THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
June 29, 2006
The Independent

Israeli Missiles Pound Gaza Into New Dark Age

by Donald Macintyre

As a textbook example of hi-tech precision bombardment it could hardly be improved. Smoke was still rising yesterday from the scorched wreckage of the six transformers at Gaza's only power station, each destroyed by a single missile fired by an Israeli warplane some 10 hours earlier.

Had they hit the huge cylindrical diesel tank 100 metres away they would have set the whole power station alight. But the strike was clinically effective, cutting all the electricity to 700,000 Gaza consumers, threatening water supplies and depriving its public of light, cooking, broadcast news, and a crucial issue in scorching summer temperatures fans.

"I'm so surprised that they did this," said Dr Derar Abu Sisi, the operations manager at the Al Nusirat power station. "We have been right through the worst of the intifada but this didn't happen." It would, Dr Abu Sisi said, take a "minimum of three to six months" to restore supplies at a cost between $5m (2.8m) and $7m. "The Geneva Convention says it is not allowed to attack infrastructure for the civilian people," he added. . . .

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Jimmy Carter, "Don't Punish the Palestinians," Washington Post, February 20, 2006

Donald Neff, "Vetoes Cast by the United States to Shield Israel from Criticism by the U.N. Security Council," Washington Report, May/June 2005, page 14

Ron Jacobs, "The Insulting Logic of Tel Aviv: Killing a Nation to Rescue a Soldier," counterpunch.org, June 28, 2006

[Overnight the Israeli army arrested at least 64 Hamas representatives, 38 of them MPs, in the West Bank.--Ferry Biedermann, "Israel holds Hamas leaders amid crisis," Times, June 29, 2006]

Brian Dominick, "Israel Abducts Palestinian Ministers," FAIR, June 29, 2006

[Let's look at the context. Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in September 2005 'til today, the estimates run between 7,000 and 9,000 heavy artillery shells have been shot and fired into Gaza. On the Palestinian side, the estimates are approximately 1,000 Kassam missiles, crude missiles, have been fired into Israel. So we have a ratio of between seven and nine to one.

Let's look at casualties. In the last six months, approximately 80 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza due to Israel artillery firing. Now, on the Israeli side, we hear all of these terrible things about these Kassams. Even Shlomo Ben-Ami, yesterday on your program, who I respect, he said what's Israel to do about these Kassams? What does the record show? I mentioned a moment ago, 80 Palestinians killed in six months. There have been exactly eight Israelis killed in the last five years from the Kassam missiles. Again, we have a huge disproportion, a huge discrepancy.

Now, Josh says Israel has a responsibility to protect its citizens. I totally agree with that. But Hamas is the elected government of the Palestinians. They have a responsibility to protect their citizens. They have a responsibility to get back their 9,000 hostages.--Norman Finkelstein, "AIPAC v. Norman Finkelstein: A Debate on Israel's Assault on Gaza," democracynow.org, June 29, 2006]

[The response is disproportionate and cruel, even if one believes that it is merely an effort by the Olmert government to free its soldier, an excuse that even the Israeli press no longer believes. . . . Worse still, if Israel's intention here, as some Israeli commentators suggest, is to bring down the Hamas government, then their behavior is tantamount to an act of terrorism--James Zogby, "Watching Gaza: 'The Genovese Syndrome'," truthout.org, July 6, 2006]

Patrick O'Connor, "Crisis in US Media Coverage of Gaza," zmag.org, July 5, 2006

[CityPass, was awarded a $500 million contract to construct a light railway system connecting Jerusalem to illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem. Road works around Jerusalem's Old City mark the beginning of the project which is planned for completion in 2020. Connex will run the operation of the line for the next 30 years, while another French partner, Alstrom, will provide the trains.--Nick Dearden, "The Corporate Interests Fueling Conflict in Palestine," counterpunch.org, July 6, 2006]

Maureen Clare Murphy, "Entry denied: Deporting witnesses of Israeli occupation and unilateralism," Electronic Intifada, July 11, 2006

Simon Tisdall, "UN impotence laid bare as Gaza suffers," Guardian, July 12, 2006

Jonathon Cook, "Echoes of 1948 and 1967," counterpunch.org, July 12, 2006

[Israel on Thursday stepped up its military campaign in Lebanon, launching air strikes against Beirut airport, imposing a naval blockade, and intensifying reprisals that have killed up to 50 civilians since Hizbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers on Wednesday.--William Wallis and Ferry Biedermann, "Israel launches two-pronged attacks," Financial Times, July 12, 2006]

"US vetoes UN resolution urging end to Israeli attacks in Gaza," breitbart.com, July 13, 2006

[What's happening in Gaza, . . . begins with the Hamas election, back the end of January. Israel and the United States at once announced that they were going to punish the people of Palestine for voting the wrong way in a free election. And the punishment has been severe.

At the same time, it's partly in Gaza, and sort of hidden in a way, but even more extreme in the West Bank, where Olmert announced his annexation program, what's euphemistically called "convergence" and described here often as a "withdrawal," but in fact it's a formalization of the program of annexing the valuable lands, most of the resources, including water, of the West Bank and cantonizing the rest and imprisoning it, since he also announced that Israel would take over the Jordan Valley.

. . . the inciting event in the present case, events, are those that I mentioned - the constant intense repression; plenty of abductions; plenty of atrocities in Gaza; the steady takeover of the West Bank, which, in effect, if it continues, is just the murder of a nation, the end of Palestine; the abduction on June 24 of the two Gaza civilians; and then the reaction to the abduction of Corporal Shalit. And there's a difference, incidentally, between abduction of civilians and abduction of soldiers. Even international humanitarian law makes that distinction.

If there's a conflict going on, aside physical war, not in a military conflict going on, abduction -- if soldiers are captured, they are to be treated humanely. But it is not a crime at the level of capture of civilians and bringing them across the border into your own country.--Noam Chomsky, "U.S.- Backed Israeli Policies Pursuing 'End of Palestine'," democracynow.org, July 14, 2006]

["I am the son of Holocaust survivors. I loathe what Israel is doing to Palestine and Palestinians. For that reason, I have always refused to visit Israel. I am so frustrated by events in the Lebanon."--Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, "Nothing but anti-Arab racism can fully explain the behaviour of the Israelis," Independent, July 17, 2006]

[Israel no longer knows any moral boundaries - if it ever did. Those who continue to support Israel, who make excuses for it as it descends into corruption, have lost their moral compass--Kathleen Christison, "Atrocities in the Promised Land," counterpunch.org, July 17, 2006]

[ . . . June 20, 2006, when Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City.--Alexander Cockburn, "Hezbollah, Hamas and Israel: Everything You Need To Know," counterpunch.org, July 21, 2006]

VIDEO: " Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflic," Media Foundation, July 22, 2006

Anne Penketh, "Israel's secret war: the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Palestine," Independent, July 29, 2006

[From March 1948 until the end of that year the plan was implemented despite the attempt by some Arab states to oppose it, which failed. Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled, 531 villages were destroyed and 11 urban neighbourhoods demolished.

. . . imprisoning large numbers of Palestinians in enclaves in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, controlling thorough an apartheid system the Palestinian minority in Israel, and rejecting categorically any repatriation of the Palestinian refugees.--Ilan Pappe, "How Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing," Socialist Worker, July 29, 2006]

Brent Scowcroft, "This Is the Time for a U.S.-Led Comprehensive Settlement," Washington Post, July 30, 2006

[America is a world power with a broader interest in the Middle East than Israel's, and if we are to protect those interests and play the role history has assigned us, we cannot allow any nation to exercise veto power over whom we talk to. While most Americans wish to maintain our commitment to the security and survival of Israel, we must declare our political and diplomatic independence of Israel, as Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan all did.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "On Talking With Terrorists," antiwar.com, August 5, 2006]

[From Golda Meir to Ehud Olmert, the lie has held that the war with the Palestinians is an existential one for survival imposed on Israel when it is actually a war for real estate, one dunam after another, that does not belong to us.--Gideon Levy, "The real estate war," Haaretz, August 7, 2006]

Nigel Parry, "Behind the media's Gazan blind spot," Electronic Intifada, August 9, 2006

[We have to admit that Israel is the ultimate evil rather than Nazi Germany. Abe Foxman and the ADL are correct for a change, we all need a reality check. We should never compare Israel to Nazi Germany. As far as evilness is concerned, we should now let Israel take the lead.--Gilad Atzmon, Beyond Comparison, peacepalestine.blogspot.com, August 10, 2006]

[Israel has now arrested four members of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Cabinet and 28 Hamas lawmakers.--Mohammed Daraghmeh, "Israel Arrests Palestinian Deputy PM," Associated Press, August 19, 2006]

Nigel Parry, "Gaza doctors encounter 'unexplained injuries'," Independent, September 4, 2006

Patrick Cockburn, "Gaza is a jail. Nobody is allowed to leave. We are all starving now," Independent, September 8, 2006

[An Israeli military judge has ordered the release of 21 Hamas ministers and parliamentarians detained in the wake of the seizure of an Israeli soldier by Gaza militants in June.--Donald Macintyre, "Israeli judge orders release of detained Hamas leaders," Independent, September 13, 2006]

"Militants threaten Hamas leaders," BBC News, October 3, 2006

[The experiment was a success: The Palestinians are killing each other. They are behaving as expected at the end of the extended experiment called "what happens when you imprison 1.3 million human beings in an enclosed space like battery hens."

These are the steps in the experiment: Imprison (since 1991); remove the prisoners' usual means of livelihood; seal off all outlets to the outside world, nearly hermetically; destroy existing means of livelihood by preventing the entry of raw materials and the marketing of goods and produce; prevent the regular entry of medicines and hospital supplies; do not bring in fresh food for weeks on end; prevent, for years, the entry of relatives, professionals, friends and others, and allow thousands of people - the sick, heads of families, professionals, children - to be stuck for weeks at the locked gates of the Gaza Strip's only entry/exit.

Steal hundreds of millions of dollars (customs and tax revenues collected by Israel that belong to the Palestinian treasury), so as to force the nonpayment of the already low salaries of most government employees for months; present the firing of homemade Qassam rockets as a strategic threat that can only be stopped by harming women, children and the old; fire on crowded residential neighborhoods from the air and the ground; destroy orchards, groves and fields.

Dispatch planes to frighten the population with sonic booms; destroy the new power plant and force the residents of the closed-off Strip to live without electricity for most of the day for a period of four months, which will most likely turn into a full year - in other words, a year without refrigeration, electric fans, television, lights to study and read by; force them to get by without a regular supply of water, which is dependent on the electricity supply.--Amira Hass, "Not an internal Palestinian matter," Haaretz, October 4, 2006]

"America courts 'thug' to stand up to Hamas," Telegraph, October 15, 2006

Rory McCarthy, "Gaza doctors say patients suffering mystery injuries after Israeli attacks," Guardian, October 18, 2006

Uzi Mahnaimi, "Israel orders killing of Hamas politicians," Sunday Times, November 19, 2006

[The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, recently said she would ask Congress for tens of millions of dollars to strengthen Abbas's security forces.--Peter Beaumont and Ned Temko, "Abbas threatens to sack Hamas-led government," Observer, December 17, 2006]

Amira Hass, "Impossible travel," Haaretz, January 19, 2007

[A genocide is engulfing the people of Gaza while a silence engulfs its bystanders.--John Pilger, "Looking to the side, from Belsen to Gaza," johnpilger.com, January 25, 2007]

Electronic Intifada

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