Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The truce between Gaza and Israel

Nasir Khan, August 27, 2014

All the well-wishers of the people of Palestine around the world are relieved to hear about the recent truce arranged between Gaza and Israel in the hope that it will put a stop to Israel carrying out further destruction and massacres in Gaza. Many people have voiced their opposition to the Israeli savagery in Gaza. But how long will the truce last or how will Israel behave in the days, weeks and months to come is yet to be seen. Zionist rulers of Israel can never be trusted for anything positive except for their unmatched expertise in deception and manipulation. As things stand at present, it is prudent to say that this truce means the temporary end of hostilities and nothing more.

Israel’s overwhelming military power in the hands of a rabid rightist government was used in the most destructive way over a population that practically has been defenceless and beleaguered by Israel. Despite all the destruction and massacres of a captive people, the resistance forces of Gaza have faced Israel with incredible heroic courage and determination. If they also had the sort of advanced weapons Israel used in Gaza then the carnage we watched on television screens would not have taken place.

Killing a defenceless people is easy and cowardly. What Israel did was to rain bombs and missiles on the Gazans without incurring any damage or loss itself because the Palestinians had no weapons to use against them. As a result Israeli military forces were free to indulge in an orgy of death and destruction with impunity. Despite this, the Palestinian resistance forces remained steadfast and unyielding. As a gesture of defiance they continued to fire rockets into Israel that did little or minimal damage. But their defiance against the brutal occupier and aggressor adds a new and glorious chapter in the history of the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation and emancipation. However, the road ahead will be long and tortuous.

We solute the brave sons and daughters of Gaza for their determined opposition to the Zionist barbarism in Gaza. They were alone to face a ruthless and insensate military power that was backed by the United States. They received no military help from any powerful state to fight off the aggressor. While powerful Western countries sided with the aggressor, the US-friedly Arab regimes remained either silent or followed the lead of the United States and the Zionist ringmasters. But large number of people in the world have stood with the people of Gaza. They showed this by public demonstrations against the incredible savagery of Israel in Gaza. They showed their solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza in their dire situation.

Lastly, Facebook users have also done much to inform the world of the suffering and destruction in Gaza. Among my Facebook friends some people have given much needed information and views with courage and determination. I thank all such friends in my personal capacity as a Facebook and internet user as well as many owners of websites that publish online newspapers and journals sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ilan Pappe: The Historical Perspective of the 2014 Gaza Massacre

By Ilan PappĂ©, PIPR,  21 August, 2014
People in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine feel disappointed at the lack of any significant international reaction to the carnage and destruction the Israeli assault has so far left behind it in the Strip. The inability, or unwillingness, to act seems to be first and foremost an acceptance of the Israeli narrative and argumentation for the crisis in Gaza. Israel has developed a very clear narrative about the present carnage in Gaza.

It is a tragedy caused by an unprovoked Hamas missile attack on the Jewish State, to which Israel had to react in self-defence. While mainstream western media, academia and politicians may have reservations about the proportionality of the force used by Israel, they accept the gist of this argument. This Israeli narrative is totally rejected in the world of cyber activism and alternative media. There it seems the condemnation of the Israeli action as a war crime is widespread and consensual.

The main difference between the two analyses from above and from below is the willingness of activists to study deeper and in a more profound way the ideological and historical context of the present Israeli action in Gaza. This tendency should be enhanced even further and this piece is just a modest attempt to contribute towards this direction.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

3 Ways America Enables Slaughter in Gaza

The U.S. government plays a central role in perpetuating the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The American and Israeli flags.
Photo Credit:
American debate on the hundreds of civilian deaths in Gaza and the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict is polarized between feelings of sympathy with civilian victims on either side and mutual vilification of the Likud-led government of Israel and the Hamas-led government in Gaza.  But it may be more constructive for Americans to think about the role that the U.S. government plays in perpetuating this never-ending and heart-rending conflict. 

Opinion polling during a crisis tends to reflect the passions of the moment, but Americans have told pollsters for decades that we want our government to take an even-handed position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  A Chicago Council Global Views survey in 2012 found that 65% of Americans want the U.S. to "not take either side", while only 30% want it to "take Israel's side". That majority rose to 74% vs 17% at the height of the U.S. war in Iraq in 2004. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Siding with an aggressor or its victims?

Nasir Khan, August 18, 2014

The latest Israeli war on Gaza and its incredible atrocities on a besieged people have deeply stirred many people around the world. While such barbarous destructions and massacres were taking place many powerful governments in the West have openly sided with the aggressor. One reason for their doing so is to follow the lead of the United States on Israel-Palestine issue. Therefore all talk of 'Israel has the right to defend itself' simply means that Israel can do do whatever it wants with the captive people of Gaza. That means if it wants to kill those resisting the occupation then it has a free hand to do so. The United States and its allies will make sure to protect the Israeli leaders and war criminals against any charges of crimes and crimes against humanity.

If we don't want to become victims of our own verbal confusion then we need to distinguish between Judaism and Zionism. Those who follow Judaism can broadly be said to be Jews. This broad category also includes some Jews who don’t follow Judaism but still are regarded as Jews. Zionism on the other hand is a political ideology that has used the religious identity of Jews to enlist their support for the Zionist cause and objectives. As a result many Jews have been drawn to the Zionist project and politics. But again this should not lead us to the mistaken belief that all Jews are Zionists. It is not difficult to see that all Jews are not Zionists. There are many Jews who are against Zionism and its hijacking of the majority of world Jewry to its political objectives by misleading propaganda and falsification of political realities.

While discussing Zionists, we know there are many Christian Zionists as well as some Zionists from Islamic and Hindu communities whose love for Israel and Zionism is because of their myopic outlook and hatred directed against Islam and its followers.

As far as my own understanding of the theologies and the mainstream religious traditions of the Abrahamic faiths is concerned, I find nowhere any tradition that exhorts believers to side with an aggressor or obey the criminal diktat of an occupier. Instead, all people with human conscience who can see right from wrong have to struggle against an aggressor and be on the side of the victims.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Yazidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria need urgent protection

Nasir Khan, August 14, 2014

The man-made disasters in the Middle Eastern region are bringing only death, destruction, pain and suffering to millions. Now more and more people are being devoured by the senseless violence and carnage in the name of some religion (Islam), sect (Shia, Sunni, etc.), some superior 'chosen people' or territorial expansion (Israel).

What is happening to Yazidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria at the hands of the fighters of Islamic State is pure savagery, the same sort of incredible savagery that Israel has shown on its recent war on Gaza, by killing Palestinians and destroying the infrastructure of an enclave under Israel's military siege. It is incumbent upon every person with goodwill and concern for other human beings to oppose the obnoxious terror and brutalities on the Yazidis and Christians.

In this regard many writers, journalists and columnists, bloggers and Facebook users can help to highlight the plight of these victims and appeal in the name of common humanity to these Muslim fanatics who are misled by ignorant people, to stop what they are doing against the innocent people in the name of Islam.

The Qur'anic message is clear on this. The Qur'an says: “There is no compulsion in the matter of religion.” If the holy book forbids the use of force in the matter of religion then all Muslims are under a religious duty to follow this essential advice.

What the fanatics and ignorant people are doing in the name of Islam is contrary to the teachings of Islam. All this should stop and let the people of all faiths and views live in peace and places where they have lived for thousands or hundreds of years.

[Those who agree with this please SHARE this piece and publicise the message further. Thanks.]

Monday, August 11, 2014

US Leaders Aid and Abet Israeli War Crimes, Genocide & Crimes against Humanity

By Marjorie Cohn, Information Clearing House, August 10, 2014

 By sending vast amounts of military aid to Israel, members of the US Congress, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza. An individual can be convicted of a war crime, genocide or a crime against humanity [PDF] in the International Criminal Court (ICC) if he or she "aids, abets or otherwise assists" in the commission or attempted commission of the crime, "including providing the means for its commission."

There is growing evidence that Israeli leaders and commanders have committed the following war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity as defined in the Rome Statute for the ICC. US military aid has aided, abetted and assisted the commission of these crimes by providing Israel with the military means to commit them.

During Operation Protective Edge, Israeli forces again used the Dahiye Doctrine, which, according to the UN Human Rights Council [Goldstone] Report [PDF], involves "the application of disproportionate force and causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations."

A summary of Israeli leaders' extensive crimes is presented below.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Who Can Be A Zionist?

Nasir Khan,  August 10, 2014

US Vice President Joe Biden is right when he says that you don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist. There are so many Christians in the United States who are firm Zionists. They occupy positions of power and enormous influence in Washington, US Congress, in academia, media and in society in general.

 So is the case in many European countries where many non-Jewish people, especially Christians, are Zionists and dedicated supporters of Israel no matter what it does to the colonised Palestinians or in the occupied territories.

Besides there are also some people from Hindu and Islamic communities who support Israel and Zionism and are against the national aspirations of the Palestinians. On the other hand, there are many Jews who are not Zionists; they oppose Zionism, the policies of Israeli state and show solidarity with the Palestinian people's struggle for national liberation and their right to self- determination.

Some orthodox Jews reject the Israeli claim to a 'Jewish state' on the basis of their religious beliefs. In brief, no one has to be a Jew to be a Zionist in the same way as no one had to be a German or Italian to be a Nazi or Fascist in the last century or even now. There are fascists in many countries and even in the former Soviet Union some Russians, for instance, have become vociferous fascists.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Why the Gazans made tunnels in Gaza

Nasir Khan, August 8, 2014

A commentator has asked me in reply to one of my articles: What were the tunnels [in Gaza] used for?

Israel as a colonial occupier had encapsulated and isolated Gaza as an open air prison for the last eight years. For Gazans to have any contact with the outside world was to dig tunnels in their own territory to gain access to some essential things from outside. They used the tunnels leading to the Egyptian territory to buy and bring back some livestock, such as goats, medicines and food stuff in a terribly difficult way. The Gazans had no other alternative.

The joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza has made things extremely difficult for them. Again, they made tunnels in their own territory towards Israel as a defensive measure against any Israeli ground offensive on Gaza. For them these proved useful in fighting back the IDF in July but with little resources they were not able to stop the Israeli advance and the destruction in Gaza.

Of course, Israelis did not want any such obstacles in their way against their war on Gaza. Therefore they destroyed these tunnels. Again, these tunnels were on the Gazan territory and Israel had no right to destroy them or the infrastructure, buildings, places of public utility, mosques, homes, etc. within Gaza.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Disarming: Gaza or Israel?

Nasir Khan, August 7, 2014

Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation; they have been frequent targets of destructive Israeli wars and massacres. If common sense can be our guide in this situation than the solution is to disarm Israel and prosecute its war criminals for war crimes and crimes against humanity in ICC. Disarming Hamas? Hamas has no army, no air force, no missiles, no navy, no naval gunships, no tanks, no anti-aircraft missiles. If Israel has played havoc with the homes and buildings of the Gazans and killed people then the main reason for the Gazan tragedy lies in their inability to defend themselves.

Ideally, for Gazans to defend themselves against Israel’s military might they need a matching military power and weapons. It is obvious that without this they have no chance to defend themselves and their homes. We have seen this what Israel is capable of doing in the 29-day war on Gaza. The Gazans have been at the mercy of Israeli missiles and powerful bombs that pulverised their homes and other structures. Unless Israel lifts the blockade, ends the occupation and develops a new approach towards the people of Palestine the conflict will not disappear.

But how can the Gazans under Hamas do that, to defend themselves militarily, remains an open question. The leaders of the ‘New World Order’ especially the United States will not allow that. There is no major country that is ready to give substantive material support to the Palestinians. Therefore the prevailing conditions will remain intact.

We need to keep in mind that Gaza is beleaguered by Israel from all sides including its air space. It is the largest open-air prison in the world. Now Israel by intentional destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza has made sure that its people would not raise their heads again against the ongoing occupation and blockade for years to come. But if they did at some stage then they would have Israeli war-machine on their heads again. It is as simple as that if we want to understand the Israeli position.

No doubt, this is an undefendable situation. To my mind the only explanation lies in the fact that it is military might that decides the fate of a subjugated people, not their rights according to international law or humane considerations. Yet the struggle of the Palestinians for their national liberation from the Zionist yoke needs universal support. The public demonstrations in many countries around the world denouncing the Israeli genocide and carnage in Gaza have been positive. They show a growing awareness among the people of the world about the plight of the colonised Palestinians.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Jimmy Carter: US must recognise Hamas as a political force

Former US president, Jimmy Carter called on the United States and the European Union to recognise that Hamas is not only a military organisation, but also a political force
Former US President Jimmy Carter called on the United States government to recognise Hamas, who Washington deem a “terrorist” organisation.In an article published in the Foreign Policy journal, Carter stressed the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in Gaza caused a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

Carter added: “There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defence Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals.”

Carter stressed that attacks targeting civilians constitute war crimes, and the perpetrators of these crimes should be questioned about their actions and punished for them. He called on the United States and the European Union to recognise that Hamas is not only a military organisation, but also a political force.

“Only by recognising its legitimacy as a political actor – one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people – can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons,” he explained.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Daniel C. Maguire: Gaza’s Desperate ‘Prison Riot’

The noble traditions of Judaism – stressing justice for the downtrodden – are being soiled by the endless cruelties that Israel and its current leaders heap on the Palestinians, including the latest slaughter of more than 1,700 Gazans, many of them children, a moral catastrophe addressed by theologian Daniel C. Maguire.

By Daniel C. Maguire, Consortium News, August 4, 2014

What is going on in Gaza is a prison riot not a war. A war means a conflict between comparably endowed adversaries. This is a prison riot caused by the crimes of the jailor, Israel. And why are these 1.7 million people enclosed in what Jewish scholar Marc Ellis calls “the biggest jail in the world?” They are in jail because they are not Jews. That is their crime.

Were they Jews, they would be given beautiful homes, ample water supplies, government stipends. The fourth strongest army in the world – and the sixth strongest nuclear power – would be there to defend them. But, no, because the Gazans are not Jews, they are in an Israeli jail.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2014.

These jailed people — or at least their parents and grandparents — once had homes and gardens, olive groves and farms and lived peacefully on the land alongside all their neighbors. In the Nineteenth Century, Palestine was inhabited by a multicultural population, 86 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian and four percent Jewish. They all lived peacefully together. The State of Israel changed all of that.

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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Will Israel end the occupation and lift the blockade of Gaza?

Nasir Khan, August 3, 2014

If there was the rule of law in the world then the Israeli Zionists will be held responsible for their war crimes and crimes against humanity. But in reality there is no rule of law because the imperialistic world order has set it aside and imposed its own diktat. What we see is the rule of predatory barbarians that prevails. 

Israel protected and supported by America and other imperialist powers including Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt does what it wants to do in isolated and beleaguered Gaza. There is no powerful state which can give active military help to the people of Gaza who are being slaughtered by Israel and their houses, public buildings, mosques, schools and colleges destroyed and reduced to rubble. Whenever Israel will stop its present massacres and carnage then there is little indication on its part to lift its siege of Gaza and end the occupation of the Palestinians lands it took in 1967. That means the occupation and oppression will continue. 

The resilient and heroic people of Gaza may be able to re-surface once again after the present holocaust and resist the occupiers. That will provide an opportunity to the Zionist leaders of Israel to repeat again as they have done before and do what they are doing now. As long as the occupation remains the people of Palestine have only one major objective: To liberate their land from the brutal occupying power – Israel.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Richard Falk: Joint Declaration on International Law & Gaza & Final List of Endorsers

Richard Falk,  Global Justice in the 21st Century, August 2, 2014

The International Community Must End Israel’s Collective Punishment of the Civilian Population in the Gaza Strip

As international and criminal law scholars, human rights defenders, legal experts and individuals who firmly believe in the rule of law and in the necessity for its respect in times of peace and more so in times of war, we feel the intellectual and moral duty to denounce the grave violations, mystification and disrespect for the most basic principles of the laws of armed conflict and of the fundamental human rights of the entire Palestinian population committed during the ongoing Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. We also condemn the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip, as every indiscriminate attack against civilians, regardless of the identity of the perpetrators, is not only illegal under international law but also morally intolerable. However, as also implicitly noted by the UN Human Rights Council in its Resolution of 23 July 2014, the two parties to the conflict cannot be considered equal, and their actions – once again – appear to be of incomparable magnitude.

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