Alternative Insight

Ecstasy and Agony

We wish someone could create decisive expressions that would make a world realize its failings in helping the oppressed and distressed. Expressions from the Israeli populace sound otherwise - an almost ecstatic glee when hearing of the agonies visited upon the Palestinian people after the latest of Hamas' periodic uprisings in Gaza -- an attitude that adds a new dimension to the latest violence. The expressions command the direction in which bombs will fall and who will suffer the wounds and fatalities. "No reason to bomb an empty house when it is more captivating to find a crowded room and massacre many people at once." But before people are vanquished, truth is smoked, reality is twisted and facts are discarded. The attack on Gaza relates that story.

Gaining Safety
"My grandma had fifteen seconds to run to a shelter," says an Israeli boxer on CNN.
"Seventy five percent of our population is under rocket attack and must spend time in shelters," says an IDF spokesperson.
Evidently, the attitude of the Israeli population to the rocket firings, which is different than rocket attacks, is not as the interlocutors claim; Israelis do not seem too fearful.






Courtesy of Reuters                                                                   Courtesy of New York Times                                                                                                                                   

In the photo on the left, Israelis cavort casually on the beach and watch as a rocket is intercepted. The rocket is close by and nobody is running to shelter. On the right, Israelis who live adjacent to Gaza have an entertaining and morbid evening watching the explosions in Gaza - no fear of any reprisal attacks, and no effort by the Israeli government to protect its citizens and move them into safer quarters. And what happens in Gaza?

In the picture on the left, the caption reads: Palestinians flee their homes in Gaza's eastern Shejaiya district on Sunday after heavy Israeli shelling. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images.
In the photo on the right, the caption reads: Palestinians at an UNRWA school after fleeing their homes following an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 18, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Rockets and Missiles
Why are Israelis complacent with the rocket firings? This photo shows the power of the rockets fired from Gaza - more like giant bullets.







The photo on the left, taken by the Israeli police, shows a rocket that hit the city of Ashkelon. Damage is a hole in the ground and some loosened earth. Notice there is no huge crater or any damage to surroundings.
The photo on the right shows what happens with a direct hit. The caption reads: Man inspects the damage to a house following a rocket attack by militants from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, July 3, 2014. Photo by AFP.
Some notable damage but the home stands and nobody was hurt from shrapnel.

Israel's guided missiles carry tons of explosives. Here are the damages these weapons cause.







The comment to the photo on the left by AFP Getty reads: A Palestinian rescue worker evacuates a man following Israeli shelling in Gaza.
On the right is a European Press photo of a destroyed neighborhood in Gaza.

The Tunnels
Israel has used the newly discovered tunnels in Gaza as a reason to justify its attacks.
Firstly, the attacks occurred before Israel was aware of their extent.
Secondly, the characterization of the tunnels by the Israel government and its devoted media as "terror tunnels" is misleading. The completed tunnels have not been used for attacks against civilians. The obvious purpose of the tunnels is to surprise invading Israeli troops from the rear and to covertly move militants into strategic positions. Israel has again said: "The Palestinians have no right to defend themselves."
Thirdly, Israel military does not need tunnels to enter Gaza. They come in by land, sea and air, uninvited and almost unopposed.

Who Targets Civilians?
If Hamas targets civilians, then the Israel population can rest comfortably. These unguided rockets show no explosive power and therefore can be regarded as "over sized flying bullets," which only harm civilians by a rare direct hit or by shrapnel and do little damage to the surrounding area of their impact. They are meant to disturb the Israeli population but, because they are neither powerful nor directed, cannot be characterized as "directly targeting civilians."

Israel's guided missiles, which means they can be steered directly to chosen targets, have killed hundreds of civilians.
So, we have unguided rockets that are said to target civilians, and few ever find their unguided target.
And we have guided missiles, which do not seek civilian targets, mostly finding their way to civilian targets.

Rockets were shown to be shot from crowded areas but Gaza is only crowded areas. With all the factions in Gaza, including many "look-alikes," how can we be sure that the Hamas administration was responsible for these few poorly placed rocket launchers? Besides, how much firepower is needed for destroying the launchers? As one example, Israeli video showed one of its F-16 missiles obliterating two Hamas militia (how does Israel know they were militia?) riding motorcycles (hardly a danger to Israel if they are riding motorcycles) and the explosion killing many in a nearby hospital. Seems that a bullet can mortally wound a motorcyclist. Why the need for a powerful projectile that is certain to inflict damage on the nearby hospital?

The Israeli military bombing of a home that supposedly had a Hamas guest and killed an entire family of twenty five discloses the emptiness of Israel's rationalizations. The headline reads:

Israeli strikes kill 35 members of two Gaza families within hours.
Deaths of 25 members of Abu Jamaa clan highest toll for one family in a single strike since launch of Operation Protective Edge.

By Amira Hass and Jack Khoury | Jul. 21, 2014 |

Examine these horrendous strikes.
If Israel was targeting a Hamas official, then why did it target the official when he was meeting with other persons? The drones can evidently follow the person and perform one of its famous targeted assassinations when the guest entered or left.
Besides, how important can a Hamas official be if he is dining with family at a time when every Hamas official is needed for the battles?
And what does the killing accomplish; any official can be replaced? Could it be that the official was the collateral damage - worth killing in order to murder an entire extended Palestinian family?

Israel has labeled itself as a nation that has no morality or remorse. Its Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, reinforces that assertion by believing he can use words to deceive the world and hide the atrocities.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on CNN’s State of the Union. program proclaimed that Hamas wants casualties.
“All civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can, because somebody said they use—it’s gruesome. They want the more dead the better.”

According to Netanyahu, Israel is not killing Palestinians; Hamas is wishing them dead. So, what's the problem? Why is Netanyahu cooperating with Hamas' wishes? Just stop killing civilians and Hamas will be defeated. It is that easy.

The PM's statement has been echoed by others in the media, as if their copy is written in Tel Aviv.
Bob Schieffer, a well known television voice straddling two centuries, who hosts CBS’s Face the Nation program, stated: “The Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause.”

Schieffer has demonstrated how little analysis media personalities give to their stories and why they cannot be trusted.
Bob, it is not that simple. Yes, Hamas has deceived in order to combat the Israeli juggernaut, and, in that effort, has endangered its own citizens. From Hamas' viewpoint, it has been forced to adopt extreme and controversial measures to liberate the Palestinians from the continuous danger posed to them by Israel. In the latest uprising, not a conflict between adversaries but an uprising against one of the longest and most deadly oppressions of the post World War II era, Hamas senses it speaks for Palestinians who no longer care to be passive victims and suffocate from a virtual imprisonment for an additional fifty years. Palestinians in Gaza are prepared to make sacrifices for their cause, to die if they cannot obtain adequate living, dignity and freedom of movement and choice.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed Israeli citizens on live television and proclaimed that Hamas wants to destroy Israel. “Patience and determination are required in order to fight a terror organization that seeks to destroy us. We will not complete the operation without neutralizing the tunnels whose only purpose is to annihilate our children and our civilians."

Fatah in the West Bank has been much less aggressive in tone and operations than Hamas in Gaza, and yet the Palestinians in the West Bank suffer a daily and equal repression from Israel's occupation -- maybe more, except for the times when Gaza is ravaged by war. PM Netanyahu, please explain that contradiction.

From 2001 to July, 2014, rockets and mortars killed 28 people within Israel. Injuries and psychological trauma to a small percentage of the population occurred but are not accurately measurable. Property damage has been nil. During that period, Israel progressed -- economically, politically, population growth and citizen satisfaction --and has not displayed any indication of being destroyed. Netanyahu has complaints against Hamas but do they reach "Hamas can destroy Israel?" Why the alarm? There is a big difference between want and can.

But no difference for Israel, which has shown that it wants to and can destroy the Palestinians. The quantity of deaths, wounded, psychological damage, physical damage, and wanton destruction inflicted by Israeli military upon the Palestinians is several hundreds times that inflicted by Hamas fighters (hardly a military) upon Israelis. The alarms should be ringing -- Palestinians are suffering from a continuous battering by Israel and a potential cultural genocide.

Road accidents caused 290 fatalities in Israel in the one year of 2012 (wounded and psychological trauma also occur from road accidents). Every death and injury from rocket fire deserves sympathy and consideration. With no intention to diminish the tragic effects from rockets fired from Gaza, the fatalities from road accidents provide a lesson -- the more dangerous drivers are not attacked nor are policies instituted to augment vehicle crashes.

For combating the much less lethal rocket attacks, Israel's policies have been counter-productive, designed to provoke the driver and increase the crash of rocket fire from Gaza. By ignoring the legitimate grievances of Palestinians, who have been subjected to Israeli deadly control of their lives for 50 years, and with no end in sight of the subjugation being diminished, Israel's actions are similar to making drivers unsteady and roads unsafe. What sane nation does that?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu talks of a demilitarized zone. The Jerusalem Post reports that "The idea of a demilitarized Gaza Strip is an idea that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his spokesmen began talking about last week, and that he has raised in his numerous conversations over the last few days with leaders from around the world. "

Great idea! Demilitarize Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. What is the definition of demilitarization. We must make sure it does not imply surrender, nor giving up the right and sufficient armaments for satisfactory defense,
A simple definition is "the removal of military activity or control from an area."
A wider definition is "the reduction of a nation's army, weapons, or military vehicles to an agreed minimum."

Which means -- Israel removes all forces from Gaza and the West Bank. All military hardware -- tanks, missile launchers, rocket launchers, drones, nuclear weapons, artillery, naval ships, warplanes -- and military personnel are "reduced to an agreed minimum." The objective is to make certain that neither nation has an offensive capability that is strong enough to attack the other - a sure-fire proposition that will terminate the crisis. Equalize the power.

The Use of Power
Trying to make the world believe that Hamas and its oversized flying bullets threaten the existence of Israel is an attempt to hide the reality -- Israel's overwhelming military power secures calculated and violent policies, which kill civilians, blockade exports and imports, starve populations, close borders to general interchange, bar fishing, destroy commerce, harass innocents and terrorize communities. Is it not obvious that Israel will refuse every one of the many legitimate demands of the Palestinians and will use reactions to Israeli violence to squash pleas for survival, while a captured media disillusions the world's innocents with fraudulent information, most prominently in the free and open United States?

But what can be expected of the nation that helped finance Osama bin Laden and the creation of al-Qaeda during the Soviet-Afghan war, that invaded Iraq, which led to the destruction of the ancient state and the eventual rise of ISIS, that was complicit in the overthrow of the Libyan government and its replacement by a terrorist force that has brought anarchy to Libya? As long as the combined forces of the Religious Right, AIPAC, Neocons, and a collection of defense lobbies and warmongers manipulate the U.S. government, its citizens and media, and generate foreign policies that harm other nations and hurt the American people, how can any American administration halt Israel's subjugation of the Palestinian people?

In this conflict,
If Israeli tears will fill a cup,
Palestinian tears will fill an ocean.

aug 2014