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.


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.


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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  • amk

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

    I've just remembered the reports that Dubya wanted to trick Iraq into shooting at an apparently UN aircraft to provide a casus belli against Iraq.

  • Pal

    This is interesting link

    Jewish British leader are calling for arms embargo against Israel.

    will our government listen?

  • Pal

    From Aljazeera English;

    Just watch apologists for Zionist entity crimes attempts to justify bombing the UN compound, and compare it with this piece of news.

    Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for Unrwa, robustly denied that Palestinian fighters were among refugees sheltering there.

    "At no stage during the fighting today did any Israeli official pick up the phone and tell us there were militants in our compound.

    "We always take action against militants … there were no militants in our compound and now they [the Israelis] are changing their story, saying militants were 'in the vicinity'," he said.

    Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, had apologised for the attack describing it as a "grave mistake".

  • Pal

    Just watch apologists for Zionist entity crimes attempts to justify bombing the UN compound, and compare it with this piece of news.

    Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for Unrwa, robustly denied that Palestinian fighters were among refugees sheltering there.

    "At no stage during the fighting today did any Israeli official pick up the phone and tell us there were militants in our compound.

    "We always take action against militants … there were no militants in our compound and now they [the Israelis] are changing their story, saying militants were 'in the vicinity'," he said.

    Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, had apologised for the attack describing it as a "grave mistake".

  • writerman

    I should probably return to the manuscript of 'The Tattooed Lady' which is an erotic and violent story of anarchist terrorists in Zarist Russia and deals with the power of love and hate. It's the first of a trilogy about love and hate. Nicole Kidman might, just possibly, magically, turn into the tattooed lady, but that's still a secret.

    However, that kind of writing seems somewhat self-indulgent at times like these. Is it 2009, or 1909, or 1939? Maybe I should just finish of the rest of the Krug and get really drunk? I'm celebrating a royalty check, but I'm not really enjoying much today. Too much killing and destruction, too many wasted lives.

    I've been elsewhere on the web and I feel drained from combat in the word wars. It's so destructive. No real, meaningful debate, just words used as bullets and missiles. The shape of things to come?

    I've been reading some interesting stuff about the internal workings of the Israeli security services. It seems they have highly intelligent, skilled, educated and knowlegdable analysts who provide the political leadership with the briefings they think and know the politicians want to hear. Information that massages their egos and panders to their ideologies and prejudices. But internally they have another set of priorities and an internal record which more often than not, radically contradicts the advice they give the politicians, the stuff that's used for public consumption.

    Apparently inside the Israeli intelligence community one is fully aware of just how dangerous and counter-productive Israel's policy towards the Palestinians really is. And the official Israeli 'narative' about the nature of the conflict and the role of the Palestinians, is just that, a narative, a story. In reality the Palestinians have been desparate and willing to engage in meaningful negotiations about a permanent peace, a grand and painful compromise, but the Israeli political leadership wasn't interested and gave nothing in return, continually undermining the Palestinian moderates and strengthening the position of the extremists, decade after decade. Odd really, if one genuinely wants peace. Hard to explain, unless…

  • Pal


    In my last post, the quote from aljazeera english starts from ( Christopher Gunness). the line before that was mine not aljazeera's.

  • Tom Kennedy

    Craig wrote (at 2:31) to Christopher Bradfield:

    "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."

    No surprise that we've not heard back from Mr. Bradfield. Nor from Jonathan Hoffman when you asked essentially the same question.

  • nobody

    Oh what a jolly jape. We won't see anti-Jewish graffiti in the media? Um okay, so how come everyone is debating the precise wording of the article? Oh dear, it seems it was in the media, after all.

    As for who did it, it's perfectly likely that it was Jewish people. I've lost count of how many synagogues were vandalised or torched by Jews. My favourite was that French woman who beat herself up in the metro and drew swastikas on her own stomach. Silly woman. She should have picked a place with less CCTV.

    Nothing ever comes of it, of course. Apparently faking racist attacks, blaming others, and inciting hatred where none otherwise existed is perfectly forgivable,

    But seriously if you want an example of graffiti you'll never see in the mainstream media, google 'arabs to the gas chambers'. Bloody anti-Semites!

  • Tom Kennedy


    Any chance of listing some of those self-inflicted attacks? Not that I don't believe you – I have heard of this before – but it would be a useful resource for some of us.

    I've seen photographs of supposed Palestinian "militants" in balaclavas which, when examined closely, revealed that at least one of them was wearing s Star of David on a chain around his neck.

  • writerman

    There are extremists on both sides. There are attacks on Jews. However, what's disturbing is the increasing number of attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank by Jewish, religious, extremists and their ability to get away with it, compared to Palestinian attackers.

    And another thing, two main tactics seem to be employed in the 'word war' in the media. The tactic of attrition, where pro-Israeli voices just go on an on, wearing down the critics, taking up time and stamina. And secondly the diversionary tactic where all sorts of other things are dragged into the 'debate' for the same basic purpose. The dubious historical parallels are used a precedents to justify or explain Israel's actions, and the terror bombing of Dresden wasn't criticised so why criticise Israel for Gaza and on, and on, down into hell.

  • Neil Hoskins

    I don't see how they can deny using white phosphorous: it's there in the press photos and video for all to see. Just how stupid do they think we are? Oh, hang on…

  • Reason

    What's happened to that gobshite Jonathan Hoffman?

    He appears to have gone quite as his lies are being exposed.

  • Zanjabila

    Do people appreciate how sinister the situation really is? On Israeli TV, rabbis and legal scholars are reassuring the peopl that they must be tough, the enemy is "evil", and genocide is permitted.

    Rabbi declares: There are no innocent civilians:

    In this Israeli news bulletin, Rabbi David Bar-Chayim declares:

    "We're talking about a society that is dedicated to murder, and savagery and barbarism."

    "It is against the Torah, and against common sense and basic universal human morality that we should endanger even one of our soldiers when fighting such evil, the sole purpose of which is to destroy us."

    "'When the evil are destroyed, there is rejoicing.' … These people are evil. When such people are destroyed, we have no tears to shed."

    "I don't believe that there are any innocent civilians."

    This is what the Israeli people are watching, night after night, on their TV sets…

  • amk

    "We're talking about a society that is dedicated to murder, and savagery and barbarism."

    Sorry, which side is this again?

    It's remarkable that neither rabbi considers that their reasoning cuts both ways – indeed their reasoning is much the same as that of Hamas. Each side likes to think that they only react to the other's provocations.

    Who started it? The Stern Gang and similar started it in 1947, and it's been tit-for-tat ever since.

  • writerman

    What concerns me is the possibility of a fascist/religious faction in Israel gaining political power down the line. I know some will argue this has already happened, but the loonies waiting in the wings are far, far, worse.

    Given the militaristic, religious, nationalist, chauvanist character of much Israel politics, and the tendancy for nationalism and militarism to evolve into something quite horrific, especially when melded with rascism, we'd be well advised to be on our guard in relation to developments in Israel.

    If a 'democratic' government can launch such an horrific attack on Gaza, with impunity and disregard for civilian losses, when it isn't under any real threat militarily; what wouldn't a 'fascist' regime be capable of under the 'wrong' circumstances?

    I realise this sounds rather inflamatory, but it's worth considering seriously isn't it? Remember Israel has two to three hundred nuclear warheads. Imagine a religious/fascist regime in control of that lot! And we know/suspect that the rockets are also pointed at European capitals and cities too, don't we?

    In a few decades time, around 2040, the Palestinian population inside Israel will probably become the majority ethnic group, with all that implies. So Israel will not only be surrounded by a Palestinian majority and hostile and radicalised Arab nations, it will also have millions of increasingly restive Palestinians inside its borders. Think about that and what it means for the dream of Zionism and Israel's 'Jewish character'!

    Obviously the concept of an exclusively Jewish state, with an agressive Zionist ideology is impossible to maintain over the long term in the Middle East. It's not just a political and military impossibility, it's a demographic and cultural impossibility as well. Israel has to aim for peaceful integration into the Middle East, not forcing the Middle East to accept Israel in its terms. That is arguably an insane fantasy that only fanatics could believe in.

    So we in the rest of the world, we can probably forget about the American politicians as they appear to have been 'bought' by Israel, have to try to save Israel from itself and somehow undermine the flow towards the exstreme right before it's too late. We don't actually have that much time.

  • George Dutton

    "By Matthias Chang

    January 02, 2009 "Global Research" —

    God gave us a brain to think, to think naturally and in simple terms, and not in a complicated way.

    When we think naturally and use common sense to address problems we will be able to arrive at simple solutions.

    But our education system tortures us mentally and forces us to think in complicated ways. Our teachers, economists, politicians and so-called experts in God and religion make mountains out of mole-hills, turning simple truths to complex arguments and "scientific theories and equations".

    These experts need to make things look difficult to survive and to make sure that we have to rely upon them for solutions. It is often said that, "in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is the King".

    Thinking used to be a pleasure and so very invigorating. But now experts have ensured that thinking is difficult and tiring, so burdensome, that we don't think at all.

    The result is that common sense is thrown out of the window, and we have been conditioned to rely on our mental crutch, the so-called experts to think for us.

    How sad."

  • nobody

    Hello Tom. The beauty of the internet is that you don't need me at all. In a stand up fight between me and google, google will thrash my pants off (or sarong, as the case may be). I suggest 'fake anti-semitic attack' as a good starting point.

    This is not a criticism of you Tom (I'm sure you're a fine fellow), but demands for links and proof etc is a tactic designed to make a fellow run around and do as the other fellow commands. Well bugger that. Since when did I agree to play by some Academic version of Marquis of Queensbury? With google a mouse click away, demands by the usual suspects that I do the aforementioned is merely a declaration on their part that they're incurious and otherwise too lazy to go look themselves. Given that they've told us this about themselves, other deductions can be made, ie. where they're coming from.

    Sorry Tom, can I repeat once more that this is not a criticism of you? I understand that you're curious. My criticism here is of the incurious, those who will never change their mind regardless of how much proof is, or isn't, provided.

    For these individuals, demands for proof etc. is just another tactic along with trashing definitions, straw man, ad hominem, words-in-mouth, limited hangout, and every other goddamn thing designed to bring heat but no light. As ever, wickedness is best carried out in darkness.

    All the best and see how you go.

  • Zanjabila

    "In a few decades time, around 2040, the Palestinian population inside Israel will probably become the majority ethnic group, with all that implies."


    Jonathan Cook has been predicting for some time the expulsion of the "Arabs within". Israel has been presenting them as a fifth column, and it would appear they are preparing the ground for another round of ethnic cleansing.

    Jonathan Cook's predictions have so far come to pass…

    As for the present regime in Israel, its propaganda is worthy of Goebbels right now. No need to talk of a fantasy future.

    Russian-speaking Israelis are calling throughout the internet for genocide now.

    I believe Gerald Kaufman has judged the situation accurately: Nazi murderers have already taken power in Israel.

  • George Dutton

    10 November 2006

    "The "hidden agenda" behind Israel's so-called "unilateral disengagement plan" (leading to the 2005 evacuation of Jewish Settlers) is to transform Gaza into a concentration camp."

    "How long will the Western media, which claims to be balanced, continue to justify Israeli war crimes?"



    10 November 2006…"The "hidden agenda" behind Israel's so-called "unilateral disengagement plan" (leading to the 2005 evacuation of Jewish Settlers) is to transform Gaza into a concentration camp."…

    And it came to pass.

  • Christopher Bradfiel


    17% of the voters in Kaufman's Manchester seat are Muslim. In the 2005 election the LibDems had a Muslim candidate, Qassim Afzal. He boosted the LibDem vote by 11.9% while Kaufman's vote fell by 9.6%.

    Of course electoral considerations would not shape Kaufman's views, would they – he's far too moral for that, isn't he …..

  • George Dutton

    "I believe Gerald Kaufman has judged the situation accurately: Nazi murderers have already taken power in Israel"


    "Previous hard core supporters of Zionism are now questioning the whole ideology of the state of Israel. Why is this?"

    "Labour MP Gerald Kaufman fits your description. The more rational, secular supporters of Israel, among Jews especially, have come to realise that far from Israel defending the security of Jews it's putting them in danger."…

    What we are witnessing is a Zionist civil war about the way to promote Isreal it has NOTHING to do with helping the Palestinian people.

  • writerman

    A Middle East Piece Plan.

    I can't stand, especially after the 'Rape of Gaza' listening to Israeli politicains, genrals and apologists using the word 'peace' and 'peace process.' The hypocracy just overwhelms me, the cant; are these people self-delusional? Probably. How else does one 'rationalise' the mass slaughter of helpless and innocent civilians. It's not our fault, they brought it on themselves! Perhaps I should just add, for perspective and to show how incredibly dangerous this kind of 'logical' thinking really is; that Nazis used precisely this type of 'reasoning' to explain and justify what they were doing to the lower races. Once an Israeli PM said something like, "What I can't forgive them for is forcing us to kill their children!"

    I's sick of the 'peace process' so here's my idea for an alternative 'piece process.' It's not based on the word 'peace' but on the word 'land.'

    Israel, if it really wants 'peace' should announce publically to the entire world that it has no plans to permanently occupy Palesinian land, not one piece of it. That it will give back all the land captured in the 1967 six day war. Golan, Gaza, West Bank, East Jerusalem – the lot. At the same time it calls a total and unilateral ceasefire and begins withdrawing from the occupied territories, piece by piece, slowly, but surely.

    The rate of withdrawal would be based on the cessation of violence on both sides. That is every week or month without attacks from the Palestinians would result in Israel giving back a bit more land. This would be deeds not words and show that Israel was serious and acting in good faith. This would be a real 'piece process.'

    The 'militants' would be undermind too, as their mantra and 'lies' that Israel isn't really interested in a just and lasting peace, only in pieces of Palestinian land, would be shown to be false at a stroke. And if they still attacked Israel, the 'piece process' would stop and everyone would see that Hamas wasn't genuinely interested in peace at all only war and destruction and they were ready to sacrifice the prospect of a viable Palestinian homeland for the fantasy of destroying Israel.

    This is, of course, a very simple idea, but that is probably its beauty and what makes it so powerful, everybody, all over the world can understand it. It isn't complex, but unfortunately it does go right to the core of the conflict. Land is the core of the conflict. Israel want to have and control it all, all of historic Palestine. This is what I believe, all the evidence points in this direction and has done for decades.

    So this simple piece plan is unlikely to come from Israel. In fact, it's similar the Saudi, Arab League, peace plan from a few years ago. Only my plan is even more simple, easy to understand and part of a flexible process with clear incentives for both sides and obvious benefits going forward, with concrete results on the ground.

    But Israel rejected the Saudi plan, something most people don't know, how likely are they to accept my plan then? Probably not very likely at all. Because the nationalist/religious parties are still dreaming of the ultimate Zionist dream/fantasy of Greater Israel, a dream/nightmare that will only lead everyone ultimately towards disaster.

    But if Europe broke with the United States and Israel and called a conference together with the Arab League and presneted my plan for implimentation together with the larger Saudi initiative, this would really put the Israelis in difficult position. Are they really interested in 'peace' or not? Or is it just 'pieces' of Arab land they want? It might even if the Saudis put money behind an international media campaign to promote the plan, circumventing the Western media, there are lost of ways to do this today, as Craig's book project shows. Such a strategy might even undermine the militants inside Israel and not just Hamas, and influence Israeli public opinion and the rights stranglehold on Israel. Because we have to believe that ordinary Israelis like ordinary Palestinians don't want more war and more killing for ever, don't we? Otherwise there really is no hope.

  • writerman

    George Dutton,

    But one can 'know' or feel that there is no hope, I suppose, but one can't live like it's true surely?

    As I've always had the looks and moral codex of a Knight. I can't live like this, accepting we're all doomed. Even if it were true, it's not my way. Though I may 'die' some days, I rise again the next, renewed and ready for battle. I go out looking for demons, dragons, devils and trolls to vanquish, beautiful maidens to rescue and save, the downtrodden to fight for, justice to serve, honour to defend and wrongs to be righted. I'm still striving to find the Holy Grail! One lives by being alive!

  • Zanjabila

    Gerald Kaufman's motives are neither here nor there. The fact is he speaks the truth.

    Some excerpts from the above article:

    Bombs would fall under other circumstances, but when influential rabbis call for the total annihilation of the Palestinians the world watches without blinking, writes Saleh Al-Naami.

    "All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts." This was the religious opinion issued one week ago by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a long-established religious institute attended by students and soldiers in the Israeli settlements of the West Bank. In an article published by numerous religious Israeli newspapers two weeks ago and run by the liberal Haaretz on 26 March, Rosen asserted that there is evidence in the Torah to justify this stand.

    The true outrage is that most of those authorised to issue Jewish religious opinions support the view of Rabbi Rosen, as confirmed by Haaretz newspaper.

    What grants the racist religious opinions a deeper and far-reaching impact is the fact that for the last decade followers of the Zionist religious current, who form nearly 10 per cent of the population, have been seeking to take control of the army and security institutions. They are doing so through volunteering for service in special combat units. The spokesperson's office in the Israeli army says that although the percentage of followers of this current is low in the state's demographic makeup, they form more than 50 per cent of the officers in the Israeli army and more than 60 per cent of its special unit commanders.

    Palestinian writer and researcher Abdul-Hakim Mufid, from the city Um Fahem, holds that the religious opinions of rabbis have gained major significance due to the harmony between official rhetoric and that of the rabbis.

    Mufid points out that when the official political institution is in a crisis, the Zionist consensus behind these religious opinions grows more intense, and offers as an example the religious opinions relied upon by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1980s to justify his call to forcefully expel the Palestinians.

  • George Dutton

    "Tel-Aviv: Around 10,000 Jews and Arabs in a militant protest against the war. 10,000s, mostly Israeli-Palestinians, demonstrate in Northern Israel"

    "After what seems to be the deadliest week in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for 40 years, many have demonstrated around the world against the barbaric actions of the Israeli regime."

    "Two main protests have been organised in Israel, against a background of brutal anti-democratic moves by the regime to silence opposition to the war. These have included threats by the secret services and mass arrests in the recent week, mainly of Israeli-Palestinians – 300 are thought to be still held."…

    "Even if it were true, it's not my way"


    Well said.

  • steve

    Strange Gazan deaths and injuries

    Although Mr Olmert's announcement was only a first step towards halting the conflict in Gaza, the UN is not the only international body insisting that inquiries must be held as soon as possible into the tactics and weapons used by Israel. Erik Fosse, a Norwegian doctor who worked in Gaza's hospitals during the conflict, said that Israel was using so-called Dime (dense inert metal explosive) bombs designed to produce an intense explosion in a small space. The bombs are packed with tungsten powder, which has the effect of shrapnel but often dissolves in human tissue, making it difficult to discover the cause of injuries.

    Dr Fosse said he had seen a number of patients with extensive injuries to their lower bodies. "It was as if they had stepped on a mine, but there was no shrapnel in the wounds," he said. "Some had lost their legs. It looked as though they had been sliced off. I have been to war zones for 30 years, but I have never seen such injuries before." However, the injuries matched photographs and descriptions in medical literature of the effects of Dime bombs.

    "All the patients I saw had been hit by bombs fired from unmanned drones," said Dr Fosse, head of the Norwegian Aid Committee. "The bomb hit the ground near them and exploded." His colleague, Mads Gilbert, accused Israel of using the territory as a testing ground for a new, "extremely nasty" type of explosive. "This is a new generation of small explosive that detonates with extreme power and dissipates its power within a range of five to 10 metres," he said.

    According to military databases, Dime bombs are intended for use where conventional weapons might kill or injure bystanders ?" to kill combatants in a house, for example, without harming people next door. Instead of being made from metal, which sprays shrapnel across a wide area, the casing is carbon fibre. Part of the motive for developing the bombs was to replace the use of depleted uranium, but Dr Fosse said the cancer risk from tungsten powde was well known. "These patients should be followed up to see if there are any carcinogenic effects," he said.

    While the loudest controversy has been over accusations that white phosphorus was illegally used, other foreign doctors working in Gaza have reported injuries they cannot explain. Professor Mohammed Sayed Khalifa, a cardiac consultant from Sudan, said that two of his patients had had uncontrollable bleeding. "One had a chest operation, and continued bleeding even after having been given large quantities of plasma," he said. "The other had what seemed to be a minor leg injury, but collapsed with profuse bleeding. Something was interfering with the clotting process. I have never seen such a thing before."

    Dr Ahmed Almi, an Egyptian cardio-thoracic consultant at al-Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, said he had seen a number of patients with inexplicable injuries. A boy of 14 had a small puncture wound in his head, but extensive damage to his brain, making it impossible to save his life. "I don't know the nature or type of these weapons that make a very small entry wound and go on and make massive destruction in the tissues," he said.

    Israeli military representatives have refused to confirm or deny using specific weapons, but insist that all Israel's weapons comply with international law. Neither white phosphorus nor Dime bombs are illegal, but campaigners say the way they have been used, especially in Gaza's densely packed urban areas, could constitute a war crime.


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