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Vader

Toward the final solution: For Netanyahu, Gaza escalation could pave the way to Iran strike

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© Reuters
An Iranian-made Shahab long-range missile
Until this week, Prime Minister Netanyahu took pride in never having lead Israel into a war. Now he may be on the verge of starting not one but two.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have not given up the dream of carrying out a major operation in Iran. For some time, prior to the recent American election, they were in disagreement: Barak was against creating facts on the ground which President Barack Obama would be forced to deal with, whereas Netanyahu entertained the idea of exploiting the sensitive political period preceding what he thought would be the surefire victory of his esteemed ally, Mitt Romney.

As the election there recedes into history while ours approaches, this twosome is going back to dealing with the Iran plan - which is one that will necessarily influence the character of the next Knesset and government.

For Netanyahu, Operation Pillar of Defense is not a baptism of fire. Sixteen years have passed since the opening of the Western Wall tunnel in September 1996, an act that escalated events on the ground (called "Hot Iron" at the time by the Israel Defense Forces ). Netanyahu - at the time a novice, arrogant prime minister - took a public beating so painful that he was forced to revoke his refusal to make concessions to PLO leader Yasser Arafat concerning Hebron. Since then, throughout seven years of power during two terms in office, Netanyahu has kept his fingers off the trigger, and has even been proud of his restraint.

Star of David

Video: Jewish UK MP Compares Israeli Soldiers To Nazis

Thank you Gerald Kaufman, MP for speaking up. Labour MP Kaufman has urged an arms embargo and compared Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland.

Sir Gerald Kaufman said the Israeli government was "ruthlessly and cynically" exploiting the guilt over the Holocaust as justification for the assault on Gaza. He also questioned the claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants as "the reply of the Nazi" and added: "I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants."


Star of David

Israel "returns fire" on Syrian Golan, may have caused deaths

Israel, Syira
Israel fired artillery into Syria in response to gunfire aimed at its troops in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, and may have killed Syrian soldiers, Israel's army said on Sunday.

There were no reported injuries on the Israeli side from the shootings, which occurred on Saturday, the third case this month of violence seen as a spillover of civil unrest in Syria that has also alarmed other neighbors such as Lebanon and Turkey.

"There was small arms fire (at Israeli forces), there was a response and from what I hear over Arab media it appears Syrian soldiers were killed," Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, Israel's chief military spokesman, told Army Radio.

Comment:
CIA, MI6 agents direct massacres in Syria: American analyst
CIA spies 'smuggle 14 Stinger missiles into Syria so rebels can take out regime warplanes'
Mossad, CIA and Blackwater Operate in Syria


Star of David

Gaza and the politics of "greater Israel"

"The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert. And why? Because he has no respect for any law. Because in the desert he can do as he pleases. The tendency towards conflict is in the essence of the Arab. He is an enemy by essence. His personality won't allow him any compromise or agreement. It doesn't matter what kind of resistance he will meet, what price he will pay. His existence is one of perpetual war. Israel's must be the same. The two states solution doesn't exist; there are no two people here. There is a Jewish people and an Arab population... there is no Palestinian people, so you don't create a state for an imaginary nation... they only call themselves a people in order to fight the Jews." [1]- Benjamin Netanyahu

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(Gaza This moment) 18/11/2012
Bombardment of the Gaza Strip now sporadically
Everywhere
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza being perpetuated under 'Operation Pillar of Defense' comes at an interesting time. Under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements into Palestinian lands has increased at unprecedented rates. Netanyahu's administration has approved the construction of 850 settler homes in the occupied West Bank in June 2012, even after the Israeli parliament rejected a bill to retroactively legalize some of the existing homes in the area. [2] The number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank has almost doubled in the past 12 years, with more than 350,000 residing illegally under international law. [3] While Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman asserts Tel Aviv's unwillingness to permit Palestinians any right to return to their lands, emphasizing, "not even one refugee," apartheid enforced on ethnic and religious lines has become a ratified part of Israeli government policy. [4] Far-right political discourse that was once considered extremism is now the status quo in Israel.

Bad Guys

Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault on Gaza

Palestinian man carries a wounded child
© Moiz Salhi/AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian man carries a wounded child at a hospital following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, on November 17, 2012.
The Obama administration's unstinting financial, military and diplomatic support for Israel is a key enabling force in the conflict

A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza - beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably "defending itself" - is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all. The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. This self-flattering depiction of the US as uninvolved, neutral party is the worst media fiction since TV news personalities covered the Arab Spring by pretending that the US is and long has been on the side of the heroic democratic protesters, rather than the key force that spent decades propping up the tyrannies they were fighting.

Literally each day since the latest attacks began, the Obama administration has expressed its unqualified support for Israel's behavior. Just two days before the latest Israeli air attacks began, Obama told Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas "that his administration opposes a Palestinian bid for non-state membership of the UN". Both the US Senate and House have already passed resolutions unequivocally supporting Israel, thus earning the ultimate DC reward: the head-pat from Aipac, which "praised the extraordinary show of support by the Senate for Israel's struggle against terrorist attacks on its citizens". More bipartisan Congressional cheerleading is certain to come as the attacks continue, no matter how much more brutal they become.

In reflexive defense of Israel, the US government thus once against put itself squarely at odds with key nations such as Turkey (whose prime minister accused Israel of being motivated by elections and demanded that Israel be "held to account" for mounting civilians deaths), Egypt (which denounced Israeli attacks as "aggression against humanity"), and Tunisia (which called on the world to "stop the blatant aggression" of Israel).

By rather stark contrast, Obama continues to defend Israel's free hand in Gaza, causing commentators like Jeffrey Goldberg to gloat, not inaccurately: "Barack Obama hasn't turned against Israel. This is a big surprise to everyone who has not paid attention for the last four years" (indeed, there are few more compelling signs of how dumb and misleading US elections are than the fact that the only criticism of Obama on Israel heard over the last year in the two-party debate was the grievance that Obama evinces insufficient fealty - rather than excessive fealty - to the Israeli government). That the Netanyahu government knows that any attempt to condemn Israel at the UN would be instantly blocked by the US is a major factor enabling them to continue however they wish. And, of course, the bombs, planes and tanks they are using are subsidized, in substantial part, by the US taxpayer.

Eye 2

"IDF doesn't hurt children when it bombs Gaza", says pathological liar spokesman for Israeli PM


"There are no children hurt by the IDF" - such were the words of Alex Selsky, the spokesperson for the Prime Minister's office, as he spoke to RT.

That was just after two kids were killed in a bombing on Friday, with the visiting Egyptian PM saying he held the body of a dead boy at the hospital in Gaza and still had the blood stains on his shirt.

Comment:
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© AP
Father's grief: BBC journalist Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Omar, at Shifa hospital



Star of David

Israeli regime tells citizens: Prepare for 7 weeks of war

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© RONEN ZVULUN/Reuters
Israeli soldiers prepare for mass murder near the Gaza Strip, November 16, 2012.
Authority heads within 75-kilometer range from Gaza Strip instructed to prepare; some 2,000 Command reservists recruited so far

Home Front Command asks local authorities to prepare for seven-week fighting period: In discussions held between Home Front Command Chief Major-General Eyal Eisenberg, regional commanders and heads of local authorities in the center and in the south, authorities have been instructed to prepare for a seven-week period of combat as part of Operation Pillar of Defense and to prepare emergency supplies, accordingly.

Some supplies were prepared in advance. The Home Front Command estimates that terror organizations in the Gaza Strip are still capable of launching long-range rockets, even further than a 75-kilometer range.

The Home Front Command sharpened instructions for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and southern residents and, accordingly, communities located in a range of between 40-75 kilometers from the Gaza Strip must enter nearby, protected spaces the moment blasts or sirens are heard.

Comment: There you have it. Through the Israeli media, the psychopathic Israeli government is telling its citizens that the current round of slaughter in Gaza will continue for weeks. But we shouldn't be surprised. With a name like Operation 'Pillar of Cloud' (since changed to 'Pillar of Defense' because of the global backlash), it was clear from the outset that Israhell once again intended to exact revenge on the people of Gaza for existing.


Heart - Black

Psychopathic Israeli officials use fake graphic to justify bombing Gaza hospitals

IDF propaganda
As Israel steps up its targeting of civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip on the fourth day of an assault that began when it violated a truce on 14 November, and calls up reservists in advance of a possible ground invasion, Israeli officials are distributing a graphic that appears intended to justify in advance the bombing of Gaza hospitals and health facilities.

The graphic published by the Israeli army is a fake hospital sign that purports to show that Hamas leaders hide under hospitals and stockpile weapons there.

Ofir Gendelman, an official spokesman for the Israeli prime minister tweeted the same image in Arabic.

Eye 2

Inciting war crimes: Israel minister says force Gaza population into Egypt, cut off water, electricity

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© Momen Faiz / APA images
Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in Gaza city on 15 November 2012.
An Israeli minister has called for the army to bomb Gaza until the population flees en masse into Egypt's Sinai peninsula, and for water and electricity supplies to be cut, a clear case of incitement to war crimes.

Israel Katz, Israel's transport minister, was quoted on the Orthodox website B'Hadrei Haredim on 11 November:
Israel must act in Gaza with a very clear policy. The leadership of the Hamas, which is responsible for all the attacks and shooting, must be eliminated. Beyond that, we must detach from Gaza in a civilian manner - electricity, water, food, and fuel - and transition into a policy of deterrence, just like in Southern Lebanon."

Why don't they shoot at us from Southern Lebanon and do from Gaza? Because there is no clear boundary with Gaza. Because the civilian link with Gaza is unreasonable. Gaza should be considered a border, and every time we are hurt, hurt back [retaliate]. When I see Palestinian citizens escaping into Sinai, the way Lebanese citizens escape toward Beirut when there is a round of fire against Israel - we will then know that the deterrence has been achieved."

Vader

Perspective: More than 7,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in 10 years

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On Thursday, The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) issued a report stating that more than 7000 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories over the past ten years.

The PCBS said that 7342 Palestinians were killed in the period between September 29, 2000 and December 31, 2010.

The report stated that by the end of 2009, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire arrived to 7235, including 2183 killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank.

2059 of the slain Palestinians in the West Bank are males and 124 are females.

In the Gaza Strip, the army killed 5015 Palestinians, 4601 of them are males, and 414 are females. The rest of the casualties are from the 1948 territories.