Thursday, March 15, 2012

Israel's Latest Ritual Slaughter

By Stephen Lendman for Information Clearing House

Four days of Israeli terror bombing left at least 25 Palestinians dead and dozens injured, some seriously. Human rights groups expressed outrage. So did Arab League states, Iran, Turkey, and Malaysia.

Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor wants the Security Council to condemn Palestinian victims. Like Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, his audacity gives chutzpah new meaning.

On March 12, Egypt's lower parliamentary house unanimously approved a text declaring Israel Egypt's number one enemy. It called for expelling its ambassador, halting gas exports at below market prices, and reevaluating its 1978 peace treaty. It followed the 1978 Camp David Accords.

Its text said:
"Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity, which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation."

"It will deal with that entity as an enemy, and the Egyptian government is hereby called upon to review all its relations and accords with that enemy."

No Israeli comment followed.
Four days of Israeli terror bombings were unprovoked. Assassinating Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) head Zuhir al-Qaisi and PRC member Mahmoud Hanani began them. Both men died when two IDF missiles struck their car.

Gazan resistance groups launched Grad missiles, home-made rockets, and mortar shells defensively in response. Israel and Washington pointed fingers the wrong way. Absolving Israeli crimes takes precedence.

Naked aggression's called self-defense. Resistance freedom fighting is called terrorism. Facts on the ground are inverted. Whatever Israel does it right. Legitimate Palestinian responses aren't tolerated. Victims get no rights.

Israel's bloodstained history reflects decades of ritual slaughter and targeted killings. The latest incident shows what Palestinians endure regularly, including from media scoundrels ignoring their suffering and denouncing them.

Usually, Haaretz produces responsible journalism. Not on March 13. An editorial headlined, "War in Israel's south will not defeat Gaza terror," asking:

Was killing al-Qaisi worth "disruption....economic damage, (and) danger of plunging into a military ground operation in Gaza?"

Unasked was how targeted killings are ever justifiable. Haaretz approves against alleged "ticking bomb(s)." By whose standard when no evidence linked al-Qaisi to past or claimed planned attacks. Saying so isn't proof. Israel never supplies it. Why is clear. There's none, but Haaretz didn't explain or denounce premeditated murder.

Instead, it sided with southern Israelis living under threat of Gazan rockets. They're used defensively in response to Israeli attacks. International law permits it.

"The war in the south must end immediately. It will not defeat terror nor reduce the Gaza threat." Nor will Cast Lead II. Sensibly the editorial ended saying negotiations, not violence, produces solutions.

But how can Palestinians negotiate in good faith without a willing partner! For decades, Israel chose violence, not peace or honest diplomacy. Relations with Netanyahu's like dealing with a snake. It's futile, toxic and dangerous. He proves it by committing cold-blooded murder, claiming self-defense.

A same day Haaretz article was just as shameless, headlined, "TIMELINE/A breakdown of number of Gaza rockets fired at Israel over past year."

Enumerating numbers fired by month from January 2011 through the latest March confrontation, it listed 200 this month alone. Gazans were blamed, not IDF belligerents. Unexplained was that Palestinians respond defensively to Israeli aggression.

Instead, the blame game shamelessly named victims. It also ignored their decades long liberation struggle against lawless, repressive occupation, and for Gazans years of suffocating siege.

Moreover, as Btselem documents, Palestinian rockets killed only 19 Israeli civilians from June 2004 through September 2011. In contrast, from September 29, 2000 through December 26, 2008, Israeli forces killed 4,788 Palestinians. Israeli settlers killed 45 more.

Cast Lead killed over 1,400 Gazans in three weeks, mostly civilians. Only five IDF soldiers died in the conflict, no civilians. Since Cast Lead ended in January 2009, Israeli forces killed another 300 Palestinians. Settlers killed five more. Palestinians killed 15 Israelis.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said Israeli drone attacks killed 825 Palestinians, mostly civilians, from June 2006 through October 2011. PCHR deputy director Hamdi Shaqqura said:

“For us, drones mean death....When you hear drones, you hear death,” and know it’s coming.

Haaretz omitted this balance sheet from its equation.

Notably, hundreds of Israelis die annually from traffic related accidents. In 2008, it was nearly 450, in 2011, almost 400. Deaths at the hands of Palestinians pale by comparison.

Haaretz's article was cruel and deceptive. It distorted facts in portraying an entirely one-sided picture. Gazans are wrongfully called terrorists. They're human beings suffering horrifically from lawless Israeli oppression. It's not typical Haaretz style. For US major media scoundrels, it's de rigueur.

Hopefully today's report and opinion prove aberrant. Hopefully those producing them learn from their mistakes. Haaretz features wonderful writers like Gideon Levy and Amira Hass. They consistently offer responsible journalism. America's major print media have none like them. If any tried, they'd be fired. Only scoundrels need apply.

It shows up daily in reports like The New York Times headlining, "As Rockets Fly, New Conditions Shape Fight in Gaza," saying:

Ahead of an Egyptian-brokered truce, Israeli airstrikes continue and Palestinian "militants' rockets (are reaching farther into Israel." IDF head Gen. Benny Gantz was cited, saying Palestinian violence will require another Cast Lead type operation. Israeli finance minister Yuval Steinitz said eventually Israel will have to do a "root canal."

In other words, victims, not perpetrators, deserve blame. Times writers play the same game. Right and wrong are reversed. Aggression's called self-defense. Legitimate responses are terrorism. Israel's point of view alone matters. It's typical Times journalism, betraying their readers through lies, deception, and willful misreporting.

The same article falsely suggested Iran's an existential threat. Serial liars don't quit. It's habit forming. Too many people believe it. It lets Israel and America get away with murder.

Complicit media scoundrels facilitate it. So does scurrilous UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. He condemned Palestinian self-defense as "unacceptable," while urging Israel to "exercise maximum restraint."

Hillary Clinton expressed Washington's official response, "condemn(ing) Gazan victims "in the strongest terms" while urging "all make every effort to restore calm."

In other words, killing Palestinians is OK. Responding to premeditated aggression defensively is terrorism. Views like that secure scurrilous reprobates like her and Ban top jobs. Denouncing Israeli lawlessness assures rebukes.

America and Israel have "shared values." None support right over wrong. One wonders what's next.

A Final Comment

After an agreed truce, Israeli forces attacked a funeral procession east of Gaza City. Three Palestinians were injured. Medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiyah said soldiers fired indiscriminately at mourners. Wounded victims were taken to al-Shifa Hospital.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said soldiers "operating along the security fence identified around 50 Palestinians gathered and in accordance with army procedures fired warning shots."

Some warning! Soldiers fired directly at nonviolent Palestinians threatening no one. It's "in accordance with army procedures!"

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

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