With sadness and anger we resume publication of the names, where known, of the people of Gaza killed by the IDF in Operation Protective Edge. After a pause, the shelling resumed on August 24. The total of those killed is now 2,137 (noon, August 26). Over a third of them are 18 or under. Many of the corpses cannot be identified because they are unrecognisable. 10,860 people, including 3,307 children, have been injured.
Ntanyahu’s security cabinet put on a bravura performance on Wednesday night, insisting that all Israel’s aims had been achieved. Most Israelis think that neither side won and the more right-wing members of his cabinet think the IDF gave up too soon and Netanyahu should not have secretly accepted the ceasefire. His coalition may be a casualty of war.
Settlers are notoriously the most aggressive group in Israel and in the wake of the ceasefire they are turning on the kibbutzniks on the border with Gaza and assailing them for their 2006 support for the withdrawal from Gaza and now, like the settlers in the Negev, for their failure to be the militaristic pioneers of settler myth.
Palestinians are not at this moment counting their dead, wounded and disabled or their demolished buildings. They have come out into the streets of Gaza’s towns to declare the failure of Israel to destroy the resistance and their support for Hamas and the firing of rockets into Israel fins an opinion poll.
The number of dead tells you nothing about the case of Israelis and Palestinians. It tells you everything about who has the power – which in fact does tell you everything about the case. Israel exercises almost complete power over Palestinians in Gaza and its cry of ‘self-defence’ is utterly specious. BBC infographic.
This is one of the more brazen bits of hasbara yet produced by the Israeli state. There is no blockade. Goods move freely in and out of the Gaza strip. What’s the problem? In the post below, Gisha responds, and here an uncommitted journalist from Vox-com looks at limits on freedom of movement and trade in Gaza.
The claim by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that there is no ‘siege of Gaza’ [above] is taken on by the NGO Gisha. It agrees there’s not a siege – because Israel has exercised total control over Gaza since 2007 and continues to exercise absolute state control over the economic and household life of people in Gaza.
In this statement the JfJfP executive registers its abhorrence of antisemitism – now being manifest in parts of Europe – and of all forms of racism. It also insists that antisemitism must not be conflated with criticism of Israel – as apologists for Israeli policies dishonestly do. Neither Israel nor these bodies speak for all Jews.
From the excitable (Al Arabiya) through the sober (FT) to denial (Globes, Israel) all report that the Israeli economy, especially its currency (the NIS) has taken a hard knock from the war against Gaza. Tourism, accounting for 7per cent of GDP has collapsed (an own goal for Israel’s insistence on the Hamas threat) and the general insecurity about Israel’s priorities have taken their toll.
The Holocaust, or Shoah, did not give Jews a badge of exemption from humanitarian laws. If anything, the reverse is true. Having experienced the worst that human beings can do to each other where law does not rule, many survivors and descendants feel the greatest obligation to ensure Jews, in particular, do not commit inhumane acts with impunity – such as Israel’s attack on the people of Gaza, and the oPt. Hajo Meyer, who has just died, was one such honourable man. Sign petition to support the letter he was the first to sign.
After a life-time of working with those severely damaged by the cruelty of others it is astonishing that Helen Bamber remained a compassionate and uncensorious person. She helped traumatised children by getting them to connect with the good things in their past and all victims of cruelty to feel safe and learn to trust again . Though not religious, her Judaism was important to her and we are honoured, and not surprised, that she chose to become a signatory of JfJfP.
The IDF renewed its aerial bombardment of Gaza over the weekend killing at least 17 Palestinians. The reason this time was the killing of a four-year old boy by a rocket fired from Gaza. Reasons for the lethal onslaught have included the prevention of rocket fire, the destruction of tunnels, the separation of Hamas from the people of Gaza and the assassination of Hamas leaders. Israel says the attacks will continue all its aims – which change by the week – are achieved.
This is the first of three very disturbing, if not surprising, depictions of the now-dominant Israeli youth culture of hatred of the left and hatred of Arabs. The view that neither the left nor Palestinians have any place in Israeli society has all the signs of a young fascist movement and one which the education system has no power to combat.
Prof. Zeev Sternhell, an authority of the rise of fascism in France, defines fascism as a rejection of, an assault on, enlightenment values. In the regime’s treatment of the Palestinians and of Jewish dissidents, in the submission of intellectuals to government orders and the blind following of the masses, Prof. Sternhell sees signs of fascism, and certainly the end of Zionism as he understood it.
Fascist is an adjective often loosely and wrongly used. but from the mouth of the founder of American Conservative, a traditional right-wing publication, it is significant. Israel’s actions in Gaza, and the popular, racist support for it, clearly crossed the line of human decency, which the US and EU should have condemned.
Without due process of law Hamas gunmen executed 21 people they suspected of being informants the day after the IDF had killed three out of four Hamas leaders targetted for assassination, based on information received. This is the biggest mass public execution ordered by Hamas since it gained control in Gaza in 2007.
One-time Zionist Antony Lerman argues that Liberal Zionism is now an anachronism. Israel is now driven by forces and ideas – religious messianism, colonialism, ethnic cleansing, purification of the tribe – which no-one with liberal or humanitarian views can subscribe to. Better to admit it’s a lost cause and argue for an Israel of equal rights.
Having failed to crush Hamas or its popular support in Gaza Netanhayu/Shin Bet have turned to a tactic which is less costly in terms of money, manpower and reputation: kill the heads of Hamas with the maximum of publicity. Hamas of course says however many heads you cut off, more will grow. Reuters report.
From suggestions that the IDF itself sent the rockets that landed in Beersheba – the reason why Netanyahu recalled the negotiators from Cairo – to assassination attempts against Hamas leaders Netanyahu is desperately trying to pull a victory out of the failure to destroy Hamas and avoid ceasefire talks. Uri Avnery’s withering judgment.
Anyone who has been on any of the recent demonstrations for Gaza will have noticed that ‘Zionist’ is the usual term of abuse for Israel’s policies. It is used to reject accusations of antisemitism especially as many Christians describe themselves as Zionist. In S. Africa, Benjamin Pogrund says it is the right term for a liberation struggle while Ran Greenstein argues this ignores the reality of the oppression carried out in Zionism’s name.