Jewish Peace News: Analyses and update on Gaza

Dandelion Salad

Crossposted with permission from Jewish Peace News

Jewish Peace News

JPN Post: List of contents:

– Links to information about Israeli resistance from Rela Mazali

– 3 analyses:

1) “Has Israel Revived Hamas?” By Daoud Kuttab in the Washington Post

2) A briefing on the Gaza crisis by Phyllis Bennis from ZNet

3) “Palestine’s Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood” by Mustafa Barghouthi

– A report on the condition of the hospitals in Gaza

Rela Mazali writes:

Absent from Israeli and most other TV networks are the ongoing activism and protest inside Israel against Israel’s siege and, now, war on Gaza. Immediately below is a link to a televised report on two of many such actions. In Hebrew and Arabic with no English (or other) subtitles, they nevertheless offer glimpses of current activism in Israel. The first segment documents a demonstration in Tel Aviv and bits of the police reaction. The second was recorded at a public meeting, just hours before the demonstration, addressed jointly by Palestinian and Israeli members of Combatants for Peace. The reports were created by the alternative media group, Social TV (for details on the group see:

[DS editor’s note: English subtitles on second link]

Sarah Anne Minkin writes:

Calling the Gaza onslaught “Palestine’s Guernica,” (first piece below) Dr. Mustapha Barghouti (founder of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees and Secretary General of the Palestine National Initiative) confronts several of Israel’s claimed justifications for the Gaza actions. These justifications – including the idea that Hamas unilaterally violated and ended the truce, that Israel is only attacking military targets, that Israel is attacking Hamas but “not the Palestinian people,” – are being repeated in the mainstream press as if they are truths. Barghouti simply and solidly refutes them.

Judith Norman writes:

The second piece below by Daoud Kuttab shows how Israel’s strikes have (predictably) boosted Palestinian support for Hamas. Both Kuttab and Phyllis Bennis (in the third piece below) indicate that Israel wanted to strike before end of the Bush administration – that Bush would be reliably supportive of the strike, perhaps more so than Obama. In the light of Obama’s silence on the situation, the US anti-occupation community has a particular responsibility to pressure Obama to create a political climate in which this sort of thing cannot happen again. The final piece below, a vivid description of the nightmarish state of Gaza’s hospitals, underlines the urgency of this responsibility.

Joel Beinin writes:

I would add to Daoud Kuttab’s perceptive analysis that Israeli leaderships have often found it preferable to deal with hard-line Palestinian elements rather than those clearly committed to a two-state solution because it creates less pressure on them to offer reasonable terms for a viable, independent Palestinian state.

Palestine’s Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood

Mustafa Barghouthi

The Israeli campaign of ‘death from above’ began around 11 am, on Saturday morning, the 27th of December, and stretched straight through the night into this morning. The massacre continues Sunday as I write these words.

The bloodiest single day in Palestine since the War of 1967 is far from over following on Israel’s promised that this is ‘only the beginning’ of their campaign of state terror. At least 290 people have been murdered thus far, but the body count continues to rise at a dramatic pace as more mutilated bodies are pulled from the rubble, previous victims succumb to their wounds and new casualties are created by the minute.

What has and is occurring is nothing short of a war crime, yet the Israeli public relations machine is in full-swing, churning out lies by the minute.

Once and for all it is time to expose the myths that they have created.

1. Israelis have claimed to have ended the occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005.

While Israel has indeed removed the settlements from the tiny coastal Strip, they have in no way ended the occupation. They remained in control of the borders, the airspace and the waterways of Gaza, and have carried out frequent raids and targeted assassinations since the disengagement.


Has Israel Revived Hamas?
By Daoud Kuttab
Tuesday, December 30, 2008; A15

JERUSALEM — In its efforts to stop amateur rockets from nagging the residents of some of its southern cities, Israel appears to have given new life to the fledging Islamic movement in Palestine.

For two years, the Islamic Resistance Movement (known by its Arabic acronym, Hamas) has been losing support internally and externally. This wasn’t the case in the days after the party came to power democratically in early 2006; despite being unjustly ostracized by the international community for its anti-Israeli stance, Hamas enjoyed the backing of Palestinians and other Arabs. Having won a decisive parliamentary majority on an anti-corruption platform promising change and reform, Hamas worked hard to govern better than had Fatah, its rival and predecessor.

Things began to sour when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza, but even then, Hamas enjoyed considerable domestic support — and much goodwill externally. Then the movement turned down every legitimate offer from its nationalist PLO rivals and Egyptian mediators to pursue reconciliation, and support for it began to slip.



The Gaza Crisis: 2008

By Bennis, Phyllis

Join ZSpace:

(28 December 2008) — The death toll in Gaza continues to rise. The carnage is everywhere — city streets, a mosque, hospitals, police stations, a jail, a university bus stop, a plastics factory, a television station. It seems impossible, unacceptable, to step back to analyze the situation while bodies remain buried under the rubble, while parents continue to search for their missing children, while doctors continue to labor to stitch burned and broken bodies back together without sufficient medicine or equipment. The hospitals are running short even of electricity-the Israeli blockade has denied them fuel to run the generators. It is an ironic twist on the legacy of Israel’s involvement in an earlier massacre — in the Sabra and Shatila camps, in Lebanon back in 1982, it was the Israeli soldiers who lit the flairs, lighting the night sky so their Lebanese allies could continue to kill.

But if we are serious about ending this carnage, this time, we have no choice but to try to analyze, try to figure out what caused this most recent massacre, how to stop it, and then how to continue our work to end the occupation, end Israel’s apartheid policies, and change U.S. policy to one of justice and equality for all.



‘The injured were lying there asking God to let them die’
Fikr Shaltoot
The Guardian, Monday 29 December 2008

Being a health worker, I had to check the needs of Shifa hospital and the other hospitals in Gaza. The situation in Shifa is really bad. There were corpses in corridors covered with blankets. The mortuary couldn’t cope with the number of bodies. Two bodies were left on stretchers, one wrapped in a blanket. They leave them until families can recognise them.

There were mothers, fathers looking for children, looking for relatives. Everyone was confused and seeking support. Mothers were crying, people were asking about relatives, the medical team was confused.

Some people were just lying there, some were screaming, some were very, very angry. There were a lot of injured arriving, ambulances coming in and out. The injured were coming by private cars and they were being left wherever. You could see blood here and there.




Protests against Gaza violence in U.S. + Baltimore Stages Rally in Solidarity with Gazans + Iceland protests

More civilian casualties in Gaza amid raids + Funerals for five Palestinians in Gaza

Jewish Peace News: More information about Gaza and actions you can take

Americans Should Act to End Violence Against Gaza By Jeremy R. Hammond