Stephen Lendman, rinf.com |
He admitted it. He’s not finished. He has lots more killing and destruction to do. He “will not hesitate to do what is necessary to defend our people,” he said.
In other words, he’ll ignore memorandum of understanding ceasefire terms, maintain Gaza’s siege, manufacture pretexts to eliminate Israeli enemies, and kill Palestinian civilians he calls threats.
On November 25, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Middle East in high suspense for Gaza operation sequels.”
America’s beefing up its regional presence. Washington also approved Patriot missiles for Turkey’s Syrian border. US military crews will man them.
Russian Institute for Oriental Studies expert, Vladimir Kudelev, said deploying them means “no-fly zone” protection. Imposing it circumvents Security Council authority. Doing so is an act of war.
Washington-led NATO incrementally inches closer to full-scale involvement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fears militarizing the Turkish/Syrian border may spin things out of control.
Libya 2.0 looms. Oriental studies expert Azhdar Kurtov said:
“The Syrian-Turkish border has a sophisticated mountain relief. Under such conditions, combat aviation is a very effective method of fighting against the rebels.”
“Thus, if Turkey deploys the Patriot Missile Air-Defence Systems on its territory, it will be able to block Syria using its own aviation in the border regions on its own territory, which may change the turn of military developments in the region.”
“When the overthrowing of the Gaddafi regime was under way, a no-fly zone was established over Libya. Something like that may be created near the Turkish-Syrian border.”
What affects Syria affects Israel, the region and beyond. Washington, NATO partners and Israel have more belligerence in mind. In other words, more war besides others now raging along with Gaza remaining under Netanyahu’s boot.
In contrast, Gaza cleric Suleiman al-Daya ruled it a sin to violate ceasefire terms, saying:
“Honoring the truce, which was sponsored by our Egyptian brethren, is the duty of each and every one of us. Violating it shall constitute a sin.”
Moussa Abu Marzouk is Hamas Political Bureau Deputy Chairman. He said arming will continue. Self-defense is legal and essential. All governments must protect their people. They’re obligated to do so.
“There is no way to relinquish weapons. (They) protected us, and there is no way to stop obtaining and manufacturing them, said Marzouk.”
He added that Hamas doesn’t oppose Abbas’ November 29 UN nonmember status bid. At the same time, he said “Occupation needs resistance, not negotiations.”
Forty-five years under militarized control proves it. Israel only respects might. Liberation requires long-term struggle.
Hamas also urges healing. It wants reconciliation and national unity with Fatah prioritized. Israel, of course, won’t tolerate undoing divisions it instituted after Hamas’ 2006 electoral victory. Hamas is too valued an enemy to lose.
In a show of good faith, it granted amnesty to Fatah prisoners and suspects. A committee will be established to implement it.
Previous reconciliation attempts failed. Implementation never followed. Fatah subverted efforts. It did so collaboratively with Israel. Expect little more now than earlier. Washington and Israel won’t allow it.
Anti-Hamas accusations began. It didn’t take long. Haaretz headlined the following:
“Report: Israeli spy satellites spot Iranian ship being loaded with rockets for Gaza.” Rupert Murdoch’s The Sunday Times was cited.
Satellites can identify much on the ground. While still in port, they don’t know cargo ship destinations. They may not determine contents accurately. Haaretz’s headline is irresponsible. Consider the source.
Murdoch is a longtime pro-Israeli stalwart. Jewish organizations gave him numerous awards. He got them for decades of supporting Israel’s worst crimes.
Haaretz quoted an unnamed Israeli source, saying:
“With a lot of effort, Iran has skillfully built a strategic arm pointing at Israel from the south.”
It’s hard imagining any respectable broadsheet publishing what it knows doesn’t wash. Doing so inverts truth.
Hamas threatens no one. Israel represents Palestine’s overwhelming existential threat. Decades of occupation harshness, Gaza’s siege, and unrelenting persecution show it.
An unnamed Israeli defense source said:
“Regardless of the ceasefire agreement, we will attack and destroy any shipment of arms to Gaza once we have spotted it.”
Israel attacks Gaza fishermen, farmers in their fields, children for target practice, and other civilians it calls national security threats.
During Pillar of Cloud, West Bank residents were terrorized. During the week ending November 22, Israeli security forces conducted 77 civilian community incursions (on average 11 per day).
Nearly all are conducted pre-dawn. Homes are stormed and ransacked. Husbands and sons are beaten. Children are traumatized.
From November 14 – 22, hundreds of Palestinians were arrested. Included were many children and released prisoner Tha’er Halahla. He was held administratively uncharged. He hunger stuck for 78 days to win release.
Hours after Pillar of Cloud ended, dozens of West Bank residents were arrested. They included other former prisoners, human rights activists, and a Najah University professor. They also targeted Hamas and other resistance group members.
Many were attacked, tear gassed, shot at, and beaten during anti-Pillar of Cloud protests. Two were killed. Dozens were injured. An unconscious man was arrested and detained.
Young women protesting near the illegal Beit El settlement were arrested, painfully shackled, blindfolded, and subjected to dehumanizing harassment. Soldiers called them “dogs,” “bitches,” and other insults.
Young children were arrested and terrorized. Incidents like these happen regularly. Israel wages war on Palestine numerous ways. It does so with impunity. It plans much more ahead.
It calls brutalizing civilians, at times killing them, traumatizing children, and waging aggressive war self-defense.
With world community and scoundrel media support, it gets away with murder. Expect little or no change now.
Voice of America reports US propaganda. Israel National News cited VOA saying Islamic Jihad, Salafists, and other Hamas rivals may violate truce terms.
Expect Israel to do it. Netanyahu will decide how, when, where, and for what invented reason.
With rare exceptions, Israeli media provided one-sided Pillar of Cloud accounts. They haven’t stopped. A November 20 Jerusalem Post editorial headlined “Lasting Truce,” saying:
It’s “too much to expect that (Hamas) will redirect its efforts from terrorizing Israelis to bettering the lives of” Gazans. Israel wants bloodshed and destruction stopped, claimed JP editors.
Hamas wants blockade ended, its airspace respected, and its population free from Israeli terror.
“Obviously, Israel cannot agree to such demands as long as Gaza is ruled by a terrorist organization,” claimed JP editors.
Another JP editorial claimed no blockade exists. “Trucks laden with foodstuffs and supplies” get in freely. Ignored is a multi-year humanitarian crisis. Everything is in short supply. Important essentials are prohibited or severely restricted.
JP editors know but won’t say. At the same time, they said Gazans “need to understand that there is a price for (their) complicity in the attacks on” Israel.
They want 1.7 million people disconnected from Israel’s “power grid, telephone and communication services.” Perhaps they’d also like them starved to death and deprived of vital medical care.
This type rhetoric and opinion circulate widely. Western media scoundrels do the same thing. Readers and viewers are lied to. Truth doesn’t have a chance.
Israel is an occupying power. It’s obligated to protect Palestinians throughout the Territories. Instead it torments, brutalizes, arrests, and murders them.
On November 23, the Palestine News Network discussed urgent Gaza needs. Enormous human suffering and vast infrastructure destruction caused so many. PNN named five:
(1) Emergency shelter and monetary compensation for people whose homes were destroyed or badly damaged.
(2) Lesser monetary compensation amounts for others whose homes were partly damaged.
(3) Hospitals and other medical facilities provided with vital drugs, disposables and other supplies.
(4) Compensating injured Gazans monetarily.
(5) Enlisting doctors and surgeons for volunteer services.
Of course, nothing can compensate families for lost loved ones. How they’ll manage who knows. Few ask. Israel never does or cares. It prioritizes more death and destruction. It’s been that way for over 64 years.
A Final Comment
Richard Falk is UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Palestine. He’s more optimistic than this writer. Hopefully, he’s right.
He calls memorandum of understand terms potentially significant. He sees a possible “turning point in the long struggle between Israel and Palestine.”
At the same time, it’s too early to know, said Falk. Israel already confronted Palestinians too close to its border violently. Falk omitted hundreds of West Bank arrests, two killed, many injured, and perhaps much more to come.
Nonetheless, he’s hopeful. He mentioned Morsi’s involvement and other Arab government foreign ministers meeting with Hamas in Gaza. Doing so perhaps helps subvert Israel total isolation priority.
Ceasefire terms also “acknowledged Hamas as (Gaza’s) governing authority….” Doing so enhances its political status. At the same time, of course, Washington, other Western nations and Israel vilify it as a terrorist organization. Don’t expect that to change.
At least for now, Abbas was “sidelined, overshadowed, and made to appear irrelevant….” He’s a spent force. He’s got himself to blame. He’s a longtime Israeli collaborator. The fullness of time will tell what Israel and Washington have in mind for him.
Perhaps replacement looms. It could be worse. Israel could isolate and kill him like Arafat. It shouldn’t surprise if it happens. More likely he’ll retire. If and when, he’ll have to say.
Falk hailed ceasefire terms Israel accepted. Oslo represented head fake good faith. Implementation didn’t follow. Promised final status talks never occurred. Settlements grew exponentially. So did harsh repression. Why expect now to be different? It never was before.
Falk discussed other reasons to be hopeful. History shows impossible achievements sometimes happen. Peace one day will come.
Decades of liberating struggle will end. Palestine will again be free. One day. When, who knows.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.