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AMERICA'S WAR CRIMES IN GAZA by Paul Findley

 
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Alpha



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: AMERICA'S WAR CRIMES IN GAZA by Paul Findley Reply to topic

Forwarded:

The following piece by Paul Findley is a must read (I had told CBS News correspondent Lara Logan about his 'They Dare to Speak Out' book as she has a copy of it along with the James Bamford 'A Pretext for War' book that I had sent her in the bookshelf of her '60 Minutes' D.C. office as can be seen via the video linked with the following URL):

Lara Logan's Spoils of War

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/blog/1380000138/post/1700033570.html?nid=3349

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AMERICAS WAR CRIMES IN GAZA by Paul Findley


Americas abject subservience to the government of Israel has led us into deep complicity in Israels shocking air and ground military assault on 1.5 million defenseless human beings called Palestinians who are crowded in a hellhole called Gaza. I toured Gaza four years ago and was amazed that human beings could survive in that hot, humid land covered constantly with a heavy blanket of dust.

They could not escape, because Israel long ago converted Gaza, a tiny coastal strip adjacent to Israel and only twice the size of Washingtons District of Columbia, into a miserable outdoor prison. Inmates are effectively locked down around the clock, except for a few injured who are permitted to seek medical care in Egypt. For 18 months they suffered from an Israeli blockade. Food and medical supplies dwindle dangerously. Even before the assault, electricity was intermittent and food supplies dangerously low.

Eighty percent of the inhabitants of Gaza are victims of Israels illegal expansion into Arab territory in the Jewish states early history. They, or their forebears, fled into Gaza as a place of refuge when they were forced by Israeli military units to leave their homes in what is now Israel.

As I write, 524 Palestinians have been killed and over 3,000 injuredmany of them women and children. The pretext for this most recent assault on Gaza are homemade missiles launched by Hamas supporters in Gaza that occasionally hit a nearby Israeli village. The missiles caused four Israeli deaths, a few injuries and some destruction. These bombings are also a lamentable violation of international law, but they hardly justify the massacre Israel has inflicted on Gazans.

The plight of Gazans intensified when they voted to power several years ago members of Hamas, a political organization that Israel helped bring into being years ago as a political counterweight to the PLO. Hamas developed into a large, independent and popular organization that provided needed social and other services before emerging as a strong critic of Israels mistreatment of Palestinians. The leadership proposed an extended ceasefire without response from Israel.

The moment Hamas gained authority in a free and fair election, the U.S. government began conspiring privately with Israel on ways to reverse forcibly the electorates decision. So much for the democratic process.
President George W. Bush publicly defends Israels bombing and ground assault by saying, Israel has a right to defend itself. It would be comforting if he would also say that the Gazans have a right to defend themselves against Israels longstanding harsh and abusive treatment. Are Palestinian lives less precious than Israelis? President-Elect Barack Obama has remained silent.

Just before the current Israel assault, Prof. Richard Falk, a distinguished Jewish scholar in international law at Princeton University and recently designated as United Nations reporter on Palestinian rights, was refused entry to Israel and unceremoniously deported after being confined in a dirty cell for 20 hours. Falk writes that the spate of homemade rockets does not give Israel either the moral or legal authority to punish the entire population of Gaza. He adds,
Even before Israels strike a recent study reports that 46 percent of all Gazan children suffer from acute anemia. The sonic booms associated with Israeli over-flights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children. Malnutrition is extremely high and affects, in varying degrees, 75 percent of GazansThe magnitude of Palestinian suffering and the deliberate violations of international humanitarian law by Israel are indefensible.

As a veteran former Republican Member of Congress, I was upset when Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Leader, brushedd off a reporters question about Israels assault on Gaza in these words: Israel had no choice.

Americas political structure and most of our media are bereft of balanced appraisal. In the Congress, only Democrat Dennis Kucinich of Ohio speaks out in protest. Almost all other Members of Congress toe the Israeli line and express supportive words similar to McConnells.
The Palestinian death toll approaches 500 with over two thousand seriously injured. In contrast, one Israeli soldier was killed and a handful injured. Only Aljazeera television has kept the Arab world fully informed with regular glimpses of the true extent of death and injury suffered by Gazans.

The American people, largely unaware about our governments subservience to Israel, are unwitting partners in the inhuman brutality being inflicted on the people of Gaza. The fighter planes, helicopter gun-ships, tanks, and missiles used to visit death, injury and destruction upon the Palestinians are gifts of the U.S. government. In the UN Security Council, only the United States opposed a call for an immediate ceasefire. Without Americas unconditional military and political support, Israel could never carry out the destruction of Gaza or its humiliation of Palestinians in the West Bank and other war crimes. Americas indifference to the plight of Gazans makes we wonder if our citizens have lost all capacity for moral outrage.

If you wish to find out who is really responsible for Israels scofflaw behavior and war crimes, look in the mirror. Citizens like you and me let lobbyists for a small, ruthless government make America its uncomplaining servant.
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Paul Findley; Member of Congress 1961-83, is the author of three books on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Washington Post bestseller They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israels Lobby. He resides in Jacksonville, Illinois.

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Israel Attacks Gaza, Silence from Mainstream Media about Israeli Violations of International Law:

http://tinyurl.com/8qgf4b

UN outraged after Israel shells its compound

http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/15/mideast/mideast.php

Israel 'can be tried for war crimes'

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=83017&sectionid=351020202

Israel Accused of War Crimes

http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=102537

Israel shells hospital, UN compound

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/200911510353779666.html

Israel targets hospital in Gaza City

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=82414&sectionid=351020202

Children 'paying price of Gaza war'

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/20091157268591938.html

Additional about Gaza at:

http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.COM


Israeli army masses along Lebanon border :

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=82287&sectionid=351020202

Israel looking to ignite new war: Lebanon:

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=82434&sectionid=351020203#

Israel going back into Lebanon after Hezbollah (with the intent of drawing in Iran and Syria) would be in accordance with the rest of the 'A Clean Break' agenda that the Iraq quagmire was based on (access the 'A Clean Break' link on the upper right of http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.COM ).

Additional at the following URL:

http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?p=529631#529631

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The Israel Lobby Takes Off the Gloves

http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/the_israel_lobby_takes_off_the_gloves


Gaza 'looks like earthquake zone'


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7838618.stm


Former MI6 operative Alastair Crooke reveals truth on Hamas & Hezbollah (click on 'Hour 2' link via following URL):

http://tinyurl.com/8r8d7h


Mearsheimer: Another War, Another Defeat: The Gaza Offensive:

http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=102462


US Support of Israel's brutal oppression of the Palestinians PRIMARY MOTIVATION for tragic attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and on 9/11 as well:

http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=39590


Last edited by Alpha on Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:22 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Alpha



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic

Israel: Shelling Of UN HQ A 'Grave Mistake':

http://www.click2houston.com/news/18485463/detail.html

PS: Israel has been getting away with that 'grave mistake' excuse for decades going back to the rogue state's deliberate/treacherous attack on the USS Liberty on June 8th, 1967:

http://home.roadrunner.com/~gidusko/liberty/

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Israel's righteous fury and its victims in Gaza

http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=102116


Last edited by Alpha on Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Alpha



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic

Israeli forces shell UN headquarters in Gaza

By IBRAHIM BARZAK and AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writers Ibrahim Barzak And Amy Teibel, Associated Press Writers 55 mins ago

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, engulfing the compound and a warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.U.N. workers and Palestinian firefighters, some wearing bulletproof jackets, struggled to douse the flames and pull bags of food from the debris after the Israeli attack, which was another blow to efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Dense smoke billowed from the compound.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region to end the devastating offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers, demanded a "full explanation" and said the Israeli defense minister told him there had been a "grave mistake."Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military fired artillery shells at the U.N. compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location. Three people were wounded."It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologize for it," he said. "I don't think it should have happened and I'm very sorry."A senior Israeli military officer had also said Israeli troops shelled the compound after coming under fire from Palestinian militants there an account dismissed by a U.N. official there at the time as "nonsense."Even as a top Israeli envoy went to Egypt to discuss a cease-fire proposal, the military pushed farther into Gaza in an apparent effort to step up pressure on Hamas. Ground forces thrust deep into a crowded neighborhood for the first time, sending terrified residents fleeing for cover. Shells also struck a hospital, five high-rise apartment buildings and a building housing media outlets in Gaza City, injuring several journalists.Bullets also entered another building housing The Associated Press offices, entering a room where two staffers were working but wounding no one. The Foreign Press Association, representing journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, demanded a halt to attacks on press buildings.The army had collected the locations of media organizations at the outset of fighting to avoid such attacks.Olmert's office said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned him on Thursday, and he told her Israel hoped Egyptian mediators could help bring about a cease-fire and an end to weapons smuggling. The statement said Rice, who leaves office on Jan. 20, said the U.S. was willing to help resolve the smuggling issue.Israel launched its war on Dec. 27 in an effort to stop militant rocket fire from Gaza that has terrorized hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Some 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, roughly half of them civilians, according to U.N. and Palestinian medical officials. Gaza health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said at least 70 people were killed or died of wounds throughout Gaza on Thursday.Thirteen Israelis also have been killed since the campaign began. Israel says it will press ahead until Hamas halts the rocket fire and stops smuggling weapons into Gaza from neighboring Egypt.Israeli police said 20 rockets hit southern Israel on Thursday, injuring 10 people. Five of the wounded were in a car that was struck in the city of Beersheba.Officials from the Israeli military and Shin Bet security agency said Said Siam, the Hamas interior minister who controlled the militant group's feared security forces, was killed while hiding in his brother's home in Gaza City. Siam is considered to be among Hamas' top five leaders in Gaza.The Israeli officials spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement by the military.Palestinian medical officials confirmed the house was attacked, but there was no word from Hamas on Siam's fate.The U.N. compound struck Thursday houses the U.N. Works and Relief Agency, which distributes food aid to hundreds of thousands of destitute Gazans in the tiny seaside territory of 1.4 million people."I conveyed my strong protest and outrage to the defense minister and foreign minister and demanded a full explanation," said Ban, who arrived in Israel on Thursday morning from Egypt. It had only that morning become a makeshift shelter for 700 Gaza City residents seeking sanctuary from relentless Israeli shelling, U.N. officials in Gaza said. John Ging, director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, said the attack at the compound caused a "massive explosion" that wounded three people. A senior Israeli military officer said troops opened fire after militants inside the compound shot anti-tank weapons and machine guns. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal army announcement later in the day. Ging, who was in the compound at the time, dismissed the Israeli account as "nonsense." Israeli shells first hit the courtyard filled with refugees, then struck garages and the U.N.'s main warehouse, sending thousands of tons of food aid up in flames, Ging said. Later, fuel supplies went up in flames, sending a thick black plume of smoke into the air. "It's a total disaster for us," Ging said, adding that the U.N. had warned the Israeli military that the compound was in peril from shelling that had begun overnight. U.N. officials say they have provided Israel with GPS coordinates of all U.N. installations in Gaza to prevent such attacks. The refugees were moved to a school away from the immediate fighting, he said. Separately, Israel shells landed next to a U.N. school in another Gaza City neighborhood, wounding 14 people who had sought sanctuary there, medics and firefighters said. An Israeli attack near a U.N. school in northern Gaza earlier this month killed nearly 40 people. At the time, Israel said militants had fired on army positions from the beginning.

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Barzak reported from Gaza City; Teibel from Jerusalem. Associated Press writers Karin Laub and Ian Deitch in Jerusalem, and Sarah El Deeb in Cairo contributed to this report.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic

Iran president: 'Not feasible' for Israel to live

By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 45 mins ago

CAIRO, Egypt A top Israeli envoy delivered his country's stance on a cease-fire agreement in Gaza to Egyptian mediators trying to seal a truce on Thursday. The Iranian president said the fighting showed Israel's continued existence in the region is "not feasible."

The development came as the U.N. secretary-general pressed Israel and Gulf leaders gathered in Saudi Arabia to discuss the conflict.

The diplomatic push gained momentum despite competing agendas among Arab and Islamic governments, which are openly disagreeing about how to resolve or even discuss the conflict between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops pushed deeper into densely populated Gaza City on the 20th day of the offensive to rout out Hamas militants. Israeli tanks shelled the crowded downtown, sending terrified residents fleeing for cover.

Witnesses and U.N. officials said Israeli shells struck the United Nations headquarters building that serves as a shelter for hundreds of people, setting it ablaze.

The Israeli push ratcheted up pressure on Hamas to accept a proposed cease-fire. It also came as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon was in Israel trying to promote a cease-fire.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel wants a total end to Hamas' rocket launches into Israel and an arms embargo on Gaza's militant rulers.

"There is momentum in these discussions," Regev told AP Television News. "We are hopeful that a deal will be based on a total cessation of Hamas fire into Israel and an arms embargo to prevent Hamas from rearming is close and attainable."

The Israeli envoy, Amos Gilad, who spent four hours in Egypt before returning home, was discussing the "parameters of the end game" with the Egyptian mediators, Regev said. Gilad did not meet Hamas envoys who are also in town.

Gaza-based Hamas official Ghazi Hamad said the deeper incursion reflected pressure on his group.

"I think Israel is seeking in the last moments to escalate the military operation to pressure the parties," Hamad told The Associated Press. "I don't think this will change the issues on the table."

The Egyptian proposal calls for a 10-day cease-fire, but Israeli troops would remain in place in Gaza until a security arrangement is negotiated for border crossings to ensure weapons cannot be brought in. Once that is done, Israeli troops would withdraw and the borders would be opened.

That would mean Hamas dropping its demand that an Israeli withdrawal and an opening of borders be simultaneous with a cease-fire. It was still unclear whether the militant group had fully signed on to that idea.

Hamad said his group has offered amendments to Egypt's original peace proposal, and he expected the Egyptians will convey them to the Israelis. "Consultations are continuing," he said.

After Gilad's departure, Salah Bardawil, a Hamas negotiator in Cairo, said his group now demands Israeli troops withdraw within five days of the start of a cease-fire and seeks Turkish or European monitors to ensure that border crossings remain open.

Hamas' deputy chief, Moussa Abou Marzouk, who is based in Damascus, took a hard line, telling The Associated Press that the group would not abandon its demand that Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza. "This is our main demand, along with the reopening of the border crossings," he said.

In Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to speak out over "the massacre of your children in Gaza," the official Iranian news agency reported.

Saudi Arabia is overwhelmingly Sunni, as are the Palestinians, while Iran is a top backer of Hamas.

Ahmadinejad said a firm Saudi stand would dash hopes of those who want to divide Islamic countries.

At a news conference, Ahmadinejad said the fighting in Gaza has been "a great lesson for all," saying it shows "the absolute defeat and desperation of this (Israeli) regime."

He says that "even for the supporters of the occupying regime and its leaders, it has become clear that the continuation of the Zionist regime's life in the region is not feasible."

In an interview Wednesday, Ahmadinejad urged Arab states to pressure Israel's Western backers to stop the fighting and to cut all ties with Israel, and also dismissed allegations Iran is urging Hamas to reject Egyptian truce efforts.

Israel says it launched the offensive Dec. 27 to stop rocket fire against southern Israeli towns by Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007. Gaza medical officials say 1,100 Palestinians have been killed since the offensive started.

Meanwhile, an emergency summit of the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, called by Saudi Arabia to discuss Gaza, is to take place in Riyadh later Thursday.

But a separate summit by Arab League heads of state called by Qatar for Friday in Doha was in doubt as Qatar couldn't get a two-thirds majority of the organization to attend.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are against the Doha summit, believing it could scuttle Egyptian efforts to broker a truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.

In Europe, Mideast envoy Tony Blair joined on Thursday three top European diplomats foreign ministers Bernard Kouchner of France, Jonas Gahr Stoere of Norway and the EU's Benita Ferrero-Waldner at a meeting in Paris to discuss the conflict.

____

Associated Press Writers Patrick Quinn in Jerusalem and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report.
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