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67 Vital/Random Considerations re Israeli/Palestinian Crisis

1) “Collective punishment” is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Israel is wreaking “collective punishment” on the population of Gaza with “Operation Protective Edge.” (Marjorie Cohn)

2) The Israeli government wages asymmetrical (excessively one-sided) war against Gaza almost every two years. (James M. Wall)

3) International law asserts that Palestinians have the right to resist occupation, ethnic cleansing, colonization, aggression and annexation. (Chris Ernesto)

4) In 1948, Jewish people hoping to form a Jewish state carried out a massive terror and ethnic cleansing campaign against the occupants of Palestine, expelling half of them. 750,000 people. They forced the remaining Palestinians into concentrated areas (the West Bank and Gaza). (Robert Barsocchini)

5) Israel continues to defy UN rules of co-existence of Israelis with Palestinians. Israelis continue to break international law by annexing more and more of the best land and resources including water as well as robbing Palestinians of civil and human rights. (Robert Barsocchini)

6) Miko Peled, son of an Israeli general, recently stated that if Israel doesn’t Like rockets, they should decolonize Palestine. (Robert Barsocchini)

7) Israeli settlement building in Palestine is a war crime under international law. Under Obama, Israeli settlement building is up over 130%. (Robert Barsocchini)

8) Gilad Atzmon refers to “morbid racism” existing in Israeli culture, making the bombing and killing of children, women, the elderly, the disabled not a problem of conscience for too many Israelis. (Alimuddin Usmani)

9) Why did it take a suspicious two whole weeks for the very competent IDF to find the dead bodies of the three kidnapped and murdered Israeli teens within a tiny area? (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich)

10) The Israeli cabinet in the midst of the Israeli attacks on Gaza is brazenly arranging new illegal settlement building in the West Bank to be guarded by the army and named after the three teens who had been kidnapped and murdered. (Jonathan Cook)

11) A video exists of armed police in Jerusalem kicking and punching to unconsciousness a 15-year old boy as he lay cuffed and helpless on the ground. He was the 15-year old Palestinian-American cousin of the Palestinian teen who had been burned to death as Israeli vengeance for the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens. (Jonathan Cook)

12) Prime Minister, Golda Meir, years ago suggested that even harder than forgiving the Arab enemy for killing Israel’s sons would be “to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons”. For decades Israeli leaders such as Meir have suffered from a sensibility of colossal exceptionalism, even supremacy, and have projected blame and responsibility for Israeli ethnic cleansing campaigns onto the Palestinians themselves. (Jonathan Cook)

13) As a Senator Obama co-sponsored a resolution demanding that the US not impede Israel’s actions in Lebanon in 2006. Obama aligned himself with the hawkish Bush administration and the Israeli lobby. (Chris Ernesto)

14) The BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement protesting the Israeli settlements has accomplished getting Bill Gates Foundation, Presbyterian Church USA and United Methodist Church to divest from profit of Israel’s settlements as well as from companies supporting them like Hewlett Packard, Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar (also Estee Lauder, Victoria’s Secret) . (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich)

15) The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) in their 2009 report found during Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2008-2009, that all types of property were demolished: residences, hospitals, schools, mosques, factories and agricultural fields. (Marjorie Cohn)

16) Citizens of Israel who do morally object to the brutality against the Palestinian people find no representation in the Israeli government and often “vote with their feet” by leaving the country entirely. (Barry Grey)

17) Egypt’s coup leader, General al-Sisi, client of the US, has closed the border with Gaza, leaving Palestinians trapped under Israel’s blanketing bombing. (Bill Van Auken)

18) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported that 77% of people killed so far in Gaza were civilians, and despite 1000 launched rockets from Gaza, no Israeli has been killed. [update: 1 casualty] (Marjorie Cohn)

19) The Gaza strip is 140 square miles, with a population of 1.7 plus people, half of them children. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, often described as an “open air prison.” (Marjorie Cohn)

20) Conditions in Gaza have worsened since mid-2013. Unemployment has increased, basic services decreased. 90% of the water is undrinkable. World Health Organization reports the Gazan health system is near collapse. WHO also focuses on the condition of the many children arrested and tortured by Israeli military forces. (Marjorie Cohn)

21) Israeli security forces kidnap and torture Palestinian children, even keeping them in outdoor cages during the winter. (Robert Barsocchini)

22) WHO has criticized Israel for unlawful Jewish settlements and the erection of a barrier wall into the West Bank, a wall that the International Court of Justice found violating international law 10 years ago. The Court also declared confiscation of Palestinian land, resources and homes against international law. (Hassan Ould Moctar)

23) Netanyahu has used an excuse not to negotiate for peace with the Palestinians the fact that they don’t speak with a unified voice. However, once Fatah (West Bank) and Hamas (Gaza) began to form a unity government, Netanyahu clearly commenced driving a wedge between them and sabotaging an international push for a two-state solution. (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich)

24) The governments of Israel and the United States, by ignoring the basic human and civil rights of the Palestinians, have caused millions of people around the world to hate the American and Israeli peoples in general and, thus, endangered all of us because of the profound international hatred. (Margaret Kimberley)

25) A Department of Justice memorandum written by David Barron whom Obama now has appointed to a federal judgeship, legitimized extra judicial killing by Obama because Israel was doing the same thing! A 2006 Israeli Supreme Court decision ruled that targeted assassination of hundreds of Palestinians were legal and did not violate international law. Obama has applied the ruling of the Israel Court to US law, trumping the laws of the US Constitution for due process. (Margaret Kimberley)

26) Israel has been caught spying on the United States on many occasions in the past. Israel is responsible for killing 34 sailors of the USS Liberty in 1967. Israel is responsible for the callous and deliberate killings of two American citizens, Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dolgan. DC, state and local politicians offer no serious objections to such Israeli extreme criminality since they politically and economically benefit from pleasing the Zionist lobby. (Margaret Kimberley)

27) This Tuesday’s bogus cease-fire decreed by US-backed Egyptian military coup leader El-Sisi followed his talks with the Israeli government. There were NO consultations with the leadership of Hamas, whose leaders only heard of the supposed cease fire when it was being reported by the media. Soon, Hamas was being blamed for not honoring a ceasefire they had never even been consulted on or informed of. (Jonathan Cook)

28) According to the Balfour Declaration the Jewish population are not occupiers but guests. It reads: “ …the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of (this) it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine …” (Felicity Arbuthnot)

29) There is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. A shortage of fuel due to lack of funds. 70% of the ambulances cannot run any more. Medical supplies and hospitals are in a continued state of emergency. (Cesar Chelala)

30) The US House of Representatives introduced a resolution co-sponsored by 50 bipartisan members formally supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket fire . There is no mention of Palestinians' human and civil rights. Hamas is condemned as terrorist. (JTA)

31) In 2008, 12 hours after winning the Democratic Presidential primary, Obama addressed members of AIPAC wearing an Israel/US lapel pin and telling the crowd he “understood the Zionist idea.” (Chris Ernesto)

32) Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has called for the Israeli military to “go all the way” and “end this operation when the Israeli army is in control over the whole Gaza Strip.”

33) Since 2000 Israel has killed 1500 Palestinian children, 1000% more than the 132 Israeli children killed by Palestinians. (Robert Barsocchini)

34) There are 18 billionaires in Israel (population 7.9 million) which is more billionaires per capita than in the U.S. In the past two decades Israeli working class income has plummeted. toxic crisis of Israeli society

35) Israel has violated more UN resolutions than any other country. (Robert Barsocchini)

36) Hamas was legally elected the government of Gaza, an election overseen by Jimmy Carter and other international reps. For 20 years Hamas has been advocating for a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. (Robert Barsocchini)

38) In the history of Palestinian rocket and mortar fire a total of 26 people have been killed. (Robert Barsocchini)

39) Dan Sanchez has written on the disparity of US/Israeli war machine and Palestinian scrap metal rockets: “They [the Gazans] are like fish in a barrel, being blasted by a shotgun from above. It’s like some of the fish in the barrel pathetically spitting water at the gunman, and [US media calls] that a “shooting battle.” (Robert Barsocchini)

40) Robert Barsocchini asserts that accusing Palestinians of anti-Semitism is like accusing Native Americans who resisted European colonizers of being anti-White or anti-European, instead of native people resisting dispossession or annihilation. (Robert Barsocchini)

41) One Israeli commander tells his soldiers that they are engaged in a war to “wipe out” an “enemy who defames” God.  (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich)

42) There is an Israel project with American funding called Site 911 due for completion soon. It is five levels of an underground building with six above ground outbuildings. It is 127,000 square feet and is to house classrooms, auditorium, laboratory. It will have shock resistant doors, radiation protection walls and massive security. (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich)

43) The UN tried to prosecute Israel for killing and torture when the Israeli troops stormed the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in 2010. The vote was 30-1 with the US the only dissenter. (Chris Ernesto)

44) The US voted against Palestinian statehood in 2012, when virtually every other country in the world wanted to formally recognize Palestine as an independent nation. (Chris Ernesto)

45) Arab citizens in Israel are being chased by Jewish mobs over the death of the Israeli teens. Israeli protesters of the attacks on Gaza are being beaten up by Israeli “hooligans” as Israeli police simply watch it happen. (Gilad Atzmon)

46) Right wing politicians in Israel promise an eventual Arab-free Israel state for the citizenry. In other words, promising ethnic cleansing/genocide/displacement. (Gilad Atzmon)

47) Israel maintains an illegal and sadistic blockade of Gaza. Gazans are not permitted to travel outside Gaza except for special permission to enter Israel proper. (Gilad Atzmon)

48) On May 20th, the Israeli forces murdered 2 unarmed Palestinian teens, one on video, and wounded a third. This did not receive media attention like the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli teens. This outrage against the Palestinian people went unreported by the mainstream media, whereas the outrage of the June 12 kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens has excessive coverage and is used as justification for collective punishment of all of Gaza. (Robert Barsocchini)

49) Primitive rocket firing from Gaza is justified by Palestinian militants as a protest of Israeli aggression -- bombing, killings and assassinations, arrests and torture of Palestinians including children. (James M. Wall)

50) Per international law and US domestic law Israel should not be supported by the US until Israel withdraws its soldiers and ends the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Militarily, Israel is the most powerful country in the Middle East thanks to US support of $3 billion a year and lethal weaponry including chemical weapons, attack helicopters, white phosphorous. It is a violator of human and civil rights. (Chris Ernesto)

51) Amnesty International has asserted that all aid to Israel is illegal under international (and US) law, because Israel is a consistent violator of human rights. (Robert Barsocchini)

52) For about 40 years, every year there is a UN vote on the issue of Palestinian statehood, and every year it goes about 165 to 2, the world against the US and Israel. (Robert Barsocchini)

53) Obama withdrew the US from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in response to its approval of Palestine membership. (Chris Ernesto)

54) In the summer of 2011 hundreds of thousands of Israelis protested over poverty, inequality, cuts to education, housing and health care. By the following year an 8-day air assault on Gaza killing over 100 Palestinians occurred. The Israeli government deflects internal domestic social and economic tension by using war against Arabs. (Barry Grey)

55) Sometimes there is a small explosion on a Gazan rooftop (“roof knocking”) that warns that in a few minutes a bomb will hit and destroy the Gazan home. This has been proven at times not helpful to save Gazan lives. This happened where there were disabled residents who could not easily exit. Then there are considerations of residents deaf, asleep, or who do not get the warning at all. (James M. Wall)

57) Raouf J. Halaby writes of graffiti and Facebook postings of Israelis sounding like Hitler youth: “Death to Arabs”, “Jesus is a monkey.” There was an attempt to lynch a Palestinian youth in a West Jerusalem shopping center that received no media coverage. Israeli settler attacks have become common-day occurrences. The Israeli army is a shield for the criminality of the Settlers. Yet Netanyahu often brags about the moral superiority of Israelis as compared to Palestinians.

58) Raouf J. Halaby writes that the beaten and stomped on unconscious body of the 16-year old American-Palestinian cousin of the Palestinian boy who had been revenge burned alive was carried by Israeli police “as if it were a carcass of a just-killed deer,” a clear symbol Halaby stresses of the deep-seated demonization of Palestinians by too many Israelis.

59) Jake Tapper of CNN in an interview with Diana Buttu, a former advisor to the PLO, insisted that Palestinians are being killed in their homes because they WANT to die. That they live in a culture of martyrdom. This is why women and children are dying in Gaza. It is not Israel’s fault. (David Swanson)

60) Jewish Voice for Peace has an open letter (link) to be signed by anyone, asking for Palestinians to be granted human rights. (David Swanson)

61) There is still no evidence that Hamas was responisbile for the kiling of the three Israeli teens. Professor Michel Chossudovsky insists that Opeation Protective Edge was already planned BEFORE the kidnappings. 40,000 reservists have been called up.

62) As of July 13 1320 sites have been struck by Israeli bombs, 167 deaths (now over 200) and over 1000 Palestinians injured. Professor Michel Chossudovsky reveals that the Israeli press is now intimating that the three teens could have been kileld by ISIL, a jihadist entity covertly supported by Israel. Netanyahu does not deny Israeli support of ISIL.

63) Israel is the only country that has a special military court for juveniles. A 2013 UNICEF report found that 7000 Palestinian children have been “detained, interrogated, prosecuted and/or imprisoned within the Israeli military justice system -- an average of two children each day.” The Algebra of Israeli Injustice Sonali Kolhatkar

64) The US contributes 25% of the UN's funding which is why the UN is so swayed by US will. (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich)

65) Joshua Frank writes: “Not one dollar for Detroit, but billions for Israel.” Obama has promised to keep giving Israel $3 billion a year through 2018. But this money not for the Palestinians. Electricity, water and healthcare essentials belong to the oppressing Israel. The money goes for weapons to kill and control them, not help them.

66) Norman Pollack writes, “The irony of history, when descendants of the Holocaust commit localized holocausts of their own ...” “To be the ‘Chosen People’ is not license for etnocentrism, xenophobia, and worse, unscrupulousness with regard to human life...” He speaks of tragedy and horror of Israeli violence against the truly powerless. (Norman Pollack)

67) Gideon Levy writes "In the Jewish state, there is no remnant of the biblical injunction to treat the minority or the stranger with justice. There are no more Jews left who marched with Martin Luther King or who sat in jail with Nelson Mandela. The Jewish state, which Israel insists the Palestinians recognize, must first recognize itself. At the end of the day, at the end of a terrible week, it seems that a Jewish state means a racist, nationalistic state, meant for Jews only." (Gideon Levy)

[cross-posted on open salon]

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