Ways to speak out against the Gaza massacre

I’ve been shamefully silent in the past few days — not because I was so busy with holiday celebrations, but because I don’t have babysitters for my children over the holidays and so not much time to do anything except clean up after them. But I’m sure that we have all been following the tragic news of the massacre in Gaza. According to several media sources, more than 350 Palestinians have been killed and 1650 injured by Israeli military action in the past few days, including many civilians (the numbers are disputed), while 2 Israelis (one an Israeli Arab) have been killed by Hamas rocket fire in Ashkelon and Ashdod, and 2 injured.

It is particularly poignant at this time of year, when many people are celebrating their religious holidays or their rituals of conspicuous consumption, that the population of Gaza, which was already in dire humanitarian straits, is mourning at funeral after funeral, as Israeli forces target the offices of the democratically elected Hamas leadership. But this last fact is rarely mentioned in the international coverage of the massacre, which according to the New York Times is the worst toll of human life in Gaza since 1967. Instead, we get sound bytes from the well-groomed Tzipi Livni about how this military action will “change realities on the ground.” Yet any disinterested observer watching how media in the Arab world is covering the attack on Gaza would surely conclude that the only sure political “reality” emerging from this ill-conceived military strike is that it is mobilizing support for Hamas across the Arab world and elsewhere.

As the Arab-American Institute points out in a statement condemning the attack,

Should the White House once again fail to act to restrain Israel and to provide real leadership in the search for peace, this tragedy will continue to grow: Palestinian suffering and bitterness will deepen, Israelis will remain insecure, and extremism will be further fueled by anti-American anger.

The bottom line, here, is that, while the stupidity of Hamas’ reckless behavior cannot be excused because of the continued danger such ill-considered actions pose to the security and well-being of its own constituents, there can be no justification for Israel’s massive and brutal assault.

The Arab-American Institute advises that the following organizations are collecting donations for the population of Gaza:

UNRWA

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is accepting donations: http://www.un.org/unrwa/emergency/donation/emergency_activities.html

ANERA

-Accepting donations for medical supplies:
https://secure2.convio.net/anera/site/Donation2?df_id=1280&1280.donation=form1

Palestine Red Crescent Society

-Cash donations are being accepted into an established bank account http://www.palestinercs.org/news_details.aspx?nid=39

Medical Aid for Palestinians

-Donations for medical supplies (Donations taken in pounds not dollars)

-Donations made at https://www.bmycharity.com/V2/main_V2.aspx?p=donation&id=395758

I also received the below e-mail from the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) which suggests some ways to speak out against the Gaza massacre:

TAKE ACTION:

Write letters to members of Congress and the State Department, demonstrate at the White House and Israeli Embassies and consulates, write letters to the editor and op-eds for every news outlet, call radio talk shows, protest the U.S. representatives at the UN and their protection of Israeli crimes.

Over 350 dead and over 1,650 Injured Palestinians in Gaza
Continuous Live Coverage of Gaza Massacre
Aftermath of Gaza Strikes (BBC News)

1. Contact the White House to protest the attack and demand an immediate cease-fire. Call 202-456-1111 or send an email to comments@whitehouse.gov . or visit http://adc.capwiz.com/adc/bio/id/20004&lvl=F

2. Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575 or send an email by http://adc.capwiz.com/adc/dbq/officials/agencies/?command=search

3. Contact your Representative and Senators in Congress at 202-224-3121 or find contact info for your Members of Congress by http://capwiz.com/adc/dbq/officials/

4. Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor. To find contact info for your local media,: http://adc.capwiz.com/adc/dbq/media/

5. Organize a local protest or vigil. If you need help in organizing a vigil or a protest, please contact ADC at organizing@adc.org.

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

Below is a partial list of organized actions in many US cities:

Tucson, AZ –

What: A vigil to protest Israel’s brutal attacks on Gaza, Palestine.
Where: In front of the Israel Center–the closest thing we have to an Israeli consulate.
When: Tuesday, December 30th @ 4:40 PM
We’ll gather at the JCC parking lot at 4:30 PM, and then we’ll walk without signs to the building where the Israel Center is located

(It’s to the east of the JCC, on River Rd.). We’ll vigil from 5 – 5:45 PM.
Contact: adctucson@yahoo.com

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

Los Angeles, CA

What: End the Israeli Siege and Occupation of Palestine
When: Tuesday, December 30, 4:30 pm
Where: Israeli Consulate: 6380 Wilshire Blvd.
Contact: 213-251-1025, answerla@answerla.org

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

San Diego, CA:

What: End the Israeli Siege and Occupation of Palestine
When: Tuesday, November 30th, 2008
Time: 4 PM
Where: Downtown San Diego, Front Street, South of Broadway
in front of the Federal Building – Contact:

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

San Francisco, CA

EMERGENCY ACTION! STOP THE ATTACK ON GAZA

What: Silent Vigil at Feinstein’s Office

When: 5PM Monday Dec. 29th – Montgomery and Market

Bring candles, posters, and banners; wear black. – Rain or Shine –

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

San Francisco, CA

What: EMERGENCY ACTION! STOP THE ATTACK ON GAZA

When: Tuesday, December 30, 5:00 pm
Where: Israeli Consulate: 456 Montgomery St.
Contact: 415-821-6545, answer@answersf.org

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

Washington, DC

WHAT: Emergency Action to Stop the Attacks on Gaza
WHEN: Monday December 29, 2008 @ 4:30 PM
WHERE: Barak Obama’s Transition Office
451 6th Street NW, Washington DC (One block from Verizon Center)
For any questions call 301-523-4197 or email me at zelamine@gmail.com

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

Washington, DC

What: Protest in front of the State Department
When: Tuesday, December 30, 4:30 PM
Where: State Department: 22nd St & C St NW
For any Information contact: 202-544-3389 x14, dc@answercoalition.org

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

Fort Lauderdale, FL

What: Protest in front of Federal building
When: Tuesday, December 30, 5:00 pm
Where; Federal Building: 299 E. Broward Blvd.
Contact: 954-707-0155, FtLauderdale@answerfl.org

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

Dearborn, MI

What: Community leadership meeting to discuss Gaza Crisis
When: Monday, December 29, 2008 at 6:00 PM
Where: Lebanese American Heritage Club, 4337 Maple Road in Dearborn.
For inquiries contact: adcmichigan@adc.org

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

Dearborn, MI

What: A Human Chain Protest
Where; Warren Avenue – Gathering at corner of Warren and Chase in Dearborn
When: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 4:00 PM.
Following the protest a memorial service will be held at Byblos Banquet Hall, 7258 Chase Road in Dearborn at 5:15 PM. Program will end at 6:30 PM.
For information contact; adcmichigan@adc.org

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

Chicago, IL

What: ADC Chicago Chapter and other Organizations will be holding another demonstration

When: Friday, January 2-2009 3:00

Where: In front of Tribune Tower Plaza – Downtown Chicago
adcchicago@turbootool.com or FADI ZANAYED fadiz4u@yahoo.com

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

Boston, MA

When: Monday, December 29 at 12:30,
Where: One Bowdoin Square in Boston, MA
What: Leaders of the ADCMA and other Arab American, and Muslim Community leaders will hold a press conference followed by a visit to Senator Kerrys office at One Bowdoin Square. Community leaders will appeal to humanitarian values of our elected representatives in order to end the devastation of the civilian population in the Gaza.
Contact: merrie@adcma.org

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

Boston, MA

When; Wednesday, December 31, 2:00PM
Where: Copley Square
Contact: Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, info@bcpr.net, (617) 491-2313
Contact: 857-334-5084, boston@answercoalition.org
Details to be announced

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

New York City, NY

When: Monday, December 29, 5:00PM
What: Adalah-NY is organizing two meeting locations for fliering on Monday at 5:00:
Where: The south end of Union Square, near the corner of 14th St and 5th Ave. The triangular- park at 6th Av. & 32nd Street. – We will all meet-up for the procession up 6th Ave at 6:30. We will be meeting at the triangular park at 6th Av. & 32nd Street. Look for the Palestinian Flag. Contact: Badawyyia@gmail.com

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

New York City, NY

When: Tuesday, December 30, 5:00 pm
Where: Israeli Consulate: 800 2nd Ave (b/w 42nd and 43rd Sts)
Contact: 212-694-8720, nyc@answercoalition.org

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

Seattle, WA

When: Saturday, January 3, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm
Where: Westlake Park: 4th and Pine
Initiated by Voices of Palestine
Contact: general@voicesofpalestine.org

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18 Responses to Ways to speak out against the Gaza massacre

  1. Noor Hammad says:

    It seems the ‘write your congressman’ one may have gotten through at least to Dennis Kucinich [D] as he wrote to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon yesterday calling for a UN independent enquiry into Israels actions which he rightly points out violate Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva convetion prohibiting the practice of collective punishment (of course only one of the violations of international law by Israel in the past four days). It remains to be seen how his Jewish consitutents will react and how quickly he will be labelled an Anti-Semite by AIPAC and co. Nonetheless a strong statement from congressman Kucinich.

    ————————–
    December 29, 2008

    The Honorable Ban ki-Moon
    Secretary General
    United Nations
    First Avenue at 46th Street
    New York, New York 10017

    Dear Secretary General:

    I write to you today with grave concern regarding the current Israeli airstrikes in Gaza as well as reports of an imminent ground attack. I call on the United Nations to establish an independent inquiry of Israel’s war against Gaza.

    I believe the attacks on civilians represent collective punishment, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention[1]. The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice; however Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better. The world community, which has been very supportive of Israel’s right to security and its right to survive, also has a right to expect Israel to conduct itself in adherence to the very laws which support the survival of Israel and every other nation.

    As you know, since the commencement of aerial strikes, over 300 Palestinians have been killed and approximately 1,400 have been wounded. The dead include 20 children under the age of 16–nearly half of them killed while on a school bus–and 9 women. The attack aggravated a humanitarian crisis wrought by the Israeli-imposed blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies.

    Israel is leveling Gaza to strike at Hamas, just as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike at Hezbollah. Yet in both cases civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable. I urge you to establish an independent inquiry immediately.

    Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    /s/

    Dennis J. Kucinich

    Member of Congress

  2. Raffe says:

    This may not surprise anyone on this board but I fully support this operation. Whilst Lisa has outlined the damage that has been caused she has failed to mention the fact that these attacks have a very low rate of collatoral damage. The beginning of the operation began with a series of pinpoint air strikes against known Hamas security compounds. In only a few minutes they managed to perform more than sixty sorties in a tactic that crippled the world recognized terrorist group. This operation is an attempt to stem the thousands of rockets that have led Israeli children to flee to the safety of bomb shelters when rockets would be fired several times a day. We are now seeing rockets hit farther inside of Israel. They have landed in Ashkelon today and they claim to have rockets that can hit Tel Aviv. This is reason enough for a military operation. Remember that it was Hamas that refused to renew the cease fire. It was Hamas that fired rocket after rocket at Israeli towns after Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005. It was Hamas that took control of the Gaza and threw their political rivals off rooftops. The airstrikes and possibly ground operation is a defensive move and should not be condemned. Whilst I pray that civilian casualties remain low I must also point out that when your enemy hides behind women and children then collatoral damage is inevitable. Hamas has flouted international law by firing from civilian areas into civilian areas. The Israeli airstrikes have been targeted at Hamas buildings. Regretably because Hamas has chosen to place their bomb factories and rocket units inside schools and apartments then at times civilians will tragically be caught in the crossfire. Hopefully this operation will not last a day longer than absolutly necessary but I also believe that it is about time that Hamas finally pays for it’s crimes it comitted against both the Israeli and the Palestinian people.

    Apologies for any spelling mistakes or errors but I’m typing this on my phone :)

  3. mustafa ramadan says:

    Lisa

    Thank you whole-heartedly for your effort.
    Is Gaza massacre the last present from Bush and Olmert to the poor Palestinians ???!!!
    So this is instead of a happy new year. What a new year!!! Only 2000 killed or injured !!!

    Mustafa

  4. Noor Hammad says:

    Raffe you are a joke mate. If you want to tuck your concience away in a box and regurgitate the ridiculous PR spin of the Israeli government you need to find another place to do it because no one of even elementary intelligence is buying the bulldust you consistently produce (more accurately: reproduce) here.

    Id suggest you get three things:

    1. A copy of the Geneva conventions,
    2. A clue and;
    3. A life.

    Good luck to you.

  5. Noor Hammad says:

    ‘concience’ = conscience

  6. Raffe says:

    I would like a clarification on the term “disproportionate”. If Israel responded with crudely built rockets which they fired indiscriminantly at cities and towns in Gaza would that be a proportionate response? Israel is using a fraction of their forces and has targeted Hamas installations. It is Hamas, a group that fires from behind women and children, that are to blame for the bloodshed.

  7. Raffe says:

    Noor,

    I’m impressed how accepting you are of other peoples opinions.

    I also noticed that you chose to attack me rather than my argument. Therefore I’ll assume that you can’t refute my accusations against this terrorist organisation.

  8. PR says:

    Well said Raffe. The vast majority of the Western world supports Israel’s right to self-defence. It’s just a shame it’s only people protesting who are against Israel’s actions rather than ever against the actions of the other side.

    The anti-semitism that I’ve seen displayed on people’s facebook status’ in the midst of this is extremely disturbing. Any excuse will do to attack the Jews for many dispicable groups.

  9. llwynn says:

    Raffe, I think it is hard for Noor, and myself, to not react on a personal level to a comment that glorifies this military attack and celebrates the (euphemistic) “very low rate of collateral damage” without sparing a word of regret for the suffering of those who have been killed and their families, not to mention the many more who have been maimed and have no access to adequate medical attention. If the “collateral damage” i.e. death of (now) 4 Israelis and the suffering of the many more who have to cower in shelters to hide from rocket fire is too much for the Israelis to bear, then why is the death of hundreds of Palestinians, or even, if you want to only focus on the suffering of the “collaterally damaged,” why are the death of dozens of innocent Palestinians (a very minimum of 65 “collateral” deaths according to most counts) not worth a moment of silence and thought? Can there only be ideology and justification? Can there not be sorrow and recognition of shared humanity?

    Setting aside concern for humanity and suffering, there is the question of realpolitik: what do these strikes accomplish? Why are you so certain that only military action can be a solution, rather than genuine attempts at peace-making? I was struck by the positions of four liberal pro-Israel Jewish groups who, whilst affirming their belief in the right of Israel to mount military attacks against Hamas, nevertheless argued that the current attacks are ultimately counterproductive to Israeli security. To quote the JTA,

    “In the first sign of a post-election struggle to set the American Jewish community’s Middle East agenda, a quartet of liberal pro-Israel advocacy groups is criticizing Jerusalem’s decision to launch retaliatory attacks against Gaza.

    “J Street, Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and the Israel Policy Forum all issued statements defending Israel’s right to strike Hamas installations in Gaza but saying, with varying degrees of forcefulness, that such actions will be counterproductive and damage Israel’s security in the long run. In their statements, they called for intervention by the United States and the international community to restore a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.”

    You can read more at
    http://jta.org/news/article/2008/12/30/1001894/liberal-pro-israel-groups-criticize-gaza-strikes

  10. mustafa ramadan says:

    2-1-2009
    Causes of Bloodshed in the Holy Land

    It’s the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West bank which is the mother of all evils, bloodshed and bereavement in Palestine. Israel has been using harassment, oppression, humiliation, killing and assassination against the Palestinians and their activists and leaders for the past sixty years, but to no avail. When Rabbin came to this conclusion, that violence would not subjugate the Palestinians, and started to make peace with Arafat in early 1990s, he was assassinated by a fanatic/ terrorist Israeli, not by an Arab.

    What is happening in Gzaa now proves that the Zionists don’t learn from history as I said in my previous comments. They are bringing destruction on themselves as we see these days. More rockets are falling on their heads. I’ll not talk about the 400 Palestinians killed and 2000 wounded by IOF barbaric planes in five days, because the Palestinians believe that that is the price they are destined to pay in order to liberate their land from alien occupiers. History tells us that lands are liberated by the blood of freedom fighters, who are called terrorists by idiots and maniacs such as Livni, Olmert, Bush, and their likes.

    Israel needs a new sensible leadership. The world Jewry should help with this.

    Mustafa

  11. Rosalyn says:

    Actually Raffe it is a surprise how anyone with a sense of humanity could support the carnage in Gaza. Your euphemistic use of ‘collateral damage’ to describe the death of 400 Palestinians (and counting) exposes your inherent bias and racism against this community of people. If Hamas rockets that can possibility reach Tel Aviv and have reached Ashkelon is enough reason for this massive military strike then by God what shd the world do to Israel given its own nuclear capabilities? You somehow insinuate that Israel is only using a fraction of its military power and as a result of this their actions are not disproportionate. Seriously is that the best argument you can come up with? Nothing of your couple of posts above reflect the real reasons behind this current inhumane act against Gazans which include the upcoming Israeli elections, Israel’s desire to crush the DEMOCRATICALLY elected Hamas within Gaza and the need for the IDF to redeem itself after the disaster of the Lebanon War in 2006. People might wonder why Hamas, as you claim, refused to renew the truce agreement. It wasn’t because they love violence and wish to make Gazans suffer more. It was due to Israel’s refusal to lift the blockade against Gaza which has crippled the economy and, worse still, just about starved the population for the last couple of years. This from the Middle East’s only democracy!

    Despite the footage of head civilians, the scores of wounded and the lesson from recent history that Israel does violate international law, humanitarian law time and again you insist on telling us ‘how it really is’ and replicate the misinformation that dominates official military reports and media. For heavens sake have some humility (not to mention humanity) and seek some decent and credible information sources if only to help you better strengthen the bogus arguments you have presented here.

    The following links might provide some good starting points:

    What is Israel’s Gaza goal?
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=8347

    Gaza distorted by the media lens
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=8349

    The neighborhood bully strikes again
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050459.html

  12. Raffe says:

    Rosalyn,

    Despite your claims I do have a shred of humanity and i’d love to know how you believe me to be racist simply because I have an opposing political view. Accusations of racism are very serious and every time you use them against people that happen to disagree with you then you erode the severity of the claim. I have never attacked you or Noor on a personal level; rather I have deconstructed your arguments. Please maintain a decorum of academia when posting here.

    I’ve never advocated carnage. I’ve always believed that the strikes against Hamas are a necessity to remove an enemy that is sworn to Israel’s destruction. This enemy has maintained constant rocket fire on civilians, during the truce, and hidden amongst women and children. This in itself is a violation of international law several times over.

    Can you please name me a country, the Hamas government as well, that drops leaflets and phones houses prior to an operation. Before a majority of airstrikes commenced the Israeli military contacted Palestinians living amongst the Hamas leadership and warned them that an attack in their area was coming. This practice potentially hinders an entire operation by tipping off terrorist forces yet it is done to prevent civilian casualties.

    “Israeli forces offered a general warning by dropping leaflets and recording brief announcements that interrupt radio broadcasts. They also reached other homes by telephone, telling Gaza residents to flee their homes if they were hiding weapons or militants.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081229/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_gaza_life_under_fire

    I blame the civilian deaths over the past week on Hamas who insist on placing their bomb factories and rocket units inside Mosques, Universities and apartment buildings. If Hamas did what other decent democracies have practiced for years and place their military structures far away from their civilian structures then the civilian death toll would be next to nothing. I blame Hamas for the bloodshed as they refused to renew a truce, despite the fact that they never struck to the original terms of the truce which was a complete halt of rocket fire

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rocket_and_mortar_attacks_in_Israel_in_2008

    Along with this Hamas claimed that the truce was simply an excuse to reorganise and rearm their forces. Even Egypt has admitted that Hamas violated the truce between the two parties

    “We warned [Hamas] repeatedly that rejecting the truce would push Israel to aggression against Gaza,” Mubarak said.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-hamas-egypt31-2008dec31,0,4086363.story

    What would any other country do if they suffered rocket after rocket after rocket raining down on their population? After attempting a truce, and offering a renewal, yet being rejected what would any decent government do?

    I can assure you that Hamas had been rocketing Russia there would have been much more bloodshed. In August of this year Russia was responsible for more than 2500 civilian deaths over a five day period. In her post above LIsa put the civilian death toll at 65; whilst that number is a tragedy it is on the hands of Hamas.

  13. mustafa ramadan says:

    Hamas & Israel
    2-1-2009

    Raffe,

    By saying that “IF Hamas had been rocketing Russia, there would have been more bloodshed (and that) in August of LAST year Russia was responsible for more than 2500 civilian deaths over 5 day period”, you are comparing the barbaric IOF with another barbaric army and making it a model or criterion. So, we should thank Israel for the low rate of deaths among Palestinians in Gaza. We should also thank the IOF for the leaflets of “mercy” This is the logic of stupid and neurotic tyrants and butchers.

    Hamas refused to renew or extend the truce with Israel simply because she didn’t lift the siege on Gaza that deprives the Gazans of food, fuel and medical care. Siege of 1.5 million people is considered collective punishment according to law as many Western protesters said in the media. Hamas refuses to give peace to Israel free, because Israel has never given anything to its Arab neighbours without a return. Read history, Raffe.

    In order not to use double standard in your comments and lash at and condemn Hamas, I remind you, Raffe, that Hamas is a national Palestinian resistance movement that appeared in the 1980s as a response to Israel occupation and atrocities in Palestine. Currently, it is fighting the IOF as the Zionist gangs fought the British army in 1940 Palestine and massacred Palestinians. The Zionists call their crimes actions for “independence”. So are Hamas operations. No difference. Don’t get furious, man.

    As I said in my previous comments, it’s Israel occupation of Palestine and oppression of the Palestinians that generate national struggle, which Israel and the likes of Livni, Condy and the notorious Bush call terror. This is called rightful and lawful national struggle and resistance permitted by international law.

    Israel is behind all problems and bloodshed in our region. Sixty years of trouble and killing is enough. The world is tired and sick of Israel. Isn’t she tired yet ?

    Mustafa

  14. llwynn says:

    Mostly I agree with your comment, Mustafa — especially about how comparing Israel’s actions with those of another oppressor (whether Russia or the U.S.) hardly is an appropriate measure of human rights in the region. But as for this comment: “Israel is behind all problems and bloodshed in our region” — come now! What about the Taleban and al-Qaeda and their suicide bombers? What about the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the many thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis who have been killed as a result? Israel is far from the only actor responsible for problems and bloodshed in the Middle East.

  15. Raffe says:

    Mustafa and Lisa,

    Apologies if you thought it was wrong to create a comparison between the two conflicts and in no way did I mean to suggest that the Palestinians should consider themselves ‘lucky’ to be bombed by the Israelis. Rather I was pointing out how two different armies approached a similar situation which is dense urban warfare. One army drops leaflets and contacts civilians and urges them to remove themselves from the area and the other simply barges through with tanks, killing as many people as possible.

    I’ve already spoken out against the siege of Gaza on this board and how much I disagreed with it. Yet the siege remained in place simply because Hamas continued their barrage of rockets on the south of Israel. Politicians and generals alike in Israel maintained a single line that if Hamas would abide by the truce and halt the indiscriminate rocket fire on Israel then the siege would be lifted.

    I reject your claim that Israel is responsible for all the bloodshed in the region. I believe that the Palestinian problem could have been solved in mere hours had the Arab nations accepted a Jewish State beside a Palestinian State in 1948. Rather they sought violence in an attempt to obliterate Israel and failed. They refused to accommodate Palestinian refugees who then became a lost people unlike the 850,000 Jews who fled Arabia. It was only in 1967 that the Palestinian’s were manipulated by the Arab League and became political pawns against Israel.

    I also believe that the bloodshed of the region lies on the hands of oppressive Arab governments who ensure that their people remain in squalor’s while they live lives of decadence.

  16. mustafa ramadan says:

    Lisa,
    3-1-08
    The title of my blog is (Hamas & Israel). So, my comment is about Hamas, Palestine and the Near East region. What I forgot to mention was the Lebanese Hizballah organization heroes who defeated the UNCONQUERABLE IOF in 2000 and 2006. So, resolved national resistance works. It defeats arrogant heavily-armed armies, destroys their moral and prevails. But narrow-sighted fools neither see, nor understand.

    Mustafa

  17. Noah Bassil says:

    Raffe, while I agree that Arab governments have much to answer for in regards to the problems of the Middle East region, I think that trying to shift the blame for the plight of the Palestinians away from Israel in such a way is quite a stretch of the imagination. But there is something to be said for criticizing the role of Arab state leaders in regards to the crisis in Gaza, however, I doubt that you will find my analysis of the situation very agreeable.

    In more ways than you will want to accept the government’s of Arab states and those of from Israel are much the same. Whether Israeli or Arab leaders, they tend to be a recycled elite, most military or security elite, that base their legitimacy to rule on putative notions of national history of which they pretend to protect. They expediently utilize foreign aggression and internal enemies to enhance a military-security national agenda that furthers their own political self-preservation and economic interests and those of their principal sponsor, the USA.

    Essentially, all elites in the Middle East are tied to the global imperial system that defines their actions and ensures that the interests of the hegemonic international order comes before the needs of their own people. The Israeli onslaught in Gaza is about immediate national political goals and serving the wider interests of the hegemonic order in crushing alternative voices in international politics. The protection of southern Israel is only a convenient excuse for these proximate and wider goals, goals supported by the Egyptian and Saudi governments, of crushing alternative political and economic possibilities in the Middle East. Hamas and Hezbollah threaten Israel and the US, also Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not by physical force but because they stand as alternatives to the thin layer of corrupt US backed politicians that control the politics of the Middle East. I find the Arab versus Israeli binary very unhelpful, to say nothing of the superficiality of the Jew versus Muslim depiction still in use, and that seeing the world in such ethnic/nationalist/religious ways as doing little more than parroting the propaganda of the protagonists, which is not what I would expect of informed and educated commentators writing to this site.

  18. noahbassil says:

    While I am not generally into quotes of the day this one is worth sharing:

    Reporter: What do you think of western civilization?

    Mahatma Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

    Feels very apt at this moment of “western” backed Israeli barbarism in Gaza.

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