is engaged in mercilessly attacking your civilians is under international law **not** a war crime.

    More than 700 Hamas security service members were killed during that war. That is the number Israel has always said were killed and that is the number that even the Hamas Minister of the Interior himself agrees with.

    ========================================================

    http://www.maannews.net
    Published Monday 01/11/2010

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Between 200 and 300 members of Hamas’ armed wing died in Israel’s winter offensive on Gaza, the Interior minister acknowledged in remarks published Monday.

    Fathi Hamad told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that “They say it was the people who paid the toll of that war, but aren’t we [Hamas] part of this people?”

    He added: “Furthermore, on the second day of the war, Israel targeted police headquarters and 250 martyrs fell and they were affiliated to Hamas and other factions. In addition, about 200-300 members of Al-Qassam Brigades died martyrs as well as 150 security officers.”

    =========================================================

  12. Good morning Judo,

    Actually, I’m not implying the over 1400 Palestinians killed were civilians. If those killed were in fact civilians, I would have clearly written “civilians”. I did not.

    I think you miss one of the main points of concern – Hamas has completely failed in its obligation to investigate and the military investigations undertaken by Israel have failed to meet international standards of independence and transparency. Any numbers released by parties involved in hostilities, of course, must be understood as coming from a party with a vested interest in the outcome of those investigations. That is what makes the standard of ‘independence’ so important. And ‘transparency’ allows outside, independent parties to substantiate the findings. If these criteria had been met by Hamas and Israel – I think we would have an easier time accepting figures given. Even Goldstone in his oped piece added a note that Hamas has reason to inflate their numbers killed during the conflict.

    One reason the number of civilians killed put out by Israel and Hamas is much higher than the figures issued by independent NGO’s is that the municipal police members that were killed during the initial Israeli air strikes (some 250) are not considered part of the military or legitimate military targets. Although police are usually armed, they are considered civilian in nature unless directly participating in hostilities or planning of military maneuvers. The majority of police killed were participating in a graduation ceremony for civilian duties, such as traffic work and criminal investigations, at the time they were targeted.

    I’m not sure we can say that the Goldstone team ‘lied’ about direct attacks on civilians at the time. The report made clear that without Israel’s cooperation (sharing of evidence concerning the military actions), the team had to base their conclusions on the evidence available at the time. Now that more facts are coming to light, Goldstone is changing his opinion on one aspect of the report. I also wouldn’t say ALL the attacks have been explained away. Goldstone mentions one case (the al Sammouni incident) out of 11 direct attacks on civilians that resulted in civilian deaths and even in that case, we cannot take the information as “establishing validity” or at face-value. It is definitely something to be taken into consideration when now re-evaluating the circumstances of the incident though.

    You ARE absolutely correct that Israel has not only the right, but an obligation to protect it’s citizens, but it must do so within the boundaries of the law. It is never acceptable to violate international humanitarian and human rights law and each instance should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible held accountable and reparations made where appropriate. All the victims – Israeli and Palestinian – deserve justice.

  13. We are not talking about Sweden, Edie and this was not some kind of Scandinavian traffic patrol if that is what you are claiming.

    After watching over the last several months the so-called "police" in a dozen other Arab dictatorships murdering tens of thousands of unarmed demonstrators, I would think by now you would stop being so naive and it would finally dawn on you what the "police" force's primary function is under a typical brutal repressive fascist Arab dictatorship like the illegal Hamas regime. Guess what, Edie, the Hamas police are not there to hand out tickets at busy intersections,no more than the Gestapo was there to do that in Hitler's Germany.

    The Hamas security force/para-military/police (whatever you want to call them) are a heavily armed group, loyal only to the illegal Hamas regime, and were every bit as much full partners in the Hamas Crime Against Humanity of making of an aggressive war deliberately targeting Israeli civilians just as the Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades were.

    This is not even to mention the fact that virtually all of these so-called Hamas police were in any event members, simultaneously, of both of the police and the Al-Qassam Brigades, as even BtSelem acknowledges.

    Even Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad himself clearly stated his agreement with this interpretation in his interview in November when he explicitly differentiated the Hamas "police" casualties from the civilian and he then went on to claim the police casualties as "Hamas martyrs"

  14. We are not talking about Sweden, Edie and this was not some kind of Scandinavian traffic patrol if that is what you are claiming.

    After watching over the last several months the so-called “police” in a dozen other Arab dictatorships murdering tens of thousands of unarmed demonstrators, I would think by now you would stop being so naive and it would finally dawn on you what the “police” force’s primary function is under a typical brutal repressive fascist Arab dictatorship like the illegal Hamas regime. Guess what, Edie, the Hamas police are not there to hand out tickets at busy intersections,no more than the Gestapo was there to do that in Hitler’s Germany.

    The Hamas security force/para-military/police (whatever you want to call them) are a heavily armed group, loyal only to the illegal Hamas regime, and were every bit as much full partners in the Hamas Crime Against Humanity of making of an aggressive war deliberately targeting Israeli civilians just as the Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades were.

    This is not even to mention the fact that virtually all of these so-called Hamas police were in any event members, simultaneously, of both of the police and the Al-Qassam Brigades, as even BtSelem acknowledges.

    Even Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad himself clearly stated his agreement with this interpretation in his interview in November when he explicitly differentiated the Hamas “police” casualties from the civilian and he then went on to claim the police casualties as “Hamas martyrs”

  15. Judo,

    My comments are based on international law and standards, not naivete. One cannot use guilt by association or broad assumptions of guilt to launch military actions against an entire profession or group of people. Collective punishment – collectively punishing a group instead of targeting the specific offending party – is illegal under international law.

    The municipal police force in the Gaza Strip does have members who are also members of Hamas para-military or security forces, but it is also a functioning municipal police force like in every other district around the world with traffic cops, criminal investigators, paper pushers, etc …. No evidence has been presented by the Israeli government that showed that each cadet graduating that day, those presenting the diplomas or the family and friends present were legitimate military targets in any way.

    Do you not see the flaw in your logic? Yes, there are members of the Egyptian police force guilty of torture and ill-treatment of detainees – and those individuals should be held accountable, but to extrapolate that out to declare every member of the Egyptian police as guilty does not add up.

    I think I've mentioned this to you before, but that kind of justification is the same line of argument that justifies targeting everyone in a society for the actions of a few. This logic (your line of logic) is the argument used to justify violence against Israeli citizens because of the actions of the government or the IDF; this line of logic was used to justify the attacks on the twin towers on Sept. 11th, 2001. This is why there are rules of war and standards concerning what is a legitimate military target and what is not.

    No, it's not naivete Judo. It's int'l law, but also an understanding that you can't smear an entire group of people, make assumptions and giant leaps of logic to justify collectively punishing a group of people without evidence.

  16. Judonimh accuses ms Garwood of spewing "propaganda", but listen to his own.

    First, his version of why the Gaza war was fought in the first place.

    He says, "Hamas publicly declared a state of war on Israel & israel had every legal right to defend its civilian population…"

    That is, Hamas started the war, & Israel was forced to defend herself.

    Was that the case ?

    1. Let's first see what Hamas' considerations were, then … & now.

    An exMossad head recently observed, "[T]he Hamas leadership has recognised that its a ideological goal is not attainable & will not be in the foreseeable future.[T]hey are ready & willing to see the establishment of a Paletinian state in the temporary borders of 1967…They know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with their cooperation,they will be obligated to change the rules of the game : They will have to adopt a path that would lead them far from tgeir original ideologicl goals."

    Remember :The Gaza war was fought from December 27, 2008 to January `18 2009.

    2. In June 2008, Hamas entered into a ceasefire with israel, a crucial component of which was Israel would ease her economic siege of Gaza.An israeli publication says Hamas was "careful to maintain the ceasefire" THOUGH Israel didn't ease the siege:" The lull was sporadically violated by rocket & ortar shell fire, carried out by rogue terroriwst organisations. At the same time, the [Hamas] movement tried to enforce theterms ofd the arrangement on the other terrorist organizations & prevent them from violating it." Shin Bet's Yuval Diskin said Hamas was "interested in renewing the raltive calm with Israel."

    3.On November 4, Israel broke the ceasefire by killing 7 Palestinian fighters. Hamas hit back with rockets in retaliation.

    That was how hostilities began , leading up to the war. It wasn't something rhetorical or melodramatic or simplistic like "Hamas' declaration of war" that started it.

    Why was the ceasefire broken in the first place ? Didn't Israel want it ?

    In early December, Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said this extended truce "harms the Israeli strategic goal, empowers Hamas, and gives the impression that Israel recognises the [Hamas] movement."

    So why did Israel need this war ?

    Not to assert its right to defend itself, but to REestablish Israeli DETERRENCE, wwhich had been badly damaged by Israel's defeat at hezbollah's hands in the Second LebanonWar of 2006.

    Deterrence is a big motivating factor in Israeli stategic doctrine.

    The New York Times' Middle East correspondent Ethan Bronner reported citing Israeli sources that Israel's "Larger concern" was to "reestablish Israeli deterrence" , because "its enemies are less afraid of it than they once were, or should be."

    During the Gaza war as they exultingly observed the heavy Palestinian casualties, Israeli commentators exulted, "Gaza is to Lebanon as the second sitting of an exam is to the first — a second chance to get it right."

    "Israel regained its deterrence capabilities", they said, because "the war in gaza has compensated for the shortcomings of the Second Lebanon War.."

    "There is no doubt", they said with relish,"Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah is upset these days … There will no longer be anyone in the Arab world who can claim that Israel is weak."

    That was one of the goals the war was primarily about.

    To burnish its dimmed murderous lustre.

    **** *****

    Judonimh next tries to cast the deaths of Gaza's police in a positive light by lumping these police of a weak, blockaded strip of land with….. the police of the Arab regimes crushing the democracy protests .

    "The 'police' in Arab dictatorships" ,he foams, then repeats "the 'police' in a fascist Arab dictatorship like the illegal Hamas regime".

    His appoach here is characteristically unfocused & ahistorical, with nothing to do with the actual events of the war.

    Firstly, the Gaza police who died in 2008 – 9 weren't involved in crushing 2011's democracy protests.

    Second, the Gaza police haven't been part of the 2011 killings of protestors by Arab regimes… neither is the Gaza war a part of the present COMPLETELY separate wave of history.

    Third, Judonimh's hysteria is typically out of control when he claims police in Arab countries have killed "TENS OF THOUSANDS" ( his words, my emphasis ) of unarmed protestors ! Wher did he get THIS

    Hamas is not an 'ILLEGAL" government.

    It won power by a clear majority ina completely free, fair & democratic elections.

    Fourth, police in the Arab countries haven't killed "TENS OF THOUSANDS" of

    As for the Gaza police who perished in Israel's bombardments, the Israeli columnist B. Michaels described some of them like this :"70 …. traffic cops at their graduation ceremony

  17. Israeli columnist B Michael speaks of the Gaza police :

    "70 .. traffic cops at their graduation ceremony , young men in desperate search of a livelihood who thought they'd found it in the police & instead found death from the skies."

    Sorry for the typing errors & the lack of editing above . Didn't have time to check the spelling & arrange the words. But i repeat Shin Bet's Yuval Diskin's words : Hamas before the war was "interested in renewing the relative calm with Israel."

    It still is.

    Here's what an Israeli strategic analyst said during the Gaza war :

    "The IDF, which planned to attack buildings & sites populated by hundreds of people, did not warn them in advance to leave, but intended to kill a great many of them, & succeeded."

    As to Judonimh's depiction of Hamas as "a heavily armed group".

    The real story of the Gaza war is encapsulated in the words of an Israeli observer.

    "A few thousand lightly armed Hamas fighters", he said, faced up to Israel's army , with its gunships, jet fighters, drones, warships, artillery & tanks.

    The gap between the two forces, says this seasoned old observer, was "one to a thousand, perhaps one to a million."

    When you're talking about the IDF, the fourth largest army on earth, i concur with this assessment of relative strengths regarding the IDF & the military "threat" Hamas poses.

  18. Judo,

    My comments are based on international law and standards, not naivete. One cannot use guilt by association or broad assumptions of guilt to launch military actions against an entire profession or group of people. Collective punishment – collectively punishing a group instead of targeting the specific offending party – is illegal under international law.

    The municipal police force in the Gaza Strip does have members who are also members of Hamas para-military or security forces, but it is also a functioning municipal police force like in every other district around the world with traffic cops, criminal investigators, paper pushers, etc …. No evidence has been presented by the Israeli government that showed that each cadet graduating that day, those presenting the diplomas or the family and friends present were legitimate military targets in any way.

    Do you not see the flaw in your logic? Yes, there are members of the Egyptian police force guilty of torture and ill-treatment of detainees – and those individuals should be held accountable, but to extrapolate that out to declare every member of the Egyptian police as guilty does not add up.

    I think I’ve mentioned this to you before, but that kind of justification is the same line of argument that justifies targeting everyone in a society for the actions of a few. This logic (your line of logic) is the argument used to justify violence against Israeli citizens because of the actions of the government or the IDF; this line of logic was used to justify the attacks on the twin towers on Sept. 11th, 2001. This is why there are rules of war and standards concerning what is a legitimate military target and what is not.

    No, it’s not naivete Judo. It’s int’l law, but also an understanding that you can’t smear an entire group of people, make assumptions and giant leaps of logic to justify collectively punishing a group of people without evidence.

  19. Judonimh accuses ms Garwood of spewing “propaganda”, but listen to his own.

    First, his version of why the Gaza war was fought in the first place.

    He says, “Hamas publicly declared a state of war on Israel & israel had every legal right to defend its civilian population…”

    That is, Hamas started the war, & Israel was forced to defend herself.

    Was that the case ?

    1. Let’s first see what Hamas’ considerations were, then … & now.

    An exMossad head recently observed, “[T]he Hamas leadership has recognised that its a ideological goal is not attainable & will not be in the foreseeable future.[T]hey are ready & willing to see the establishment of a Paletinian state in the temporary borders of 1967…They know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with their cooperation,they will be obligated to change the rules of the game : They will have to adopt a path that would lead them far from tgeir original ideologicl goals.”

    Remember :The Gaza war was fought from December 27, 2008 to January `18 2009.

    2. In June 2008, Hamas entered into a ceasefire with israel, a crucial component of which was Israel would ease her economic siege of Gaza.An israeli publication says Hamas was “careful to maintain the ceasefire” THOUGH Israel didn’t ease the siege:” The lull was sporadically violated by rocket & ortar shell fire, carried out by rogue terroriwst organisations. At the same time, the [Hamas] movement tried to enforce theterms ofd the arrangement on the other terrorist organizations & prevent them from violating it.” Shin Bet’s Yuval Diskin said Hamas was “interested in renewing the raltive calm with Israel.”

    3.On November 4, Israel broke the ceasefire by killing 7 Palestinian fighters. Hamas hit back with rockets in retaliation.

    That was how hostilities began , leading up to the war. It wasn’t something rhetorical or melodramatic or simplistic like “Hamas’ declaration of war” that started it.

    Why was the ceasefire broken in the first place ? Didn’t Israel want it ?

    In early December, Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said this extended truce “harms the Israeli strategic goal, empowers Hamas, and gives the impression that Israel recognises the [Hamas] movement.”

    So why did Israel need this war ?

    Not to assert its right to defend itself, but to REestablish Israeli DETERRENCE, wwhich had been badly damaged by Israel’s defeat at hezbollah’s hands in the Second LebanonWar of 2006.

    Deterrence is a big motivating factor in Israeli stategic doctrine.

    The New York Times’ Middle East correspondent Ethan Bronner reported citing Israeli sources that Israel’s “Larger concern” was to “reestablish Israeli deterrence” , because “its enemies are less afraid of it than they once were, or should be.”

    During the Gaza war as they exultingly observed the heavy Palestinian casualties, Israeli commentators exulted, “Gaza is to Lebanon as the second sitting of an exam is to the first — a second chance to get it right.”

    “Israel regained its deterrence capabilities”, they said, because “the war in gaza has compensated for the shortcomings of the Second Lebanon War..”

    “There is no doubt”, they said with relish,”Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah is upset these days … There will no longer be anyone in the Arab world who can claim that Israel is weak.”

    That was one of the goals the war was primarily about.

    To burnish its dimmed murderous lustre.

    **** *****

    Judonimh next tries to cast the deaths of Gaza’s police in a positive light by lumping these police of a weak, blockaded strip of land with….. the police of the Arab regimes crushing the democracy protests .

    “The ‘police’ in Arab dictatorships” ,he foams, then repeats “the ‘police’ in a fascist Arab dictatorship like the illegal Hamas regime”.

    His appoach here is characteristically unfocused & ahistorical, with nothing to do with the actual events of the war.

    Firstly, the Gaza police who died in 2008 – 9 weren’t involved in crushing 2011′s democracy protests.

    Second, the Gaza police haven’t been part of the 2011 killings of protestors by Arab regimes… neither is the Gaza war a part of the present COMPLETELY separate wave of history.

    Third, Judonimh’s hysteria is typically out of control when he claims police in Arab countries have killed “TENS OF THOUSANDS” ( his words, my emphasis ) of unarmed protestors ! Wher did he get THIS

    Hamas is not an ‘ILLEGAL” government.

    It won power by a clear majority ina completely free, fair & democratic elections.

    Fourth, police in the Arab countries haven’t killed “TENS OF THOUSANDS” of

    As for the Gaza police who perished in Israel’s bombardments, the Israeli columnist B. Michaels described some of them like this :”70 …. traffic cops at their graduation ceremony

  20. Israeli columnist B Michael speaks of the Gaza police :

    “70 .. traffic cops at their graduation ceremony , young men in desperate search of a livelihood who thought they’d found it in the police & instead found death from the skies.”

    Sorry for the typing errors & the lack of editing above . Didn’t have time to check the spelling & arrange the words. But i repeat Shin Bet’s Yuval Diskin’s words : Hamas before the war was “interested in renewing the relative calm with Israel.”

    It still is.

    Here’s what an Israeli strategic analyst said during the Gaza war :

    “The IDF, which planned to attack buildings & sites populated by hundreds of people, did not warn them in advance to leave, but intended to kill a great many of them, & succeeded.”

    As to Judonimh’s depiction of Hamas as “a heavily armed group”.

    The real story of the Gaza war is encapsulated in the words of an Israeli observer.

    “A few thousand lightly armed Hamas fighters”, he said, faced up to Israel’s army , with its gunships, jet fighters, drones, warships, artillery & tanks.

    The gap between the two forces, says this seasoned old observer, was “one to a thousand, perhaps one to a million.”

    When you’re talking about the IDF, the fourth largest army on earth, i concur with this assessment of relative strengths regarding the IDF & the military “threat” Hamas poses.

  21. I guess Savage will be very happy to learn that Hamas is now much better armed two years later.

    For one example, we now know for a fact that Hamas has been able to smuggle past the legally imposed Israeli arms blockade one of the most advanced guided anti-tank missiles on the planet, the Iranian manufactured Cornet.

    How do we know this? Well, by the use of a Cornet in the deliberate targeting and direct hit on a bright yellow marked school bus with Israeli school children on board yesterday which was struck 3 kilometers inside Israel away from the Gaza border. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=3

    I would like you to comment on what the Geneva Convention says about deliberate purposeful attacks with sophisticated weapons of war on a marked Israeli school bus?

    And also what the Geneva Convention says about the deliberate use by Hamas of Palestinians as human shields by Hamas's insistence on manufacturing , storing, and launching rockets against Israel civilians from right inside the densest residential areas of Gaza, meters away from homes full of Palestinian women and children, in the hopes that they will shield them from Israeli retaliatory fire or even better that the Israelis will return fire and inevitably accidentally kill civilians and gain Hamas more propaganda points?

    The use by Hamas, of Gazan civilians as human shields to hide behind while deliberately rocketing Israeli civilian towns and villages ( and now SCHOOL BUSES!!!), is essential Hamas's only military tactic.

    As shown below, this is just another proven fact among many also originally completely denied by the Goldstone report and Amnesty's investigation.

    ====================================================
    source: The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) http://www.pchrgaza.org

    Press Release, 29 March 2011

    "The PCHR notes that members of the Palestinian resistance continue to store explosives or to treat such explosives in locations close to populated areas. This poses a major threat to the lives of the Palestinian civilians and constitutes a violation of both International Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian Law. "
    =======================================================

  22. I guess Savage will be very happy to learn that Hamas is now much better armed two years later.

    For one example, we now know for a fact that Hamas has been able to smuggle past the legally imposed Israeli arms blockade one of the most advanced guided anti-tank missiles on the planet, the Iranian manufactured Cornet.

    How do we know this? Well, by the use of a Cornet in the deliberate targeting and direct hit on a bright yellow marked school bus with Israeli school children on board yesterday which was struck 3 kilometers inside Israel away from the Gaza border. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=3

    I would like you to comment on what the Geneva Convention says about deliberate purposeful attacks with sophisticated weapons of war on a marked Israeli school bus?

    And also what the Geneva Convention says about the deliberate use by Hamas of Palestinians as human shields by Hamas's insistence on manufacturing , storing, and launching rockets against Israel civilians from right inside the densest residential areas of Gaza, meters away from homes full of Palestinian women and children, in the hopes that they will shield them from Israeli retaliatory fire or even better that the Israelis will return fire and inevitably accidentally kill civilians and gain Hamas more propaganda points?

    The use by Hamas, of Gazan civilians as human shields to hide behind while deliberately rocketing Israeli civilian towns and villages ( and now SCHOOL BUSES!!!), is essential Hamas's only military tactic.

    As shown below, this is just another proven fact among many also originally completely denied by the Goldstone report and Amnesty's investigation.

    ====================================================
    source: The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) http://www.pchrgaza.org

    Press Release, 29 March 2011

    "The PCHR notes that members of the Palestinian resistance continue to store explosives or to treat such explosives in locations close to populated areas. This poses a major threat to the lives of the Palestinian civilians and constitutes a violation of both International Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian Law. "
    =======================================================

  23. I guess Savage will be very happy to learn that Hamas is now much better armed two years later.

    For one example, we now know for a fact that Hamas has been able to smuggle past the legally imposed Israeli arms blockade one of the most advanced guided anti-tank missiles on the planet, the Iranian manufactured Cornet.

    How do we know this? Well, by the use of a Cornet in the deliberate targeting and direct hit on a bright yellow marked school bus with Israeli school children on board yesterday which was struck 3 kilometers inside Israel away from the Gaza border. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=3

    I would like you to comment on what the Geneva Convention says about deliberate purposeful attacks with sophisticated weapons of war on a marked Israeli school bus?

    And also what the Geneva Convention says about the deliberate use by Hamas of Palestinians as human shields by Hamas's insistence on manufacturing , storing, and launching rockets against Israel civilians from right inside the densest residential areas of Gaza, meters away from homes full of Palestinian women and children, in the hopes that they will shield them from Israeli retaliatory fire or even better that the Israelis will return fire and inevitably accidentally kill civilians and gain Hamas more propaganda points?

    The use by Hamas, of Gazan civilians as human shields to hide behind while deliberately rocketing Israeli civilian towns and villages ( and now SCHOOL BUSES!!!), is essential Hamas's only military tactic.

    As shown below, this is just another proven fact among many also originally completely denied by the Goldstone report and Amnesty's investigation.

    ====================================================
    source: The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) http://www.pchrgaza.org

    Press Release, 29 March 2011

    "The PCHR notes that members of the Palestinian resistance continue to store explosives or to treat such explosives in locations close to populated areas. This poses a major threat to the lives of the Palestinian civilians and constitutes a violation of both International Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian Law. "
    =======================================================

  24. I guess Savage will be very happy to learn that Hamas is now much better armed two years later.

    For one example, we now know for a fact that Hamas has been able to smuggle past the legally imposed Israeli arms blockade one of the most advanced guided anti-tank missiles on the planet, the Iranian manufactured Cornet.

    How do we know this? Well, by the use of a Cornet in the deliberate targeting and direct hit on a bright yellow marked school bus with Israeli school children on board yesterday which was struck 3 kilometers inside Israel away from the Gaza border.
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=376622

    I would like you to comment on what the Geneva Convention says about deliberate purposeful attacks with sophisticated weapons of war on a marked Israeli school bus?

    And also what the Geneva Convention says about the deliberate use by Hamas of Palestinians as human shields by Hamas’s insistence on manufacturing , storing, and launching rockets against Israel civilians from right inside the densest residential areas of Gaza, meters away from homes full of Palestinian women and children, in the hopes that they will shield them from Israeli retaliatory fire or even better that the Israelis will return fire and inevitably accidentally kill civilians and gain Hamas more propaganda points?

    The use by Hamas, of Gazan civilians as human shields to hide behind while deliberately rocketing Israeli civilian towns and villages ( and now SCHOOL BUSES!!!), is essential Hamas’s only military tactic.

    As shown below, this is just another proven fact among many also originally completely denied by the Goldstone report and Amnesty’s investigation.

    ====================================================
    source: The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
    http://www.pchrgaza.org

    Press Release, 29 March 2011

    “The PCHR notes that members of the Palestinian resistance continue to store explosives or to treat such explosives in locations close to populated areas. This poses a major threat to the lives of the Palestinian civilians and constitutes a violation of both International Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian Law. ”
    =======================================================

  25. The Jews stole Arab lands, and now violate numerous UN Resolutions that relate to handing it back.

    Therefore any attack on Israel is justified as Israel was the initial agressor in taking the land in the first place, killing thousands of Palestinians in the process.

    In addition, Israel does not have the right to punish Palestinian civilians by killing them in rocket attacks. It is a war crime to target a civilian population in retaliation.

    The sooner Israel accepts it has stolen land and returns it in its entirety the sooner the Israeli lobbies around the world can save their money lining the pockets of corrupt politicians who pander to their every demand.

  26. Lawrence, your grasp of international law is simply amazing.

    Gee, until I read your post I was under the obviously mistaken impression that deliberate attacks on innocent unarmed women and children were illegal. I was foolishly holding to this bizarre belief just because the 1949 Geneva Convention, the International Laws of War, International Humanitarian Law, the Secretary General of the UN, and Amnesty International, not to even mention the Koran, all clearly say so.

    Well the joke certainly was on me.

    Because now I learn from your post, Lawrence, that it is apparently only illegal to deliberately target innocent unarmed civilians, the elderly, women, children during wartime if they are first class humans, but if they are this special lower subset of humanity, namely Dirty Jews, in this special case only, it is open hunting season 365 days a year on any man women and child among them.

    I will alert the UN Security Council first thing in the morning that Lawrence has single handedly completely rewritten 60 years of International Law and it is now just fine and dandy for Hamas to continue to shower Israeli elderly, women and children, some of them riding on school buses, with rocket fire, forcing 1 million Israeli civilians to sleep in bomb shelters this very night.

  27. The Jews stole Arab lands, and now violate numerous UN Resolutions that relate to handing it back.

    Therefore any attack on Israel is justified as Israel was the initial agressor in taking the land in the first place, killing thousands of Palestinians in the process.

    In addition, Israel does not have the right to punish Palestinian civilians by killing them in rocket attacks. It is a war crime to target a civilian population in retaliation.

    The sooner Israel accepts it has stolen land and returns it in its entirety the sooner the Israeli lobbies around the world can save their money lining the pockets of corrupt politicians who pander to their every demand.

  28. Lawrence, your grasp of international law is simply amazing.

    Gee, until I read your post I was under the obviously mistaken impression that deliberate attacks on innocent unarmed women and children were illegal. I was foolishly holding to this bizarre belief just because the 1949 Geneva Convention, the International Laws of War, International Humanitarian Law, the Secretary General of the UN, and Amnesty International, not to even mention the Koran, all clearly say so.

    Well the joke certainly was on me.

    Because now I learn from your post, Lawrence, that it is apparently only illegal to deliberately target innocent unarmed civilians, the elderly, women, children during wartime if they are first class humans, but if they are this special lower subset of humanity, namely Dirty Jews, in this special case only, it is open hunting season 365 days a year on any man women and child among them.

    I will alert the UN Security Council first thing in the morning that Lawrence has single handedly completely rewritten 60 years of International Law and it is now just fine and dandy for Hamas to continue to shower Israeli elderly, women and children, some of them riding on school buses, with rocket fire, forcing 1 million Israeli civilians to sleep in bomb shelters this very night.

  29. Judonimh

    I understand what you are saying here but you are missing an important point.

    The Palestinians had their land stolen from them by the Jews who flocked from all over europe and populated the area illegally. Then not happy with the outcome turned to terrorism (USS Liberty, King David Hotel) to name just two instances of terrorism that was rife amongst the Zionists. Yes Israel was created by Jews using terrorism. Now given that point are you seriously suggesting that it is offensive for the Palestinians to use the same tactics to recover their stolen lands ?

    Israel has numerous UN resolutions that are current are relate to returning land to the Palestinians, Israel continues to violate those resolutions and the Israeli lobby in the US ensure that the US veto's any action against Israel.

    How bizzare that a nation that refers to the UN when discussing its status choses to ignore the UN when it comes to resolutions.

    The good news is that the cat is now out of the bag. The wider world that stands for peace and justice is now realising that a genocide has taken place in Palestine, and that genocide continues today. Israel has been exposed as having no appetite for peace, and nothing offered by the Palestinians would be accepted.

    In addition the Palestinian people are now engaging global institutions to further their cause and demand justice and peace.

    For sure the terrorist groups in Palestine are acting illegally in international law, however it would be wrong to tar all Palestinians with the same brush. The vast majority of Palestinians just want their land back, and to live in peace.

    Ask yourself a simple question. How can it be that Israel is surrounded by enemies ? And can all those enemies be wrong ?

  30. Judonimh

    I understand what you are saying here but you are missing an important point.

    The Palestinians had their land stolen from them by the Jews who flocked from all over europe and populated the area illegally. Then not happy with the outcome turned to terrorism (USS Liberty, King David Hotel) to name just two instances of terrorism that was rife amongst the Zionists. Yes Israel was created by Jews using terrorism. Now given that point are you seriously suggesting that it is offensive for the Palestinians to use the same tactics to recover their stolen lands ?

    Israel has numerous UN resolutions that are current are relate to returning land to the Palestinians, Israel continues to violate those resolutions and the Israeli lobby in the US ensure that the US veto’s any action against Israel.

    How bizzare that a nation that refers to the UN when discussing its status choses to ignore the UN when it comes to resolutions.

    The good news is that the cat is now out of the bag. The wider world that stands for peace and justice is now realising that a genocide has taken place in Palestine, and that genocide continues today. Israel has been exposed as having no appetite for peace, and nothing offered by the Palestinians would be accepted.

    In addition the Palestinian people are now engaging global institutions to further their cause and demand justice and peace.

    For sure the terrorist groups in Palestine are acting illegally in international law, however it would be wrong to tar all Palestinians with the same brush. The vast majority of Palestinians just want their land back, and to live in peace.

    Ask yourself a simple question. How can it be that Israel is surrounded by enemies ? And can all those enemies be wrong ?

  31. Dear Lawrence,

    Excellent stand by you on Palestine !

    Accurate pinpointing of Israel's genocide of the Palestinians.

    You are right as well in asserting the cat's out of the bag, the outside world has become intensely aware of what israel has been doing.

    Example :

    After the Gaza war, the number of Americans supporting Israel fell from 69 % to 49 % !

    & the number of Americans believing the US should support Israel fell from 69 % to 44 % !

    Palestine is coming out of her long isolation !

    & Gaza is using her very blockade to end hers !

  32. Lawrence:

    When the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel 70 years ago it was the British Army Headquarters, a legal legitimate military target in every way. If Hamas was similarly shooting only at Israeli Army bases no one would accuse them of being war criminals. Because Hamas formally declared a legal state of war on Israel it can shoot Israeli soldiers as much as they want legally under international law just as Israel can kill Hamas security service members. That much is clear in the Geneva Convention.

    While Israel makes great efforts to legally kill only Hamas military targets and wants to avoid civilian deaths for moral reasons against killing innocents, Hamas on the other hand has almost always and especially throughout this last week made a specialty of deliberately targeting **only** Israeli civilians, women, children while hiding their rocket launchers in amongst Palestinian civilians, women children, which makes them double war criminals, war criminals first for shooting rockets at civilian Israelis, and doubly war criminals for doing it while using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

    For example, according to Al Jezzeera and Maan news Israeli retaliation since the recent round of fighting began, which involved hundreds of rockets and mortars fired illegally on Israeli civilians, Israel has killed exactly a total 12 Hamas fighters and commanders and 6 Palestinian civilians.

    Of the civilian causalities, in at least one case where 3 children and an elderly man were tragically killed the surviving family members told numerous news corespondents that just prior the Israel shell landing Hamas had been launching rockets from right beside their home against their will, and the family had chased them away fearing they were being used as human shields but they Hamas fighters insisted and continued anyways and then the Israeli shell landed and killed their children. This is a very sad event but the only war crime here was the Hamas missile launch on Israeli civilians from right next door to a Palestinian civilian residence used as a human shield.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/201

    This is proof positive of Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields, a 100% proven fact that both the Goldstone report and Amnesty continue bizarrely to categorically deny has ever occurred in spite of the mass of evidence to the contrary.

    And yes,Lawrence, Israel certainly is surrounded by enemy regimes. I agree.

    For one example of an enemy surrounding Israel we have the brutal murderous Syrian gang of killers that has shot down hundreds of their own people, innocent unarmed demonstrators in the last few weeks, people whose only crime was to ask for liberty and dignity. Interestingly enough, Israel's other next door enemy regimes, Hezbolla and Hamas, both of which are armed and supported by the criminal killers in Syria, have pledged their full complete support for their ally Syrian regime's atrocities.

    So when comparing, Israel, which has maintained itself, even under constant attack and attempts to destroy it for 60 years as democracy with complete free speech and a free press comparable to anywhere on earth, freedom of religion, equality of minorities, free labor unions, total equality for women and gays, ban on torture and the death penalty, independent non corrupt police and judges, scientific and medical advances that have helped the whole world etc. etc. when comparing Israel to some of the most murderous repressive criminal dictatorships on earth run by corrupt gangsters who only care about enriching themselves and looting their own country while their own fellow countrymen suffer in chains, in poverty and in misery then yes I would say if I had to choose, then Israel is probably in the right and they are in the wrong.

  33. Dear Lawrence,

    Gaza's Palestinian guerrillas are not "terrorists" , neither are they "acting illegally under international law".

    They are warriors on their own land.

    & under international law, they have the Sovereign Right to resist the illegal foreign Occupation of their land.

  34. Attacking a school bus ?

    It's wrong, if the bus was intentionally targeted.

    At the same time, the Palestinian rocket attacks on Zionist settlements happen for 3 reasons.

    a ) The siege of Gaza, which is an ongoing act of war.

    Against Gaza's entire 1.5 million people, by Israel.

    b ) The Occupation of Palestine by the Zionist army & by the illegal settlements that are targetted by the rockets.

    c ) The israeli army's well recorded, widespread, & deliberate policy, for many decades, of targetting Palestinian civilians, particularly children. With impunity.

    When you cross the red line of forbidden wartime practices yourself, your enemy will surely follow you across it, too..

    If only to show you how it feels to have your children constantly attacked.

  35. Lawrence:

    When the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel 70 years ago it was the British Army Headquarters, a legal legitimate military target in every way. If Hamas was similarly shooting only at Israeli Army bases no one would accuse them of being war criminals. Because Hamas formally declared a legal state of war on Israel it can shoot Israeli soldiers as much as they want legally under international law just as Israel can kill Hamas security service members. That much is clear in the Geneva Convention.

    While Israel makes great efforts to legally kill only Hamas military targets and wants to avoid civilian deaths for moral reasons against killing innocents, Hamas on the other hand has almost always and especially throughout this last week made a specialty of deliberately targeting **only** Israeli civilians, women, children while hiding their rocket launchers in amongst Palestinian civilians, women children, which makes them double war criminals, war criminals first for shooting rockets at civilian Israelis, and doubly war criminals for doing it while using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

    For example, according to Al Jezzeera and Maan news Israeli retaliation since the recent round of fighting began, which involved hundreds of rockets and mortars fired illegally on Israeli civilians, Israel has killed exactly a total 12 Hamas fighters and commanders and 6 Palestinian civilians.

    Of the civilian causalities, in at least one case where 3 children and an elderly man were tragically killed the surviving family members told numerous news corespondents that just prior the Israel shell landing Hamas had been launching rockets from right beside their home against their will, and the family had chased them away fearing they were being used as human shields but they Hamas fighters insisted and continued anyways and then the Israeli shell landed and killed their children. This is a very sad event but the only war crime here was the Hamas missile launch on Israeli civilians from right next door to a Palestinian civilian residence used as a human shield.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/201

    This is proof positive of Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields, a 100% proven fact that both the Goldstone report and Amnesty continue bizarrely to categorically deny has ever occurred in spite of the mass of evidence to the contrary.

    And yes,Lawrence, Israel certainly is surrounded by enemy regimes. I agree.

    For one example of an enemy surrounding Israel we have the brutal murderous Syrian gang of killers that has shot down hundreds of their own people, innocent unarmed demonstrators in the last few weeks, people whose only crime was to ask for liberty and dignity. Interestingly enough, Israel's other next door enemy regimes, Hezbolla and Hamas, both of which are armed and supported by the criminal killers in Syria, have pledged their full complete support for their ally Syrian regime's atrocities.

    So when comparing, Israel, which has maintained itself, even under constant attack and attempts to destroy it for 60 years as democracy with complete free speech and a free press comparable to anywhere on earth, freedom of religion, equality of minorities, free labor unions, total equality for women and gays, ban on torture and the death penalty, independent non corrupt police and judges, scientific and medical advances that have helped the whole world etc. etc. when comparing Israel to some of the most murderous repressive criminal dictatorships on earth run by corrupt gangsters who only care about enriching themselves and looting their own country while their own fellow countrymen suffer in chains, in poverty and in misery then yes I would say if I had to choose, then Israel is probably in the right and they are in the wrong.

  36. Lawrence:

    When the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel 70 years ago it was the British Army Headquarters, a legal legitimate military target in every way. If Hamas was similarly shooting only at Israeli Army bases no one would accuse them of being war criminals. Because Hamas formally declared a legal state of war on Israel it can shoot Israeli soldiers as much as they want legally under international law just as Israel can kill Hamas security service members. That much is clear in the Geneva Convention.

    While Israel makes great efforts to legally kill only Hamas military targets and wants to avoid civilian deaths for moral reasons against killing innocents, Hamas on the other hand has almost always and especially throughout this last week made a specialty of deliberately targeting **only** Israeli civilians, women, children while hiding their rocket launchers in amongst Palestinian civilians, women children, which makes them double war criminals, war criminals first for shooting rockets at civilian Israelis, and doubly war criminals for doing it while using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

    For example, according to Al Jezzeera and Maan news Israeli retaliation since the recent round of fighting began, which involved hundreds of rockets and mortars fired illegally on Israeli civilians, Israel has killed exactly a total 12 Hamas fighters and commanders and 6 Palestinian civilians.

    Of the civilian causalities, in at least one case where 3 children and an elderly man were tragically killed the surviving family members told numerous news corespondents that just prior the Israel shell landing Hamas had been launching rockets from right beside their home against their will, and the family had chased them away fearing they were being used as human shields but they Hamas fighters insisted and continued anyways and then the Israeli shell landed and killed their children. This is a very sad event but the only war crime here was the Hamas missile launch on Israeli civilians from right next door to a Palestinian civilian residence used as a human shield.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/201

    This is proof positive of Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields, a 100% proven fact that both the Goldstone report and Amnesty continue bizarrely to categorically deny has ever occurred in spite of the mass of evidence to the contrary.

    And yes,Lawrence, Israel certainly is surrounded by enemy regimes. I agree.

    For one example of an enemy surrounding Israel we have the brutal murderous Syrian gang of killers that has shot down hundreds of their own people, innocent unarmed demonstrators in the last few weeks, people whose only crime was to ask for liberty and dignity. Interestingly enough, Israel's other next door enemy regimes, Hezbolla and Hamas, both of which are armed and supported by the criminal killers in Syria, have pledged their full complete support for their ally Syrian regime's atrocities.

    So when comparing, Israel, which has maintained itself, even under constant attack and attempts to destroy it for 60 years as democracy with complete free speech and a free press comparable to anywhere on earth, freedom of religion, equality of minorities, free labor unions, total equality for women and gays, ban on torture and the death penalty, independent non corrupt police and judges, scientific and medical advances that have helped the whole world etc. etc. when comparing Israel to some of the most murderous repressive criminal dictatorships on earth run by corrupt gangsters who only care about enriching themselves and looting their own country while their own fellow countrymen suffer in chains, in poverty and in misery then yes I would say if I had to choose, then Israel is probably in the right and they are in the wrong.

  37. A school bus attacked.

    Definitely wrong.

    No casualties.

    In Israel's war against Gaza in 2008, THREE HUNDRED children were murdered by the israeli forces.

    A head shot …. gunfire to the head, blowing out your brains … means they were really intending to kill.

    In the Second Intifada, the single most frequent cause of chidren's deaths at the hands of israeli forces was "gunfire to the head."

    In the last 10 years, Israeli forces killed at least 255 children by gunfire to the head.

    The number was probably greater, for in many cases the location of the fatal shots wasn't listed.

    A 2009 article in the UK Telegraph headlined "Bullet in the brain, shrapnell in the spine : the terrible injuries suffered by children in Gaza".

    In 2003 Tom Hurndall, a 21 year old British boy, ran to save a group of playing Palestinian children who came under Israeli fire.

    As he scooped up a child, he was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.

    He lived in a vegetative state for 9 months before he died.

    Since Sept. 29, 2000, at least ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY TWO Palestinian children were murdered by Israeli forces.

  38. "Gaza Diary", Harper's Magazine ( Oct 2001 ), by veteran war reporter Chris Hedges.

    Hedges writes of a quiet day in Gaza.

    Suddenly the silence is broken by a voice in Arabic, thundering through a loudspeaker :

    "Come on dogs . Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis ? Come ! Come ! Son of a bitch ! Son of a whore ! Your mother's cunt !"

    At once Palestinian children came running out & sprinted up the sand dunes.

    Atop a dune were parked two Israeli armored jeeps mounted with loudspeakers.

    The children began throwing rocks at the jeeps.

    The Israeli soldiers with the jeeps threw a grenade, & as the kids began to run away, the soldiers shot them with M 16s.

    No sounds.

    They used silencers.

    Hedges saw the results in the hospital later .

    "….stomachs ripped out , the gaping holes in limbs & torsos."

    Hedges comments, "Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered".

    El Salvador.

    Guatemala.

    Algeria.

    Sarajevo.

    "…but," he says, "I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap & murder them for sport."

  39. Judonimh speaks of Hamas using "human shields" in Gaza.

    What ?

    In Gaza, a densely packed open air prison ?

    In Gaza, a strip of land between the IDF & the sea?

    In Gaza, where overwhelming israeli firepower from ground & sky struck with impunity & near complete safety at lightly armed Palestinians ?

    Was he expecting the Palestinian warriors to come out & stand in the open in clearly marked rows separating them from the people they were defending ?

    Or is he just stupid ?

    Or THIS ignorant of the basics of urban warfare ?

    As for human shields, Palestinians told of israeli forces using them as shields.

    Not Hamas.

    Hamas didn't need to use such shields for civilian casualities to be as high as they were.

    Zionist rabbinate leaflets urged Israeli forces to kill 80 people to save a single soldier.

    A veteran isrsaeli analyst says israeli forces were prepared to kill 800 to avoid a single casualty.

    How long would "human shields" have lasted in the face of such a blitzkrieg ???

  40. Read Judonimh here on Israel's democracy& its unparalleled freedoms to see how far this person is from the ground realities of ASOI.

    The Apartheid State of Israel.

    Democracy.

    & he's talking of a country whose Knesset's just passed a bill that calls for revoking the CITIZENSHIP of anyone deemed guilty of anti – Israel activity !

    Anyone, that is, who is activating against the country's "national interests" as its ruling system sees them.

    & a "free" press ?

    If we go by Judonimh's own reality checks, you feel there's any press worth defending as "free" in his neck of woods ?

  41. Savage:

    Your comment that the Israeli Arms blockade on Hamas is an act of war is obvious and superfluous I may add. After the Palestinian civil warfare a few years ago in which Hamas brutally tortured to death and summarily executed hundreds of brother Palestinians who happened to be Fatah supporters, when Hamas then illegally seized power in Gaza, Hamas formally renounced to the UN all the non-aggression agreements previously signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority which had led to the legal end of the armed conflict between the two such as the Oslo agreement. That was when Hamas declared a legal state of war to exist between itself and Israel. And that was when Israel imposed legally an arms blockade on Hamas, an act explicitly recognized as 100% legal during wartime in the UN Charter and San Remo .

    And genocide? You got some nerve there, buddy, and you really should be ashamed of your self abusing that term. There have been real genocides in history, too many, like what was done to the Australian Aboriginals and American Indians, the African slave trade, the Belgium occupation of Congo, the American occupation of the Philippines, the Turkish occupation of Armenia, the Jewish Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, and again in Congo going on even today. Unfortunately not a complete list and I left some out.

    But to dare compare the Israel Palestine conflict to any of these ?

    To call the Palistine Israel conflict a genocide ?

    This is pure insanity and preposterous.

    Since the first Intifada broke out in 1989 till today, in this period the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza has doubled from about 2 million to about 4 million today. This is a world record , the fastest population growth of any people anywhere on earth according to the World Health Organization. Since when do people suffering a genocide double in population? Since when do a people suffering a genocide have not just high but the HIGHEST population growth on the face of the planet.

    Using the term genocide to describe what has occurred to a population that doubles in size in the space of 20 years is just crazy gibberish talk, and makes the term genocide loose any rational meaning.

  42. Savage:

    Funny you do not believe Israel has a free press, since you just quoted the major left wing Israeli paper HaAretz several up just above to try to prove your points.

    All the Israeli papers, radio and TV news attack the government on a daily basis but for the best example look no further than HaAretz the major Israeli paper sold across the country on every newsstand which criticizes the Israeli government in far harsher terms than any major news outlet in the United States ever dreamed of criticizing the US government, and the same goes for any paper in Europe. This is not to mention Maan news and many other Arabic language papers and web sites based in Israel that are full on pro-Palestinian and always have operated without interference from the Israeli government. Oh, and don't forget Al Jazeera operates a full branch office in Israel with Al Jezeera news crews reporting daily from all over Israel without any harassment.

    Israel has a more free press I would venture to say, than even than the US or most western countries do.

    Please, please, do try to inform yourself before you write.

  43. Judonimh

    Clearly we could go on all day pointing out individual cases of tit for tat killings of civilians. For me those in power are responsible whilst the common people on both sides pay the ultimate price.

    My question to you is simply how on earth can you defend the taking of a peoples land ?

    Do you agree that the land was stolen by the Jews ?

    And do you not agree that this land should be handed back ?

    In my view it is unacceptable in this day and age to claim someone elses land humanity has moved on since those dark days of WW2 one would hope and I cannot think of a single nation post WW2 that has been invaded and populated with the invaders people.

    The current situation in the Middle East is completely untennable and unsustainable for Israel. There will come a day when the US pulls the plug on the $3bn annual military aid package for Israel and that day is getting ever closer. Then what will Israel do ?

    Clearly Israel is living amongst its enemies, enemies it created itself by its hostile actions in order to create itself in the first place.

    In my view the lands of Israel need to be handed back, and the peoples offered repatriation to Europe and the US which is where they came from.

    This conflict has gone on far too long, the injustices and the bloodshed on both sides is a price too much to pay. The whole of the Middle Easts problems from Iraq to Iran can all be traced back to the creation of Israel and it has caused the Middle East to remain in the dark ages rather than embrace the new world.

    Take a look at the uprisings in the Middle East today and we can see that the dicators installed by Western Governments are now falling. The people are casting off the chains of poverty and repression and I dont think they are going elect governments that pander to the wishes of the West and Israel.

    There is no doubt that Israel has created a democracy as opposed to the Arab states, however as we now know it democracy is not something the Arab dictators ever wanted for their people, and the West supported that. Times have now changed, it is no longer acceptable to accept the unacceptable.

  44. Dear Lawrence,

    Excellent stand by you on Palestine !

    Accurate pinpointing of Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians.

    You are right as well in asserting the cat’s out of the bag, the outside world has become intensely aware of what israel has been doing.

    Example :

    After the Gaza war, the number of Americans supporting Israel fell from 69 % to 49 % !

    & the number of Americans believing the US should support Israel fell from 69 % to 44 % !

    Palestine is coming out of her long isolation !

    & Gaza is using her very blockade to end hers !

  45. Dear Lawrence,

    Gaza’s Palestinian guerrillas are not “terrorists” , neither are they “acting illegally under international law”.

    They are warriors on their own land.

    & under international law, they have the Sovereign Right to resist the illegal foreign Occupation of their land.

  46. First of all Israel is our homeland and we have far more right to live and exist in Israel than any of the illegal settlers in the entities known as Canada, Australia, the United States and New Zealand do.

    Can you seriously justify the continued existence of any of these 4 illegal racist settler entities? Do you deny they are all 100% on stolen land ?

    So once you succeed in convincing all the settlers illegally inhabiting the stolen land in those 4 apartheid states to go back to Europe, Africa and Asia, please give me a call and I will start apartment hunting in Dachau.

    Seriously though? You actually believe the solution is not peace but the forcedly ethnic cleansing of 5 million Jews from their country that has existed for 60 years back to counties they were forced out of by genocides and pogroms?

    What a smashingly fine idea.

    I suggest you hop right onto a plane to Tel Aviv and what say you try out a bit of the old ethnic cleansing yourself. Go ahead, just march into some random apartment in Tel Aviv and try to ethnically cleanse it of Jews. I dare you, no I double dare you.

    That should work out really great for you.

    Nope, I think a better solution is that once the Arabs and Iranians free themselves of these sadistic killers that have ruled them for so long they will realize the dictators fed them lies and hate about Israel to distract them from their own economic and social problems. The Arabs and Iranians, once free will realize that a Jewish state on a tiny land area less than one percent of the Arab countries collective land area is obviously not the main problem in their lives, that instead they will start trying to develop their countries and people from what they all are now, which is the economic basket cases of the world.

  47. Attacking a school bus ?

    It’s wrong, if the bus was intentionally targeted.

    At the same time, the Palestinian rocket attacks on Zionist settlements happen for 3 reasons.

    a ) The siege of Gaza, which is an ongoing act of war.

    Against Gaza’s entire 1.5 million people, by Israel.

    b ) The Occupation of Palestine by the Zionist army & by the illegal settlements that are targetted by the rockets.

    c ) The israeli army’s well recorded, widespread, & deliberate policy, for many decades, of targetting Palestinian civilians, particularly children. With impunity.

    When you cross the red line of forbidden wartime practices yourself, your enemy will surely follow you across it, too..

    If only to show you how it feels to have your children constantly attacked.

  48. Lawrence:

    When the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel 70 years ago it was the British Army Headquarters, a legal legitimate military target in every way. If Hamas was similarly shooting only at Israeli Army bases no one would accuse them of being war criminals. Because Hamas formally declared a legal state of war on Israel it can shoot Israeli soldiers as much as they want legally under international law just as Israel can kill Hamas security service members. That much is clear in the Geneva Convention.

    While Israel makes great efforts to legally kill only Hamas military targets and wants to avoid civilian deaths for moral reasons against killing innocents, Hamas on the other hand has almost always and especially throughout this last week made a specialty of deliberately targeting **only** Israeli civilians, women, children while hiding their rocket launchers in amongst Palestinian civilians, women children, which makes them double war criminals, war criminals first for shooting rockets at civilian Israelis, and doubly war criminals for doing it while using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

    For example, according to Al Jezzeera and Maan news Israeli retaliation since the recent round of fighting began, which involved hundreds of rockets and mortars fired illegally on Israeli civilians, Israel has killed exactly a total 12 Hamas fighters and commanders and 6 Palestinian civilians.

    Of the civilian causalities, in at least one case where 3 children and an elderly man were tragically killed the surviving family members told numerous news corespondents that just prior the Israel shell landing Hamas had been launching rockets from right beside their home against their will, and the family had chased them away fearing they were being used as human shields but they Hamas fighters insisted and continued anyways and then the Israeli shell landed and killed their children. This is a very sad event but the only war crime here was the Hamas missile launch on Israeli civilians from right next door to a Palestinian civilian residence used as a human shield.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/03/gaza-strip-israel-tank-shells-kill-three-gaza-children-old-man.html

    This is proof positive of Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields, a 100% proven fact that both the Goldstone report and Amnesty continue bizarrely to categorically deny has ever occurred in spite of the mass of evidence to the contrary.

    And yes,Lawrence, Israel certainly is surrounded by enemy regimes. I agree.

    For one example of an enemy surrounding Israel we have the brutal murderous Syrian gang of killers that has shot down hundreds of their own people, innocent unarmed demonstrators in the last few weeks, people whose only crime was to ask for liberty and dignity. Interestingly enough, Israel’s other next door enemy regimes, Hezbolla and Hamas, both of which are armed and supported by the criminal killers in Syria, have pledged their full complete support for their ally Syrian regime’s atrocities.

    So when comparing, Israel, which has maintained itself, even under constant attack and attempts to destroy it for 60 years as democracy with complete free speech and a free press comparable to anywhere on earth, freedom of religion, equality of minorities, free labor unions, total equality for women and gays, ban on torture and the death penalty, independent non corrupt police and judges, scientific and medical advances that have helped the whole world etc. etc. when comparing Israel to some of the most murderous repressive criminal dictatorships on earth run by corrupt gangsters who only care about enriching themselves and looting their own country while their own fellow countrymen suffer in chains, in poverty and in misery then yes I would say if I had to choose, then Israel is probably in the right and they are in the wrong.

  49. A school bus attacked.

    Definitely wrong.

    No casualties.

    In Israel’s war against Gaza in 2008, THREE HUNDRED children were murdered by the israeli forces.

    A head shot …. gunfire to the head, blowing out your brains … means they were really intending to kill.

    In the Second Intifada, the single most frequent cause of chidren’s deaths at the hands of israeli forces was “gunfire to the head.”

    In the last 10 years, Israeli forces killed at least 255 children by gunfire to the head.

    The number was probably greater, for in many cases the location of the fatal shots wasn’t listed.

    A 2009 article in the UK Telegraph headlined “Bullet in the brain, shrapnell in the spine : the terrible injuries suffered by children in Gaza”.

    In 2003 Tom Hurndall, a 21 year old British boy, ran to save a group of playing Palestinian children who came under Israeli fire.

    As he scooped up a child, he was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.

    He lived in a vegetative state for 9 months before he died.

    Since Sept. 29, 2000, at least ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY TWO Palestinian children were murdered by Israeli forces.

  50. “Gaza Diary”, Harper’s Magazine ( Oct 2001 ), by veteran war reporter Chris Hedges.

    Hedges writes of a quiet day in Gaza.

    Suddenly the silence is broken by a voice in Arabic, thundering through a loudspeaker :

    “Come on dogs . Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis ? Come ! Come ! Son of a bitch ! Son of a whore ! Your mother’s cunt !”

    At once Palestinian children came running out & sprinted up the sand dunes.

    Atop a dune were parked two Israeli armored jeeps mounted with loudspeakers.

    The children began throwing rocks at the jeeps.

    The Israeli soldiers with the jeeps threw a grenade, & as the kids began to run away, the soldiers shot them with M 16s.

    No sounds.

    They used silencers.

    Hedges saw the results in the hospital later .

    “….stomachs ripped out , the gaping holes in limbs & torsos.”

    Hedges comments, “Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered”.

    El Salvador.

    Guatemala.

    Algeria.

    Sarajevo.

    “…but,” he says, “I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap & murder them for sport.”

  51. Judonimh speaks of Hamas using “human shields” in Gaza.

    What ?

    In Gaza, a densely packed open air prison ?

    In Gaza, a strip of land between the IDF & the sea?

    In Gaza, where overwhelming israeli firepower from ground & sky struck with impunity & near complete safety at lightly armed Palestinians ?

    Was he expecting the Palestinian warriors to come out & stand in the open in clearly marked rows separating them from the people they were defending ?

    Or is he just stupid ?

    Or THIS ignorant of the basics of urban warfare ?

    As for human shields, Palestinians told of israeli forces using them as shields.

    Not Hamas.

    Hamas didn’t need to use such shields for civilian casualities to be as high as they were.

    Zionist rabbinate leaflets urged Israeli forces to kill 80 people to save a single soldier.

    A veteran isrsaeli analyst says israeli forces were prepared to kill 800 to avoid a single casualty.

    How long would “human shields” have lasted in the face of such a blitzkrieg ???

  52. Read Judonimh here on Israel’s democracy& its unparalleled freedoms to see how far this person is from the ground realities of ASOI.

    The Apartheid State of Israel.

    Democracy.

    & he’s talking of a country whose Knesset’s just passed a bill that calls for revoking the CITIZENSHIP of anyone deemed guilty of anti – Israel activity !

    Anyone, that is, who is activating against the country’s “national interests” as its ruling system sees them.

    & a “free” press ?

    If we go by Judonimh’s own reality checks, you feel there’s any press worth defending as “free” in his neck of woods ?

  53. Savage:

    Your comment that the Israeli Arms blockade on Hamas is an act of war is obvious and superfluous I may add. After the Palestinian civil warfare a few years ago in which Hamas brutally tortured to death and summarily executed hundreds of brother Palestinians who happened to be Fatah supporters, when Hamas then illegally seized power in Gaza, Hamas formally renounced to the UN all the non-aggression agreements previously signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority which had led to the legal end of the armed conflict between the two such as the Oslo agreement. That was when Hamas declared a legal state of war to exist between itself and Israel. And that was when Israel imposed legally an arms blockade on Hamas, an act explicitly recognized as 100% legal during wartime in the UN Charter and San Remo .

    And genocide? You got some nerve there, buddy, and you really should be ashamed of your self abusing that term. There have been real genocides in history, too many, like what was done to the Australian Aboriginals and American Indians, the African slave trade, the Belgium occupation of Congo, the American occupation of the Philippines, the Turkish occupation of Armenia, the Jewish Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, and again in Congo going on even today. Unfortunately not a complete list and I left some out.

    But to dare compare the Israel Palestine conflict to any of these ?

    To call the Palistine Israel conflict a genocide ?

    This is pure insanity and preposterous.

    Since the first Intifada broke out in 1989 till today, in this period the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza has doubled from about 2 million to about 4 million today. This is a world record , the fastest population growth of any people anywhere on earth according to the World Health Organization. Since when do people suffering a genocide double in population? Since when do a people suffering a genocide have not just high but the HIGHEST population growth on the face of the planet.

    Using the term genocide to describe what has occurred to a population that doubles in size in the space of 20 years is just crazy gibberish talk, and makes the term genocide loose any rational meaning.

  54. Savage:

    Funny you do not believe Israel has a free press, since you just quoted the major left wing Israeli paper HaAretz several up just above to try to prove your points.

    All the Israeli papers, radio and TV news attack the government on a daily basis but for the best example look no further than HaAretz the major Israeli paper sold across the country on every newsstand which criticizes the Israeli government in far harsher terms than any major news outlet in the United States ever dreamed of criticizing the US government, and the same goes for any paper in Europe. This is not to mention Maan news and many other Arabic language papers and web sites based in Israel that are full on pro-Palestinian and always have operated without interference from the Israeli government. Oh, and don’t forget Al Jazeera operates a full branch office in Israel with Al Jezeera news crews reporting daily from all over Israel without any harassment.

    Israel has a more free press I would venture to say, than even than the US or most western countries do.

    Please, please, do try to inform yourself before you write.

  55. Judonimh

    Clearly we could go on all day pointing out individual cases of tit for tat killings of civilians. For me those in power are responsible whilst the common people on both sides pay the ultimate price.

    My question to you is simply how on earth can you defend the taking of a peoples land ?

    Do you agree that the land was stolen by the Jews ?

    And do you not agree that this land should be handed back ?

    In my view it is unacceptable in this day and age to claim someone elses land humanity has moved on since those dark days of WW2 one would hope and I cannot think of a single nation post WW2 that has been invaded and populated with the invaders people.

    The current situation in the Middle East is completely untennable and unsustainable for Israel. There will come a day when the US pulls the plug on the $3bn annual military aid package for Israel and that day is getting ever closer. Then what will Israel do ?

    Clearly Israel is living amongst its enemies, enemies it created itself by its hostile actions in order to create itself in the first place.

    In my view the lands of Israel need to be handed back, and the peoples offered repatriation to Europe and the US which is where they came from.

    This conflict has gone on far too long, the injustices and the bloodshed on both sides is a price too much to pay. The whole of the Middle Easts problems from Iraq to Iran can all be traced back to the creation of Israel and it has caused the Middle East to remain in the dark ages rather than embrace the new world.

    Take a look at the uprisings in the Middle East today and we can see that the dicators installed by Western Governments are now falling. The people are casting off the chains of poverty and repression and I dont think they are going elect governments that pander to the wishes of the West and Israel.

    There is no doubt that Israel has created a democracy as opposed to the Arab states, however as we now know it democracy is not something the Arab dictators ever wanted for their people, and the West supported that. Times have now changed, it is no longer acceptable to accept the unacceptable.

  56. First of all Israel is our homeland and we have far more right to live and exist in Israel than any of the illegal settlers in the entities known as Canada, Australia, the United States and New Zealand do.

    Can you seriously justify the continued existence of any of these 4 illegal racist settler entities? Do you deny they are all 100% on stolen land ?

    So once you succeed in convincing all the settlers illegally inhabiting the stolen land in those 4 apartheid states to go back to Europe, Africa and Asia, please give me a call and I will start apartment hunting in Dachau.

    Seriously though? You actually believe the solution is not peace but the forcedly ethnic cleansing of 5 million Jews from their country that has existed for 60 years back to counties they were forced out of by genocides and pogroms?

    What a smashingly fine idea.

    I suggest you hop right onto a plane to Tel Aviv and what say you try out a bit of the old ethnic cleansing yourself. Go ahead, just march into some random apartment in Tel Aviv and try to ethnically cleanse it of Jews. I dare you, no I double dare you.

    That should work out really great for you.

    Nope, I think a better solution is that once the Arabs and Iranians free themselves of these sadistic killers that have ruled them for so long they will realize the dictators fed them lies and hate about Israel to distract them from their own economic and social problems. The Arabs and Iranians, once free will realize that a Jewish state on a tiny land area less than one percent of the Arab countries collective land area is obviously not the main problem in their lives, that instead they will start trying to develop their countries and people from what they all are now, which is the economic basket cases of the world.

  57. Dear Lawrence,

    You ask israelis to return the land to her rightful inhabitants. The Palestinians.

    In return, Judonimh accuses you of ethnic cleansing.

    This is the kind of rabid mass pychosis that prevails in Apartheid israel.

    A simple cry for justice is met —- not by being addressed on its own merits — but by Judonimh's strident charge that this is a cry not for justice but for "ethnic cleansing."

    He says a call for returning the land to its original people means he has to pack up & go to … Dachau.

    That's the only past or alternative for Jews in his mind.

    The Zionist is trapped in his own rabid reasoning.

    Everything to him is a threat.

    Every call for justice is an existensial threat to Jews.

    He challenges you to come to tel aviv if you dare.

    "I dare you, no I double dare you."

    This is the voice he sends out from his selfcreated howling wilderness.

    Judonimh is the canary in the deepening pit Zionism is digging itself into.

  58. Judonimh.

    His name is legion, itseems.

    Every figure he ascribes to the Enemy is multiplied … by himself.

    The Arab dictators are killing tens of thousands of protestors, he charges !

    Hamas has tortured hundreds of Palestinians to death, he cries.

    Figures he grows by himself , & mentally multiplies.

    Chroniclers & scholars remain unaware of such happenings !

  59. The siege of Gaza Judonimh serves up as a simple "arms blockade".

    The blockade, moreover, is perfectly legal, he asserts.

    Along comes a most reluctant naysayer.

    The International Red Cross.

    It accuses israel's blockade of Gaza as a violation of international law itself.

    As a violation of international humanitarian law.

    For this blockade afflicts Gaza with economic collapse, rampant unemployment, poverty, war, and the crash of her health care system, among other things.

    The Red Cross says Israel's siege is a collective punishment for Gaza's 1.5 million people.

    The Red Cross cites the statements of Israeli officials themselves as proof of this violation.

    For the officials have stated that the restrictions on everything from candy to medical equipment to water systems has been in retaliation for the capture of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, as well as for Hamas's victory in the elections.

    This policy of wholesale restrictions amounts to collective punishment, says the International Red Cross.

    & hence violates international law.

    It's not just the Red Cross that thinks so.

    The world thinks the same thing today.

  60. =================================================== http://www.btselem.org/
    Data between the dates 29.9.2000-26.12.2008

    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : Gaza Strip: 474
    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : West Bank: 135

    ===================================================

    March 20th
    Libyan Rebel spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga told Al Jazeera Arabic:
    Our dead and martyrs number more than 8,000 killed.
    ==================================================

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay estimates 300 protesters were killed by Egyptian police last month

    Sun, 03/04/2011 –
    Dr. Hisham Shiha, President of the Statistics Section the Egyptian Ministry of Health, pointed out that the offices of Health sent a statement to the effect that the number of deaths during the events in all hospitals in Egypt actually amounted to 840 people.
    ==================================================

    At least 219 people died during the protests that toppled Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last month, a UN team has said. Team leader Bacre Waly Ndiaye was speaking at the end of a week-long human rights team investigation into the unrest.

    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 09 Apr 2011

    More than 120 protesters have been killed since Yemen's protests calling for an end to Saleh's rule began on February 11.
    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 11 Apr 2011

    At least 250 protesters have killed in the last three weeks of protests in Syria, according to human rights groups.
    ==================================================

  61. Israel enjoys a free press, jubilates Judo.

    But Gaza under Israel's attack in the 2008 war didn't enjoy the free attention of this free press.

    The battlefield was blacked out from the media.

    Day after day after day into the war.

    Finally the foreign press reporters had had enough.

    Their clamor made Israel agree.

    To allow guided tours.

    The blackout in effect continued.

    But inside Gaza were cameras too.

    & as their images came pouring out to the world outside, the world woke up.

    Even America woke up.

    The figures of public support for Israel were reversed.

    Turned on their heads.

    & that was when the tide turned.

  62. Judinimh is right – Canada, Australia, the United States and New Zealand are all on stolen land, as is Israel. At this point in time it is impossible to give back the stolen land. It is however not too late for Israel to try to rectify the injustice to whatever degree possible. Continued denial of the truth is no longer tenable and will only lead to disaster for Israel, the Palestinians and the world. The myth of Israel's moral superiority is eroding fast- even in the US- as more people become aware of the facts. Most in the US no longer pretend that the ethnic cleansing of native Americans by white Europeans was justified. A workable compromise (peace) is possible if Israel will find the courage to seek a measure of true justice for the Palestinians.

  63. There's no genocide of Palestinians going on, says Judo.

    What's happening here can't be called "genocide".

    Genocide, he says, is what happens to peoples when their population figures are brought down by alien exterminators.

    So now i have to define "genocide" to a Jew.

    i have to tell him it's not just the matter of a people's physical extermination.

    When you try to destroy them as a PEOPLE, it's genocide.

    When you tell them there are no "Palestinians", it's genocide.

    When you steal their ancestral lands, it's genocide.

    When you drive them away into exile, it's genocide.

    When you erase their history & historical presence & place names, it's genocide.

    When you make war on them & their families for 60 winters, it's genocide.

    When you kill their leaders with targetted assassinations, it's genocide.

    When you deprive their communities & their schools of amenities, it's genocide.

    When you demolish their homes collectively, it's genocide.

    When you declare your state to be YOUR people's, not THEIRS, it's genocide.

    When you negate their right to return & reclaim, it's genocide.

    Whe you occupy their territories & forbid them the freedom to travel its roads, it's genocide, it's genocide.

    When you blockade them & forbid them access to dialysis, it's genocide.

    When you stunt their children's physical height, & roadblock the kids from going to school to block their mental growth, it's genocide.

    When you do it as a policy, it's genocide.

    If you do it unintentionally, it's genocide.

    & when you deny it's genocide, it's genocide.

  64. & now, in Judo's democracy, they are making it illegal for the Nakba, the Great Historical Mass Expulsion of the Palestinian Nation, to be remembered.

    To be talked about.

    To be commemorated.

    They are attempting to lobotomize a people's memory.

    That's their democracy.

    And that's genocide.

  65. =================================================== http://www.btselem.org/
    Data between the dates 29.9.2000-26.12.2008

    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : Gaza Strip: 474
    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : West Bank: 135

    ===================================================

    March 20th
    Libyan Rebel spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga told Al Jazeera Arabic:
    Our dead and martyrs number more than 8,000 killed.
    ==================================================

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay estimates 300 protesters were killed by Egyptian police last month

    Sun, 03/04/2011 –
    Dr. Hisham Shiha, President of the Statistics Section the Egyptian Ministry of Health, pointed out that the offices of Health sent a statement to the effect that the number of deaths during the events in all hospitals in Egypt actually amounted to 840 people.
    ==================================================

    At least 219 people died during the protests that toppled Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last month, a UN team has said. Team leader Bacre Waly Ndiaye was speaking at the end of a week-long human rights team investigation into the unrest.

    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 09 Apr 2011

    More than 120 protesters have been killed since Yemen's protests calling for an end to Saleh's rule began on February 11.
    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 11 Apr 2011

    At least 250 protesters have killed in the last three weeks of protests in Syria, according to human rights groups.
    ==================================================

  66. =================================================== http://www.btselem.org/
    Data between the dates 29.9.2000-26.12.2008

    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : Gaza Strip: 474
    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : West Bank: 135

    ===================================================

    March 20th
    Libyan Rebel spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga told Al Jazeera Arabic:
    Our dead and martyrs number more than 8,000 killed.
    ==================================================

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay estimates 300 protesters were killed by Egyptian police last month

    Sun, 03/04/2011 –
    Dr. Hisham Shiha, President of the Statistics Section the Egyptian Ministry of Health, pointed out that the offices of Health sent a statement to the effect that the number of deaths during the events in all hospitals in Egypt actually amounted to 840 people.
    ==================================================

    At least 219 people died during the protests that toppled Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last month, a UN team has said. Team leader Bacre Waly Ndiaye was speaking at the end of a week-long human rights team investigation into the unrest.

    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 09 Apr 2011

    More than 120 protesters have been killed since Yemen's protests calling for an end to Saleh's rule began on February 11.
    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 11 Apr 2011

    At least 250 protesters have killed in the last three weeks of protests in Syria, according to human rights groups.
    ==================================================

  67. Dear Lawrence,

    You ask israelis to return the land to her rightful inhabitants. The Palestinians.

    In return, Judonimh accuses you of ethnic cleansing.

    This is the kind of rabid mass pychosis that prevails in Apartheid israel.

    A simple cry for justice is met —- not by being addressed on its own merits — but by Judonimh’s strident charge that this is a cry not for justice but for “ethnic cleansing.”

    He says a call for returning the land to its original people means he has to pack up & go to … Dachau.

    That’s the only past or alternative for Jews in his mind.

    The Zionist is trapped in his own rabid reasoning.

    Everything to him is a threat.

    Every call for justice is an existensial threat to Jews.

    He challenges you to come to tel aviv if you dare.

    “I dare you, no I double dare you.”

    This is the voice he sends out from his selfcreated howling wilderness.

    Judonimh is the canary in the deepening pit Zionism is digging itself into.

  68. Judonimh.

    His name is legion, itseems.

    Every figure he ascribes to the Enemy is multiplied … by himself.

    The Arab dictators are killing tens of thousands of protestors, he charges !

    Hamas has tortured hundreds of Palestinians to death, he cries.

    Figures he grows by himself , & mentally multiplies.

    Chroniclers & scholars remain unaware of such happenings !

  69. The siege of Gaza Judonimh serves up as a simple “arms blockade”.

    The blockade, moreover, is perfectly legal, he asserts.

    Along comes a most reluctant naysayer.

    The International Red Cross.

    It accuses israel’s blockade of Gaza as a violation of international law itself.

    As a violation of international humanitarian law.

    For this blockade afflicts Gaza with economic collapse, rampant unemployment, poverty, war, and the crash of her health care system, among other things.

    The Red Cross says Israel’s siege is a collective punishment for Gaza’s 1.5 million people.

    The Red Cross cites the statements of Israeli officials themselves as proof of this violation.

    For the officials have stated that the restrictions on everything from candy to medical equipment to water systems has been in retaliation for the capture of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, as well as for Hamas’s victory in the elections.

    This policy of wholesale restrictions amounts to collective punishment, says the International Red Cross.

    & hence violates international law.

    It’s not just the Red Cross that thinks so.

    The world thinks the same thing today.

  70. Israel enjoys a free press, jubilates Judo.

    But Gaza under Israel’s attack in the 2008 war didn’t enjoy the free attention of this free press.

    The battlefield was blacked out from the media.

    Day after day after day into the war.

    Finally the foreign press reporters had had enough.

    Their clamor made Israel agree.

    To allow guided tours.

    The blackout in effect continued.

    But inside Gaza were cameras too.

    & as their images came pouring out to the world outside, the world woke up.

    Even America woke up.

    The figures of public support for Israel were reversed.

    Turned on their heads.

    & that was when the tide turned.

  71. Judinimh is right – Canada, Australia, the United States and New Zealand are all on stolen land, as is Israel. At this point in time it is impossible to give back the stolen land. It is however not too late for Israel to try to rectify the injustice to whatever degree possible. Continued denial of the truth is no longer tenable and will only lead to disaster for Israel, the Palestinians and the world. The myth of Israel’s moral superiority is eroding fast- even in the US- as more people become aware of the facts. Most in the US no longer pretend that the ethnic cleansing of native Americans by white Europeans was justified. A workable compromise (peace) is possible if Israel will find the courage to seek a measure of true justice for the Palestinians.

  72. There’s no genocide of Palestinians going on, says Judo.

    What’s happening here can’t be called “genocide”.

    Genocide, he says, is what happens to peoples when their population figures are brought down by alien exterminators.

    So now i have to define “genocide” to a Jew.

    i have to tell him it’s not just the matter of a people’s physical extermination.

    When you try to destroy them as a PEOPLE, it’s genocide.

    When you tell them there are no “Palestinians”, it’s genocide.

    When you steal their ancestral lands, it’s genocide.

    When you drive them away into exile, it’s genocide.

    When you erase their history & historical presence & place names, it’s genocide.

    When you make war on them & their families for 60 winters, it’s genocide.

    When you kill their leaders with targetted assassinations, it’s genocide.

    When you deprive their communities & their schools of amenities, it’s genocide.

    When you demolish their homes collectively, it’s genocide.

    When you declare your state to be YOUR people’s, not THEIRS, it’s genocide.

    When you negate their right to return & reclaim, it’s genocide.

    Whe you occupy their territories & forbid them the freedom to travel its roads, it’s genocide, it’s genocide.

    When you blockade them & forbid them access to dialysis, it’s genocide.

    When you stunt their children’s physical height, & roadblock the kids from going to school to block their mental growth, it’s genocide.

    When you do it as a policy, it’s genocide.

    If you do it unintentionally, it’s genocide.

    & when you deny it’s genocide, it’s genocide.

  73. & now, in Judo’s democracy, they are making it illegal for the Nakba, the Great Historical Mass Expulsion of the Palestinian Nation, to be remembered.

    To be talked about.

    To be commemorated.

    They are attempting to lobotomize a people’s memory.

    That’s their democracy.

    And that’s genocide.

  74. ===================================================
    http://www.btselem.org/
    Data between the dates 29.9.2000-26.12.2008

    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : Gaza Strip: 474
    Palestinians killed by Palestinians : West Bank: 135

    ===================================================

    March 20th
    Libyan Rebel spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga told Al Jazeera Arabic:
    Our dead and martyrs number more than 8,000 killed.
    ==================================================

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay estimates 300 protesters were killed by Egyptian police last month

    Sun, 03/04/2011 -
    Dr. Hisham Shiha, President of the Statistics Section the Egyptian Ministry of Health, pointed out that the offices of Health sent a statement to the effect that the number of deaths during the events in all hospitals in Egypt actually amounted to 840 people.
    ==================================================

    At least 219 people died during the protests that toppled Tunisia’s President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last month, a UN team has said. Team leader Bacre Waly Ndiaye was speaking at the end of a week-long human rights team investigation into the unrest.

    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 09 Apr 2011

    More than 120 protesters have been killed since Yemen’s protests calling for an end to Saleh’s rule began on February 11.
    ==================================================
    Al Jezeera: 11 Apr 2011

    At least 250 protesters have killed in the last three weeks of protests in Syria, according to human rights groups.
    ==================================================

  75. Sarah:

    I do believe deeply, as any normal person should, in making peace and never giving up finding some fair compromise for a Jewish homeland with democracy and minority rights in Israel and a Palestinian homeland with democracy and minority rights to live side by side in peace and quiet and economic prosperity for all.

    I was objecting above to Lawrence and Savage's suggestion to ethnically cleanse of all the 5 million Jews from the middle east as a form of revenge for something, I'm not really sure what.

    So this pair makes its lunatic accusations against Israel of committing an imaginary genocide during which time the Palestinian population actually doubled in size over the last 20 years, and in the same breath they spew their hopes and dreams for an actual real ethnic cleanse and real physical genocide to be visited on the Jews of Israel.

    Such lovely people.

  76. Sarah:

    I do believe deeply, as any normal person should, in making peace and never giving up finding some fair compromise for a Jewish homeland with democracy and minority rights in Israel and a Palestinian homeland with democracy and minority rights to live side by side in peace and quiet and economic prosperity for all.

    I was objecting above to Lawrence and Savage’s suggestion to ethnically cleanse of all the 5 million Jews from the middle east as a form of revenge for something, I’m not really sure what.

    So this pair makes its lunatic accusations against Israel of committing an imaginary genocide during which time the Palestinian population actually doubled in size over the last 20 years, and in the same breath they spew their hopes and dreams for an actual real ethnic cleanse and real physical genocide to be visited on the Jews of Israel.

    Such lovely people.

  77. Judonimh-

    I appreciate that you are here and willing to engage with those who you disagree with.

    Lawrence and Savage are not wrong- genocide of a people or culture has many forms besides extermination. The creation of Israel was and continues to be a tragedy for the Palestinian people. This is a fact. But you are also right- expecting millions of Israeli Jews to "go somewhere" is not remotely realistic.
    No side will ever capitulate. The Palestinians will not back down and Israel's Jews aren't going to leave.

    A Palestinian child and a Jewish Israeli child are no different. Only when they are indoctrinated into toxic belief systems do they learn to hate each other. Hate can't be allowed to win. Fear can't be allowed to win. Love must win- and that's not idealism, it's completely pragmatic.

    The leaders have failed. It's up to the people to reject the lies of the past. There is no such thing as "us" and "them". We are one. All are one.

  78. Judonimh-

    I appreciate that you are here and willing to engage with those who you disagree with.

    Lawrence and Savage are not wrong- genocide of a people or culture has many forms besides extermination. The creation of Israel was and continues to be a tragedy for the Palestinian people. This is a fact. But you are also right- expecting millions of Israeli Jews to “go somewhere” is not remotely realistic.
    No side will ever capitulate. The Palestinians will not back down and Israel’s Jews aren’t going to leave.

    A Palestinian child and a Jewish Israeli child are no different. Only when they are indoctrinated into toxic belief systems do they learn to hate each other. Hate can’t be allowed to win. Fear can’t be allowed to win. Love must win- and that’s not idealism, it’s completely pragmatic.

    The leaders have failed. It’s up to the people to reject the lies of the past. There is no such thing as “us” and “them”. We are one. All are one.

  79. Sarah

    Unfortunately the utopia you wish for is never going to happen. Palestinians and the Jews are never going to live in peace, the wounds are far too deep.

    My solution is not to wipe out the Jews at all. My solution would be for the US to cease the $3bn in annual military aid to Isael and spend that money repatriating them to their original homeland which is Europe and the US.

    Israel has for years been playing a game of gradually stealing more land, building on that land and ignoring UN resolutions and worldwide condemnation of their actions.

    Its a wake up call when many Jews from around the world are condeming the actions of the Israeli government.

    Its time for Israel to realise they are not only isloated from their neighbours, their actions are isolationg them from the real world the expects human beings to behave in a fair and decent manner.

  80. Sarah

    Unfortunately the utopia you wish for is never going to happen. Palestinians and the Jews are never going to live in peace, the wounds are far too deep.

    My solution is not to wipe out the Jews at all. My solution would be for the US to cease the $3bn in annual military aid to Isael and spend that money repatriating them to their original homeland which is Europe and the US.

    Israel has for years been playing a game of gradually stealing more land, building on that land and ignoring UN resolutions and worldwide condemnation of their actions.

    Its a wake up call when many Jews from around the world are condeming the actions of the Israeli government.

    Its time for Israel to realise they are not only isloated from their neighbours, their actions are isolationg them from the real world the expects human beings to behave in a fair and decent manner.