The aim given by Israel for its ground invasion of Gaza is the destruction of tunnels in which people can hide, shelter and move goods including munitions without being seen from above. 27 Palestinians had been killed in this operation at the time of posting and one Israeli soldier, possibly by ‘friendly fire.’ 65,000 reservists have been called up. News coming out of Israel at the moment is in the form of live blogs two of which are reposted. here.
France’s Interior Minister has banned all pro-Palestinian demonstrations. France, world-changing pioneer of political rights including the right of free assembly? The report from the Mail Online is both anti-French and anti-Israel about an attack on pro-Palestinians by the Jewish Defence League. It and others point out how Israeli actions harm European Jews who, uniquely are held responsible for the action of a foreign state.
For 47 years Palestinians have been living with a catastrophe (the 2nd one) – and Israelis with a curse. Unlike old colonisers, Israel denies it is an occupying power or that it has any duty to protect of provide for its subjects. JfJfP signatory Prof. Avi Shlaim reviews a thorough account of failed (US) efforts to get a peace deal and the consequences of that failure. Plus a more sceptical view from The Economist.
Before the raid on the Mavi Marmara by the IDF (nine people killed) Turkey and Israel had cordial relations, with Turkey being a favourite tourist destination for Israelis. Since then, PM Erdogan has been establishing himself as a defender of moderate Islam in the Middle East. Anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian feeling is still strong in Turkey, which tips over into antisemitism in some quarters. Can Erdogan keep the lid on it, or is he – or the Israeli press – stoking it?
The surprise isn’t that the US has declared it stands solidly with Israel in its current onslaught; the surprise is, writes Phyllis Bennis, that now Palestinian voices are allowed into their media. But only just, as Rihanna and Madonna have found with tweets expressing support for Palestinians or even for a ceasefire.
Successive onslaughts on Gaza killing thousands of people and destroying homes, mosques, amenities and infrastructure, as well as the overall siege, are treated by ‘the international community’ as discrete events which may prompt humanitarian aid at best. They are not treated as a pattern of oppression that would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world.
It was noted at the time that the large J14 movement for social justice and lower prices would discuss anything – except the cost and injustice of the occupation says Jessica Apple. But a new protest is developing says Uri Baram. It is against the venomous racism spreading through Israel. It is for a different kind of Israel. 2 Haaretz articles on the state of Israel just before the invasion.
Amira Hass sets about deconstructing the myths which Israeli media rely on to explain the onslaught on Gaza. These include saying Gaza is an independent state (in which Hamas colludes) and that Israel is a generous provider of Gaza’s needs. And asks if the IDF doesn’t engage in the very practices it condemns as Hamas war crimes.
Amnesty International calls for a UN-mandated investigation into violations of international law committed by the governments of Gaza and Israel and for a comprehensive arms embargo on both. It says that targetting the home of Hamas members, without evidence the home is used to make ‘an effective contribution to military action’, is a war crime.
Clamour for a ground invasion of Gaza from Israel’s right wing is growing – though neither IDF nor Netanyahu are keen writes J.J. Goldberg. The aim – to stop the rockets, although as between 1600 and 1750 launch sites have purportedly been destroyed since the offensive begun it’s amazing that rockets continue to fly (all to be shot down by Iron Dome of course.)
An isolated Mahmoud Abbas, shored up by his goons and henchmen, should be as much a target of growing Palestinian anger as Israel’s occupying forces writes Ramzy Baroud. The violence of IDF and settlers in the West Bank and the barrage against Gaza is creating the one thing Netanyahu most dreads – a unifying of Palestinian anger.
The Israeli government no doubt knows that it is not going to crush Hamas in its latest military offensive given the failure of every previous attempt. What has incited it is the Palestinian unity government which now composes the PNA and thus its partner for peace. As peace would mean giving up land and control that’s the last thing it wants. Analysis by Idan Landau. Plus photo caption on 4 boys killed on beach.
In an excess of zeal for the Israeli military, which may be feeling a lack of global compassion at the moment – they have not yet risked danger to themselves – admiring Rabbi Ofen has appealed for money to buy the soldiers care packages, BBQs and tefillin. He sent an appeal to emeritus professor Leslie Baruch Brent – who is a JfJfP signatory and whose reply is also posted here.
What of the children? Many of them have been exposed to sights and sounds which are unbearable; many have had to leave their homes to escape airstrikes. Many of them, says a UN counsellor, are very stressed and display trouble paying attention, aggressive behaviour or avoiding contact with others. What will they feel about their tormentor when they grow up?
Israel security chiefs are frantically trying to present their attack on Gaza – over 205 dead, many women and children – as being characterised by humanitarian concerns – unlike barbarous Hamas. Hence the publicity for their warning tactics which should lessen the chance of international censure as well as the number of people killed before their home is shattered.
The names of Palestinians killed by the IDF in Operation Protective Edge, revised and updated . The number of dead Palestinians stood at 837 at noon, Friday July 24. A growing number of the dead have not been identified. 32 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the ground incursion into Gaza.
The current Israeli turmoil has allowed the nationalist far-right to storm into the spotlight. Hitherto ignored in Israel their rhetoric (and sometimes actions) demanding all-out war on both Palestinians and the Left has grabbed the attention of admirers and those horrified by their demagoguery, including Turkey’s Prime minister.
The voices from the Knesset left (Meretz, Labour) have been weak and apologetic, but even these have enraged the nationalist Right which denounces their leaders as traitors. Opposition to the war on Gaza has been left to other radicals who are attacked, violently, by the nationalist Right as the real enemy.
In rejecting the ceasefire proposed by Egypt, Hamas – and other armed groups – either make clear, or find an excuse for, what they are fighting for: lifting the siege of Gaza. They say accepting a ceasefire, with no terms set out, would simply be a statement of submission.
In a new statement, JfJfP’s executive committee condemns the horrific bombardment of Gaza and says it must be ended “immediately and unconditionally” in line with Jewish values and international law. The British government should use all possible means to hold Israel to account.