Lest We Forget 62


With the media pumping out Israeli propaganda about the clinical accuracy of their weapons, today the Israelis have hit the UN aid distribution centre and a Gaza hospital. The UN Secretary General has expressed “outrage”. The UN report that their compound was bombed with phosphorous shells – which the Israels still deny using as part of their “Big Lie” propaganda blitz.

Then, as one of many such incidents every day, this is in the Independent:

At least three Palestinians in Gaza were shot dead yesterday after Israeli soldiers fired on a group of residents leaving their homes on orders from the military and waving white flags, according to testimony taken by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/gaza-residents-waving-white-flags-shot-dead-as-they-flee-their-homes-14138998.html

Naturally, the Israelis are denying it.

We must not let compassion fatigue set in as these terrible atrocities by the Israeli military unfold. The essential fact is that at least 450 of the dead are women and children.

Stand by for one of those obnoxious Israeli spokesman telling us Hamas were firing from the UN compound.

STOP PRESS

UN Refugee Agency Head of Mission John Ging in Gaza

“It looks like phosphorous, it smells like phosphorous and its acting like phosphorous”.

“We were continually in contact with the Israelis throughout the night telling them their shelling was coming too close. The artillery was pounding and pasting this area all night. We have been warning them all night that it was not appropriate to use shells in a built up area. We had seven hundred people in the compound seeking refuge.”

“People are being killed here hour by hour and the extent of damage and destruction is frightening”.


62 thoughts on “Lest We Forget

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  • Sabretache

    I doubt you'll be hearing much from for a while. I'm just too enraged by the gross obscenity of Israeli actions to remain rational – seeing red, the red mist – and all that. I hope it does not sound trite to say I believe I have some insight into the burning contempt and hatred that Palestinians feel for the Israeli State.

    It was born of the terrorist violence of its subsequent senior military and political figures and, if there is any justice whatsoever in this world, the continuing grossness of its swaggering violence (to maintain its existence on stolen land and borrowed time) will be its Nemesis – and not a moment too soon IMHO.

  • Tom Welsh

    Bombarding the UN with white phosphorus, after indignantly denying that they were using it at all. That will be an interesting test case. Let's see if the Israelis can talk their way out of it, or of the Western press will have to fall back on Plan B – simply ignoring the news altogether.

  • Craig

    Mohammed,

    Cruel, vicious, fanatic, deluded, rapacious, murderous, evil – I would this morning agree with all those adjectives for the actions of the Zionists. Sub-human, no.

    Actually, it is because they are human that there is absolutely no excuse.

  • MJ

    Come on Mohammed, "Zionists are sub-human vermin" just will not do. They are flawed, delusional human beings just like the rest of us. It's just that when people accumulate too much money and power they almost inevitably behave badly.

  • Ruth

    MJ

    I'm flawed but don't count me in on the delusional bit.

    To describe the slaughter as behaving badly is bizarre.

    When a human has no pity for the suffering of others then I categorise that person as subhuman.

  • Christopher Bradfiel

    http://tinyurl.com/a4jjtn

    'Kill Jews' graffiti in London

    You won't see this in any of the mainstream media.

    Why not?

    Because no-one dares say that Islamists and their far left allies are engaging in racist attacks.

  • MJ

    Mr Bradfield

    As far as I'm aware the mainstream media rarely concerns itself with reporting graffiti.

    Secondly, what is your evidence that the graffiti in question was put there by 'Islamists and their far left allies'? Traditionally, anti-Jewish sentiments of this kind are more normally associated with the far right.

  • Guin

    Christopher Bradfield

    And how exactly do you know from that article that they are Islamists or from the far left?

  • john

    I'm still unsure of this term "Zionist" which gets thrown around. As I understand it the idea began as a secular socialist response to oppression in Europe & Russia. Relating this to the current activities of the IDF seems a stretch to me.

    We would be more accurate in our criticism if we talked about a militaristic element in the political body of the State of Israel which is, I guess, run by a small select group, but by law employs almost everyone at sometime or another. This gives it a unique hold on the citizens, but this also makes it subservient to the overall body of opinion. Given that position it is no surprise they will pursue a policy of minimum risk to their troops, irrespective of the risk to others. In doing so they employ superficially effective military tactics, but a short sighted strategy, and an appallingly poor political one.

    I think it was General Patton who advocated that a short but brutal war is better than a protracted one. Israel is trapped in a protracted brutal war because the IDF refuses to risk its troops, hence the use of WP as a smokescreen despite the obvious risks to non combatants. If they were serious about defeating Hamas they would commit troops, and accept losses. Unable to do this because of political weakness they resort to mechanised warfare which has been shown to be ineffective, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    This has far reaching implications for Israeli citizens, for all the anger and impotence we feel, we should spare a thought for those people trapped within Israel, many of whom must be watching events unfold with dread and horror.

    Events drive people, not vice versa.

  • writerman

    Chris Bradfield,

    One has to be careful about attributing the 'kill jews' grafitti to anyone in particular without evidence. The reason is that there have been cases, highly publicised cases in recent years where the guilty people involved were actually not Muslims, far-left, or even white racists.

    Obviously such grafitti expresses dreadful views and should be condemned by any sane person. Not all Jews worldwide, or inside Israel, support the murderous policies of their government, as not all Germans supported Hitler.

    Tempers are obviously running very high at the momnent as the civilian casualties in Gaza explode, mostly women and children. Something must be done to stop these terrible racist attacks too.

  • Guin

    I suppose supporters of the Israel war machine will still be denying that Israel deliberately targets civilians even in light of the huge evidence to the contrary.

    Did anyone watch the interview with the Former Israeli Foreign Minister on More4 News who claimed the ceasefire was broken by Hamas but the reporter challenged him quoting the document given by the Israeli government which stated that Hamas had indeed maintained the ceasefire & hadn't fired a single rocket.

    He got angry & accused her of inventing the facts.

    LOL!!

  • Christopher Bradfiel

    Read the article: "Cops said the youths were Asian, who were wearing dark tops and may have been seen outside a fast food restaurant earlier."

    That's how we know.

  • Craig

    Christopher,

    well being Asian makes it a bit more likely that they are Muslim – but as I am sure you know, not conclusively

    I don't think really dangerous Islamic militants go around with paint sprays. But your premise that this kind of thing is not reported is simply untrue – I have seen numerous TV News featrures on the dangers that Idrael's attacks will lead to increased anti-semitism – which I fear they logically will.

    I deplore the spraying of racist grafitti. It is illegal and the law should be enforced. But is it quite as serious a crime as killing hundreds of women and children and spraying the United Nations with illegal white phosphorous weapons.

    Come on, Mr Bradfield. I condemn without reservation the spraying of racist grafitti, including the example you quote.

    Now let me hear you condemn without reservation the killing of women and children, the use of white phosphorous, and the shelling of the UN in Gaza.

  • Roger Lancefield

    Craig,

    Do you have a link to the source of the John Ging quote? (It would be very useful in a debate I'm having elsewhere on the Web.)

  • writerman

    John,

    People drive events too. We are not really controlled by 'fate' we are actors as well. What are events anyway? Aren't they just the collective actions of lots of people rolled up?

    Anyway, enough of philosophy, seems odd when so many people are dying in hideous ways, lots of kids and women.

    Here is a interesting fact, make of it what you will. I think it speaks for itself. The Western aid agencies have all prepared for this by giving the precise GPS map co-ordinates of their buildings and compounds to the Israel authorities and the Israel armed forces, I can't stand this phrase the Israeli Defence Forces.

    What this means is that it should be very difficult to explain how it was possible for the Israelis to hit these facilities unintentionally. One can of course say, as ususal, that this was an 'accident' and unfortunate, this is always the public Israeli Army line, which on multiple occassions during this conflict has proven to be less than reliable.

    Using massive fire-power and collosally destructive munitions in a tigthly crowded urban environment like Gaza, is arguably a war-crime in itself, because one is certain there will be massive civilian losses.

    Furthermore, Israel keeps telling everyone how incredibly accurate their smart weapons are and how careful their soldiers are when using them. On the other hand they try to explain away these 'unintentional' episodes by saying they were accidents, can one have it both ways? Either their weapons are super-accurate and computer controlled, or they aren't and therefore they shouldn't be using them in built-up area.

    The foreign aid agencies aren't stupid or staffed by liars in Gaza, they can't afford to be. They control everyone entering their buildings and compounds, because they know how dangerous it is to have anyone the Israelis are hunting on their premises. So the Israeli view and argumentation, that Hamas regularly hides out in these buildings, has bunkers under them, and arms stores, is highly questionable. In fact I know that the aid agencies, many of them Christian based, have repeatedly denied that their areas are open or used by Hamas. This is Israeli propaganda design to excuse their bombing of civilian targets, yet another war-crime.

    They also hit a high-rise in central Gaza today, again deliberately, where foreign jounalists were stationed.

    There are also reliable reports and eye-witness accounts that Israeli snipers, firing high-powered super-rifles are targetting and killing civilians, even though they are armed with white flags. Not only this. They are shooting children as well. An increasing number of children are being admitted and treated for bullet wounds, single, bullet wounds, the mark of the sniper.

    Sorrry this is so long, but what else can one do to help? At least what's happening shouldn't be ignored.

    The Israels are deliberately targetting civilians to terrorise them for obvious reasons. Similarly they are attacking foreign relief angencies because they simply think they are too friendly towards the enemy and support them. They especiall dislike the United Nations because it's too neutral, and as we know, one is either with us, or against us! Increasingly Israel is frustratedl, angry and hostile to those international agencies that make the lives of Palestinians slightly better or bearable, when Israel wants them to be worse, so bad Gaza will slowly collapse and die.

    Also the international agencies are unwelcome witnesses to Israeli atrocities and war-crimes, as is the international press, which is why they are increasingly attacking journalists and denying them access to Gaza.

    So much of all this is blatently illegal under international law, but the list of Israeli war-crimes under this conflict is getting too long to mention. Perhaps I should just mention that Israeli political leaders and Generals have made public statements that openly, almost brazenly, document that their policies and tactics are war-crimes. I'm not making this up. Just one example. Tzipi Livni – Hamas isn't showing any restraint in attacking civilian targets, so why should we?'

  • Guin

    Read the article: "Cops said the youths were Asian, who were wearing dark tops and may have been seen outside a fast food restaurant earlier."

    That's how we know.

    Christopher Bradfield

    Ah I See, the dark tops is a sure give away!!

  • Roger Lancefield

    Craig wrote:

    "I transcribed it as he was speaking live on Sky News."

    Many thanks.

  • Ron

    Craig

    I'm glad you responded to Mr Hegazi. I believe your response was the correct one. Some people ought to try rereading Primo Levi who explained very clearly the brutality of the Nazis started with the dehumanising of their victims.

    Mr Hegazi, I've looked at your site and it reminds me of many of the appalling Zionist sites that rejoice in the slaughter of Palestinians. It is the other side of the same coin and it disgusts me to the same extent.

  • john

    writerman

    I think it is obvious the IDF are out of control. At the moment Mr Olmert and Mr Barak's stories do not match up, according to Mr Barak it was a mistake, according to Mr Olmert they came under fire from the UN facility. I think this indicates that the Israeli government is not in control of the situation.

    Mr Ban should demand the names of the people responsible for the shelling, the person that gave the order, the person that set the coordinates and the person that pressed the button.

  • ken

    Christopher Bradfield,

    A local newspaper reporter wrote, "Cops said the youths were Asian, who were wearing dark tops and may have been seen outside a fast food restaurant earlier."

    You offer, "That's how we know."

    No no no… … . All we KNOW is that a reporter wrote that. No where does the reporter say that HE was told this by the police.

    Maybe the police did say it, but the reporter doesn't say that the police witnessed the attack on the van. Probably someone told the police what they thought they saw, which the police pass on, so the reporter writes what he did. It's standard gutter-level reporting of crime in local newspapers. The police themselves say that eye-witnesses are notoriously unreliable.

    Please, if you feel this is all a bit convoluted, read the accounts (not newspaper reports) of the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting. And then please review what you will believe in the future when you read in a newspaper a reporter who writes, "Cops said… … … … "

  • Neil

    I hope that all the people condemning these Israeli war crimes are also making representation to their political representatives as well.

    The House of Commons International Development Committee recommends sanctions 'where a sufficiently egregious case of human rights abuse has been established as to warrant economic sanctions, the EU should not be deterred from imposing them.' – may be worth pointing this out to your MP in light of Israel's latest acts of barbarity.

    MEP's must be contacted to demand the cancelation of the EU/Israel trade agreement…and it wouldn't do any harm to complain to the BBC and Ofcom about the "reporting" on Gaza either.

    Don't waste time and energy arguing with zionists, actively lobby for justice for Palestine instead! There are more of us, its just we aren't as well organised. We need to take a leaf out of the zionist lobby book and network more, and beat them at their own game.

    Agitate! Educate! Organise!

  • ken

    Is my memory right when it tells me that during the bombardment of Lebanon by Israel a couple of years ago, Israel bombed and destroyed a UN observation post, killing the workers inside, despite the UN telling the Israelis where they were? And also telling the Israelis that their fire was getting dangerously close to the observation post? If I remember correctly, it was even filmed by someone. Has that war crime ever reached the courts? If not, there's zero chance of any of the current batch of crimes doing so.

  • Jools

    Here's the first justification – from the IHT

    "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed regret for the incident but said that Israeli forces were fired on by Hamas militants from just outside the compound and that the militants raced inside the compound to take cover, Olmert's spokesman, Mark Regev said."

  • amk

    ken, you remember correctly but I've never seen a video. Kofi Annan described the attack as "apparently deliberate", Blair called it "apparently accidental". It would be interesting to see an exhaustive list of UN buildings attacked in recent years, and by whom.

    Isn't that an aggressive act against the rest of the world?

    I'm not convinced that gratuitous violence such as Craig mentioned are evidence of Israeli policy. I read an article recently by a retired US servicemen who said that the IDF's lack of career NCOs caused squad and platoon level behaviours to be unpredictable and uncontrollable. It also reminded me of the Stanford Prison Experiment: give one group of people power over another and bullying will arise very quickly. Military discipline should counter-act that, but perhaps not without professional NCOs.

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