“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, September 28, 2015

“COWARDS” and REAL MEN” - You Judge

Home / Features / In Gaza no figures can express the sorrow

In Gaza no figures can express the sorrow

26th September 2015 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza Team | Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine
If there is any reason for our existence, at least it should be our capacity to inform about a story while it is happening, in a way that nobody can say: We did not know, nobody had told us anything”
Robert Fisk
I don’t know if pain can destroy or fortify, I only know that pain changes everything. I also know that the recollection of such suffering shall remain, has to remain in my memory. At the beginning of the Israeli aggression, the first days of last July, I had promised myself not to forget the names of the children that were killed, those who I photographed horrified in the nightmare’s morgues in Gaza under fire.
In that moment I didn’t know that it would be impossible to keep that promise. More than 500 names of children, destroyed by bombs should be now pronounced by my voice, one by one. However, I do not forget, I can not nor want to forget.
The crimes and brutality do not deserve forgetfulness nor forgiveness, onlyrage. An unmitigated rage that drives us to act, to fight to prevent that their murders go unpunished, so that death won’t be in vain, even though the death of children always is. They are gone, we cannot bring them back to life, but we can, have to punish their executioners.
It is 10 am and several drone’s fire impact onto a house in Deir Al Balah while a Bulldozer recovers the remains of a family, buried under a one-ton bomb dropped by a F-16, those that leave craters, smoke and smell of death, where before were homes, affections, dreams, lives.
Bodies of children killed in Israeli attack on Gaza last year
Bodies of children killed in Israeli attack on Gaza last year
The ambulance fills with wounded persons in seconds, a man enters carrying a small body of a child about six or seven years old, the boy lacks the right calf, his foot is hanging from a tendon or a shred of skin, I don’t know, I don’t want to look, but I do.
The boy squirms and his intestines are out of his belly, I help the man to lay down the child on the floor of the ambulance – the only stretcher is already occupied by another injured person. The ambulance drives fast to the Al-Aqsa Hospital, located in the central area of the Strip, the same hospital that has been attacked by Israel leaving seven dead and over seventy injured.
At each turn the child’s blood is spilled on the floor of the ambulance, I put my hand over his eyes to prevent him seeing his own intestines, I don’t want to see them either, or step on his blood; I don’t want to see his father mourn and cry in despair. But who cares about what I want? What his father wants? With all the impotence of his anguish, with all the force of his love, everything is banal, useless, tiny compared to death.
Boy wounded by Israeli forces during last year's attack on Gaza on the ambulance floor
Boy wounded by Israeli forces during last year’s attack on Gaza on the ambulance floor
The murderers do not care about anything nor the world. For Israel it is easy to kill, Israel is massacring children for free.
A man in the ambulance asks, demands the father to pray, and then they start to pray together, everybody who can articulate a word inside the crowded vehicle prays, I don’t do it, I don’t know how, I just hold his light head of shaved hair in my hand with the other I still cover his eyes. 
I look at him and strange details are recorded in my mind, terrible and tender ones. His little face is beautiful despite the agony that deforms his face. I think he has his hand clenched into a fist because of the pain then I look again and it is not a fist – the Israeli bomb has torn all his fingers and the little bones are now protruding from his knuckles, they are fragile, white and thin, like those of a bird.
The boy stops squirming slowly and his lips turn pale, I’m relieved that he is no longer struggling, that his intestines stop escaping from his belly, I’m relieved by this calm so close to the end, it relieves me so much that I feel guilty. Till this day I do not know his name, I only know that he died minutes after arriving at the hospital.
On the ruins of my house I hoisted the Palestinian flag, it is our symbol of resistance,” tells me Ahmed without any drama and then smiles, “now my family lives in a crowded shelter in a school”.
Less than a block away, in Beit Hanoun, seven little girls are sitting on a rickety mattress under a makeshift tent, here called “Jaima”, located next to some rubble that once was their home. Through an unstable triangle of collapsing walls the girls enter into this concrete tomb to retrieve a doll, rescued from an abyss of desolation and then smile.
The joy, that bombproof joy, I think amazed, resists death in Palestine, and sometimes just sometimes wins the battle, and if it doesn’t win at least dignifies it, dignifies and saves it from brutality and impunity.
More than 100.000 people have lost their homes under the Israeli bombs that devastated Gaza during the fifty one days of cowardly attacks.
Shelling from F-16s, Apache helicopters, drones, tanks, mortars and all the machinery of war they have – thanks to the support of the so called western democracies – the occupying entity sadly known as Israel uses machinery of war that allowed them to raze entire neighborhoods from the infamous distance of their powerful ships, but did not allow them to defeat the Palestinian resistance in the field, in a man to man combat because that requires that there were men on both sides. The courage and love for the land cannot be purchased with US Dollars in the arms market.
Zionist aggression caused a real slaughter, the almost 70 years of Israeli occupation still remains and it will continue causing damages and death mainly among women, youth and children, as Israel’s military objectives are always homes, mosques, schools used as shelters, ambulances. That’s where those perish who had previously survived the cowardly brutality of Israel, to die after, to continue dying a thousand times in this slaughterhouse called Gaza.
The numbers speak for themselves but today I cannot contain human suffering into figures. Sorrow is not measurable, sorrow is just that and it is everything.


  1. JULY 23, 2015 - COUNTER PUNCH

    Wrong on the Facts, Wrong on the Law: Israel’s False Claims of “Self-Defense” in Gaza War

    Although the facts, the law, and admissions by Israeli government officials all pointed otherwise, during the July-August 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza, the Israeli government was successful in promoting its self-defense claim with western news media and in persuading certain U.S. politicians that Israel was implementing its right to defend itself.

    Claims of “self-defense” against Hamas rocket fire were invoked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and the United States Senate, and not only as justification for the Israeli assault. “Self-defense” against the rockets also served to deflect allegations that Israeli forces committed war crimes by targeting civilians and civilian property in Gaza.

    Public relations campaigns based on self-defense have been critical to Israeli officials avoiding accountability after each of the six major assaults on Gaza since Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza in 2005. Notwithstanding the reports of war crimes committed by Israeli forces, the remarkable success of those self-defense based public relations campaigns continued to provide Israeli officials with impunity: the freedom to strike militarily again.

    That impunity may come to an end if the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decides to open an investigation into the situation in Palestine and prosecutions follow. However, immediately after the Prosecutor announced that she was launching a “preliminary examination” on January 16, 2015, Netanyahu launched a multi-pronged “public diplomacy campaign to discredit the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) recent decision to start an inquiry into what the Palestinians call Israeli ‘war crimes’ in the disputed territories.” The public diplomacy campaign is based entirely on Israel’s claim that it acted in self-defense. The Israeli campaign also included a threat to disregard the decision of the court, a threat to the funding of the court, and the announcement that Israel was freezing transfer of more than $100 million a month in taxes Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for the State of Palestine joining the ICC and requesting the ICC inquiry.

    A new 63 page report, “Neither facts nor law support Israel’s self-defense claim regarding its 2014 assault on Gaza,” submitted to the ICC Prosecutor on behalf of the Palestine Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild (“the ICC submission”), uses both authoritative contemporaneous Israeli and Palestinian reports and newly released reports and documents to demonstrate that Israeli claims of “self-defense” for its 2014 attack on Gaza are unsupported in both fact and law. The ICC submission notes that the unusual strategy implemented by Israeli officials to publically discredit the court inquiry demonstrated a distinct departure from the traditional method of respectfully presenting evidence and persuasive arguments to the court.

  2. The facts don’t fit Israel’s self-defense claim

    Among the material considered in the ICC submission is the 277 page Israeli government report, “The 2014 Gaza Conflict: Factual and Legal Aspects” that was released by the Israeli government on June 14, 2015. Although the Israeli government report builds its case around self-defense, to its credit, the Israeli government report openly acknowledges that Israeli military forces (a) had been striking Gaza during 2013 and early 2014, (b) had launched a massive attack on the West Bank in mid-June 2014, and (c) had launched an aerial strike on a tunnel in Gaza on July 5, 2014. However, the Israeli government report omits mention that all these dates were before the night of July 7, 2014, the date a contemporaneous report from an authoritative Israeli source said “For the first time since Operation Pillar of Defense [November 21, 2012], Hamas participated in and claimed responsibility for rocket fire” (emphasis in the original). The contemporaneous report was issued by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), a private Israeli think tank that the Washington Post says “has close ties with the country’s military leadership.”

    While the Israeli government report acknowledged the aerial strike on the tunnel in Gaza, it omitted mention of the extent of Israeli attacks on Gaza during the night before Hamas participated and claimed responsibility for its first rocket fire since 2012: The contemporaneous ITIC July 2 – July 8, 2014 weekly report states that on July 7 “approximately 50 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip were struck,” by Israeli forces, including strikes that killed six Hamas members in the tunnel.

    The Israeli government report states:

    On July 7, 2014, after more than 60 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip on a single day, the Government of Israel was left with no choice but to initiate a concerted aerial operation against Hamas and other terrorist organisations in order adequately to defend Israel’s civilian population.

    Thus, the Israeli government report claims that the government was acting to defend Israel’s civilian population notwithstanding the fact that it had just admitted to an Israeli government attack that preceded the Hamas rocket fire on July 7. The attack on the tunnel that the ITIC reported killed the six Hamas members.

    In a minute by minute timeline of events that day, the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz reported the Israeli attacks that began during the night of July 6 and continued in the early morning hours of July 7 that showed that the Israeli attack on the tunnel preceded the Hamas rockets:

    at 2:24 a.m. on July 7:

    Hamas reports an additional four militants died in a second Israeli air strike in Gaza, bringing Sunday night’s death total to six. This is the biggest single Israeli hit against Hamas since 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense.

    at 9:37 p.m. on July 7 Ha’aretz reported:

    Hamas claims responsibility for the rockets fired at Ashdod, Ofakim, Ashkelon and Netivot. Some 20 rockets exploded in open areas in the last hour.

    Thus, an authoritative contemporaneous Israeli report acknowledged the fact that Hamas started firing its rockets some 20 hours after Israeli forces launched the attack on Gaza and killed the six Hamas members.

    1. The Israeli government report couches the more than 60 rockets launched at Israel on the night of July 7 as giving the government of Israel no choice but to escalate aerial operations. But the report fails to mention that Israel actually had a choice as to whether or not to launch its prior lethal attack on the night of July 6 and the early morning hours of July 7. By omitting mention of the timing and the lethal effects of its attack on the tunnel, the Israeli government report avoids recognizing that its killing of the six Hamas members provoked the Hamas rocket fire.

      While the Israeli government report mentions strikes on Gaza during 2013 and 2014, it omits mention of the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks during 2013 and the increased rate of such killing during the first three months of 2014.

      According to a report issued by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, “PCHR Annual Report 2013:”

      The number of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces was 46 victims in circumstances where no threats were posed to the lives of Israeli soldiers. Five of these victims died of wounds they had sustained in previous years. Of the total number of victims, there were 41 civilians, 33 of whom were in the West Bank and eight in the Gaza Strip, including six children, two women; and five non-civilians, including one in the West Bank and the other four in the Gaza Strip. In 2013, 496 Palestinians sustained various wounds, 430 of them in the West Bank and 66 in the Gaza Strip, including 142 children and 10 women.

      An escalation of Israeli violence against Palestinians in early 2014 compared to the rate for the entire year 2013 is evident from PCHR’s “Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 1st Quarter of 2014.”Among the violations presented in the report, 20 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the first three months of 2014, including 11 civilians of whom two were children; 259 were wounded, of whom 255 were civilians, including 53 children. “The majority of these Palestinians, 198, were wounded during peaceful protests and clashes with Israeli forces.”

      Nor does the Israeli government report mention any of the lethal Israeli government attacks on the West Bank and Gaza in the days and weeks before three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed on the West Bank on June 12, 2014:

      * Israeli forces shot 9 teenagers demonstrating on the West Bank on May 15, killing two.

      * Israeli forces wounded nine Palestinian civilians, including a child during the week of June 5 to June 11.

      * Israeli forces launched an extrajudicial execution on June 11 in Gaza that killed one and wounded three.

    2. SAY IT AIN”T SO

      Nor does the Israeli government report describe the extent of casualties inflicted by the June 13 to June 30 military offensive on the West Bank, Operation Brothers Keeper, in which Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians and wounded 51, according to the contemporaneous weekly reports issued by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

      In addition, the Israeli government’s 277 page report omits mention of admissions by Prime Minister Netanyahu of other military and political purposes for its assault on the West Bank, described in a contemporaneous report in the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot, on June 15, 2014: to capture Hamas members (some of whom the Israeli government had previously released in a prisoner exchange and some of whom were Parliamentarians in the new Palestinian unity government), create “severe repercussions,” and punish the Palestinian Authority and Hamas for forming a unity government. Importantly, although he accused “Hamas people” of carrying out the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers, Netanyahu made no mention of stopping rocket fire. The non-mention of rocket fire by Netanyahu is consistent with the ITIC report of no rocket fire at that time.

      Similarly, after describing the Israeli operations that caused Hamas to pay a “heavy price” on the West Bank, as shown in a video of his speech at the US Ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv on July 4, Netanyahu acknowledged that “in Gaza we hit dozens of Hamas activists and destroyed outposts and facilities that served Hamas terrorists.” Thus Netanyahu himself acknowledged major Israeli military operations in Gaza preceding the launching of Hamas rockets on July 7.

    3. Media collaboration

      Facilitating the Israeli and U.S. government campaign to pin responsibility on Hamas and support an Israeli self-defense claim, certain western news media, including the New York Times, published an incorrect timeline. The timeline published by the New York Times dated the start of the war to July 8, the first full day of Hamas rocket barrages, and more than a day after Israeli forces had escalated their aerial attack on Gaza killing the six Hamas members. The Times timeline simply omits mention of the lethal Israeli attacks on the night of July 6 and early morning hours on July 7 that Ha’aretz said preceded the Hamas barrage of rockets on the night of July 7. The New York Times timeline also omits mention of the 24 days of “Operation Bring Back Our Brothers,” that began on June 13, the June 11 extra-judicial execution of a Hamas member in Gaza, the June 13 attack on the “terrorist facility and a weapons storehouse in the southern Gaza Strip,” and the killing of the two Palestinian teenagers and wounding of seven other Palestinians who were demonstrating on May 15. The New York Times timeline also omits mention of the lethal Israeli attacks in 2013 and the escalation of those attacks in early 2014 that the Israeli government report admitted under the euphemism “targeted efforts to prevent future attacks.”

    4. The law doesn’t fit Israel’s self-defense claim

      Not just facts and admissions stand in the way of Israel’s self-defense claim. In a 2004 decision rejecting Israel’s self-defense claim for the wall, a relatively passive structure crossing occupied Palestinian territory, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) held that, under the UN Charter, self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter is inapplicable to measures taken by an occupying power within occupied territory. While the ICJ recognized Israel’s right and its duty to protect its citizens, it said “The measures taken are bound nonetheless to remain in conformity with applicable international law.” While the Israeli government report includes mention of a law review article that relies on an ICJ holding favorable to an Israeli position on another issue, the Israeli government report omits mention of the directly on point ICJ case regarding applicability of self-defense to Israel as occupying power in Gaza.

      But even if Israel could overcome the facts showing that Israeli forces initiated the combat, and even if Israel was not the occupying power in Gaza and did not have to address the law regarding self-defense for an occupying power presented in the ICJ decision, Israel’s claim to self-defense would still be invalidated if its assault extended beyond what was necessary and proportionate to deal with an armed attack it was purportedly facing, as more fully described in the ICC submission.

      Necessity was contradicted by the data provided by the ITIC showing that Israel had been wildly successful at stopping and/or preventing rocket fire by agreeing to and at least partially observing a ceasefire, while Israel consistently dialed up rocket fire with each of its major assaults on Gaza since 2006. By contrast, as shown in the ICC submission, hundreds of times more rockets were falling on Israel during each day of each of the major assaults on Gaza than were falling in the periods before Israeli forces attacked or after the assault ended with a new ceasefire.

      Necessity was also contradicted by an article in the May 2013 Jerusalem Post, “IDF source: Hamas working to stop Gaza rockets,” quoting the IDF General who commands the army’s Gaza Division who said that Hamas had been policing other groups in Gaza “to thwart rocket attacks from the strip.” The Hamas observance of the ceasefire and its policing of other groups to prevent rocket fire demonstrated an effective alternative to an Israeli assault. The Israeli attacks on the West Bank and Gaza during the period between June 13 and the early morning hours of July 7, 2014 put that ceasefire and that Hamas policing of other groups at risk. Israel could have more effectively protected its citizens from rocket fire by continuing to at least partially observe the successful cease-fire in place before Israel escalated its assaults on the West Bank and Gaza. So the necessity for the escalation on June 13 and the further escalation on July 7 to protect Israeli citizens from rocket fire has not been shown.

    5. The necessity and proportionality requirements for a self-defense claim were also contradicted by evidence that actions by Israeli forces during the assault on Gaza went outside the laws of war by directly targeting Palestinian civilians and Palestinian civilian property. The proportionality requirement was further contradicted by evidence of widespread Israeli attacks that harmed civilians or civilian property disproportionate to the military advantage Israeli forces received from the attacks. The evidence for such war crimes cited in the ICC submission comes from reports of investigations conducted by the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry (June 22, 2015); the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Lawyers for Palestinian for Human Rights (LPHR), and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) (June 26, 2015); the UN Human Rights Council (December 26, 2014); Defense for Children International Palestine (April 2015); Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) (January 20, 2015); Al-Haq (August 19, 2014); the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) (September 4, 2014); Breaking the Silence (May 3, 2015); The Guardian (May 4, 2015); The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) (March 27, 2015), and contemporaneous and periodic reports issued by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

      Along with support from top U.S. officials, the enormously successful public relations campaigns based on claimed self-defense that Israeli officials mounted during and after each of the Israeli assaults on Gaza allowed Israel to avoid accountability, maintain impunity, and launch subsequent attacks. In view of that successful record, the effectiveness of Israel’s “public diplomacy campaign to discredit the ICC inquiry” based on the same self-defense claims should not be underestimated. Widespread recognition that Israel’s self-defense claim is deeply flawed is needed to counter the intense pressure Israeli officials and their allies are exerting on the ICC so the court may resist that pressure and base its decisions strictly on the facts and law.

      James Marc Leas is a patent attorney and a past co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee. He collected evidence in Gaza immediately after Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012 as part of a 20 member delegation from the U.S. and Europe and authored or co-authored four articles for Counterpunch describing findings, including Why the Self-Defense Doctrine Doesn’t Legitimize Israel’s Assault on Gaza. He also participated in the February 2009 National Lawyers Guild delegation to Gaza immediately after Operation Cast Lead and contributed to its report, “Onslaught: Israel’s Attack on Gaza and the Rule of Law.”

      More articles by:JAMES MARC LEAS


    7. Please prepare yourself for the scholarly response from Hayseed and Bad Ass.

    8. Hayseed and BadAss?

      :) :) :) :) :)

    9. Scholarly réponse is easy.

      Hamas started the war, used it's children as human shields, violated every cease fire and inspire of such amazing war crimes that Hamas did, Israel caused fewer than 1500 civilian deaths.

      Compared to what the USA did in Iraq, what Russia did in chechnya, what assad did in syria?

      Israel killed far fewer than anyone else.

      But it goes without saying Deuce's reporting is crap.

      SO let's forget the content and lies he is spewing….

      Let's talk turkey.

      Will Hamas stop tunneling into Israel to murder and kidnap Jews?

      Will Hamas stop rebuilding it's tunnels inside the strip to get ready for the next round?

      Will Hamas divert tens of thousands of tons of concrete and building supplies from rebuilding homes, hospital and schools for it's war machine?

      The simple answer is NO

      So Hamas wants to kill Jews at all costs.

      It doesn't care if their kids die, it executes it's own kids that work in the tunnels to ensure secrecy, it is a fascist islamic terrorist organization. Even the UN and the USA view Hamas as terrorists.

      But who cares?

      The only lesson we should take from the last war with hamas?

      If you fuck with Israel and try to murder it's citizens? Shit will fall on you.

      Spare me the lies, the bullshit, the invented crimes.

      Deuce, tell your Gazan friends this message, if you shoot at Jews? You will be homeless and or die.

      Sorry if that is not up to your high levels of discourse.

    10. ITEM 1: Hamas started the war, used it’s children as human shields, violated every cease fire and inspire of such amazing war crimes that Hamas did, Israel caused fewer than 1500 civilian deaths.

      A LIE. Proof?

      All the rest is BAD ASS Bravado about how tough the IDF is and that is the point to the post.

    11. Just how good is the IDF and the Bulldozin Chosen at stomping on the Israeli created ghetto called Gaza?


      Israel has opened fire on the Gaza Strip on “at least 696 occasions” since the August 2014 ceasefire, the UK government has told Parliament.

      These incidents are in addition to 29 strikes on Gaza conducted in response to rocket fire.

      The figures were provided by Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, citing UN agency figures, and in response to a question by Labour MP Alex Cunningham.

      On September 4, Cunningham asked “how many times the Israeli military have opened fire into Gaza since August 2014; and what steps his Department is taking to prevent future such incidents.”

      Answering a week later, Ellwood stated.

      We are aware of Israeli forces responding to illegal rocket fire from Gaza with 29 strikes since the 26 August 2014 Gaza ceasefire agreement. According to figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israeli forces have opened fire into the Gaza Access Restricted Areas on land and sea on at least 696 occasions since then.

      He added that British officials in Tel Aviv have “raised our concerns over the Israel Defence Force’s use of live fire in Gaza with the Israeli Government. We are continuing to urge the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza.”

      As described by Middle East Monitor here, Israeli forces’ attacks on the Gaza Strip are routine, targeting farmers, fishermen, and unarmed civilian protesters. Israel’s unilateral imposition of a ‘no go’ buffer zone by the border fence and at sea is an important part of the ongoing blockade.

      Earlier this month, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights said it had documented 82 incidents by land in 2015 to date, in addition to 88 incidents of Israeli forces opening fire on fishermen. These attacks have killed 2 and injured 54.

      On September 17, Israeli forces permitted Palestinian farmers to access their land close to the border fence “for the first time in 15 years.” It remains to be seen how this works out in practice; on September 21, Israeli forces crossed the fence again and bulldozed agricultural land.

      Copyright © Ben White, Middle East Monitor, 2015

    12. In case you missed the Bulldozin Chosen Part:

      On September 17, Israeli forces permitted Palestinian farmers to access their land close to the border fence “for the first time in 15 years.” It remains to be seen how this works out in practice; on September 21, Israeli forces crossed the fence again and bulldozed agricultural land.

    13. Even when they are not bulldozin they are still chosen to rock the ghetto:

      Israeli occupation authorities closed the Kerem Shalom Crossing with the Gaza Strip for the seventh consecutive day to mark the Jewish New Year, the Anadolu Agency reported.

      Speaking to Anadolu, the director of the Palestinian side of the crossing Muneer Al-Ghalban said that the Israeli occupation “exceptionally” opened the crossing to allow “limited amounts of industrial fuel” needed for the sole electricity plant in Gaza, in addition to limited amounts of cooking gas.

      Al-Ghalban said Israeli authorities completely closed the crossing last Tuesday, noting that it will remain closed until tomorrow.

      Kerem Shalom is the Gaza Strip’s only commercial crossing and it is controlled by the Israeli authorities, which close it from time to time.

  3. Deuce, honestly, 95% of your stuff is about 'that one thing that has gripped your mind'.

    You are making a truly disgusting display of yourself.

    Can't you give it a break for a week ?

  4. Please, I had something quite different planned. My inspiration was you and your bugger buddy’s inane team match against one of the brightest posters on the blog. Being a professed counter-puncher myself, it comes easy.

    1. Deuce I love your threads.

      As Assad of syria has butchered 360,000 and created 14 million refugees you are focused on defending Hamas.


    2. The CIA, Obama, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey destabilized Syria and fostered a civil war.
      It was part of the Neocon plan. (See General Wesley Clark video of neocon plan to destabilize the ME.) The US support for Israel did more to create the refugees than anything Assad could have imagined.

      Israel created Hamas. If Hamas is responsible, the Israeli architects have much to account for. Are you bragging or complaining?

    3. The arabs of the middle east conquered 899/900th of it.

      own it.

      it's a shitfest not because of israel.

  5. The Reader should be reminded yet once again that The Hamas Charter calls for the genocide of the Jews.

    I'm out for the day, driving to Moscow.

    Cheers !

  6. Replies
    1. We have water here, too - but still no intelligent life.

      :) :)

    2. When reading that Krugman article you posted galopn2 (what a silly name!) I kept thinking of our very own Idaho Bob as being emblematic of the deranged republican right wing nut. Hayseed indeed!


    As the international director of We Are Not Numbers, I interact daily with many young adults in Gaza, ages 17-29. This is the age when they finish high school or university and emerge into a crippled economy where about 60 percent of them will be unable to find jobs. Too much idle time, unable to afford marriage, memories of too many wars and scholarships lost due to the blockade.

    In just one recent week, I found myself grappling with:

    A distinguished colleague, an NGO head who normally is a rock upon which we all lean, dropped out for days. He was coming to grips with the sickening reality that he would never be allowed out of Gaza by the current “regimes” in Israel and Egypt. After numerous previous attempts, he tried to join the crowd heading to Mecca for the Hajj, and even then was turned back. Clearly, he has been “blacklisted.” His new WhatsApp profile icon: “I am here to stay.”
    A 20-year-old university student had been preparing to leave for months after earning a scholarship to a school in Spain. He was assigned to the last of the buses to cross from Gaza to Egypt through the Rafah gate—but it was turned back at the border. The crossing hasn’t opened since. (The crossing had been closed for the previous 52 days, and there are about 15,000 people still on the waiting list to exit Gaza via Rafah.) “It’s my destiny,” he told me on Facebook chat, when I tried to find him after not hearing from him in days. “It’s a life without hope, a life without a future. Happiness and hope never last. Maybe because you are not in Gaza you can say that’s not true, but living here eradicates all the good feelings.” His new Facebook profile photo: the mask of the Joker.
    Another youth carved deep cuts into his arm with broken glass. The cuts were not placed correctly to end his life; rather, they were a crude call for help, a shout of “I am here!” into what appeared to him to be a mute universe. His Facebook profile photo: His face only barely visible behind a curtain of shadow, as if he is slowly disappearing.
    Alarmed at the collective depression I sensed among virtually everyone to whom I talked, I asked my project manager what we should do to help. “But everyone is depressed in Gaza; it’s all a matter of degree,” he responded.

    - See more at:

    1. Sucks being in Gaza, make love not war, it will get you further…

      Hamas is reaping what it sowed.


  8. The World would not stand by and watch such inhumane cruelty if Roman Catholics did this to Jews.

    According to Hossam Al-Madhoun, a therapist at the Maan Development Center in Gaza, suicide is on the rise in the Strip, despite the fact that it is haram (forbidden) in Islam. “There is at least one every day, although most are not being publicly reported by the Hamas government,” he says. “This is a dramatic change from 20 years ago, when there might be one every few years. Especially since the summer attack by Israel last year, there has been a huge increase.”

    The most at-risk are youth and young adults, who have the highest hopes but also the highest unemployment—and are just discovering their dreams too often turn to dust. Yet most of the formal psychosocial support programs in Gaza that receive international funding are for children. In part as a result, Al-Madhoun says, the quality of mental-health care in Gaza is highly variable, and the most-reputed centers such as the Gaza Community Health Program are overloaded.

    The other challenge is that anything labeled “therapy” or “psychological” (heaven forbid you say “psychiatric”) carries a heavy social stigma. In the minds of most Gazans, admitting to emotional problems is tantamount to exposing yourself as “weak” (a very negative quality). And if someone develops a serious mental illness, such as the psychosis one young friend recently developed, the common assumption is that he or she is possessed, and a sheikh is called in. Even meditation is a bit suspect; I have connected several young people to a friend who teaches the relaxation technique via Skype, but must be careful not to mention it to anyone else. Trust, I have learned, is also in very short supply there these days; as a foreigner, safely removed from Gaza, I am a “safe harbor.”

    “A disaster brings people together, but when repeated over and over, it’s not. Everybody is exhausted, too busy coping with their own troubles,” Al-Madhoun explains, adding that he also thinks the Arab culture tends to be more judgmental.

    - See more at:

    1. Actually the Roman Catholics DID do worse to the Jews and the world didn't lift a finger…


    Two power lines providing electricity to the Gaza Strip were disconnected overnight Tuesday further fueling an ongoing energy crisis in the beleaguered coastal enclave.

    Gaza’s energy authority said that the Jabalia line feeding northern Gaza off the Israeli electricity grid had failed due to a technical issue.

    The authority said that another power line feeding the central Gaza Strip, line 7, had also failed. The two lines together provide roughly 24 MW.

    For four days, the main power line from Egypt’s electrical grid, which provides a total of 28 MW, has also been down.

    Sources inside Gaza’s energy authority said Wednesday that the total supply of energy was now covering only 30 percent of the population’s minimum needs.

    Even at full capacity, the Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the territory’s energy needs.

    They provide only 230 MW of electricity, while Gaza-based think tank Pal-Think has estimated Gaza’s needs to fall between 350 and 450 MW.

    In recent days, Gaza’s power station has also been struggling to maintain its output due to both fuel shortages and lack of funds.

    The coastal enclave has seen a series of large demonstrations protesting the energy crisis, with Gazans calling for the resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s government.

    Gaza’s energy authority has blamed the power plant’s low output on taxes imposed by the PA’s petroleum authority.

    An inability to cover these costs forced the power station to close for more than a month earlier this year, and it has not run at full capacity in years.

    However, Israel’s crippling blockade has also severely limited fuel imports into the coastal enclave.

    War has also had taken its toll, and during Israel’s 50-day offensive on Gaza last summer, the power plant was targeted completely knocking it out of commission.

    Earlier this month, the UN warned that that the Gaza Strip could become uninhabitable for residents within just five years, pointing to the devastation of war and nearly a decade of Israel’s blockade.

    “The social, health and security-related ramifications of the high population density and overcrowding are among the factors that may render Gaza unlivable by 2020,” the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) wrote in its annual report.

    Copyright ©, Albawaba, 2015

    1. Maybe with those thousands of tons of concrete and other building supplies that Hamas diverts to it's tunnels it could build schools hospitals power plants etc..

      But as long as hamas is bent of the genocide of the Jews all other issues will fall by the way side.

      And gazans will die..

      Not because of Israel, because of Hamas (and Iran)

      The hell they created is theirs, they own it.

      Hell, even the Egyptians are tired of their bullshit.

  10. Ali Abunimah Activism and BDS Beat 17 September 2015

    The City of Reykjavík has decided to boycott Israeli goods.

    The city council in Iceland’s capital voted by a 9-5 majority on Tuesday to bar Israeli products from official purchases as long as Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory continues.

    The decision has been welcomed by Palestinian rights campaigners and drawn anger from Israel.

    “The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement all over the world is becoming stronger because we know how boycotting goods has influenced other states like South Africa,” Björk Vilhelmsdóttir told The Electronic Intifada by telephone from Reykjavík.

    Vilhelmsdóttir, a member of the Social Democratic Alliance, sponsored the motion as her last act before retiring from a long stint on the city council.

    She said the 51-day assault that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza in 2014 had been “the last straw” and had generated a lot of discussion about taking action.

    “Finally I decided just to make a proposal so the political will would be clear because the majority in Reykjavík stands with human rights,” Vilhelmsdóttir said.

    1. LOL
      that didn't take long…

      Reykjavík takes back its decision to boycott Israeli goods

      by Michal Addady SEPTEMBER 21, 2015, 1:37 PM EDT

      In other boycotts, the good people of Reykjavil still are not boycotting, Russia for it's slaughter of over 100,000 chechynains, Nor syria for it's butchering of over 360,000, nor Iran, North Korea or Sudan.



  11. “Volcano of hate”

    The Israeli foreign ministry also referred to the North Atlantic island nation’s famous geology to condemn the Icelandic capital’s decision.

    Spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Jerusalem Post that “a volcano of hate exploded in the building of the Reykjavík municipality.”

    With no “reason or justification, except for pure hatred, calls were heard to boycott the State of Israel,” Nahshon claimed. “We hope that someone in Iceland will wake up and put an end to this blindness and one-sidedness that is demonstrated toward Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”

    Vilhelmsdóttir rejected accusations that her initiative had been driven by prejudice.

    “Some people have been saying I am an anti-Semite,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “I don’t understand it because I only feel love and peace to Jewish people and all others. But we also love human rights for the Palestinians and Israel’s occupation is taking them away.”

    “Israel likes to be in the victim’s role,” Vilhelmsdóttir added, “but that is not true.”

    1. Israel is the only democracy in the middle east, they trumpet whenever they rebuff allegations towards them or whenever they get yet another town, city, state, our country who condemns their murderous actions against the Palestinians

    2. yawn…

      then tell your friends to stop firing rockets at her.

      "At the beginning of the Israeli aggression"


    3. Only israel is singled out..

      One standard for Israel, no standards for anyone else.

  12. Deuce is taking time out from his usual monomaniacal Jew bashing to bash some Jews.

    I actually feel sorry for the man.

    An aging intelligent and quite capable in worldly affairs gentleman shouldn't go out with insane hatred in his mind.

    It carries over.

    1. like your hate for muslims?

    2. I hate their theology.

      It is anti-life.

      Over the centuries this 'theology' led to the deaths of over 80,000,000 Hindus, and that's just a part of the world wide total.

      Did anyone ever mention that you need, and deserve, a good non life threatening mugging, Ash, you young shit head?

      I'm still waiting for the wife to shown up so I can get going, got thins ta do...

    3. Ash I love any muslim that can accept a Jew's right to be equal in the world.

      Any moslem that accepts the fact that King David, Moses and Isaac and Jacob were all Jews, I can like.

      I can like any moslem that accepts the RIGHT that Jews are in fact an older faith and that are older than Islam.

      I can like any moslem that can say "Jews have a right to their lands in Medina"

      Go on ash, say it...

    4. say what? - that you love to load on the pre-conditions for you liking of moslems? What's with your spelling of Muslim anyway - harbor some hatred do you?

    5. Sure I have to Ash, after all they are the ones that say I am descended from apes and pigs.

      The "pre-condition" is simple.

      Do you accept the right for me, a Jew to be equal?


      If you don't? Sure I hate you… But no more than you (or them hate me)

      Moslems? Muslims? Who is to say the correct spelling?

      It's not hatred I harbor, it's a reflection of the islamic feelings for jews that I reflect..

      My my, I se you can't answer my query…

      SO you so HATE the Jews. eh?

  13. Now, the Republicans are slamming Obama for meeting with Putin. That whole party has gone batshit crazy, insane.

    1. You don't need to worry, you have Hillary dodging snipers to deal with.

  14. Putin, who spoke at the U.N. podium a couple of hours later, accused the United States of fostering violence in the Middle East. "The export of revolutions, this time so-called democratic ones,” Putin said, has resulted in “violence and social disaster” instead of democratic advances.

    “I cannot help asking those who have forced this situation, do you realize now what you have done?” Putin said in remarks that never mentioned, but were clearly directed at, the United States. “Policies based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.”

    The sparring came ahead of a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders scheduled for Monday afternoon. And to that end, Obama made an overture to Putin, saying that the United States would work with any nation to end the fighting in Syria that has dragged on for four and-a-half years.

    1. LOL tell that to the people of Chechnya, Ukraine…


  15. “I cannot help asking those who have forced this situation, do you realize now what you have done?” Putin said

    Only a Republican could be so egregiously dishonest, utterly shameless or blatantly ignorant enough to deny the integrity in Putin’s statement.

    1. Only a Republican or a BadAss could be so egregiously dishonest, utterly shameless or blatantly ignorant enough to deny the integrity in Putin’s statement.