Now We Have Your Attention 739

There have been decades of photos of dead Palestinian women and children, and kids being beaten, humilated and imprisoned by Israeli soldiers. The historic killing rate in this “conflict” has been fairly consistent at about 40:1.

None of this ever caused more than a raised eyebrow and a mild tut-tut from the western “liberal” Establishment. I can’t recall camera crews ever pursuing any zionist politicians down the street demanding that they use the word “condemn” of the latest Israeli atrocity.

The paroxysm of hatred in the political and media class, unleashed by a single day of the boot being on the other foot is instructive. It is particularly instructive in their near complete unanimity – what percentage of the discussion on broadcast TV or radio have you heard this last 48 hours given over to Palestinian or pro-Palestinian voices?

Yet it is very plain from social media that the public is by no means as unanimous in their support of Israel as are the political and media class.

But then the public are not bought and paid for.

Asymmetric warfare tends to be vile. Oppressed and colonised peoples don’t have the luxury of lining up soldiers in neatly pressed uniforms and polished boots, to face off against the opposing army in an equality of arms.

A colonised and oppressed people tends, given the chance, to mirror the atrocities perpetrated on them by their oppressor.

This of course feeds in, always, to the propaganda of the Imperialist. A paroxysm of resistance by the oppressed always ends up portrayed by the Imperialist as evidence of the bestiality of the colonised people and in itself justifying the “civilising mission” of the coloniser.

Thus the “Indian Mutiny” became a Victorian tale of rape and murder of British women and of the Black Hole of Calcutta. Thus the Mau Mau were evil butchers, and the IRA were terrorists, which is the modern term of art for those resisting evil and foreign rule.

The Israeli Ambassador to the UN yesterday described the Hamas fighters as “animal like”. This of course is not true. They are people, but people who have been crazed by unbearable levels of injustice and oppression.

I am extremely sorry for all those who die, as in all wars. I am sorry even for the deaths of individual Israeli soldiers, and more so for all the innocents who died and are now dying.

But I will not condemn Hamas.

For this I do not even need to delve into the backstory of Hamas’ initial sponsoring by Israel to split Fatah. They have grown well past that. I do not condemn Hamas because the resistance of the Palestinian people is a reflex response to their slow genocide.

Yes it is an inchoate and violent response. Of course I wish it did not have innocent victims.

The people I do condemn are the political class internationally who, with one voice, put out statements supporting “Israel’s right to self-defence”. A right they grant to the oppressor but deny to the oppressed.

Those are the people who need to be condemned.


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739 thoughts on “Now We Have Your Attention

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  • Tatyana

    I know that Israel allocated them a tiny piece of land along the sea, something about 10 kilometers wide and about 50 kilometers long, an area about the size of our Russian city of Vladivostok. This territory is home to more than 2 million people. Israel surrounded this strip of land with a concrete fence and electric barriers, leaving one point of passage towards Israel and one towards Egypt. There is also no way to leave the territory by sea; Israeli patrol boats are on duty there.
    Today, the Israeli Defense Minister gave the order to completely blockade the Gaza Strip. “No electricity, no food, no gas, everything is closed.”
    To me it looks a lot like a ghetto, a boarded-up ghetto for people who are about to be exterminated.

    I know that it is incorrect to draw parallels with Donbass, but with regard to the blockade of the region, shelling of the population and extreme intolerance on ethnic and religious grounds, this still coincides. I can also draw a parallel that in both cases the oppressor is supported by the United States, and therefore NATO.
    And it seems to me that no UN, with all their long-standing resolutions on Israel and Palestine, will have any significance there.

    • Cabbage

      The People of Gaza are the refugees from 247 villages ethnically cleansed by Zionist State terrorists during 1947-49.
      The essence is that a people were occupied by Britain, subjected to violence by Zionist state terror gangs, finally dispossessed.
      All else is the people struggling for their land back as the Zionist state terrorists continue.

      These two authors document in meticulous detail the horrors inflicted on Palestine and it’s people.

      • Seamus Ariat

        The twin pillars to the establishment of the modern state of Israel were “Terrorism” and “Ethnic Cleansing”. QED.

        • Cabbage

          93-94% of Palestine was owned by private individuals in 1948. The people still have the deeds, the ownership, the keys.
          The Ukrainian terrorists from Odessa (first Zionist colonialists ) didn’t set foot in Palestine before 1885.
          It belongs to them still, just as the assets stolen under Nazi rule during 39-45 still belong to the owners.

          It’s farcical to suggest Eastern and Central European terrorists are entitled to Western Asia on the basis of identification with a political Ideology.
          The crimes against humanity are well documented – including here

          Palestine lives.

        • Laguerre

          It was indeed the Palestinians’ land, both before the arrival of the Hebrew newcomers in the Bronze Age, and more recently the dispossession by Israel in 1948.

        • Cabbage

          There are some wonderful books – I highly recommend

          Shortest by far but brilliant.
          On Zionist Literature Paperback
          by Ghassan Kanafani (Author)

          Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History Paperback
          by Nur Masalha

          What’s quite useful is to take the Zionist Revisionist Benny Morris and cross reference the history – for example against “palestine hijacked” or “state of terror” by the same author. Almost every line is Hasbara but despite himself he presents some facts, distorted as far as his conscience will allow.

          The history of Zionist Collaborators is “Hillel Cohen” – “good arabs” / “army of shadows” – Written from Zionist perspective.

          It’s really a rabbithole – but it boils down to Britain was broke, lost a PR war to terrorists, and seems to have decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. The Palestine Hijacked book is drawn from British archives at Kew Garden.

          • Laguerre

            Avi Shlaim is the best, the Iron Wall, on how Israeli policy developed. A very judicious historian.

        • Cabbage

          This guy is very good also

          The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonial Conquest and Resistance Paperback – 3 Sept. 2020
          by Rashid I. Khalidi

  • Davie

    What is spellbinding is the sheer hypocrisy and contradictions with the Ukraine scenario.

    Ukraine fires rockets into Russian affiliated regions for years – not a problem.

    Russia reacts in a (relatively by special operations/war precedents) restrained fashion – outrageous. War crimes.

    Palestine fires rockets into Israeli territory – outrageous.

    Israel reacts flattening apartment blocks in densely populated suburbs – Israel has a right to defend itself.

    (I make no comment on the Israel/Palestine situation other than decades of illegal, immoral and brutal suppression cannot be condoned, neither can a bunch of guys shouting Allahu Akbar while butchering teenagers at a festival)

  • Jomry

    I whoeheartedy agree. Maggie Chapman tweeted a statement alluding to the source of this conflict – probably the first sensible thing I have ever heard her say _ and she is pilloried for this by people I would normally respect – Roddy Dunlop for one. She did not begin her statement with the obligatory condemnation of the reported atrocities which is a basic PR requisite.

    It is very human to empathise with victims when presented with images of close-up violence. Much harder to empathise with the victims obliterated by missiles when the images are the impersonal dramatic scenes of smoke and fire and buildings collapsing. Israel itself reports having dropped over 1000 tons of explosives on Gaza in the last 48 hours, including the use of internationally banned white phosphorous,

    So when you relentlessly fill the information spaces with close-up images of the victims of atrocities from one side of a conflict after ignoring the many hundreds of others not supporting your narrative, then it is little wonder that gut reaction takes over from genuine co sideration of the root causes and more importantly the ways in which to bring such conflict to an end.

    The predictable ” right to use all means to defend itself..” statements from the usual Western actors have now turned into actual genocidal aspirations and you need look no further than the statements issuing from the Israeli Premier and Ministry of Defence to realise how open they are about this

  • Jack

    I can only agree, it is disgusting. For over 60 years Israel has annexed, occupied, and put Gaza under blockade, deciding if Palestinians get electricity or who can enter or exit from Gaza.
    For 60 years there has been ethnic cleansing in front of us – in effect a genocide by bulldozing Palestinians’ homes to make place for Jewish settlers, and police brutality against even small children…. And then, when there is a reaction like now: oh, then Israel suddenly has a “right to defend itself”! Where were all these heinous politicians, not only from the right but even leftists, that condemn Palestinians every other day of the year?

    Over 50% of the population in Gaza is below the age of 15. Think about that, when the even more heinous Netanyahu bombs this region right at this moment.

    And meanwhile the corrupt arab neighbours do nothing to help the Palestinians, but instead have sought closer relations with Israel in past years!

    Palestinians should take this moment not to only free jailed Palestinians in Israel, but to raise awareness and demand a peace for the Palestinians and an end of the Israeli occupation.

    • Tatyana

      as far as I know, Israel also occupies a part of Syria and a part of Iordania, and a part of Egypt, and they feel free to strike neighbouring countries for ‘security concerns’.
      I sometime think to myself, what if countries could not count on US support? Would they then have to settle their problems with neighbours through diplomacy? Finding compromise? Obey UN resolutions? Comply with signed agreements?

      • Stevie Boy

        The fact is that Israel would/could not exist without USA support. Nearly $4Bn per year, that we know about, no questions asked, no accountability. Population 9.3 million.
        No peace in Palestine because the USA doesn’t want it, no peace in Ukraine because the USA doesn’t want it. Every death in Israel, Palestine, Ukraine is directly attributable to the USA.

    • AlexT

      @Jack (or anyone): do you have more recent data – you are quoting a 20y old paper (not that I’d think the situation is significantly different)

  • glenn_nl

    I’m not sure the BBC could have featured this more prominently on its website. It’s entirely context free, as if some awful group called ‘Hamas’ which exists for the sole purpose of being evil, decided to perpetrate terrorism for absolutely no reason whatsoever on an entirely innocent and peaceful neighbouring country.

    Just completely out of the blue, with no history leading up to it. Not even a hint that “They had it coming”, which is of course exactly what everyone with a scrap of honesty knows to be precisely what it is.

    Just as noticeable is the doublethink, where attacks on Russia by Ukrainian ‘freedom fighters’ are an obvious backlash – completely justified by the Russian invasion.

  • AlexT

    Rather courageous and contrarian to say the least. And definitely provocative in this day and age where any slightly nuanced view is seen as extremist (and soon to be outlawed).

    I would not have put it so bluntly but on the fundamentals I can’t fault it.

  • AG

    in Berlin 40 pro-Palestine protesters were immediately surrounded by police at Herrmannplatz
    covered nowhere except may be by some indie outlet like this:

    At the same time a few miles west at Brandenburger Tor you got 2000 pro-Israel protesters who get all the coverage you could wish. I can´t remember a single pro-Israel protest ever be prohibited in this country in the past 30 years.
    German Berliner Zeitung
    or Süddeutsche Zeitung
    “radical ideology” / “The Master of the “Martyrs” / “This can lead to a major Middle East war” / “Israel mobilizes 300.000” (sry but how many did RU mobilize last year???? and since when do the Palestinians have F-16s, Mig 29s and Leopard 2 tanks????)

    So the good guys are everywhere. The latest being claims that dead women who were killed by the attack on the music festival were raped.
    (that much about whipping up emotion against “animals”)

    again its quite stunning that nobdy is asking what had been going on in Gaza day-in-day out since Oslo and of course before.

    p.s. the usual problem – lack of historic knowledge in the press
    Ray McGovern with a summary on the conflict:

    “In June 1967 Israel annexed the “West Bank” (of the Jordan) and Gaza by first attacking and destroying the Egyptian and Syrian armies in a surprise attack. Israeli leaders claimed Egypt was about to attack Israel, but former Israeli President Menachem later admitted publicly that this was a lie. In a speech he gave
    in Washington, DC, on August 8, 1982 he said:

    “In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

    Norman Finkelstein on 1967, from 2017:

    Currently Finkelstein´s emergency podcast from last night is in preparation:

    • Ian Stevenson

      Miko Peled , son of an Israeli general. has supported the contention that the 1967 war was a pre-emptive strike.
      I read an account of the war by Winston’s Churchill’s grandson written very soon after the war, when I was still at college. It said that the Egyptian air force was lined up on the runway providing an easy target. The writer put it down to complacency. It did seem strange to me at the time but only a detail in the story. It now looks like perhaps Peled was right. Certainly Nasser and other were making threatening noises but press coverage was patchy.
      The USS Liberty is another incident of which we shall probably never get to the bottom.

      • AG

        I am pretty sure by now that 1967 indeed was an attack.

        Lets assume it had been the other way around and IDF had claimed that they never had intended to attack – no Western media outlet nor scholar would doubt. But because its an Eyptian with this strange language and odd suit who says so its a lie.

        McGovern is also pretty clear on the USS Liberty
        “On June 8, 1967 Israel tried to sink the intelligence collection ship USS Liberty and leave no survivors – in full daylight in international waters off the Sinai coast during the 6-day Israeli-Arab war. Washington (including the US Navy!) covered up the killing of 34 US sailors and the wounding of 170 others. Thus, Israel learned that it could literally get away with murder – of US servicemen, as well as Palestinians.”

        Winston’s Churchill’s grandson – which one? The Soames guy? (sry, not a Brit myself)

      • Tom Welsh

        “Miko Peled , son of an Israeli general. has supported the contention that the 1967 war was a pre-emptive strike”.

        Of course it was. “Get your retaliation in first”.

      • AG

        Well, it’s the principle of hate of Russians all over again, as I have said before: We love to hate Arabs and Russians since black folks are forbidden by now (at least in the European public).
        The machinery works like a Swiss clock.

        Starlets speak out for Israel. Politicians speak out for Israel. Of course not even any leftist critical of the state of war against Palestine in fact ever states the cruel realities – much less put Israel on the stand.

        So from time to time the disaster in Palestine is reported, but you never get a real reason. It’s really odd.

      • Jeremy Wyatt

        I just checked the link. There was a notice under the video clip claiming that, to put in context, the teacher had been attacked by the students first.

  • frankywiggles

    Chatham House and Canadian lawmakers have announced that in solidarity with Israel they are going to refrain from honouring the SS for the next week.

  • Ian Stevenson

    this was published 11 months ago.

    [ MOD: URL sanitised for privacy ]

    The important bit is 167 nations voted in favour of Palestinian self determination. Seven abstentions and five against-three of whom are small dollar using states in the Pacific.The other two , Israel and the US but the US has a power of veto. If there was a prospect of a viable Palestinian state and sponsors who cared about fairness, the incentive to join extremist organisations would be much reduced. If young men have no prospects and future, they are often tempted to violent action, even if it is futile. Hamas isn’t going to defeat the IDF. The US sends $3-4 billion a year to Israel , mainly I think weapons (so most of the money stays in the US) quite apart from money sent by private organisations. That money could be better spent on infrastructure in a new Palestine. Northern Ireland, to an extent , possibly South Africa show that a new society can be created if there is a chance of a better future.
    The major problem is the now 700,000 Israeli settlers who treat the local population with contempt. They claim Biblical justification.
    I asked American friends why the US administrations give such one sided support. One of the major reasons is the ‘End Times Prophecies’. This interpretation of the Bible is not shared by the Catholic , Orthodox or Anglican and other Protestant communions outside north America.
    There are a number of sources but John Nelson Darby, (British I fear) and a founder of the Brethren , put together an interpretation based on Daniel and Revelation. This was 19th century and widely spread in the US, mainly in the South. Interestingly Orde Wingate, who led the Chindits in Burma was a member of the Brethren and while stationed in mandate Palestine, helped organise the Haganah, Jewish armed self defence group though it also attacked the Arabs.
    Modern scholarship shows that Daniel is a second century BCE book written to read as it was written in the 5th century BCE and it makes prophecies which can be read as having happened. It was at a time Antiochus Epiphanes , a Greek speaking ruler, wanted the Jews to embrace the ‘modernity’ of the times (being more Greek in the values and behaviour). If you like it was cultural imperialism. The Jews rose against him and eventually won , installing the last Jewish regime before the Romans and until the State of Israel. Daniel is, it seems a forgery to encourage a rebellion.
    However, the chances of an American or even British politician having the courage to point this out, is still remote. They fear they would lose the religious especially the Evangelical vote.
    The Israeli Govt.seems to have no idea except more repression. To be fair there are many Israelis and people otherwise supportive of Israel who deplore the Natanyahu approach.
    I agree with your conclusion, Craig. It is worse in that this could have been avoided if the US had told Israel at any time in the past 30 years-you can’t build settlements and we want a proper deal. Just promoting peace talks was not likely to succeed due to the power imbalance. It would have been one time I would have supported the US using a bit of muscle to get an agreement.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Re: ‘Hamas isn’t going to defeat the IDF’

      If Hamas had chosen to bide their time for 10 – 15 years, busying themselves with small-arms procurement and production etc, they probably could have, Ian: think the recent incursion into Israeli territory x 1000. That would have been existential for Israel*. The Israelis are very, very lucky that the leaderships of Hamas & Palestinian Islamic Jihad are so stupid, and have just given them their own 9/11 as a wake-up call instead. None of this is likely to be of any comfort to the bereaved and maimed (on both sides) of course.

      * What would they have done? Nuke their own country?

      • AG


        not claiming I knew how I would act were I in Palestine – but what the hell are they supposed to do? Seriously.

        Even now when those huge protests went on in Israel for weeks against the government – none of them protesters gave a damn about the Palestinians. And all of Palestine saw that.

        The right-wing shift in Israel – not just on the social level but in fact in lawfare against the Arabs in Israel as a whole and against Palestine is unprecedented.

        Israel with the exception of Ukraine 2022 was the biggest recipient of US foreign aid world wide. That is military aid of course.

        And are you seriously buying this Israel is in danger story? With their 100-200 nuclear warheads? (By which I mean to suggest that WMDs are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of armament.)

        Israel whether you like it or not is a modern-day Sparta.
        It is a militarized jingoist society .They ostracize their own scholars and activists and deserters who deviate from the “party line”.
        It if weren´t for UN pressure in Europe there would be not even the tiny recognition of Palestinian suffering that makes for good benevolence in Sunday speeches.

        Every serious person with an open mind who I met and read and who has been to Gaza agrees its a fucking prison.
        Just look into the 1995 maps devised for the Oslo “peace” (my ass) process – its a rag rug. You need days to get from end to the other check-point after check-point after check-point being harassed at every corner.

        Even the Israeli negotiators and people like Yossi Beilin himself back then admitted that Oslo was not about peace or any meaningful plan for the people in Palestine. It was devised to make economic and cultural development impossible and do everything to make the Israeli settlements thrive. It was economic warfare.

        The IDF could turn Palestine into the world´s biggest graveyard within a few days if they wanted to.

        So again: what should a Palestinian do if born into that shit-hole????

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your replies AG. I’m not going to tell a typical Palestinian in Gaza what to do – that’s a matter for themselves and their conscience. However, I do feel that I could have told the Hamas & PIJ leaderships what *not* to do: what they’ve just done – which inter alia has essentially destroyed their dream of a one-state Palestine from the river to the sea, probably for ever.

          Israel is not in existential peril at the moment, but it could easily have been in 10 – 15 years’ time, before its wake-up call. It wouldn’t have made much difference even if the Israelis did nuke their own country, because the Palestinian fighters would mostly be spaced out, so they’d probably only kill a few thousand at a time (the same as if Russia decided to nuke Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines). However, the Palestinians would probably have overrun the nuclear bases in the Negev desert before they got a chance to use them anyway. Once your defences have been breached, if you’re not expecting it it’s virtually impossible to defend against the zerg rush.

          If you had told people at the beginning of 2021 that, despite all the billions of dollars that had been thrown at the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its defence forces, within the year the Taliban would be in control of the entire country* – something they couldn’t manage the first time round even after five years in power – most of them would have looked at you like you were mad. But here we are.

          * If you ever feel like you’re completely useless, just remember that in Afghanistan the United States of America spent 20 years, around 200,000 lives, and over US$2,000,000,000,000.00, to replace the Taliban with the Taliban. A lot of people think that that only happened because President Biden ****ed up the withdrawal, but they’re blaming the wrong person, because it was actually Biden’s old man who ****ed up with the withdrawal. (Don’t forget, even in these dark times, a day without laughter is still a day wasted.)

      • AG

        And since these things were never reported in our dailies, some older accounts:

        A few excerpts by Chomsky from a discussion he had with Alan Dershowitz in 2005
        The complete piece here:

        „(…)In Israeli literature, like Benny Morris’s histories, you can find ample evidence about the nature of the occupation. In Morris’s words, “founded on brute force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers and daily intimidation, humiliation and manipulation, along with stealing of valuable land and resources.” Like other Israeli political and legal commentators, Morris reserves special criticism for the Supreme Court, whose record, he writes, “will surely go down as a dark day in the annals of Israel’s judicial system.”(…)“

        “(…)A European Union report concludes that U.S.-backed Israeli programs will virtually end the prospects for a viable Palestinian state by the cantonization and by breaking the organic links between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Human Rights Watch, in a recent statement, concurs.”
        “The balance of terror and violence is overwhelmingly against the Palestinians, not surprisingly, given the balance of forces (…) October 2000 — in the first month of the Intifada, seventy-four Palestinians were killed, four Israelis were killed. The Israeli army, according to its own records, fired a million bullets in the first day, which disgusted the generals when they learned about it.
        Israel, in the first few days of the Intifada, was using U.S. helicopters (….) to attack civilian complexes, apartment houses and so on, killing and wounding dozens of people. And the U.S. did respond to that. Clinton responded by sending the biggest shipment of military helicopters in a decade to Israel.(…)”

        quoting “(…)Israel’s leading specialist on the West Bank, Meron Benvenisti:
        the goal of disintegration of the Palestinian community, after many earlier attempts, have failed.’ ‘The human disaster being planned,’ he continues, ‘will turn hundreds of thousands of people into a sullen community, hostile, and nurturing a desire for revenge.’ So, another example of the sacrifice of security through expansion that’s been going on for a long time.“

        „Israeli law supersedes international law, particularly in East Jerusalem, annexed in violation of Security Council orders. (…) as long as the United States continues to provide the required economic, military and diplomatic support, as it has been doing for 30 years, in violation of the international consensus on a two-state settlement.

        All this more than 20 years ago when there was still some kind of meaningful left or peace movement in Israel, as powerless as it may already have been.

    • dgp

      your comment is not entirely coherent but it suggests there is a religious element within the US which propagates the support of the Israeli regime for ‘reasons’ related to some biblical interpretation.Many years ago at the time of the 1968 war I remember listening to an American politician suggesting that events were fulfilling the prophecy of the return of the Jews to the promised land. (No memory of the christian cult he represented) but I do remember recoiling with horror as I realised that this deranged person was fully in support of the Israeli military activities as the fulfillment of god’s plan and represented a good proportion of the US populations ideas.
      In other reading I gained the impression that Balfour(of the Balfour declaration) was motivated by his idea that he was fulfilling biblical scholarship as well as maintaining the grip of the empire on a sensitive geographical area dripping with mineral oil, the 1st ww having been in quite large measure about securing acess to this resource.
      On another occasion at the time of the 1st gulf war I bumped into to a friend. a very confirmed Christian, who said he was delighted by the news that George Bush senior had consulted God with Billy Graham as his intermediary, in a prayer meeting in the oval office.I remember telling my acquaintance that I thought he and Bush were crackpots and billy Graham was a money grubbing charlatan whose main motivation was money acquired from gullible ingenues like my spinster aunt who went to be ‘saved’ by Graham in a Dundee rally after being cajoled or bullied into a lifelong commitment to financially support the Graham ministry. Somewhat later at the time of the Iraq war Blair, that unmitigated phoney, discovered god’s guidance in killing brown folk. prompting Alistair Campbell to provide a PR perspective- “we don’t do religion”
      Its like a regression of our politico-religious cranks to pre-renaissance thinking and the belief in predestination.

      • Ian Stevenson

        actual belief in the account of the End Times is probably confined to dwindling minority but the wider point is that to refute it would be seen as an attack on the Bible, and very risky in many parts of America. Potentially to swing enough votes to secure the Electoral College.
        Ted Cruz maintained links with a cult who believe in ‘Dominionism’ – where secular law is subordinate to Biblical law. True, he is only one and not seen much now but he is not alone. In the Trump-led Republican party, who knows what they will come up with.
        The other religious fanatics in Judaism are the settlers in the occupied territories.

  • Malcolm Frame

    “A slave-owner who through cunning and violence shackles a slave in chains, and a slave who through cunning or violence breaks the chains–let not the contemptible eunuchs tell us that they are equals before a court of morality!”—Leon Trotsky, 1938

  • Robyn

    Thank you, Craig. Eloquent as always.

    I have just emailed My (South Australian) Premier after his announcement today that our State ‘stands with Israel’ and public buildings are lit up with the Star of David flag. I have emailed him, opening with the following sentence,

    ‘Today the Israeli Defence Minister proudly announced that he has ordered that the people of Gaza will have ‘no food, no electricity, no fuel, no water. We’re fighting human animals.’ That, Premier, is what you are standing with.’

    I urge others who feel this way to let their politicians know. Even if it doesn’t change anything, at least we can say we did our best.

  • Shibboleth

    It’s most curious when compared to the other asymmetrical conflict in Ukraine. Here the weaker party is supported by the west in terms of aid, weapons, money and the political and media commentary condemn the actions of the stronger force. Russia invaded Ukraine to capture the eastern regions and the collective wisdom decries Russia and supports Ukraine’s efforts to retake that land.

    But what of Palestinian ambitions to be given back their lands that Israel now command? Illegal settlements continue unchallenged, but where is the western wisdom to sport Palestine in its cause? It’s an obscenity that the USA is clamouring to send ordnance and other military supplies to Israel, who, like Russia, has overwhelming military advantage in the conflict. The hypocrisy of the west has never been more obvious or distasteful.

    I’m beginning to hope of a new virulent strain of SC2 that reduces global population to pre-industrial levels before the current population embark on total-self destruction. Brave New World.

  • Phil Espin

    Hear, hear Craig. The lyric “you’re gonna reap just what you sow” has been running through my head for the last 3 days. Hopefully it will become clearer to more Israelis that without a just and durable peace settlement they are living in a fools paradise.

  • Tatyana

    Well, I start collecting theories on why Israel’s war on Palestine is Putin’s fault.

    Sample No.1 in my collection is: “Putin attacked Israel, I have no doubt about it.”
    The sample was collected yesterday in the madhouse on YouTube, supplier: Ayder Muzhdabaev, journalist, regular columnist at Ukrainska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth), ex-deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets”, member of the Union of Crimean Tatars of Moscow, deputy director of the ATR tv channel (the channel of Crimean Tatars, belongs to Lenur Islamov).

    Sample No. 2: “they did it on Putin’s birthday.”
    Distributed by Ukrainian political experts 🙂 The sample collected here and it names two persons:
    Eugeniy Magda aka “Today’s attack on Israel is timed to coincide with Putin’s birthday” and Viktor Nebozhenko aka “Who actually attacked Israel on Putin’s birthday?”.
    Interesting that Magda is the Director of the Institute of World Politics (Ukraine), Associate Professor of the National Technical University of Ukraine. And Nebozhenko is political scientist, consultant, director of the sociological service “Ukrainian Barometer”, journalist, blogger and a whole fucking PhD in Philosophy!

    I’d be grateful if you contribute to my collection, I can’t wait to learn it is Russian propaganda, or Boshirov and Petrov smeared something on the trigger buttons.

    • Tom Welsh

      Well, the biggest irony is that Israeli troops are being killed and Israeli tanks destroyed by NATO weapons, supplied eagerly to Kiev by NATO governments.

      No doubt it suited them to ignore the utter corruption of what passes for “government” and “business” in Ukraine. Now they are confronted with the predictable consequences of their stupidity. They can’t say they weren’t warned.

      Today those weapons are being used in Israel; tomorrow where? London? Paris? Washington?

      What goes around, comes around.

        • Tatyana

          May I please give my opinion?
          I don’t know if you will accept this as a reliable source, but those who passed from the Ukrainian army into the hands of Russia (those who voluntarily changed sides and those who were captured) claim that weapons supplied by NATO were sold on the black market, on large scale. Easy to claim it was destroyed by Russia, when in fact it brings good money.
          Personally, I find a couple of confirmations: representatives of the Pentagon came to Kiev and organized a headquarters to control the distribution of weapons; also, in the last tranche of US aid, an amount was reserved to control where it goes; plus, in the latest news, a representative of Ukraine complained that the United States too strictly conditioned its military assistance on corruption reforms.

          • Ian Stevenson

            in any situation where they are having to adapt rapidly, some people will try to make fast buck. It is the same of both sides of Russian troops buying their own kit and seeing the prices escalate. And both sides have ways of distributing propaganda.
            Weapons are replaced from time to time, even when they are still serviceable. The Gulf States have bought large numbers of weapons over the years, mainly American, and the governments are more based on traditional families where we find individuals who believe in the capitalist ethic (to put it nicely). The same thing applies in Afghanistan where we have lots of hungry people.

        • Tom Welsh

          Nothing that would stand up in court, Ian – or a fortiori in the far more critical environment of this comment thread.

          It’s just the gist of dozens or scores of reports over the past days and years, which I consider credible.

          There was one report, published in a few places, showing a burnt-out Merkava surrounded by Palestinians. But of course photos and video are no longer reliable evidence – just suggestive.

          Plausibility is reinforced by the ease and frequency with which not only Ukrainian but also Russian tanks are being destroyed by drones.

          • Tatyana

            I’ve seen today Trump junior commented on the Sky News report, that guns in the photo look exactly like US guns and not like AK47 usual weapon they used to see in the photos from Palestine.
            It raised some discussion if the weapons that US left in Afghanistan could get into Palestine, since Taliban yesterday claimed they are ready to raid Jerusalem if given the passage.

  • Reza

    ” Unprovoked ” is the buzzword they’re most eager to circulate in this latest propaganda blitz, same as they were in the last one. One might try and excuse it by saying the US, Britain, Germany and others struggle to understand the pysche of the colonized and genuinely therefore see no provocation in the oppression of the Palestinians. But they know quite as well as the rest of humanity what has been done to the Palestinians and that it defies reason and logic to ever describe the oppressed rising up against the oppressor as ” unprovoked “. This word is being repeated over and over, very knowingly and cynically, in order to try and confuse and deceive.

  • Tom Welsh

    ‘The people I do condemn are the political class internationally who, with one voice, put out statements supporting “Israel’s right to self-defence”’.

    It is with great relief that I agree whole-heartedly with Mr Murray on this issue. Self-defence confers certain rights – but less so when the defence is of land and other property previously stolen with threatened or actual violence.

  • AG

    John Pilger´s 1974 film on Palestine “Palestine Is Still the Issue” and updated in 2002., 50 min.
    This is followed by a new discussion with Ilan Pappé who had been in the film 2002, today looking back.

    The video had been censored by youtube the first time.
    But this here seems to work. 2,5 hours altogether.

    p.s. There was an interesting discussion between Finkelstein and Pappé some time ago as both do no agree on BDS.

  • Dr Iain

    Well said, Craig. The truth has to be spoken – and it hurts.

    The almost unanimity of the political class and their media mouthpieces tells its own story.

    An oppressed people driven beyond endurance by an internationally-sponsored criminal gang of invaders and usurpers.

    Despite the almost complete plutocrat control of the media, many people can still see through the lies and distortions.

    That provides some hope. Truth tellers like you are indispensable.

    Thank you Craig.

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    From all accounts the Palestinian attack was a “surprise” to the Israelis. Living in a world in which the diabolical happens. I fear something truly diabolical is afoot here. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Pears Morgaine

    I condemn Hamas. I condemn Israel too. Whilst Israel has treated the Palestinians with appalling arrogance and brutality the cold blooded murder of 260+ civilians at a music festival, many of whom weren’t even Israelis, cannot be justified or excused. It’s not going to help anybody either. Israel will just respond with even greater violence, as it already has, killing even more non-combatants and causing more destruction. A pattern we’ve seen repeated time after time. Attempts have been made to draw parallels with Ukraine so where are the calls for Hamas to stop fighting and negotiate?

    Whilst not conspiracy minded I do wonder if this and the recent flare ups in Syria and Armenia/Nagorno-Karabakh aren’t linked with the war in Ukraine. Russia has links with Hamas and Israel has provided support to Ukraine and is itself supported by the US. Action by US supported rebels in Syria ties down Russian resources in the area. Just a thought.

    • Reza

      Will you condemn the inhumanity and hypocrisy of your favourite media and politicians, the ones who monopolise the public narrative in this country?

      ‘The historic killing rate in this “conflict” has been fairly consistent at 40:1. None of this ever caused more than a raised eyebrow and a mild tut-tut from the western “liberal” Establishment. I can’t recall camera crews ever pursuing any zionist politicians down the street demanding that they use the word “condemn” of the latest Israeli atrocity ‘.

      • Pears Morgaine

        I don’t have a ‘favourite media’.

        According to the United Nations, roughly 6,400 Palestinians and 300 Israelis have been killed in the ongoing conflict since 2008. That’s a tad over 21:1 and more will die in the coming weeks.

    • Dr Iain

      A “Music festival” held within earshot of the open air concentration camp in which the Zionist state contains the original inhabitants of the land they stole from them?

      In Jonathan Cook’s poignant description:

      “If there is an enduring image of how Israel so completely embodies the most obscene elements of settler colonialism, it is young, carefree Israelis holding a rave on the edge of an open-air prison, encaging 2 million Palestinians.

      The Western media presents Hamas’ attack on this festival of dance as the ultimate savagery. And savage it was. But the much greater savagery is thinking it normal to party in full view of the torture chamber that is Gaza.”

      These are two million caged people left with nowhere to go by the criminals who invaded their lands and drove them into this hell-hole, deprived of power, adequate food and water, or medicines.

      They have been tortured beyond endurance. They now face further collective punishment and massacre for having the temerity to resist their oppressors.

      If anyone wishes to provide practical help – please donate urgently to Medical Aid for Palestinians

      I’m afraid that they are about to be needed all the more after Israel’s ‘retaliation’ .

      Good help them.

      • Pears Morgaine

        ” But the much greater savagery is thinking it normal to party in full view of the torture chamber that is Gaza ”

        Your Mr Cook has a distorted and perverse idea of what constitutes savagery. He seems to be saying that very existence of the festival was justification for the slaughter. His geography isn’t very good either as the venue was 3 miles from the border. They might’ve heard some distant thumping during the night but to describe it as being in ‘full view’ is laughable.

    • Urban Fox

      Negotiate what? Go back to “business as usual”, drinking salt-water and drowning in their own s**t. Living as third-class people in an officially & doctrinally racist state, having the lowest place in a strict racial hierarchy?

      The two-state solution was always an absolute abortion of an idea, from the 1940’s until now. It’s equal rights on the land, for all, or war; it’s that clear.

      Comparisons of Gaza to Ukraine are risible. The Ukrainians are the ones who preach deranged fascist race doctrines to start with and are darlings of the west. Furthermore, if the horrible Russian imperialists annexed everything from Kharkov to Lvov tomorrow, the Ukrainians would have the offer/rights of equal citizenship, not the inherent status of “unpeople”.

  • SA

    Netanyahu has threatened to turn Gaza into a desert island and called for Gazans to leave Gaza.

    This statement is an intent to commit genocide on Gazans who have been kept under siege by the occupation forces since 2007. He is now cutting food and water to the strip. There is no major outcry at these threats. How can the Palestinians leave Gaza?

  • 100%Yes

    What I saw were men running through a fence for what ever reason and the British state-controlled TV saying these men were Hamas. Now correct me if I’m wrong but these men had no distinguishing items of clothing that would suggest these ordinary men were Hamas.

    Where does it warrant a full block of flats being destroyed simply because Israelis believe there might be a terrorist inside? If Putin has committed war crimes by blowing up civilian target, what does this act by the Israeli government warrant?

    Humans are no different to dogs: you keep treating them badly, then something has to give.

    I also heard Israel is the seventh biggest army in the world. Just out of curiosity: on that list, where is the State of Palestine?

  • Scott

    Perhaps others read Mehdi Hasan’s comment yesterday:

    Gaza, in the words of an ex-Israeli intel chief, is an “open-air prison.”
    “Hell on earth,” per the UN Secretary-General.
    2.2. million people. 50% kids. 50% in poverty. 90% without access to clean drinking water.

    It is inconceivable to me how Israel’s shock and awe response will avoid high numbers of civilian casualties, especially to children.

    The media is already preparing the way for genocide, amplifying only Israeli voices, describing the Hamas fighters as “animal like”. I expect the Palestinians to be described in dehumanising terms also: ‘othering’ the enemy will improve the optics when the IDF commits war crimes.

    Soon the deaths of Palestinian civilians will be denied, or they will be labelled enemy combatants, or some other perverse twist of logic will justify their execution. With few independent journalists available to report the reality on the ground, the majority of the public will be none the wiser.

    A really sad moment in history.

    Kind regards,

  • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


    I recall as a law student in London, seeing on the Notice Board of my college, an announcement that two professors would be having a round table discussion.
    One was a Jew and the other a Palestinian. There were no more than twenty-five persons present at the table. The format was that each spoke for about a half hour then this was followed by a question and answer period. I recall this, because it is indelibly imprinted in my mind for two reasons:-
    1. The civility of the two men.
    2. The differences in the narratives of both professors representing the same phenomenon of Palestine/Israel from different historical angles.
    Since the nineteen seventies when I was a student, many conflagrations have taken place in the struggle for Palestine/Israel. The narratives which I long since heard then remain in mind and my understanding has expanded since that time. A constant has remained in my mind of some seven hundred thousand Palestinians being initially displaced. The dispossessed Palestinians. Many commentators tend to gloss and/or ignore this important fact. I used my legal knowledge to do an analysis, through legal (even if not fully humanitarian) eyes, and submitted and had published same which I here share:-

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