Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Going beyond (with an update for Tuesday's Israeli shelling of two UN schools)

There is an excellent summary of reports about what is being done to the civilian population of Gaza by the Israeli forces here.

They conclude:
As you can see, “Hamas targets” appears to be a technical term referring to the entire Gaza Strip and everything and everyone located within it....it isn’t at all surprising to find Israel referring to hospitals, mosques, schools, residential homes, apartment blocks, shops, markets, women, children and civilians as “Hamas targets” and “terrorist infrastructure”. What’s appalling is that – despite recognising Israel’s intensive propaganda drive – so many Western journalists and commentators have gone along with it.
And they note that the list is by no means complete.

What AlHayat said on Monday, reporting on Sunday's results, was headed like this: "70 Martyrs, one-third of them children". And in today's WaPo, summarizing Monday's results: "More than 40 Palestinians were killed in Gaza on Monday, almost half of them children..."*

The vulgar arrogance of the Israeli officials' statements to the effect that if there are civilian casualties then by definition this is the fault of Hamas is overpowering, and it speaks for itself. AbdulBari Atwan noted in yesterday's AlQuds alArabi: This is the first war in modern history in which one side has forcibly confined the civilian population within the area of fighting, so that there is no chance of escape for them from the terror.

The new level of systematic brutality has had the effect of shifting thoughts and discussions to another level. Atwan moves from criticism of the US-supported Arab regimes as a waste of time, and focuses instead on the moral bankruptcy of the governments of the West, which fund and support Israel in this. And some who opposed the Israeli land-grabs, the blockade of Gaza and the US-Israeli funding of the Dahlan group are now thinking in terms of a count-down to the end of Zionism itself.

And Jewish Americans of good will are belatedly taking on their own leadership and daring to criticise the current Israeli actions--in ways that no doubt seem to outsiders as almost ridiculously tame, still they are significant. The best up-to-date collection of writings on this, from someone who understands the significance of it, is at philipweiss.org.

For up-to-date collection of news reports about what is going on in Gaza from a variety of sources, palestinianpundit.blogspot.com is still an excellent source.

Gaza will resist and survive. And this incredible story will have helped the world understand how the empire works when push comes to shove. And how it is no longer acceptable in our world.

* Reuters:
Israeli tank shells killed at least 40 Palestinians on Tuesday at a UN school where civilians had taken shelter, medical officials said, in carnage likely to boost international calls for a halt to Israel's Gaza offensive.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was looking into information on the incident at al-Fakhora school in Jabalya refugee camp.

People cut down by shrapnel lay in pools of blood on the street. Witnesses said two Israeli tanks shells exploded outside the school, killing at least 40 civilians – Palestinians who had taken refuge there and residents of nearby buildings.

In a separate attack earlier in the day, three Palestinians were killed in an air strike on another school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.


Blogger Shirin said...

"This is the first war in modern history in which one side has forcibly confined the civilian population within the area of fighting, so that there is no chance of escape for them from the terror."

Strictly speaking, not really. Although this is a far more extreme case, one IS put in mind of Falluja, for example where large numbers of people were barred from fleeing by a number of mechanisms, and were therefore forced to stay in the city, and in other cases fleeing civilians were attacked and killed as they fled.

12:16 AM  
Blogger badger said...

true. America takes a back seat to no one when it comes to that kind of brutality.

10:47 AM  

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