Permalink EU reverses course on Palestine aid

The European Commission has backtracked after Israel announced a “siege” of Gaza | The European Union will not suspend aid payments to the Palestinian Authority, its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday evening, contradicting an earlier announcement by Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi. [...] Varhelyi’s announcement came two days into clashes between the Palestinian militant movement Hamas and the Israeli military, which has claimed hundreds of lives on both sides. Shortly afterward, however, Israel ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza, cutting off the supply of water, food and electricity to more than 2 million Palestinians in the territory.

Some Israeli actions ‘against international law’ – EU (RT.com) - Denying Gaza water, food and electricity is not appropriate, Josep Borrell has said [...] and called for Israel to respect international law and not block the delivery of food, water or electricity to the civilian population of Gaza.

Permalink New footage from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Permalink LIVE UPDATES: Hamas Says Goals of Operation Achieved, Open to Talks

On October 7, Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli territory, firing a barrage of rockets and catching the IDF (Israeli Army) off guard. Israeli government launched Operation Swords of Iron and invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law which de facto implies a declaration of war. | The Palestinian Hamas movement has achieved the goals of its operation in Israel and now it is open to any discussions, a member of the movement's political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouq, said on Tuesday. 💬 "We have achieved our goals...We are open to any discussions and political dialogue," Abu Marzouq told the regional broadcaster, adding that the movement is "not closed to negotiations." Russia has called for a ceasefire and immediate peace talks while stressing that the roots of the conflict must be understood. According to the latest available data, the death toll from hostilities has risen to over 700 among Palestinians and roughly 1100 Israelis, with thousands of wounded from both sides.

Dozens Of Palestinians Killed In Ongoing Israeli Bombing Of Gaza, Monday (IMEMC.org)
Gaza under Attack: Civilian Objects Targeted (PCHR.org)
Israeli Soldiers Abduct 40 Palestinians In West Bank (IMEMC.org)

Permalink To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this (February 8, 2016)

Jonathan Ofir (February 8, 2016)| An open letter to my fellow Israelis | [...] I have to tell you first that our evaluation of Israeli history omits so much atrocity from our side. Indeed, much of it is still classified – even back to 1948. Yes, you may have heard about the Deir Yassin massacre, it is often taught in school books, yet portrayed as an aberration, perpetrated by “extremist” and “rogue” factions before the Declaration of Independence (although the leaders of those extremist factions became our Prime Ministers). But what of the dozens of other massacres perpetrated by – us – in 1948, indeed by the very IDF? Have you read about Al Dawayima, which was apparently worse than Deir Yassin? [...] When you sum up the systematic mass executions, the many gang-rape cases (which have been slow to be uncovered, because they involve shame on both fronts), the crushing of children’s skulls with sticks, the ripping out of fetuses from their mothers’ wombs – all, and many more, perpetrated by “us”, the “good guys”, the “cultured elite” – often in situations which presented no danger, just out of pure gratuitous sadism and hate for the “Arabs” – then you may begin to realise, that Israel is not in a war of survival, a war of an elite and advanced culture in a “bad neighborhood” of backwards Arab sub-culture.  Let me put it out there, clearly and directly: We have been acting like animals, with barbarism of a degree which indeed could be, and should be, and has been, compared to those whom we love to hate – the Nazis – whose cruelty is supposed to exonerate ours. As Golda Meir told MK Shulamit Aloni: “After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything.” NO. Damn well not.

Permalink A Population With Nothing To Lose

Caitlin Johnstone | The problem with oppressing a population with maximum force is that at some point they start figuring they’ve got nothing to lose by fighting back. | The coming days are going to be full of Western news media slyly reversing the aggressor-defender relationship and reporting as though all the violence began with the Hamas offensive, spontaneously out of nowhere.  Do I think this latest uprising will end in more positive results than negative for Palestinians? No. Does that mean I’ll condemn the Palestinian resistance for fighting back? Also no.  This is because doing so would be nonsensical, for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, because nobody can tell me what the Palestinians should do instead that is both realistic and reasonable. It would be easy for me to sit here in my armchair and say the Palestinians should either maintain the status quo or lie down, relinquish their homes and homeland and accept whatever table scraps they’re able to get, but we can see from the Palestinian perspective that that’s not reasonable. It would be easy for me to sit in my armchair and argue that Palestinians should just focus on securing a one-state or two-state solution, but we can see from the Israeli political landscape that that’s not realistic.  So what else can they do? What reasonable and realistic options do they have? No one can provide me with a satisfactory answer.

Israeli Lawmaker Says ‘Pogroms’ Against Palestinians Provoked Hamas Assault (antiwar.com)
Egypt Claims It Warned Israel Of Upcoming Attack (Moon of Alabama)
The Top Takeaways From Hamas’ Sneak Attack On Israel (Andrew Korybko)

Permalink Slouching Towards Gaza (12/25/13)

This post offers an account of pivotal events in the history of Israel/Palestine from 1947 to the present through the reflections of a number of informed and articulate commentators. — Vincent Di Stefano   WEBAMP Sound

Two days after Christmas in 2008, the isolated and densely populated city of Gaza was visited by volley upon volley of deadly missile and mortar fire. The intense bombardment of what has been described by the United Nations Development Programme as "one of the most densely populated places on earth" continued unabated for a period of three weeks. By the end of the assault, over 1,400 Palestinians had been killed and more than 5,000 wounded, many seriously. Between three and four hundred of the dead were children. A total of 13 Israelis were killed during the same time, four of them by the action of their own troops. This post offers a fifth-anniversary commemoration of this tragic and highly destructive assault which commenced on the 27th of December 2008 and ended on the 18th January 2009. It offers an account of pivotal events in the history of Israel/Palestine from 1947 to the present through the reflections of a number of informed and articulate commentators.

The Voices
Chris Hedges (New York Society for Ethical Culture, January 2009)
Richard Falk (Middle East Monitor Conference, London, Dec. 2010)
Sara Roy (University of Sydney, Ideas, October 2008)
Tanya Reinhart (University of Sydney, Ideas, October 2006)
Mustafa Barghouti (TUC Radio, March 2004)
Edward Said (U. of California, Berkeley, March 2003)
David Ben-Gurion (June 1947, Talking History Archive, Dec. 2004)
Ilan Pappe (University of Bern, Switzerland, November 2012)
Robert Fisk (Interview with Cindy Sheehan, September 2010)
Eyal Weizman (KPFA, Against the Grain, April 2009)
Mads Gilbert (Unusual Sources, January 2010; Muslim Perspectives, January 2010; Sounds of Dissent, Nov. 2012)

The Poetry
Suheir Hammad. Gaza Suite. 1: Gaza
Vincent Di Stefano. Careful Now (Excerpt). Music composed and performed by Nico Di Stefano

The Music
Gilad Atzmon and Orient House Ensemble. Dal'Ouna on the Return
Rim Banna. The Wall
Yggdrasil. Al Dabaran
Sirocco. Nomads
The Ida Raichel Project. Azini (Comfort me)
Digital Samsara. C#
Jocelyn Pook. Migrations
Steve Kahn and Rob Mounsey. I See a Long Journey
The Herd. Kids Learn Quick
Digital Samsara. 7am
Outlandish and Sami Jusuf. Try not to Cry

Produced by Vincent Di Stefano (LINK)

Permalink The Top Takeaways From Hamas’ Sneak Attack On Israel

Andrew Korybko | Everything that’s happened thus far has been eye-opening for everyone | Hamas launched an unprecedented sneak attack on Israel over the weekend that completely caught the self-professed Jewish State by surprise after all its security systems unexpectedly failed at the same time. The border wall was breached, some military bases were captured, and dozens of hostages were taken back to Gaza. Israel responded by launching airstrikes inside the strip and preparing a ground operation. Here are the top ten takeaways from everything that’s happened thus far in the latest Israeli-Hamas war.  Everything that’s happened thus far has been eye-opening for everyone. The reputation of Israel’s security services has been shattered, Hamas’ has never been better in the eyes of most non-Western observers, and many among the latter finally learned that neither Russia nor China favor Palestine. Should the latest conflict become protracted, let alone expand into a regional one, then there’s a real possibility that the US will freeze the Ukrainian Conflict in order to redirect finite military aid to Israel.

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