Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass

Elizabeth Murray

A whole family was killed in their home in Nasser street, Gaza
city. 4 children died, along with their parents and a grandmother.

Consortiumn News Exclusive: Israeli hardliners joke about the periodic need to decimate each new generation of Palestinian militants as “mowing the grass,” a process underway again in new bombardments of Gaza. This ugly metaphor has also penetrated the think-tank world of Official Washington.

In early 2010, one of Washington DC’s most prestigious think tanks was holding a seminar on the Middle East which included a discussion of Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 assault on Gaza which killed about 1,300 Palestinians. When the death toll was mentioned, one expert on the panel smiled enigmatically and intoned: “It’s unfortunate, but every once in a while you have to mow the lawn.”

The remark, which likened killing hundreds of men, women and children – many of them noncombatants – with trimming the grass, was greeted with a light tittering around the room, which was filled with some of Washington’s most elite, highly educated and well-paid Middle East experts. Not a single one objected to the panelist’s black humor.

On the contrary, several analysts and experts were grinning at the reference to Israel’s strategy of mounting periodic attacks on the Palestinians to cull each new generation of militants. Such is the nonchalance of Washington’s policy-advising cognoscenti toward the ongoing and systematic genocide of Gaza’s oppressed population.

The cavalier language is symptomatic of the policymaking community’s increasingly pervasive tendency to disregard and disparage the humanity of Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks, which are often waged by Israel’s high-tech drones and U.S.-supplied F-16’s. There is also a tendency to ignore or downplay Israeli war crimes.

Sharon the Truth Teller

Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Sharon, son of Ariel Sharon, wrote in the Jerusalem Post that Israel should “Flatten all of Gaza.”

“There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire,” he wrote. “We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”

Many Israelis and even some Zionists are ‘outraged’ but the truth must be told – Sharon’s views are fully consistent with Zionism, Israeli thinking and some aspect of Jewish culture.

For example, Sharon’s call is fully consistent with some devastating Old Testament’s passages:

‘And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword...And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.' Leviticus, 26:7–8

‘When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before thee...and thou shalt smite them; then thou shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them.’ Deuteronomy 7:1–2

‘Howbeit of the cities of these peoples, that the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth; but thou shalt utterly destroy the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.’ Deuteronomy 20:16-17

So, both like his real father and his spiritual forefathers, the young Sharon wants to destroy the Gazans, he wants to reduce them and their civilization into dust – thoughts unfortunately embedded in the Old Testament. Though religious Jews following the Talmud rather than the Torah and may be critical of literal interpretations of the Holy Book, Gilad Sharon, is a secular Israeli and yet he follows here the most banal and literal interpretation of the Biblical text.

In Palestine Something Miraculous Happens

Nahida Izzat, Exiled Palestinian

In Palestine

Terror reigns

Psychopaths claim dominance

and a "G-d given right" to rob, kill and maim

Death toll mounts from Israeli air strikes in Gaza

Patrick Martin

Israeli warplanes and naval gunboats intensified their attacks on Palestinian homes and institutions throughout the Gaza Strip over the weekend, bringing the death toll in the five days of aggression against the densely populated area to more than 75.

At least 29 people were killed Sunday, the majority of them women and children. There are undoubtedly more dead people, who remain buried in the ruins of dozens of houses and buildings.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that Israeli warplanes had carried out more than 1,000 strikes against targets in Gaza. Spokesmen for the Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 660 people were wounded or missing in the rubble. At least 137 children have been wounded.

Hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed with casualties and short on essential supplies, according to the World Health Organization. The Save the Children charity said families were running out of food and water, with most trapped in their homes and enduring power cuts of up to 18 hours a day.

In the single bloodiest atrocity Sunday, nine members of the family of Mohamed Dallu, a Hamas official, were killed when Israeli bombs destroyed his home. The dead include his four small children—Sara (7), Jamal (6), Yusef (4) and Ibrahim (2). The blast was so powerful that it also killed two people who were merely walking past the house at the time.

In another incident, at Jabalya Camp in northern Gaza, a man, his wife and two small children, aged three and two, were killed when a bomb fell while they were sleeping and collapsed their small home on top of them.

Blogging and Nothingness: Progressives Turn Their Gaze from Gaza

Chris Floyd

"Too much of nothing can make a man a liar."
~ Bob Dylan

"Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again."
~ Shakespeare, King Lear

It sure was a quiet weekend in the progressive blogosphere, where peace, justice and the alleviation of human suffering is an earnest, burning concern. At Eschaton, Atrios gave an amiable shrug and declared, "I got nothing to say." Digby and her co-pilot, David Atkins, did have a few things to say -- about Sarah Palin, General Pants-Down Petraeus, the grubby "Grand Bargaining" in the Beltway, and several examples of the stupidity and perfidy of right-wing Republicans. The posters at Daily Kos plied the same themes.

But even for those who didn't got nothing to say, it was all very much in a low-key, mopping-up, post-election mode. It seemed as if there were no major news events going on anywhere in the world that involved the violent, unjust infliction of human suffering, with the direct monetary, military and political support of United States government and its entire bipartisan political and media establishments. Nothing that might grab the attention -- even in passing -- of writers publicly and professionally dedicated to discussing and analyzing major news events involving American policy, politics and the media.

Anything like that going on this weekend? Anyone? Digby, Dave? No? Kos and the gang? Anything? Atrios?

Nope. They got nothing.

Not on Friday. Not on Saturday. Not by Sunday evening (as I write this).

Targeting Civilians: Israel's Specialty

Stephen Lendman

Bullies choose easy adversaries to pummel. Equal fights are shunned. It's the same in schoolyards or battlefields. America and Israel operate this way. They avoid foes able to give as much as they take. Rogue governments never say they're sorry.

During Cast Lead in January 2009, Professor Jeremy Salt wrote "A Message to the brave Israeli Airmen." His comments apply to what's now ongoing.

What’s it like firing missiles at people you can’t see, he asked? Does it help being unable to see who you're killing? Is your conscience eased by inflicting disproportionate force on people unable to fight back and civilian infrastructure? Are you comfortable about slaughtering civilian men, women, children, and infants? Does this weigh on your conscience, or are you at ease? Do you sleep well or have nightmares about men, women and children you killed at home, in beds, kitchens, living rooms, schools, mosques, at work, or at play? Do farmers in their fields, mothers with children, teachers in classrooms, imams in mosques, children at play, the elderly, frail or disabled threaten your security? Do you ever question what you’ve done and why? Have you no shame, no sense of decency, no idea of the difference between right and wrong? Do you know the law? If so, why do you violate it? Doing so makes you complicit in crimes of war and against humanity? Do you know that? Do you blindly follow orders or have a mind of your own? Have you murdered civilians before? Will you do it again if ordered? Will you keep following orders blindly or do the right thing?

"Brave" Israeli airmen, soldiers, sailors, and other security force personnel are cowards. They've acted lawlessly for decades. Palestinian suffering is a way of life. Imagine living every day not sure if you'll live or die. Imagine young children growing up this way. Do Israeli children know what Palestinian ones endure? Are they told? Do they care? Do their parents?

Israel's orgy of death in Gaza

Khalid Amayreh

The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small ~ Sextus Empiricus

It is very difficult to humanly understand the ongoing pornographic murderous bloodshed in the Gaza Strip at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces.

The indiscriminate and callous killings are really beyond the pale of what is humanly acceptable. Zionist Jews, whether we like it or not, are behaving in Nazi-like manner.

It may be politically incorrect to speak in such terms in some capitals such as Washington D.C. and London where the political establishments are thoroughly enslaved by Jewish money and Jewish power.

But the truth must be proclaimed even at the expense of angering some Jewish supremacists who think that non-Jews are sub-humans whose lives have no sanctity.

Take, for example, the Daleou family whose 11 members were completely annihilated in central Gaza Sunday afternoon, 18 November, when an American supplied Israeli F-16 warplane bombed their home with a laser-guided missile, killing the husband, the wife and their 9 children. Now, what sort of human beings or more correctly beasts, would commit such an obscenity? How will they see their faces in the mirror from now on?

Since the beginning of the current murderous aggression on Gaza in which Israel has used hundreds of warplanes, tanks and other state-of-the-art machines of death, as many as 65 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of them innocent civilians, including more than 20 children. More than 600 others were maimed or injured, many with handicaps that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Israel claims it is killing Palestinian children in self- defense. But Israel is an occupying power that illegally occupies other people's land and continues to build illegal colonies on land that belongs to the Palestinians.

Let Us Now Speak Plainly

Arthur Silber

A Palestinian woman and her child run for cover after an Israeli air-
strike hit the northern Gaza City on Friday.
(M. Longari/AFP/Getty)

The most striking and significant quality of our national conversation "is one of overwhelming, oppressive and suffocating unreality. It is as if everyone knows, but will never acknowledge, that we may speak only in code, and that we may only utilize the safe, empty phrases that we have agreed are 'acceptable' -- phrases and language that are safe precisely because they have been drained of all correspondence to facts. It is as if everyone realizes, but will never state, that we are engaged in an elaborate charade, a pageant of gesture and indication, where substance and specific meaning have been banned. ... [T]he truth is not merely unpleasant, an uninvited guest who makes conversation difficult and awkward. Truth is the enemy; truth is to be destroyed."

Gaza is a concentration camp. It is not like a concentration camp. It is not a metaphorical or figurative concentration camp. It is a concentration camp. Our culture, our political leaders, and the cacophony of voices in the media have all agreed that this truth must never be spoken. If one wanted to be momentarily charitable about people's absolute refusal to recognize the obvious, one might argue that a land area of approximately 140 square miles, containing a population of roughly 1.7 million people, could not possibly be a concentration camp. But size and the number of prisoners are not the distinguishing characteristics of a concentration camp. The most essential characteristic of a concentration camp is what is permitted, and what is not. Only one question matters: Under what conditions are the people within its borders permitted to live?

Israel controls most of Gaza's land borders, just as Israel controls the air space above it and the waters that border Gaza on the west. The sole exception is the small border with Egypt, and Israel subjects that border to attacks whenever it chooses. In essence, nothing is permitted in or out of Gaza without Israel's permission.

Nearly 50 million living in poverty in US

Kate Randall

The ranks of the unemployed in the United States rose last year to 49.7 million, based on a new measure that provides a fuller picture of poverty than that previously reported by U.S. Census Bureau data. The revised poverty rate of 16.1 percent is up more than a percentage point from the 15 percent figure reported by the government in September.

Coming a little more than a week after the 2012 elections, the news that nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty received little attention in the media or from the Obama administration. Neither big-business party has any policies to alleviate growing poverty, which is exacerbated by entrenched unemployment and a sluggish economy.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), devised a year ago, factors in expenses for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, health care and other essentials beyond what the previous official formula took into account. It includes in its income measure such government-provided benefits as Social Security, unemployment benefits and nutrition assistance.

The SPM figures released by the Census Bureau on Thursday show that while some households may have incomes above the poverty line, factors such as medical expenses are pushing increasing numbers into poverty. The new figures also indicate that the tepid job growth in the more than four years since the financial crisis has come mostly in the form of low-wage jobs that in many cases are not able to lift families out of poverty.

Israel’s Real Agenda: Expand And Obtain As Much Palestinian Land As Possible

Philip Giraldi

RE Map: Why does Israel continue to build settlements on the west bank and continue its expansionist policies? The ultimate goal is to capture all of ‘Eretz Israel’. The ‘Promised Land’ extends from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. It includes parts of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, a bit of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Yasser Arafat always used to keep an Israeli coin in his pocket showing Israel with the ‘Eretz Israel’ borders, to remind people that they shouldn’t be fooled by the Zionists, as they have no defined borders and continue to expand their land.

Most observers have become wearied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s frequently voiced demands that Iran must be attacked because it is a threat to the entire world. The reality is otherwise, that Iran’s theocratic government’s security apparatus oppresses mostly its own people and its military lacks the capabilities that would enable it to threaten either Israel or the United States. Israel’s government knows that perfectly well and has even conceded that Iran currently has no nuclear weapons program, a viewpoint shared by America’s CIA. It also knows that any attempt by its air force and navy to attack Iran would be fraught with peril, quite likely leading to a regional war in which Israel would sustain considerable damage even if it would ultimately prevail due to its superior armaments provided by the United States.

So if Iran is no threat and Israel is incapable of staging a successful attack using its own resources, why is there a constant drumbeat from Netanyahu? One might suggest that Israel has been all along intending to let Washington do the fighting and dying for it by creating a sense of urgency over what Iran’s intentions and capabilities might actually be. Useful idiots in Congress, most recently Senators Kirk and Menendez, continue to push through resolutions demanding more and harsher sanctions against Iran. This demonization effort has been successful in that it has placed the US Congress firmly on the side of wrecking the Iranian economy as a means to eliminate Tehran’s nuclear program while prominent media spokesmen have been voicing much the same sentiment. Mitt Romney also drank the Kool aid, pledging to stop Iranian “capability” to create a nuclear weapon, something that it already has, before demonstrating that he did not even know where Iran was located. Because of the misinformation that circulates freely, opinion polls suggest that most Americans believe that Iran already has a nuclear weapon and constitutes a threat, though few would want a new war in the Middle East to deal with it.

Ahmed Jabari (1960 - 2012)

Stephen Lendman

Photo: Ahmed Jabari, leader of Qassam Brigades in the Gaza Strip, oversees a prisoner exchange with Israel near the Rafah border crossing on October 18, 2011. The landmark swap freed abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after five years in Hamas hands. (Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images/Global Post)

On November 15, thousands in Gaza City residents mourned Jabari's assassination. Israel murdered him the previous day in cold blood.

Score another victory for occupation harshness. Add one to the column of Israeli crimes against humanity. Volumes are needed to list them. Israel lives by the sword of injustice. One day perhaps it will perish for its villainy.

Hamas officials and Qassam Brigades leaders stayed away from Jabari's funeral for their safety. They're marked men. IDF spokesman General Yoav Mordechai said, "Were I a Hamas operative, I would opt to shelter underground." Mourners carried Jabari's body ritualistically. Others fired guns in the air chanting, "You have won." London Telegraph writer Phoebe Greenwood said Gazans called his assassination

"the straw that's broken the camel's back. The people are saying that 'we don't care. We want all our men to fight. We've got nothing to lose now.' "

Gaza is in "emergency mode." People are angry and defiant. The London Independent headlined "Massed Israeli troops poised for invasion of Gaza," saying:

"Military sources told The Independent that a ground invasion was 'a distinct possibility.' The army has deployed extra infantry units near the Gaza border, halted major exercises, cancelled soldiers' leave and mobilized some reserve forces."

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and its military wing, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigade, mourns Jabari's death. They called him a martyred liberating struggle "great leader." They promised greater resistance. They called for Palestinian unity and solidarity against a common enemy.

Gaza Speaks

Nahida Izzat, Exiled Palestinian


I would love to write poetry about love,

Paint rainbows and butterflies,

Smell the scent of pink rose buds,

And dance;

Dance with the melody of jubilant bluebirds.

Israel launches offensive against Gaza

Bill Van Auken

There is no doubt a strong political component to the renewed Israeli aggression, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing an election in January.

In its most intense attack on Gaza since the Operation Cast Lead invasion of 2008-2009, Israel carried out an intense bombardment of the Palestinian territory Wednesday, beginning with the assassination of a top Hamas leader.

Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing, was killed Wednesday afternoon together with another Hamas member in an Israeli missile strike on his car in Gaza City.

The assault, which has been dubbed “Pillar of Defense” by the Israeli military, continued into Wednesday night with dozens more air strikes on targets within the Gaza Strip. Israeli tanks also fired on the densely populated territory, and Israeli naval ships were reported to have shelled it from the sea.

“Big explosions were rocking Gaza, as the Israeli air force struck at selected targets just before sundown, blasting plumes of smoke and debris high above the crowded city,” the Reuters news agency reported. “Panicking civilians ran for cover and the death toll mounted quickly.”

By early evening, at least nine Palestinians were reported killed, including two little girls under the age of five, Gaza’s health ministry reported. At least 64 more were wounded, and the toll from the bombardment was expected to grow.

'Israeli crimes against Palestinians have gone unpunished due to Western cover'

Press TV

A peace activist says if Western cover was removed from giving impunity to crimes committed by Israel against defenseless people they would not have gone unpunished.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with selected foreign ambassadors to garner support for war on Hamas and thus war on the people of Palestine.

US Ambassador to Israel Daniel B Shapiro has already given the green light to Israel for a full-scale war into Gaza similar to the murderous rampage by the Israeli military at the end of 2008 in Operation Cast Lead that killed some 1,400 Gazans, mostly women and children.

Press TV has interviewed Ken O’Keefe, peace activist and former US marine from London, about this developing situation of war talk. Joining O’Keefe in this news analysis is Adie Mormech, human rights activist in Gaza, and Daniel Pipes, historian and political commentator from Florida. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Netanyahu Seeks International Support For Offensive

Saed Bannoura

Obama Says He “Understands” Why Israel Launched Its Offensive

Israeli TV, Channel 10, reported that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is holding talks with different world leaders, including U.S. President, Barack Obama, to ensure international support as Israel widens and intensifies its escalation against the Gaza Strip.

Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu phoned Obama, and informed him on the details of the current Israeli military escalation against the coastal region.

It added that Netanyahu will also be contacting several world leaders in an attempt to ensure support for Israel’s offensive.

Netanyahu’s office stated that the Israeli Prime Minister “is deeply grateful to Obama” for understanding why the Israel decided to launch a large-scale offensive against Gaza.

Netanyahu also phoned vice-president, Joe Biden, and E.U Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton.
It is worth mentioning that Israel’s President, Shimon Peres, also phoned Obama, and told him that “southern Israel has been under rocket attack since last week”.

Obama said that he understands why Israel is carrying out its offensive against Gaza, and expressed full support to Tel Aviv.

This is happening while Israel killed, on Wednesday, eight Palestinians, including children, and injured more than 85 Palestinians, including several children, infants and women.

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