The drums for war on Iran have been banging louder than ever lately, with a spate of articles by political commentators either directly encouraging the bombing of the Islamic Republic or otherwise offering a narrative in which this is effectively portrayed as the only option to prevent Iran from waging a nuclear holocaust against Israel. A prominent example of the latter is Jeffrey Goldberg’s article last month in the Atlantic magazine, “The Point of No Return”. Goldberg’s lengthy piece essentially boils down to this: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons poses an existential threat to Israel’s existence comparable to the Nazi Holocaust, and although the U.S. recognizes this threat, the Obama administration is weak, so Israel will have no choice but to act alone in bombing Iran to ensure its own survival.
Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’
Jeremy R. Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal, June 17, 2010
Myth #1 – Jews and Arabs have always been in conflict in the region.
Although Arabs were a majority in Palestine prior to the creation of the state of Israel, there had always been a Jewish population, as well. For the most part, Jewish Palestinians got along with their Arab neighbors. This began to change with the onset of the Zionist movement, because the Zionists rejected the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and wanted Palestine for their own, to create a “Jewish State” in a region where Arabs were the majority and owned most of the land.
For instance, after a series of riots in Jaffa in 1921 resulting in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs, the occupying British held a commission of inquiry, which reported their finding that “there is no inherent anti-Semitism in the country, racial or religious.” Rather, Arab attacks on Jewish communities were the result of Arab fears about the stated goal of the Zionists to take over the land.
Middle East Online,First Published 2010-02-10
‘We will stand against Israel. We will stand with our own people’
Hariri voices concern about ‘dangerous’ Israeli military maneuvers ‘day in and day out’.
LONDON – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri voiced concern about Israeli threats and escalating military activity in a BBC interview broadcast Wednesday.
“We hear a lot of Israeli threats day in and day out, and not only threats,” Hariri told the British broadcaster.
“We see what’s happening on the ground and in our airspace and what’s happening all the time during the past two months – every day we have Israeli planes entering Lebanese airspace.
“This is something that is escalating, and this is something that is really dangerous,” said the prime minister.
Hariri warned Israel not to count on Lebanon, whose politics is highly factious, remaining divided in case of an attack.
Israel is planning to assassinate the head of the southern Lebanon-based Shi’ite militia Hezbollah, a development which would “set the region ablaze,” one of the group’s deputies told an Arab language newspaper on Friday.
Nawaf al-Moussawi, who was Hezbollah’s top foreign policy official and who is now running in Lebanon’s upcoming parliamentary elections, accused Israel of plotting to assassinate the Shi’ite group’s leader, Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
Al-Moussawi, who is running for a seat representing the south Lebanese town of Tyre, said that Israel’s plan was hatched in concert with Arab governments.
In an interview with the pan-Arab London-based daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, al-Moussawi spoke in detail about the elections. He also told the newspaper that Israel’s planned large-scale military drill is really a simulation of the army’s plan to liquidate Nasrallah.
Al-Moussawi said an Israeli assassination of Nasrallah would “set the region ablaze” and that Hezbollah was preparing for such a scenario.
|Al Jazeera, January 12, 2008|
Doctors in Gaza City have told Al Jazeera that people have been admitted suffering burns consistent with the use of the controversial chemical white phosphorus.
Human rights campaigners say that Israeli forces have used the munition, which can burn away human flesh to the bone, over Gaza City and Jabaliya in recent days.
Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, said: “Doctors here say they are seeing unprecedented levels of deep burns.
“They cannot categorically say that white phosphorus is being used, they are saying that the munitions being dropped are unprecendented.”
Residents in densely-packed Jabaliya have described Israeli forces exploding shells that drop scores of burning fragments and spread suffocating smoke.
“Its the first time we see this type of weapon, it must be new and its seems like its phosphorous,” one resident told Al Jazeera.
“Its suffocating and has a deadly poisonous smell that I am sure will cause a lot of sickness and disease on all of the civilians here,” he said.
Another witness said she saw “… a bright flash and then all of these sparks fell on our area … landing all around us and in our homes. Our mattresses caught on fire”.
The use of the munition in densely-populated areas violates the requirement under international humanitarian law for all feasible precautions to be taken to avoid civilian injury and loss of life, Human Rights Watch said.
International law permits the use of white phosphorus in order to cover troop movements and prevent enemies from using certain guided weapons.
Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at the human rights group told Al Jazeera on Saturday that he had watched Israeli ground forces using white phosphorus.
“Clearly it is [white phosphorus], we can tell by the explosions and the tendrils that go down [and] the fires that were burning,” he said.
“Today there were massive attacks in Jabaliya when we were there. We saw that there were numerous fires once the white phosphorus had gone in.
“We went by Israeli artillery units that had white phosphorus rounds with the fuses in them.”
Major Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, told Al Jazeera that the Israeli army was “using munitions with accordance to international law”.
“The policy of the IDF [Israeli Defence Force] is to not specify the types of munition, we have not done it before and we will not do it now.”
Mark Regev, the Israeli government spokesman, said he was unable to confirm or deny whether the military was using the chemical, but that Israel did not use munitions that were banned under international law.
“I don’t have the knowledge of the detail of what ammunition we are using. I can only know for a fact that Israel uses no ammunition that is outlawed under conventions and that Nato forces would not use in a similar combat situation,” he told Al Jazeera.
Israel used white phosphorus during its 34-day war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement in 2006, while the United States used it during the controversial siege of the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004.