How Long? Not Long

Friend of P U L S E Jeffrey Lockman brings this to my attention. What if the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had lived? ‘He would have continued speaking out’, writes Jeffrey, ‘against injustice, war including that in Gaza’. Two timely clips follow.

And ‘A Time to Break Silence’. MLK speaking about Viet Nam, but it could equally apply to Israel. Continue reading “How Long? Not Long”

Prefering Death to Indignity

Holding Out in Gaza: Waiting for the Israelis‘. Safa Joudeh in Time reporting on the ongoing Nakba in Gaza:

As Israeli tanks push deeper and deeper into the Gaza Strip from the north, south and east each night, we feel certain that come morning, Phase 3 of the Israeli offensive will be upon us. Yet the Israeli military seems insistent upon teasing the population, playing a ruthless game of terror against those living in neighborhoods that are at the forefront of the incursions, which are heavily bombarded each night. Each afternoon, four families of relatives who live only five minutes away from us gather their blankets, clothes and valuables and arrive at our front door, fearing that this will be the night. Each morning they return to their homes, thankful that, so far, only minimal damage has been done to their houses during the night. Each morning the Israeli military retreat to their original posts, on the outskirts of the neighborhoods. So far.

Continue reading “Prefering Death to Indignity”

Muslim Representatives?

Britain’s Justice Minister Shahid Malik seems at first to be criticising the British government for its response to the Gaza Massacre. In fact, he is blaming British Muslims for not appreciating the government’s position. Worse, Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood “dismissed suggestions of an arms embargo.” Isn’t an arms embargo the very least that he should be asking for? Please write to these people – who we vote for, whose salaries are paid by us – and set things straight for them.

Hamas: Not a Religious War

“Our struggle is not against the Jewish people, but against oppression and occupation. This is not a religious war,” says Basim Naim, Gaza’s Minister of Health, in the Guardian:

We believe in resistance, not revenge

Sixteen days into its attack, Israel continues to bombard all areas in the Gaza strip from F16s, Apache helicopters, ships and tanks. Weapons used against our people include white phosphorus rockets, made in America, which burn the skin black and destroy human soft tissue completely. Now we can hear shooting around the outskirts of Gaza City.

Ninety per cent of the targets attacked are civilian. Of nearly 900 confirmed dead, 32% are children. More than 40% of the 4,000 wounded are children, while medical centres and 13 ambulances have been destroyed.

Hamas is not the only group fighting against this aggression: its fighters are joined by members of Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and Fatah. But the popularity of Hamas has increased during the invasion. Every occupied people has the right to resist if negotiation fails. People know very well that those who took the other path – of negotiation without resistance – got nothing from it: only more settlements, checkpoints, killings, prisoners and occupation without end.

Continue reading “Hamas: Not a Religious War”

IDF troops posing as Hamas men

Earlier on January 11 Haaretz published a report by Amira Hass headlined ‘Gaza residents: IDF troops posing as Hamas men‘. The report has curiously disappeared since, replaced by something completely unrelated. However, the readers comments at the bottom are still responding to the Hass’s original report. Following is a cached copy of the original:

The testimonies of Gaza Strip residents are revealing new details about the Israel Defense Forces’ mode of operation there. In the past two days, Beit Lahia residents forced from their homes said soldiers were posing as members of Hamas’ armed wing while advancing on the ground.

The daily pauses in bombing allow Gazans to meet with the displaced – most of whom are housed in an UNRWA school – and hear their stories.

Continue reading “IDF troops posing as Hamas men”

The Blood-Stained Monster Enters Gaza

gaza massacre

Uri Avnery with a really fantastic piece in Counterpunch. My one criticism is his conclusion that “in the end, this war is a crime against ourselves too, a crime against the State of Israel.” While it might be true, and I know his focus is the Israeli persepective, I still find it distasteful to conclude with the Israeli crime against Israel as opposed to the Israeli massacre against Gaza.

Nearly seventy ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called “the Red Army” held the millions of the town’s inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

Some time before that, a similar crime was committed in England. The Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield. The Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. They called it the Blitz.

This is the description that would now appear in the history books – if the Germans had won the war.

Absurd? No more than the daily descriptions in our media, which are being repeated ad nauseam: the Hamas terrorists use the inhabitants of Gaza as “hostages” and exploit the women and children as “human shields”, they leave us no alternative but to carry out massive bombardments, in which, to our deep sorrow, thousands of women, children and unarmed men are killed and injured.

Continue reading “The Blood-Stained Monster Enters Gaza”

Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections

One of the stories we often hear is that Israel is ‘the only democracy in the Middle East.’ Israel is in fact an apartheid democracy, in which only Jews have full democratic rights. The area controlled by Israel includes almost equal numbers of Arabs and Jews, which means that almost half of the people under some form or other of Israeli rule have less than full democratic rights. The Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza can only vote for non-sovereign governments, and if they vote wrong, are starved. The ‘Arab Israelis’ (who make up 20% of the Israeli population excluding the West Bank and Gaza) face many restrictions, on which Adalah and Jonathan Cook provide good information. Today, Arab Israeli political parties have been banned from running in the nearby Israeli parliamentary elections. Here’s the story from Ha’aretz:

The Central Elections Committee on Monday banned Arab political parties from running in next month’s parliamentary elections, drawing accusations of racism by an Arab lawmaker who said he would challenge the decision in the country’s Supreme Court.

The ruling, made by the body that oversees the elections, reflected the heightened tensions between Israel’s Jewish majority and Arab minority caused by Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Arabs have held a series of demonstrations against the offensive.

Continue reading “Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections”