Ilan Pappe: The Historical Perspective of the 2014 Gaza Massacre

August 23, 2014


By Ilan Pappé, 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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Disarming: Gaza or Israel?

August 7, 2014

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.

Jimmy Carter: US must recognise Hamas as a political force

August 6, 2014


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.


Gaza’s Desperate ‘Prison Riot’

August 4, 2014

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

August 3, 2014

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.

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

August 2, 2014


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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Iran’s supreme leader calls on Muslim world to arm Gaza

July 30, 2014
Nasir Khan: The Arab rulers have American and Israeli rulers as their guardians and protectors. In return they do what US and Israel tell them to do. But any occasional word of sympathy by the Arab rulers for the people of Gaza who are being slaughtered mercilessly by Israel are only a public relations stunt meant to deceive domestic and Muslim audiences and a cover-up about their real masters and partners. To expect them to arm the Palestinians against a barbaric Zionist war-machine seems unrealistic. That’s the truth in a nutshell.
Author Arash Karami Posted July 29, 2014

During his Eid al-Fitr address July 29, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spent a considerable portion of his speech discussing the war in Gaza. He condemned Israel and called the attacks on Gaza “genocide.”

 In response to calls by Western nations to disarm Hamas, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “What do you mean, disarm? They have a few missiles to briefly defend themselves against the enemy.” He said the West wants to disarm Hamas so that “Whenever the Zionists want they can attack, light any fire, and [Gazans] would not even be allowed to defend themselves.”

He continued, “The president of America issued a fatwa that the resistance must be disarmed. Yes, it’s clear, you want this [minimal] attack in response to all of these crimes not to happen. We say the opposite. All of the world, especially the Islamic world, has a responsibility: whatever it can do to equip the Palestinian people.



July 28, 2014

Nasir Khan, July 28, 2014

I don’t know how to offer my Eid greetings to the millions of people who are hungry, homeless and are victims of wars, violence, oppression and discrimination.

At this time, Israeli war on Gaza is in the third week. Israeli propaganda and American military, political and diplomatic support for Israel have been instrumental in presenting a totally distorted picture of the Palestine-Israel conflict. By using deceptive tactics and disinformation, they have succeeded in isolating the Palestinians and misleading the world public opinion about the reality of the Israeli occupation and expansion in the occupied territories. As a result, the victims are still being portrayed by the western imperial governments and the right-wing mainstream media as the aggressors who are threatening the security of Israel! So the powerful aggressor and occupier has become a victim while the powerless, dispossessed and marginalised Palestinian victim has become a threat to the ‘security’ of Israel!

1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, who have been under the brutal Israeli blockade for the last seven years, are again being killed indiscriminately by Israeli aerial bombardment, ground forces and naval gunships. Once again, Israel has calculatedly been busy destroying and pulverising their houses, smashing the infrastructure and public utilities in the besieged enclave. Israeli armed forces with their overwhelmingly superior military force and advanced weapons are reducing Gaza to rubble from which it may not recover in the years to come. If the Israeli occupation and blockade will continue as now then any chances of rebuilding Gaza are zero.

Richard Falk: Palestinian Recourse to the International Criminal Court: The Time has Come

July 21, 2014


Richard Falk, Global Justice in the 21st Century, 21 July 2014


(Prefatory Note: “Palestine’s Dilemma: To Go or Not to Go to the International Criminal Court” was published on July 13, 2014 on the website of Middle East Eye, a site I strong recommend to all those with an interest in Middle East issues; this post represents a somewhat revised text, but within the framework of the original; the political plausibility of invoking the Inteernational Criminal Court to investigate allegations of criminality directed at Israel increases with each passing day.)

Ever since this latest Israeli major military operation against Gaza started on July 8, there have been frequent suggestions that Israel is guilty of war crimes, and that Palestine should do its best to activate the International Criminal Court (ICC) on its behalf. The evidence overwhelmingly supports basic Palestinian allegations—Israel is guilty either of aggression in violation of the UN Charter or is in flagrant violation of its obligations as the Occupying Power under the Geneva Convention to protect the civilian population of an Occupied People; Israel seems guilty of using excessive and disproportionate force against a defenseless society in the Gaza Strip; and Israel, among an array of other offenses, seems guilty of committing Crimes Against Humanity in the form of imposing an apartheid regime in the West Bank and through the transfer of population to an occupied territory as it has proceeded with its massive settlement project.

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Hamas seeks the end of Israeli occupation, nothing more

July 20, 2014


Nasir Khan, July 20, 2014

There are many people who are just repeating the deceptive and misleading Zionist propaganda that has been the stock-in-trade of the Israeli rulers against Hamas that it wants the destruction of Israel?

In reality, Hamas is not the threat; it is Israel that has been a constant threat and aggressor since 1948. Hamas is a freedom-seeking organisation. It stands for the end of the Zionist occupation that has lasted for so long but sees no end of it in sight. It asks for an end to further Israeli expansion in the occupied land.

Just take a look at the map of the West Bank and see what has happened there since 1967. Practically hundreds of illegal settlements have been established and extreme fanatic settlers put in there who constantly terrorise the Palestinians still living there.

Now Israel has started a new war, a new slaughter in the Gaza Strip with a view to destroy any resistance to its occupation by Hamas. It is Israel that is destroying all those who challenge its occupation.


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