The latest round of violence in Israel/Palestine is sickening. The Australian media coverage of that violence is also sickening.
The news reader reports “seven Israeli’s have now been stabbed by Palestinians”! She then adds (almost as a parenthesis) that “forty Palestinians have also been killed, including several of the attackers”.
Why are the facts always presented this way, as if Israeli lives matter more than Palestinian lives? Given that there were more than five times as many Palestinians than Israelis killed, why aren’t we told first that 40 Palestinians have been killed – the vast majority of whom were apparently not involved in attacking anyone when they were killed.
I appreciate that this is a very small point made with reference to a very small news segment, and yet this was the ABC – Australia’s government-owned national broadcaster!
I have a friend who works for the same broadcaster and she told me last year that ABC presenters were no longer allowed to use the word “Occupied Territories” when referring to the Palestinian West Bank. They now have to say “disputed territories”.
This may again seem like a very small point, and yet this is our government trying to control what we say in order to control what we think, and we simply should not have to tolerate this form of politically-inspired thought control!
The death of Israa Abed
For me nothing sums up the current spate of violence more succinctly than this leaked video of the death of Israa Abed. Be warned that even though you don’t see any of the gory details of her death it is nonetheless gut-wrenchingly difficult to watch.
According to the Times of Israel, Israa Abed was a would-be assassin. According to the Jerusalem Post, she was a ‘female terrorist’. According to both reports she was brandishing a knife and told to put it on the ground before being shot by IDF soldiers.
No knife can be seen in this video. What we see is a girl with her hands in the air. Certainly, even if she’d been carrying a large machete, she would have posed no threat at all to the ten heavily armed soldiers who surrounded her.
Other reports say she was refusing to take off her hijab when she was shot. Her father and her brother (both of whom were arrested after the shooting of Israa) said that she suffered from mental illness. Perhaps that explains why she didn’t remove her clothing when ordered to do so, or perhaps she was just scared?
Israa was 28 and the mother of two children. I’m guessing that she was one of the ‘several attackers’ mentioned in the news report who were amongst the 40 killed. I wonder what the others did that warranted their execution.
This is the sort of rhetoric continues to widen the gulf between Israel and the rest of the world. At least the Israeli Prime Minister tries to pay lip service to the aspirations of the Palestinian people, even if his ‘peace process’ is a mirage.
As Israel becomes increasingly isolated and the surrounding Arab nations continue to appoint governments that are actually listening to their own people, the problem for Israel and its remaining ally – the United States – becomes increasingly serious. At some point Israel will be recognised as a serious liability to the US. It is only a matter of time.
Bennett: No Palestine in ‘God-Given’ Israel
Insists God Didn’t Set Aside Enough Space for a State in Occupied Territories
by Jason Ditz
The process of forming a new government is still slowly moving along, but Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, whose far-right party is seen as almost certain to be part of the next government, made his first parliamentary speech last week, rejecting the notion of a free Palestinian state on religious grounds.
“There is no room in our small but wonderful God-given tract for another state,” Bennett insisted, adding “it won’t happen” and that negotiations could only begin after the Palestinians accept that not only Israel, but all of their land belongs exclusively to Israel.
Bennett maintains that all of the occupied territories, including the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip, belong to Israel as a sort of divine set-aside, and has faulted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being “ambiguous” about whether or not peace could ever be allowed.
Bennett’s position as an opponent of peace talks on general principle is odd, as Jewish Home has come to a sort of joint arrangement with Yesh Atid, a secular centrist party that has pushed peace talks in the past, to join the government together to strengthen their bargaining position.
This is encouraging! I can’t remember the last time I was impressed by the actions of Bob Carr! Has Australia finally found her moral compass? That’s too much to hope for. I guess we are only following the lead of Europe and the USA. Even so, it is encouraging.
Israel settler plans spark condemnation
The Sydney Morning Herald — RELATIONS between Israel and Australia – already tense after Labor backed away from opposition to a Palestinian seat in the United Nations – have worsened after Israel’s ambassador was summoned for a dressing down.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr took the serious step of calling in Israel’s ambassador Yuval Rotem on Tuesday afternoon to convey ”grave concern” and extreme disappointment with plans to expand settler housing in East Jerusalem and on the West Bank. Earlier, Prime Minister Julia Gillard had indicated the government was very concerned over the developments. Senator Carr instructed new Foreign Affairs chief, Peter Varghese, to summon Mr Rotem over reports that Israel will build 3000 new housing units in the highly sensitive area known as E1, a 12-square-kilometre patch of land east of Jerusalem. Tax revenue will also be withheld from the Palestinian Authority in the occupied territories.
Despite widespread and growing condemnation of the announcement, the Israeli government remained unrepentant. Several European nations – including Britain, France and Spain – have summoned Israeli ambassadors in protest at the expanded settlement plans, with the US also critical of the move. The decision to call in Mr Rotem – a diplomatic signal of deep displeasure – is the second time Australia has taken such a move with Israel in recent years. The last, in 2010, followed revelations that Israel’s spy outfit Mossad used forged Australian passports to facilitate the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai.
This is potentially one of the most significant developments to come out of this latest assault on Gaza – that international group of hacktivists known as ‘Anonymous‘ have weighed into the conflict on the side of Palestine!
“For far too long Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in the so-called Occupied Territories by the Israel Defense Force. Like so many around the globe we have felt helpless in the face of such implacable evil, and today’s insane attack and threatened invasion of Gaza was more of the same, but when the government of Israel threatened to sever all Internet and public communications into and out of Gaza, they crossed a line in the sand!”
This is not something that the state of Israel should take lightly. This year Time Magazine in American named Anonymous as one of the most influential groups of people in the world! While nuclear weapons and Apache helicopters can accomplish a lot in terms of keeping regular hostiles at bay, they can accomplish nothing against cyber-combatants! Anonymous has an amazing record of both tracking down Internet pedophiles and executing denial of service attacks against major government and corporate websites! Apparently the attacks on Israeli government websites have already begun!
Can’t see the video? Try this link.
‘Anonymous‘ asks that a series of URL’s be distributed with the above broadcast that will help people stay staying connected to the Internet even when governments try to close off their communications:
- www.anonpaste.me/anonpaste2/index.php?70df19f9a78fe4a0#zjiIMGgqnNFyJI8…… (Arabic)
- bit.ly/XH87C5… (Anonymous Gaza Care Package)
A courageous and unambiguous statement from one of the greatest minds of this generation!
Chomsky Statement on Israel’s War on Gaza
It is not a war, it is murder.
The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace.
The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.
Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.
When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.