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Predictably Islamophobes Applaud Israeli Assault on Beleaguered Gaza

Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The Israeli military said its assassination of the Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, marks the beginning of an operation against Gaza militants. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)

by Garibaldi

Operation Cast Lead Redux

A familiar script is being played out in front of the world’s eyes. After US Presidential elections and before national elections Israel is launching air strikes and threatening a ground invasion on the beleaguered Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated regions in the world, 1 million of whom are refugees from the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. The Israeli government says its attacks are only in “self-defense,” to put an end to militant rocket attacks when in fact the assault only re-energizes the cycle of violence and increases extremism and barely dents the capability of militant groups. Such operations are only meant to perpetuate the status quo, helping neither innocent Israelis or Gazans. As UC Irvine professor Mark LeVine notes,

It is deja vu all over again of the worst kind. Israel’s latest assault on Gaza will kill dozens and perhaps hundreds of civilians in a hail of hellfire from the ground, sky and even sea. Hamas will fire hundreds of rockets, likely killing a few Israeli civilians and terrorising tens of thousands of residents of the south of the country, but otherwise achieving little beyond helping to justify even more Israeli carnage in Gaza and who knows how many new housing units in the West Bank.

Outside of the benighted territory of Palestine/Israel sides will be chosen – at least for the cameras. The US will give “full-throttled support” for its ally. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president will feign outrage, bring home his ambassador, and otherwise stay safely out of the way. The Arab League and the UN Security Council will meet and make strongly-vaguely worded pronouncements. Or not. It really doesn’t matter.

Meanwhile, death, destruction and hopelessness will continue until yet another truce is declared. Each side – or rather, the worst elements of each side, will declare “victory” and arrogate even more political and economic power to themselves. And then the whole process will begin again.

Gazans, stuck between two occupying regimes: a suffocating Israeli apartheid program of siege and occupation and an authoritarian and stupid Hamas regime are again bearing the brunt of Israeli military violence. See: Pictures of Israel’s Offensive in Gaza.

In the USA, the mainstream media is swallowing, hook, line and sinker the Israeli narrative that it is just “defending” itself when in fact the story is more nuanced. The recent operation dubbed “Operation Pillar of Defense” broke an informal ceasefire,

Israel is threatening to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip after breaking an informal ceasefire with a series of ongoing deadly attacks. On Wednesday, an Israeli air strike assassinated Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing. The bombing continued throughout the day and night, killing at least 13 civilians, including a baby and a mother pregnant with twins. More than 100 Palestinians were also wounded, and the toll is expected to rise. At least three Israelis were killed today when Palestinian rockets hit a residential building in the town of Kiryat Malachi, the first Israeli fatalities since the latest fighting began. Israel says it has launched the strikes to prevent Palestinian rocket fire, but the latest round of violence began last week when Israeli troops killed a young boy in Gaza. The situation has escalated since Saturday, when Palestinian militants fired at an Israeli military vehicle near the Israel-Gaza border. After Palestinian militant groups agreed to an informal truce on Monday, Israel broke two days of quiet on Wednesday.

Watch Amy Goodman’s interview with reporter Mohammed Omer, who is on the ground in Gaza:

Islamophobes Love Dead Palestinians

Of course nothing seems to give more joy to Islamophobes than dead Palestinians. It’s a running theme that was there before the recent conflagration of violence and will be there afterwards and so it is no surprise that they are cheerleading Israel’s assault.

Queen bee of the unhinged, Pamela “Muslims are savages” Geller, advocate of destroying the Golden Dome in Jerusalem writes about supporting the “civilized man” vs. the “savage”,

Finally. Godspeed to the beleaguered Jewish state. A decade of rockets into Southern Israel and now daily rocket attacks into homes and schools, in concert with an American president who supports jihad.

In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, defeat jihad.

Robert Spencer, frolicking in fantasy land is on the record denying that Israel ever ‘harms civilians,’ terming it “propaganda,” he also puts “Palestinian” in scary quote marks (implying they aren’t real),

They [international media] aid and abet the “Palestinian” propaganda about Israelis harming civilians.

There will surely be more kooky pro-Israel-attack-on-Gaza spin to come from the Islamophobic looniverse. We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime keep the innocents in your thoughts and prayers. The two state solution is dead and all we are witnessing is a waste of lives, time and energy.

Related Articles:

The end of the two-state illusion: Gaza’s silver lining?

Noam Chomsky on Gaza, and the 2 Positives of Election 2012: The Worst Didn’t Happen — and It’s Over

 Why Obama won’t take on Israel

Update I: Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza by Glenn Greenwald

“Most USA media outlets are petrified of straying too far from pro-Israel orthodoxies. Time’s Middle East correspondent Rania Abouzeid noted this morning on Twitter the typical template: “Just read report in major US paper about Gaza/Israel that put Israeli dead in 1st sentence. Palestinian in 6th paragraph.” Or just consider the BBC’s headline. Worse, this morning’s New York Times editorial self-consciously drapes itself with pro-Israel caveats and completely ignores the extensive civilian deaths in Gaza before identifying this as one of the only flaws it could find with the lethal Israeli assault: “The action also threatens to divert attention from what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly described as Israel’s biggest security threat: Iran’s nuclear program.”
In what I know will be a fruitless attempt to avoid having this discussion subsumed by that tired script: I will recommend several outstanding, truly must-read pieces written by others over the last 24 hours in lieu of my own reciting of the various arguments. Begin with this article by Yousef Munayyer in the Daily Beast setting the crucial context for the rocket attacks from Gaza; then read this Daily Beast news-breaking account from Gershon Baskin, who details how the provocations from the Israelis were geared toward disrupting an imminent peace deal with Hamas (“The assassination of Jaabari was a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of a long term ceasefire”); also vital is this time-line of events leading up to the rocket attacks from Gaza, with ample documentation from Ali Abunimah; and finally, there is this very succinct but poignant summary of what Israel has done over the last three weeks.”

Update II: Israel ‘s military offensive “Pillar of Defense” in Hebrew is (עמוד ענן‎, Amúd Anán), named after a Biblical Hebrew war story about God terrorizing Egyptians, (h/t: Jack)

“By the way: the IDF ‘translates’ the name of the military operation (עמוד ענן‎, Amúd Anán) as ‘Pillar of Defense’ for English speaking audiences, but if you look up עמוד ענן‎ in the Hebrew Bible, it really is the cloud of God smiting the enemies of Israel before it.

http://gawker.com/5960562/israel-names-its-new-war-after-biblical-story-about-god-terrorizing-egyptians

What if they were Muslim?”

 

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  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    @Octane

    Israel has committed Human rights violations, that is true, but at the very least, isn’t it a bit unreasonable to accuse the Israeli government of having an on going policy of genocide and compare them to Nazi Germany? Almost all of Europe’s Jews were wiped out by the Nazis, Israel hasn’t even come close to wiping out the Palestinians. Beyond that, what evidence do you have that the Israeli government has the elimination of the Palestinian people as its final aim? If their end goal is to wipe the Palestinians off the face of the Earth, its sure taking them a very long time and as bad as the Palestinians may have it, their numbers aren’t exactly decreasing are they?

  • Octane

    @ Sarah Brown

    Ethnic cleansing is what the Nazis did.
    That is what Israel is doing. Stating anything
    otherwise is patently false and is to be willfully ignorant of what Israel is doing.

  • Garibaldi

    @Chameleon,

    The Washington Post which published the photo in its front cover got a lot of grief for it:

    Photo of dead baby in Gaza holds part of the ‘truth’

    “A photograph may be worth a thousand words, but even at its most revealing it never tells an entire story. It is the capture of a single moment, a split-second version of the truth. But if it is an effective photograph, it moves the viewer toward a larger truth.

    That’s certainly the case for a front-page photograph published Nov. 15, an image of a man’s anguish as he held the shrouded body of his 11-month-old son, who was killed in a bomb strike on the man’s house in Gaza.

    That the man is Palestinian — not a terrorist but a journalist — and that the bomb was dropped by Israelis, to my mind, is almost beside the point. This photo depicted loss and pain, the horrific cost to innocents on both sides of the violence in the Middle East.

    But many Post readers saw it differently. Jewish groups and American Jews in large numbers wrote to the ombudsman and to Post editors, protesting the photo as biased.

    MaryAnne Golon, The Post’s director of photography, explained to me that the purpose of any front-page photo, regardless of subject, is to move the reader, whether through its beauty, sentiment or drama.

    “When we looked at the selection that night of Middle East photos from the wire services, this photo got everyone in the gut,” Golon said. “It went straight to the heart, this sobbing man who just lost his baby son.”

    Post staff then authenticated and verified the facts behind the Associated Press photo. The dead baby was real. The bombing was real.

    Many readers asked why The Post didn’t balance the photo of the grieving father with one of Israelis who had lost a loved one from the Gaza rocket fire. That’s a valid question.

    The answer is that The Post cannot publish photographs that don’t exist. No Israeli civilian had been killed by Gaza rocket fire since Oct. 29, 2011, more than a year earlier. The first Israeli civilian deaths from Gaza rocket fire in 2012 did not take place until Nov. 15, when Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, began firing more accurate and deadly missiles in response to the Israeli offensive that had begun the day before. There were no recent photos of Israeli casualties to be had on the night of Nov. 14.”

  • Chameleon

    I just remembered one shocking comment that I heard in reference to this now viral photo (among others) of a Palestinian father losing his infant child to Israeli violence. Charles Krauthammer, who is Jewish and has staunch pro-Israel views, summarized such photos on Fox News by stating that Hamas has proven itself to be “very adept at the pornography of grief” — as if such intense grief is somehow invalid, just acting for the camera, or not suitable for the pro-Israel viewing audience. Never in my wildest imagination could I fathom someone being so hateful and dehumanizing to describe profound, incalculable grief as “pornography”. I still feel revolted every time I think of that comment.

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  • Awesome

    [Snipped: Blood libel is a classic antisemitic cannard.]

    It wasn’t blood libel, as I was describing Israel’s wholesale murder of innocent Palestinians, not making those false accusations about Jews that permeated Medieval Europe. Perhaps I should have clarified that?

  • Awesome

    [Snipped: Blood libel is a classic antisemitic cannard.] Of course, they’re so thin-skinned and insecure about what they’re doing (it’s not hard to imagine why) that they need everyone else to be a conscientious supporter of it, which is why they send out their paid PR apologists to defend the indefensible in hopes of swaying/keeping public opinion in their favor, with the usual rhetoric:

    http://undertheradarmedia.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/israel-apoligist-bingo.jpg

  • Chameleon

    Here is an HBO documentary on what Israeli “democracy” looks like on the ground in Gaza. We need more eyes on the ground like this — in Gaza and the West Bank — to show the truth to the world about is going on there:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohSO_MGNw1Q

    I also saw an excellent award winning PBS documentary on how psychologically destructive and corrupting Israel’s mandate of racial dehumanization of Arabs is on female recruits in the IDF. The effects on these young lives are toxic and will last a lifetime. The hour long documentary is called “To See if I’m Smiling”, and the title is an allusion to a women who is questioning her own sanity after her mandatory military service, which starts at age 18 for Israeli women. Unfortunately, I cannot find a free link to it, so if someone can, then please post it. It should be available online via paid sites like NetFlix and Blockbuster, but I am not 100% sure.

    I strongly recommend both of these highly reputable documentaries to gain perspective at the ground level on what is really going on in the occupied territories and within the minds of those who are embroiled in this conflict, rather than the sanitized “us vs. them” version that we hear about from the media. If anyone else has some good topical documentaries to share, I would like to hear some recommendations from others.

  • Chameleon

    @Ilisha,

    I agree. We definitely need to support heroes like Natan Blanc. I can only hope that I would make the same decision as he did if I were faced with making the right decision that would cost me everything, including my freedom. We never really know until we are faced with such a fateful decision.

    But the bigger question this brings up is why does it have to take such a heroic act to make the right decision? This is why I put 100% of the blame here on the racist mandate of Israel, not on Jews in general or even the Israeli military in general. We cannot expect the majority of any country to take such heroic actions as individuals against the state mandate. What we can expect from the majority, however, is that they work together to discard the systematic racism in their country’s mandate and to strive might and main for the positive ideal of a Constitutionally-enforced democracy (for everyone) to replace it. I passionately believe in the positive ideal of democracy. If everyone could just focus all of their passion on that ideal instead of being deluded by the fraud that this ideal already exists in Israel, we would finally have an opportunity for lasting peace.

  • khushboo

    Muhammad, why is Morsi a traitor? Isn’t he with the Palestinians but at the same time telling Hamas not to attack Israeli civilians for Palestinians’ sake?? He’s also telling Israelis to stop bombing Gaza. I think he’s doing his best under these circumstances.

  • Muhammad al-Hakeem

    Nobody is to be believed today, but only the heartbreaking photos of children’s brains leaking through blown-up heads, amputated limbs, and mothers mourning their only hope in life.

    Nothing will ever change.

    Romney or hypocritical Obama, nothing will differ; it needs a miracle to shake America’s policy and stop its pampering of Israel.

    Traitor Mubarak or Morsi, also the status quo is maintained till the end of the world; Egypt can hardly help maintain stability in Sinai, which I believe is being destroyed by Israel as well, for Israel has always been the root of all malicious, bloodthirsty evil in the suffering region.

  • Ilisha

    @Everyone

    Please consider supporting Natan Blanc. I think he would appreciate even a simple gesture of moral support, expressed via email (nathanbl@walla.com):

    To military prison, instead of Gaza
    Israeli Conscientious Objector Natan Blanc
    To be imprisoned this morning

    Today, Monday November 19th, Natan Blanc, a 19 years old Israeli from old Haifa, will show up at the recruitment bureau, inform officers there of his refusal to serve in the IDF, and will likely be sent immediately to the military prison. His act of conscientious refusal is directly connected to the current situation and the army’s acts in Gaza. He took this decision even before hearing the terrible news of five women and four children being killed today by a single Israeli Air Force bomb:

    I began thinking about refusing to join the Israeli Army during the ‘Cast Lead’ operation in 2008. The wave of aggressive militarism that swept the country then, the expressions of mutual hatred, and the vacuous talk about stamping out terror and creating a deterrent effect were the primary trigger for my refusal.

    Today, after four years full of terror, without a political process [towards peace negotiations], and without quiet in Gaza and Sderot, it is clear that the Netanyahu Government, like that of his predecessor Olmert, is not interested in finding a solution to the existing situation, but rather in preserving it. From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a ‘Cast Lead 2′ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorist, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides.

    As representatives of the people, members of the cabinet have no duty to present their vision for the futures of the country, and they can continue with this bloody cycle, with no end in sight. But we, as citizens and human beings, have a moral duty to refuse to participate in this cynical game. That is why I have decided to refuse to be inducted into the Israeli Army on the date of my call-up order, November 19, 2012.

    Natan Blanc

    Natan can be contacted by email: nathanbl@walla.com
    For updates during the day call Moriel +972-54-3157781

  • Sir David

    Sarah
    Yup it’s 2012 but I think the point is to question the myths of Isreal as a paradise for Jews. Can anywhere be a paradise if it’s not a paradise for all it’s inhabitants ?

  • http://gravatar.com/dliv1402 sir David (aged 13 3/4)

    I was thinking what would be the effect of Hamas copying the Isreali tactics of targeted assasination . Still wrong, of cource, what would the loons say ?
    Apart from saying its not the same , when to everyone else it would be .

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