Scholarships for Palestinians: Call for applications


منحة القطان للفنون الأدائية

يأتي مشروع منحة القطان للفنون الأدائية استمراراً لمشروع تطوير حقل الفنون الأدائية الذي أطلقه برنامج الثقافة والفنون في العام 2008، بتمويل مشارك من مؤسسة فورد. وتم تطوير هذا المشروع الجديد ليقدم الدعم في مسارين بشكل تكاملي، أولهما منحة الإنتاج، وتجمع ما بين بناء القدرات، وتقديم العروض، وتوثيق الإنتاج و/أو نشره. أما المسار الثاني فيتمثل في توفير وتنظيم برامج تدريب متخصصة في مجالات ضرورية لتطور القطاع.

 

الأهداف العامة للمشروع:

·       زيادة القدرة التقنيّة والمؤهّلات المهنيّة في أوساط العاملين في حقل الفنون الأدائية، وبخاصة في تخصصات جديدة أو غير متوفّرة في السابق.

·       زيادة الإنتاج في حقل الفنون الأدائية في فلسطين وتحسين نوعيّته.

·       زيادة فرص التدريب العملي للمهنيّين والمبتدئين.

·       تمثيل أفضل لحقل الفنون الأدائية في المهرجانات والمنابر العربيّة والدوليّة.

·       جمهور أوسع في جميع أنحاء فلسطين، وبخاصة خارج مركز الضفة الغربية، عن طريق زيادة عدد العروض الفنية العامة، ولاسيما في مناطق مهمشة اجتماعياً وجغرافياً، وعبر استهداف طلاب المدارس والجامعات.

·       زيادة التعاون والاتصال بين العاملين في الحقل من مختلف أنحاء فلسطين، ما يسمح بتحسين تبادل الأفكار واستغلال الموارد المتوفرة.

 

الفئة المستهدفة:

·       يستهدف المشروع، بشكل أساسي، الأفراد الفلسطينيّين (سواء من ذوي الخبرة في مجال عملهم و/أو أولئك ذوي المواهب الواعدة) أو الفرق أو المؤسسات الفلسطينية، وغيرهم من العاملين في مجال الفنون الأدائيةً.

 

معايير هامة:

·       سوف تعطى الأولوية للمشاريع التي تتمتع بالجدية والإمتياز والإبداع والتي تستدخل ضمن طواقمها مهنيين محليين و/أو أجانب بمستوى عال و/أو ترفد الحقل بأفراد وطاقات جديدة وطازجة، وتتوفر فيها العناصر المتعلقة ببناء القدرات، و/أو تطوير خبرات محددة في المجال، و/أو توسيع قاعدة الجمهور.

·       أخذا بعين الإعتبار المحدوديات التقنية للكثير من أماكن العرض ولا سيما في الأماكن البعيدة عن المركز، وفي المدارس، ورغبة في توسيع قاعدة الجمهور، سوف تعطى الأولوية للأعمال ذات الجودة العالية التي تثبت قدرتها على التكيف مع تلك المحدوديات التقنية والمالية لأماكن العرض المختلفة.

·       تعطي الأولوية للمشاريع التي تثبت قدرها على الوصول إلى قطاعات أوسع من الجمهور ولا سيما في المناطق المهمشة، إضافة إلى استهدافها لطلاب المدارس والجامعات.

 

 

سوف يقدّم المشروع هذا العام منحاً على الشاكلة التالية:

 

أ‌)      منحة لإنتاج أعمال أدائية جديدة وترويجها وتوثيقها

يقدم البرنامج نموذج المنحة الرزمة، والتي تتضمن لدعم إنتاج أعمال جديدة في حقل الفنون الأدائية؛ سواء أكانت هذه الإنتاجات على شكل عروض فنية حيّة على خشبة المسرح أم مسجلة (على DVD، أو CD مثلاً). إضافة لترويج العمل المنتج من خلال تنفيذ جولة عروض والوصول إلى قطاع أوسع من الجمهور، ولا سيما في المناطق المهمشة، ويشمل ذلك طلاب المدارس والجامعات. كما تشمل المنحة عملية توثيق العمل إما من خلال تصويره بشكل مهني يصلح لأغراض البث التلفزيوني و/أو النشر على DVD إضافة لنشر النص الخاص بالعمل في كتاب.

 

ب‌)  منحة ترويج و/أو توثيق و/أو نشر لأعمال أدائية منتجة سابقاً (3 سنوات بحد أقصى)

يقدم البرنامج منحاً لدعم ترويج أعمال أدائية أنتجت خلال العامين الماضيين، من خلال تنفيذ جولة عروض والوصول إلى قطاع أوسع من الجمهور، ولا سيما في المناطق المهمشة، ويشمل ذلك طلاب المدارس والجامعات. كما يقدم منح لدعم توثيق و/أو نشر هذه الأعمال حيث سيحصل الإنتاج على دعم لتوثيقه من خلال:

I.            تصويره بشكل مهني يصلح لأغراض البث التلفزيوني، أو النشر على DVD.

II.        نشر النصوص المسرحية (حيث ينطبق) وما يتعلق بالإنتاج من تغطية صحافية، وطاقم الإنتاج، ومقدمات ومواد نقدية أخرى في كتاب.

 

ت‌)  منح التدريب المتخصّص

تهدف هذه المنحة إلى دعم ورش عمل تدريبيّة متخصصة (تقنيّاً أو فنياً) أو برامج تدريبية مكثفة، لبناء خبرات مهنية يحتاجها قطاع الفنون الأدائية، مع التركيز على المجالات التقنية ذات صلة بخبرات توثيق الأعمال الأدائية، وتصميم الإضاءة، والسينوغرافيا، والصوت والمؤثرات الصوتية والبصرية وغيرها.

 

المواعيد:

يستقبل برنامج الثقافة والفنون الطلبات في أي مجال من المجالات أعلاه في موعد أقصاه 11 نيسان 2011، ويعلن عن النتائج قبل نهاية أيار 2011.

 

ويجب أن يتم تنفيذ المشاريع بشكل كامل، وتسليم التقارير النهائية المالية والإدارية قبل نهاية شهر آذار 2012.

للاستفسار ولمزيد من المعلومات عن شروط التقديم، ومتطلباته، يرجى الإتصال بـ:

هاتف: 022960544 (فرعي 201)

أو الكتابة على: amal@qattanfoundation.org

www.qattanfoundation.org


62 years, memories from my village


A few months ago I attended the debut play by the Irish-Palestinian playwright Hannah Khalil. The play entitled “Plan D” was a look at the lives of a small family living in a generic Palestinian village during the spring of 1948. I was moved by the play, and it haunted me for a while afterwards, actually I still think about it every now and then. It was disturbing in the most subtle of ways, and it certainly got into my head. One of the things that bothered me and the people I was with was the fact that the family in question never fought back. They heard whispers of something coming, and knew that their neighbors had disappeared. Playing it safe, they decided to camp out in the hills near their home, and keep a lookout to see what unfolded. The father eventually goes back to check on the house, and upon entering the kitchen he sees  a man seated at the kitchen table grinning at him. The father leaves back to the hills, and takes his family to Jerusalem on foot, when asked what prompted his sudden departure he said “I felt like I never existed”. I asked Hannah afterwards about this, I mean we were brought up to believe that we fought back, and only when we ran out of ammo did we leave, to catch up with the Arabs, form an army and return, assuming a timescale of a month or two at most. Hannah said that that part was based on a true story. I was stunned.

This year I went back to Jordan, my first ‘proper’ visit in 9 years. I spent loads of time with my Aunts and remaining Uncle, and found them to be unusually open and chatty about their experience of the Palestinian Nakbe. I say unusually, because I have found that my relatives tend to speak about the pre-Nakbe period or they focus on politics or life in Irbid. They tend to avoid massive chunks of their experiences, namely their experience of occupation, ethnic cleansing, and their times in the refugee camps of Karami (Jordan). With Hannah’s play still playing on my mind, I pressed my Aunt for more details of our village and what happened there.

My Aunt was eight at the time and she remembers how she used to play with the European soldiers, who gave her sweets, and how one day when she skipped up to them they angrily told her to get lost “rookh!”. Confused, she returned home. Not long after, her sisters and younger brothers, along with their Mum and elders moved to the hills surrounding the village. They left behind the young men.

No shots were fired when my village was invaded, or so my Aunt says. The Iraqi army, from whom the Palestinian ‘fighters’ took orders, entered one night and told the Palestinians not to fire, as people walked into the village. Who these people were, what exactly the Iraqi army said or did and how the Palestinians reacted I may never know. My grandfather and eldest Uncle are dead, and they would have been on the front lines so to speak. My Aunt does remember that her brother in laws father remained in the village, and was never seen or heard from again and she remembers whisperings of what happened in Deir Yassin. Someone said that they saw his dead body in front of his house.

So my Aunt remembers, starting the long walk to Jerusalem. Along the way, her heavily pregnant 16 year old sister goes into labour, in the middle of a valley with planes flying over their heads. No army was formed when they arrived in Jerusalem, and thus began the refugee camp years. She remembered later meeting someone whose village had also been invaded. The villagers were locked up in the village hall. One girl caught the eyes of the soldiers and was dragged off, only to be returned later looking sullen. They came again for her, and the girl was terrified, she kicked and she screamed, her parents clung to her, but the soldiers dragged her off. She was never seen again either.

These stories are rarely told and are rarely heard. Rape is viewed as the failure of the man to protect his womenfolk. This may be why so many people left the villages, the idea was to get the women to safety. This was deemed more important than land.

This vagueness I have regarding the history of my own village pains me really. And is why the oral history project, spearheaded by www.palestineremembered.com is so important to us and future generations.

Here is commemorating the 62nd year of the Nakbe

European Court rules boycott of Israel illegal


This smacks of outright, racist, hypocrisy! Wasn’t Iraq boycotted all so recently? Isn’t Cuba boycotted (sure they are by the States anyway)? Why is Israel above such boycotts? It’s disgusting!

European Court rules boycott of Israel illegal

Boycott is ‘discriminatory and punishable’ – EU Court judges

‘interference with…freedom of expression needed to protect the rights of Israeli producers.’ – Jerusalem Post

‘First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win’ – Gandhi

The European Court of Human Rights has moved to criminalise support for Palestinian human rights. The EU has consistently rewarded an Israel sinking ever deeper into crime, with open ethnic cleansers as Foreign Minister and Prime Minister. Now the judiciary joins the executive in aligning with Israel and criminalising those who support the call from Palestine for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against the bloody violence of the Israeli state. Hardly suprising when the British Government is involved in an equally bloody military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Birds of a blood-stained feather flock together.

This ruling is a response to the growing support for BDS following Israel’s most recent massacres in Gaza in January. It criminalises the entire Scottish, Irish and South African trade union movements.

It might soon become illegal to stand up to the violence of Israel with the non-violent weapon of boycott. The courts, then, will leave supporters of Palestine with no choice but to challenge these laws in every way possible, including civil disobedience and non-violent direct action. This ruling is designed to protect those carrying out the ethnic cleansing of Palestine: according to the Jerusalem Post (see below), the European court of Human Rights ‘ruled that interference with…freedom of expression was needed to protect the rights of Israeli producers.’ Producing goods on ethnically cleansed land while working to destroy Palestinian producers.

The growing BDS movement will not be deterred by this latest ruling. After all, the British Government defied the ICJ (International Court of Justice) 2004 ruling that Israel’s apartheid Wall is illegal and must come down. The people of Gaza are being crushed by an open alliance of Israel, the US, the EU and the Arab regimes. They have no allies but a slowly awakening world civil society. They have paid many times over in mountains of corpses for their refusal to accept Israeli/Western plans for them to disappear. Compared to their heroism and suffering, the cost of standing up for human rights against the European Court of Human Rights remains very modest. Here in Scotland, we do not face Israeli death squads, the murder of our children, bulldozed homes, burning farms, prison walls, the kidnapping of our finest sons and daughters into dungeons, routine torture, expulsion or daily humiliation by a murderous soldiery.

Five Scottish PSC members will appear in court on Friday August 7 charged with ‘racially aggravated’ crime for disrupting a musical performance by official ‘Cultural Ambassadors’ of Israel when they came to Scotland last year. The charges are no more absurd than the defence of ‘Israeli producers’ by the European Court of Human Rights while Gaza lives with Israeli-induced hunger and misery. The five are privileged to stand alongside so many others fighting for justice, and with the people of Palestine whose resistance to Zionist crime has inspired the world, but has long been criminalised by Israel’s Western allies.

We invite you to come to the Court on Chambers St, Edinburgh at 9.15am on Friday 7 August to show your:

- solidarity with Palestine

- support for the boycott of Israel

- opposition to ‘interference with freedom of expression to protect Israeli producers’

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1246443852848

European court: Israel boycotts are unlawful discrimination

Israel finally won one last week in an international human rights court.

On Thursday, the Council of Europe’s European Court of Human Rights upheld a French ruling that it was illegal and discriminatory to boycott Israeli goods, and that making it illegal to call for a boycott of Israeli goods did not constitute a violation of one’s freedom of expression.

The Council of Europe is based in Strasbourg, has some 47 member states and is independent of the European Union. The court is made up of one judge from each member state, and the rulings of the court carry moral weight throughout Europe.

On Thursday the court ruled by a vote of 6-1 that the French court did not violate the freedom of expression of the Communist mayor of the small French town of Seclin, Jean-Claude Fernand Willem, who in October 2002 announced at a town hall meeting that he intended to call on the municipality to boycott Israeli products.

Jews in the region filed a complaint with the public prosecutor, who decided to prosecute Willem for “provoking discrimination on national, racial and religious grounds.” Willem was first acquitted by the Lille Criminal Court, but that decision was overturned on appeal in September 2003 and he was fined €1,000.

His appeal to a higher French court was unsuccessful, and as a result he petitioned the European Court of Human rights in March 2005, saying his call for a boycott of Israeli products was part of a legitimate political debate, and that his freedom of expression had been violated.

The court, made up of judges from Denmark, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Macedonia and the Czech Republic .

According to a statement issued by the court on Thursday, the court held the view that Willem was not convicted for his political opinions, “but for inciting the commission of a discriminatory, and therefore punishable, act. The Court further noted that, under French law, the applicant was not entitled to take the place of the governmental authorities by declaring an embargo on products from a foreign country, and moreover that the penalty imposed on him had been relatively moderate.”

The one dissenting opinion was written by the Czech judge.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor hailed the ruling Sunday, saying it provided important ammunition for those challenging on legal grounds calls frequently heard in Europe for a boycott of Israeli products, as well as calls for a boycott of Israeli academia.

“It is now clear that in every country in Europe there is a precedent for calling boycotts of Israeli goods a violation of the law,” Palmor said. “This is an important precedent, one that says very clearly that boycott calls are discriminatory. We hope this will help us push back against all the calls for boycotts of Israeli goods.”

Visit our website for latest international solidarity news: www.scottishpsc.org.uk

Join Scottish PSC – we are all volunteers with no paid staff – or make a financial donation to help us continue campaigning work:

Send a cheque to:

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

c/o Peace & Justice Centre

Princes Street

Edinburgh

EH2 4BJ

www.scottishpsc.org.uk

SPSC is affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK) www.palestinecampaign.org

List of Scholarships Available for Palestinians


I thought I would compile this list to act as a starting point for any Palestinian wishing to further their education in the UK, hope it helps!The Durham Palestine Educational TrustThis trust funds two Palestinian students to study for a Masters degree at the University of Durham, one of the UKs most prestigous universities.The Website: http://www.dur.ac.uk/durham.palestine/

Whos is eligible: Palestinians who have completed their degrees in one of the Universities in the West Bank or Gaza, and belong to a family that is normally resident in the West Bank or Gaza. You will also be expected to return to the West Bank or Gaza once your scholarship is completed.

Neat ways to raise money for them: You will find ways to raise money for the DPET by using the everyclick search engine, or donating used books. My favourite is by following this link when you purchase items from Amazon, the DPET receives 5% comission on every purchase made this way.

Said Foundation (Formely the Karim Rida Said Foundation)

These scholarships enable you to pursue further (postgraduate) education in the some universities in the UK and the Middle East, with the proviso that you use your knowledge to serve one of the Foundations’ target countries.

Website:http://www.saidfoundation.org/whatwedo/education.shtml

Who is Eligible: Iraqis, Jordanians, Lebanese, Syrians or Palestinians (including Palestinians inside Israel) who are resident in the Middle East.

Conditions:

  1. you must demonstrate that your chosen course of study will be of use to your home country or the Middle East region.
  2. you must have at least two years work experience.
  3. you must sign a binding undertaking to apply the skills and knowledge you have gained in one of the Foundation’s target countries.

The A.M. Qattan Foundation

I have attached the latest news that I received from the London based Qattan foundation, I could not find much information on their website (http://www.qattanfoundation.org/en/index.asp), but you can email them for further information (and maybe share what you find out?)

Five teachers received preliminary acceptance to the Qattan-Qaddumi Postgraduate Scholarship Programme in Education, which is now in its second year. An independent panel interviewed all prospective candidates, including our Gaza colleagues who communicated via video-conference. Short listed candidates are now required to fulfil a number of other conditions before the panel announces the winner.

******check this site for scholarships for Palestinian teachers: http://www.hq-sf.org/public/English.aspx?Lang=3&Page_Id=1553&Menu_ID=244&Site_ID=0 ****

British Council

The British Council offers scholarships for international students to further their studies in the UK.

Follow this link (http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-funding-your-studies.htm) to find one that suits you.

The Hope Fund

Based in the USA (http://www.thehopefund.org/)

Update: as of the 10th of September 2009, this post has received 174 hits, mostly from search engine referrals.�

I would appreciate it of people could give me some feedback, did you find this list useful in any way?

Either vote via the buttons at the top of this page, or by leaving a comment.

Thank you! :)


Update + Disclaimer: 

Hi,

To everyone who has commented on this post, thank you! and to those students looking for funding for their studies, I wish you all the success.

As you can tell, I am no longer updating this blog, so my replies are very rare. So my apologies for the tardiness.

On the subject of scholarships, I am merely a messenger, and do not administer any of the available funding sources. Apologies if you I misled.

So if you are looking for a scholarship, please do follow the links I have provided, and contact the scholarships directly.

 

The wounds of Gaza 2009


Received this by email today:

The Wounds of Gaza 2009

Dr Ghassan Abu Sittah and Dr Swee Ang,

30 January 2009 The wounds of Gaza are deep.

Dr Ghassan describes it as multi-layered. Are we talking about the Khan Younis massacre of 5,000 in 1956 or the execution of 35,000 prisoners of war by Israel in 1967. Yet more wounds of the First Intifada, when civil disobedience by an occupied people against the occupiers resulted in massive wounded and hundreds dead? We also cannot discount the 5,420 wounded in southern Gaza alone since 2000. Hence what we are referring to below are only that of the invasion as of 27 December 2008, Over the period of 27 December 2008 to the ceasefire of 18 Jan 2009, it was estimated that a million and a half tons of explosives were dropped on Gaza Strip. Gaza is 25 miles by 5 miles and home to 1.5 million people. This makes it the most crowded area in the whole world. Prior to this Gaza has been completely blockaded and starved for 50 days. In fact since the Palestinian election Gaza has been under total or partial blockade for several years.

On the first day of the invasion, 250 persons were killed. Every single police station in Gaza was bombed killing large numbers of police officers. Having wiped out the police force attention was turned to non government targets. Gaza was bombed from the air by F16 and Apache helicopters, shelled from the sea by Israeli gunboats and from the land by tank artillery. Many schools were reduced to rubble, including the American School of Gaza, 40 mosques, hospitals, UN buildings, and of course 21,000 homes, 4,000 of which were demolished completely. It is estimated that 100,000 people are now homeless.

ISRAELI WEAPONS

The weapons used apart from conventional bombs and high explosives also include unconventional weapons of which at least 4 categories could be identified.

1.Phosphorus Shells and bombs.

The bombs dropped were described by eye witnesses as exploding at high altitude scattering a large canopy of phosphorus bomblets which cover a large area. During the land invasion, eyewitnesses describe the tanks shelling into homes first with a conventional shell. Once the walls are destroyed, a second shell – a phosphorus shell is then shot into the homes. Used in this manner the phosphorus explodes and burns the families and the homes. Many charred bodies were found among burning phosphorus particles.

One area of concern is the phosphorus seems to be in a special stabilizing agent. This results in the phosphorus being more stable and not completely burning out. Residues still cover the fields, playground and compounds. They ignite when picked up by curious kids, or produce fumes when farmers return to water their fields. One returning farming family on watering their field met with clouds of fumes producing epistaxis. Thus the phosphorus residues probably treated with a stabilizer also act as anti-personnel weapons against children and make the return to normal life difficult without certain hazards.

Surgeons from hospitals are also reporting cases where after primary laparotomy for relatively small wounds with minimal contamination find on second look laparotomy increasing areas of tissue necrosis at about 3 days. Patients then become gravely ill and by about 10 days those patients needing a third relook encounter massive liver necrosis. This may or may not be accompanied by generalized bleeding , kidney failure and heart failure and death. Although acidosis, liver necrosis and sudden cardiac arrest due to hypocalcemia is know to be a complication of white phosphorus it is not possible to attribute these complications as being due to phosphorus alone.

There is real urgency to analyze and identify the real nature of this modified phosphorus as to its long term effect on the people of Gaza. There is also urgency in collecting and disposing of the phosphorus residues littering the entire Gaza Strip. As they give off toxic fumes when coming into contact with water, once the rain falls the whole area would be polluted with acid phosphorus fumes. Children should be warned not to handle and play with these phosphorus residues

2Heavy Bombs

The use of DIME (dense inert material explosives) were evident, though it is unsure whether depleted uranium were used in the south. In the civilian areas, surviving patients were found to have limbs truncated by DIME, since the stumps apart from being characteristically cut off in guillotine fashion also fail to bleed. Bomb casing and shrapnels are extremely heavy.

3Fuel Air Explosives Bunker busters and implosion bombs have been used .

There are buildings especially the 8 storey Science and Technology Building of the Islamic University of Gaza which had been reduced to a pile of rubble no higher than 5-6 feet.

4Silent Bombs

People in Gaza described a silent bomb which is extremely destructive. The bomb arrives as a silent projectile at most with a whistling sound and creates a large area where all objects and living things are vaporized with minimal trace. We are unable to fit this into conventional weapons but the possibility of new particle weapons being tested should be suspected.

5Executions Survivors

describe Israeli tanks arriving in front of homes asking residents to come out. Children, old people and women would come forward and as they were lined up they were just fired on and killed. Families have lost tens of their members through such executions. The deliberate targeting of unarmed children and women is well documented by human right groups in the Gaza Strip over the past month.

6Targeting of ambulances

Thirteen ambulances had been fired upon killing drivers and first aid personnel in the process of rescue and evacuation of the wounded.

7.Cluster bombs

The first patients wounded by cluster were brought into Abu Yusef Najjar Hospital. Since more than 50% of the tunnels have been destroyed, Gaza has lost part of her lifeline. These tunnels contrary to popular belief are not for weapons, though small light weapons could have been smuggled through them. However they are the main stay of food and fuel for Gaza. Palestinians are beginning to tunnel again. However it became clear that cluster bombs were dropped on to the Rafah border and the first was accidentally set of by tunneling. Five burns patients were brought in after setting off a booby trap kind of device.

DEATH TOLL

As of 25 January 2009, the death toll was estimated at 1,350 with the numbers increasing daily. This is due to the severely wounded continuing to die in hospitals. 60% of those killed were children SEVERE INJURIES The severely injured numbered 5,450, with 40% being children. These are mainly large burns and polytrauma patients. Single limb fractures and walking wounded are not included in these figures. Through our conversations with doctors and nurses the word holocaust and catastrophe were repeatedly used. The medical staff all bear the psychological trauma of the past month living though the situation and dealing with mass casualties which swamped their casualties and operating rooms. Many patients died in the Accident and Emergency Department while awaiting treatment. In a district hospital, the orthopaedic surgeon carried out 13 external fixations in less than a day. It is estimated that of the severely injured, 1,600 will suffer permanently disabilities. These include amputations, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, large burns with crippling contractures.

SPECIAL FACTORS

The death and injury toll is especially high in this recent assault due to several factors.

1.No escape:

As Gaza is sealed by Israeli troops, no one can escape the bombardment and the land invasion. There is simply no escape. Even within the Gaza Strip itself, movement from north to south is impossible as Israeli tanks had cut the northern half of Gaza from the south. Compare this with the situation in Lebanon 1982 and 2006, when it was possible for people to escape from an area of heavy bombardment to an area of relative calm – there was no such is option for Gaza

2.Gaza is very densely populated.

It is eerie to see that the bombs used by Israel have been precision bombs. They have a hundred percent hit rate on buildings which are crowded with people. Examples are the central market, police stations. Schools, the UN compounds used as a safety shelter from bombardment, mosques (40 of them destroyed), and the homes of families who thought they were safe as there were no combatants in them and high rise flats where a single implosion bomb would destroy multiple families. This pattern of consistent targeting of civilians makes one suspect that the military targets are but collateral damage, while civilians are the primary targets.

3.The quantity and quality of the ammunition being used as described above

4.Gaza’s lack of defense against the modern weapons of Israel.

She has no tanks, no planes, no anti-aircraft missiles against the invading army. We experienced that first hand in a minor clash of Israeli tank shells versus Palestinian AK47 return fire. The forces were simply unmatched.

5.Absence of well constructed bomb shelters for civilians.

Unfortunately these will also be no match for bunker busters possessed by the Israeli Army.

CONCLUSION

Taking the above points into consideration, the next assault on Gaza would be just as disastrous. The people of Gaza are extremely vulnerable and defenseless in the event of yet another attack. The International Community if it were serious about preventing this large scale of deaths and injuries will have to develop a defense force for Gaza if it is considered desirable for Gaza were to continue to be inadequately armed to defend herself.

Keeping Gaza in Mind


The terrorisation of Gaza is not over yet, in fact its only just beginning… after Israel unleased its demonic army onto the tiny, weary, impoverished strip.. aid is still only trickling through… they are still imprisoned, still starving, but now even more are homeless, more are seriously injured, and many are dying.

So just because its not on the telly, doesnt mean they have gone away.

gaza-blockade-2

What if the Media Reported 9-11 as it did Gaza


If the Media Reported 9-11 the Way It Does Gaza


Robin Miller
January 11, 2009
(notes updated January 15, 2:00 a.m.)

Commandeered Aircraft Flatten New York’s Famed Twin Towers
Hundreds Killed in Reprisal Airstrikes Targeting U.S. Military Facilities
[1a][1b][1c][1d]

New York–In a stunning surprise attack, al-Qaeda special forces seized control of four commercial aircraft today, crashing two of them into the famed Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Both buildings were completely leveled, along with the rest of the complex, in al-Qaeda’s version of “shock and awe.” [2]

A third airplane was flown into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C, and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Little is known yet about the attack on the Pentagon, as authorities immediately declared the entire area a “closed military zone” and excluded all reporters. [3]

The operation, named Operation Cast Iron, was retaliation for ongoing U.S. missile strikes on al-Qaeda’s Afghanistan hideouts. [4a][4b][4c]

There was a shocking quality to the attack on the trade center complex, which began in broad daylight as police cadets were graduating, shoppers were looking for bargains, and children were emerging from school. The area became a scene of chaotic horror, with rubble everywhere, sirens wailing, and women shrieking. [5]

Campbell Green, a 27-year-old camerawoman for CNN, was one of the first on the scene. “I saw bodies on the ground, policemen in their blue uniform suffocating. There was a pile of some 50 of them, some breathing, moaning, and some silent,” she said. “I saw body parts scattered, heads, arms and legs.” [6]

One man lay in the street with both legs severed. [7]

Thousands of bodies are believed to be hidden in the immense mounds of concrete left after the towers’ collapse. While al-Qaeda has been relatively successful at zeroing in on targets and avoiding civilian casualties, a few civilians are assumed to be among the dead. [8]

Top governmental leaders immediately went into hiding. President Bush later released a statement that the United States “has never witnessed an uglier massacre.” [9]

Casualties Rushed to Area Hospitals

Local hospitals experienced chaotic scenes, with doctors struggling to keep up as paramedics brought in bloodied victims, many of them children. At St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, “the wounded arrived with multiple fractures, ripped stomachs, amputated limbs,” physician Basam Warda said. “The bodies were ripped apart.” [10]

The emergency room was packed, with all beds occupied and barely any area where there was not a body or a doctor standing. In other rooms, there were blood stains on the floor and yet more bodies, with medics running to each of them to check for a pulse. [11]

At St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, the most gruesome scene was in its morgue, where blood pooled on the floor and refrigerators meant to hold 35 bodies were crammed with 70, laid side-by-side in drawers. Some–like 3-year-old Stephen, 4-year-old Robby and 5-year-old Samantha–were on the floor. [12]

Vincent Shapiro, 26, a medic washing blood from the inside of an ambulance, said he had treated people with horrific injuries, including headless children and a woman whose stomach had been torn open. [13]

Another medic, Shawki Saleh, 24, said that he had been doing this work for two years but never imagined he’d see this: “Who knows how many people are still under the rubble? We were carrying them out screaming.”[13A]

Although medical volunteers brought supplies and rushed to the Canadian-U.S. border, Canadian authorities refused to open the crossings. [14]

Months of Planning behind Attacks

The current operation started only after preparation and intelligence work, according to al-Qaeda military spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith, leading to a true surprise attack. The twin towers were chosen, he said, because they contained “many, many targets.” [15a][15b]

Ghaith explained that “anything affiliated with the United States” is part of the “infrastructure of U.S. terror” and is a legitimate target. Al-Qaeda has designated the U.S. government as a “terrorist entity” due to its support for the destruction of international order. [16]

Ghaith methodically listed the selected targets, all symbols of American strength: U.S. governmental ministries, offices of several police agencies and a police training academy, 17 chapels and synagogues, some of the largest banks in the country, both a television and a radio station, the science department of the Christian University of New York, the admission department of the American International School, an elementary school established as a disaster relief center, ambulances and mobile clinics that would be used to assist survivors, a prison compound, a major medical warehouse, a large fuel reservoir, a U.S. government guesthouse, and a residential compound for governmental and military personnel. [17]

Ghaith stressed, however, that “the innocent civilian population is not our enemy.” [18]

While the U.S. expected some form of retaliation for its ongoing missile strikes, a major question remains whether the U.S. expected the shock-and-awe offensive that has left the country reeling. Whether al-Qaeda intends to resume its targeted killings of U.S. government officials is also unknown. [19]

What is certain is that al-Qaeda is deliberately cultivating a sense that it has changed the rules of engagement. [19A]

The ultimate outcome of al-Qaeda’s offensive remains unclear. The campaign may succeed, experts say, but it could also backfire. Either way, the political consequences will reverberate throughout the Middle East. [20]

Leaders Say Reprisals Were Necessary

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, speaking through a translater, told the world that “this operation was unavoidable.” “We need and want the understanding, the support of the international community,” he said in an interview. “But first of all, we have the right to defend ourselves and we have the duty to protect our citizens. This comes before the understanding, which we hope to receive, of the international community.” [21]

Adding to the diplomatic offensive, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s minister of external affairs, insisted that the organization was not only defending its right to defend itself but was also waging a campaign against extremism and against terror. “The situation in which they shoot and we do not respond is over.” [22]

Insisting that al-Qaeda was trying to avoid civilian casualties, al-Zawahiri said that “we will treat the population with silk gloves, but will apply an iron fist to the government.” “We don’t have any intention whatsoever to target civilians. The targets we choose are military targets,” he added. [23]

He expressed regret for civilian deaths, but said the U.S. is responsible for the bloodshed because of its strategy of locating military targets in the same buildings as civilian businesses. The large number of secondary explosions seen since the planes’ impact, he said, showed that the U.S. had hidden armaments throughout the trade center. [24]

He also said that al-Qaeda had “learned a great deal” since the failed 1993 bombing of the trade center. Military analysts had criticized that operation for failing to apply sufficient force to achieve its objectives. This time, al-Zawahiri explained, they employed multiple delivery systems, much greater explosive power, and “significantly enhanced” operational sophistication. [25]

Political analysts say that the strike may reflect a power struggle within al-Qaeda. Hitting the U.S. is expected to boost the more radical factions. [26]

World Reaction

The reaction of the international community was mixed. America’s allies predictably denounced the operation, while Taliban leader Mullah Omar offered strong support. “Instead of caring about the people of the United States, Bush decided to launch rockets to kill innocent Afghanis,” he said. “Al-Qaeda obviously decided to protect itself.” [27]

Among ordinary people, many around the world were shocked by the scenes of devastation, while others celebrated. As a group of people gathered around a television set in Amman, Jordan, Avi Pilchick took a long swig of Pepsi and propped a foot on a plastic patio chair. “They are doing good,” Pilchick, 20, said of al-Qaeda, “but they can do more.” [28]

Some Amman residents expressed stronger feelings. Over Almalia suggested drastic measures. “They should send an atomic bomb and get rid of the situation there,” he said angrily. [29]

Victor Turjeman, a 33-year-old electrician, agreed. “We should keep pounding them until they beg for mercy,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, all of America can be erased.” [30]

Others sought to find hope in the day’s events. Condi Ashrawi, a Baghdad shopkeeper, said that, despite the devastation, perhaps the world was witnessing “the birth pangs of a new America.” [31]

–Robin Miller reporting from New York, with Sayid Hassan Jarrah reporting from Baghdad and Muhammad Ali reporting from Amman.

Robin Miller is an activist and writer. Her website (sadly, not updated in years) is http://www.robincmiller.com/.

Footnotes


[1a] This follows the headline of the Washington Post’s article on December 28, the day following the beginning of the assault. See Samuel Sockol, Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza; Hundreds Killed in Reprisal Airstrikes Targeting Hamas Security Facilities, Washington Post, December 28, 2008.

In comparison, the headline of the Post’s main article on September 11 was “Terrorists Unleash Assault on U.S.” See the Post’s special section on September 11.

The death toll in Gaza on Saturday, December 27, on which Israel had started bombing at 11:30 am, exceeded 225; by Sunday night it was 300. The latter figure is equivalent to 210,000 deaths in the United States in late 2001–or 70 times the 9-11 death toll of 3,000. This assumes, of course, that a Palestinian life has the same value as an American life. (Calculations based on 409,680 as Gaza’s population in 2006 and 285,669,915, estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau as the population on December 5, 2001, resulting in a multiplicative factor of approximately 700.)

If we consider the 900 Palestinian deaths as of January 11, this is equivalent to 630,000 deaths in the U.S., or over 200 times the number of deaths on 9-11.

Moreover, the 9-11 attacks involved three unarmed commercial aircraft, piloted by amateurs, in a large country, on one-time (if extremely deadly) missions; Israel’s December 27 assault involved 64 F-16s bombing 50 “targets” in a small sliver of land over three minutes and 40 seconds, and then continuing that assault for the rest of the day (and, now, for over two weeks). Factor in the status of the Gaza population at the start of Israel’s assault–a state of near-total deprivation resulting from Israel’s two-year-long siege–and it is clear that Gaza’s experience is infinitely worse than our experience on September 11, 2001.

Return to text

[1b] “Flatten” is one of the words the American press uses to describe approved violence, that is, violence by official friends against official enemies:


“Flatten” is just one of the words used to separate violence from its human consequences. Others include:


The word “crossfire” has a special place in the media’s vocabulary; it generally designates an Israeli attack to which there is little or no Palestinian resistance. People killed during such an attack are described as “caught in a crossfire.” See, for example, Taghreed el-Khodary and Ethan Bronner, For Arab Clan, Days of Agony in a Cross-Fire, New York Times, January 10, 2009.

Occasionally a reporter finds himself entranced by the beauty of war and becomes downright poetic. See, e.g., Arthur Max, “Thunder of artillery signals ground push on Gaza,” Associated Press, January 3, 2009 (“The big guns began to thunder as the reddening sun lowered in the sky. After darkness fell, tanks moved like clumsy phantoms toward the border. After seven days of pummeling Gaza from the air, Israel unsheathed its land forces Saturday, raising its war against Gaza’s Hamas rulers to a new level”). One can only wonder whether the reporter contemplates what life is like for those against whom military forces have been “unsheathed.”

Although I haven’t had time to develop this point, a variety of words indicating a lack of control, even irrationality, are reserved by the media for its description of official enemies:


The example above of the media’s use of the word “strident” illustrates an important point: The determination of “friend” and “enemy” status can be on a relative scale. Thus, pro-Western Arab dictatorships are “friends” when compared to an enemy (such as Hamas) but enemies when compared to a stronger friend, such as Israel in the implicit comparison being made in that sentence. Similarly, the government of Lebanon was an “enemy” during the 2006 war, in that the U.S. accorded its desires little or no weight, but it is a “friend” when compared to Hezbollah.

It should also be noted that all of these words operate independently of the media’s we-make-it-simple-for-you approach to the designation of international actors as either “moderates” (friends) or “radicals” and “extremists” (enemies). And then there are the specters of “aggression,” “violence,” and “terrorism” in the world, all of which are recognized as such–and condemned, naturally–only when engaged in by official enemies. Hamas is “violent”; Israel is not.

This is true as well of “illegality.” Purported (but nonexistent) Iraqi and Iranian nuclear weapons programs are “illegal” or “illicit,” while Israeli settlements in occupied territory, and U.S. invasions of other countries, are not. And it appears that only we (and our officially-designated friends) are allowed to determine when something is “illicit”; thus, Israel can bomb a money exchange office that it accuses of “laundering illicit funds.” See Arthur Max, Israel targets Gaza mosques used by Hamas, Associated Press, January 1, 2009. What possible right Israel would have to oversee banking practices in the Gaza Strip–much less to bomb those it deems “illicit”–is not a question worth asking. Similarly, the “smuggling tunnels” on which the people of Gaza depend to stay alive are “illegal,” but Israel’s despicable siege–intentionally subjecting 1.5 million human beings to a life of near-total desperation–is not.

Return to text

[1c] “Military facilities”: The mainstream press has overwhelmingly portrayed Israel’s assault as directed at Hamas’ military facilities:


In fact, most of the assault has explicitly targeted civilian infrastructure. Even when the media acknowledges this, it passes wholly without comment or, in fact, merits applause:

  • Ethan Bronner, News Analysis: Is the Real Target Hamas Rule?, New York Times, January 3, 2009 (“Yet in its campaign so far, which has killed scores of children and other bystanders, Israel has not spared the trappings of Hamas sovereignty or limited itself to military targets. It says that the mosques it has destroyed were weapons storehouses and that the Islamic University, which it has hit repeatedly, housed explosives factories. But it has also reduced many government buildings to rubble without any claim that they were military in nature.”)
  • Aaron J. Klein, Israel Enters Gaza: Negotiating With Extreme Prejudice, Time, January 4, 2009 (“The ground operation began late Saturday with a massive artillery barrage all along the Gaza boundary, designed not only to destroy whatever fortifications Hamas fighters have built, but to signal that Israel has once again broken its own restraints on military action in Gaza, willing to go hard against the Hamas leadership no matter where they are and no matter the consequences to security along Israel’s own southwestern frontier. Already in recent days, Israeli forces struck a house of a Hamas leader while civilians were inside and bombed a mosque at Beit Lahiya believed by Israel to have been used to store weapons. With both of these actions, Israel is deliberately cultivating a sense that it has changed the rules of engagement in order to cripple Hamas.”)


It’s unclear whether the American media is willing to acknowledge any constraints on Israel’s behavior. Israel has already intentionally destroyed at least three medical buildings funded by international humanitarian organizations:

An earlier media report includes, without further elaboration, “clinics” in the list of “targets” “hit” by Israel. See Ibrahim Barzak and Karin Laub, Hamas resilient despite Israeli onslaught, Associated Press, January 2, 2009 (“Israel is methodically targeting the Hamas domain, bombing government offices, security compounds, commanders, and even Hamas-linked clinics, mosques and money changers. Yet Gaza’s Islamic rulers show no sign of buckling under the aerial onslaught.”)

So, when the Los Angles Times observes that “Some airstrikes have targeted homes of Hamas officials and other homes and several mosques, which Israel says are being used as weapons warehouses and hiding places for militant commanders. Several Israeli officials have recently stated their belief that hospitals are also being used for a similar purpose, although no hospitals have been targeted at this point,” there is no indication that the Times would see anything wrong with Israel’s bombing hospitals. See Ashraf Khalil and Rushdi abu Alouf, Missiles aimed at Hamas figure kill family in Gaza, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2009.

Perhaps most ominous is a recent report in the other Times that “the Israeli intelligence chief, Yuval Diskin, in a report to the Israeli cabinet, said that the Gaza-based leadership of Hamas was in underground housing beneath the No. 2 building of Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza. That allegation cannot be confirmed.” See Steven Erlanger, A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery, New York Times, January 10, 2009. Is this an attempt to lay the groundwork for bombing the hospital?

Return to text

[1d] Compare the reporting in the three newspapers of state–the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times–with the reporting in the Guardian and the Independent in the UK, and Ha’aretz in Israel. The difference between real news and counterfeit news is immediately apparent.

Among the “big three” U.S. newspapers, the Washington Post is the least biased. While the Post’s editorial department is filled with neocons who thrill to Israeli violence, its news department probably is as fair as is possible within the constraints of official ideology (“we’re good, they’re bad”). The Los Angeles and New York Times, on the other hand, are thinly-disguised–if that–Israeli propaganda. For a particularly egregious example, see Steven Erlanger, A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery, New York Times, January 10, 2009. Based almost exclusively on self-serving claims by Israeli military sources, the entire purpose of the article is to absolve Israel of war crimes. The reporter asserts, for example, that Israel’s mortar attack that killed 40 people standing outside a UN school and supportedly safe zone “was legal,” although he cites no basis for this conclusion. Apparently, he just knows.

In other articles, the pro-Israeli propaganda is considerably more subtle. Thus, we are told that “the humanitarian relief systems functioned poorly because of the inability of suppliers and ambulances to move around despite Israeli efforts to facilitate truck deliveries across the border.” Israel is trying, we are told: they are making “efforts to facilitate truck deliveries across the border.” Nevermind the Israeli bombing raids convulsing the defenseless territory daily. See Ethan Bronner, Israel Drives Deeper Into Gaza, Rebuffing Diplomatic Efforts, New York Times, January 5, 2009.

Often these newspapers’ support for Israel’s agenda surfaces in their adoption of Israeli claims as fact. So, for example, the Los Angles Times can report that Israel has destroyed Hamas’ “weapons labs,” based, apparently, on the Israeli military’s preposterous assertion that the bombing of the science building at the Islamic University of Gaza was justified because the building was being used to “develop enhanced weaponry” for Hamas fighters. See Richard Boudreaux, Israel turns aside calls for Gaza truce, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009 (“Undeterred by waves of punishing attacks on its arsenal, command posts, rocket-launch sites, tunnels and weapons labs, Hamas fired deep into Israel on Wednesday, bringing daily life to a near-standstill for about half a million people in the southern part of the country”).

Of course, these are mere quibbles, certainly minor when considered in the context of the overall purpose of the media, which is to inculcate its readership with the official ideology–in this case, the strand holding that the U.S. and its “friends” are permitted to kill as many people as they deem necessary, whether that number is in the hundreds (Israel, constantly), thousands (Israel in Lebanon), hundreds of thousands (Indonesia in East Timor), or even millions (the U.S. in Korea, the U.S. in southeast Asia, or the Indonesian slaughter in 1965-66).

Nonetheless, as a student of language, I find it fascinating to observe the precise methodologies by which indoctrination is accomplished.

Among the smaller news services, McClatchy Newspapers merits recognition for trying not to always see things through Israeli eyes. And Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher deserves commendation for consistently offering commentary on the moral aspects of the Gaza slaughter.

For some particularly useful news and analysis, see the following:

Analysis


Statements by Leaders of Hamas


Commentary by Gaza Residents


Other Commentary


Reading the following in combination makes it clear that Israel intentionally provoked a war on Gaza before the change in U.S. administrations:


For updated reports from Gaza, see:

On Al-Jazeera English, see Gideon Levy, My hero of the Gaza war, Ha’aretz, January 11, 2009 (“My war hero is Ayman Mohyeldin, the young correspondent for Al Jazeera English and the only foreign correspondent broadcasting during these awful days in a Gaza Strip closed off to the media”) and Noam Cohen, Few in U.S. See Jazeera’s Coverage of Gaza War, New York Times, January 12, 2009 (“While getting to the story has not been an insurmountable problem for Al Jazeera English’s journalists — they are, in effect, surrounded by it — getting their reports to the English-speaking public has been a bit trickier”).

See also these personal blogs:


For human rights organizations, see:


For collections of progressive news and commentary, see


For collections of work by particular writers, see


For information on the Israeli propaganda apparatus, see:

Return to text

[2] “Shock and awe”:

Return to text

[3] Israel declared Gaza a “closed military zone” and prohibited the media from entering:

Return to text

[4a] The media loves to call Israel’s assault on Gaza an “operation,” wholly abstracting the event from its human consequences:


This follows the Israeli government’s practice. See Charles Levinson, Israelis Watch the Fighting in Gaza From a Hilly Vantage Point, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2009 (“A group of police officers nearby took turns snapping pictures of one another with smoking Gaza as a backdrop. ‘I want to feel a part of the war,’ one said, before correcting himself with the official government designation for the assault. ‘I mean operation. It’s not a war.'”)

Return to text

[4b] The Israeli “operation” was code-named “”Operation Cast Lead.”

[4c] “Retaliation”: American media almost universally depicts Israel’s massive bloodletting as “retaliation,” and hence quite appropriate.

Return to text

[5] See Taghreed el-Khodary and Ethan Bronner, Israelis Say Strikes Against Hamas Will Continue, New York Times, December 28, 2008 (“Still, there was a shocking quality to Saturday’s attacks, which began in broad daylight as police cadets were graduating, women were shopping at the outdoor market, and children were emerging from school. [para] The center of Gaza City was a scene of chaotic horror, with rubble everywhere, sirens wailing, and women shrieking as dozens of mutilated bodies were laid out on the pavement and in the lobby of Shifa Hospital so that family members could identify them. The dead included civilians, including several construction workers and at least two children in school uniforms.”)

Return to text

[6] See Samuel Sockol, Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza, Washington Post, December 28, 2008 (“When the assault began about 11:30 a.m., a graduation ceremony was underway in Gaza City at the Hamas police academy. Witnesses said 47 uniformed recruits were lined up when two missiles struck. Ala Zumu, a 27-year-old cameraman for al-Arabiya television, was one of the first on the scene. ‘I walked in and I saw bodies on the floor of the courtyard, policemen in their blue uniform suffocating. There was a pile of some 50 of them, some breathing, moaning, and some silent,’ he said. ‘I saw body parts scattered, heads, arms and legs.'”)

Return to text

[7] See Richard Boudreaux and Rushdi abu Alouf, Gaza City residents hunker down, Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2009 (“As Israeli forces closed in on Gaza City, Mohammed Barbari joined the scramble by its most intrepid residents Sunday for dwindling supplies of food they would need while hunkering down at home. [para] The first explosion tore through the central Firas Market at 11:30 a.m. as he approached from adjacent Palestine Square. Unable to turn his yellow Volkswagen Golf around in traffic, he kept driving toward the hail of shrapnel and the screams of scattering shoppers. [para] Trapped on Omar Mokhtar Street, which bisects the sprawling complex, Barbari felt a second blast shake his car and shatter its back right window. [para] He saw a man lying in the street with both legs severed. [para] ‘God protect us!’ the 31-year-old father of five recalled thinking.”)

Return to text

[8] “Relatively successful”: See Joshua Mitnick, Gazan civilians increasingly at risk in assault on Hamas, Christian Science Monitor, December 31, 2008 (“So far Israel has been relatively successful at zeroing in on targets and avoiding civilian casualties”)

“Few civilians”: SeeTaghreed el-Khodary and Isabel Kershner, Israeli Attack Kills Scores Across Gaza, New York Times, December 28, 2008 (“Most of the fatalities were among members of the security forces of Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, but a few civilians were also among the dead, including children).

In the same vein is Tony Karon, Israel Invades Gaza, Hoping to Pummel Hamas into a Truce, Time, January 3, 2009 (“Although the eight-day air campaign in Gaza has claimed some 450 Palestinian victims, and continues to inflict damage on Hamas fighters–as well as, inevitably, nearby civilians–the attacks have not kept Hamas from launching more missiles”)

While the American media continues to peddle the vulgarity that Israel is trying really, really hard to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties, the Israeli press operates under no such pretence:

In fact, this article in Ha’aretz commented on how the international media was giving Israel a free pass on civilian deaths: “until Tuesday’s incident, the world appeared relatively indifferent to Palestinian civilian casualties. On Monday, 31 members of the Samouny family were killed when a shell hit their house in Gaza City; that same day, 13 members of the Al-Daiya family where killed by another Israeli bomb. Yet international media coverage of these incidents was comparatively restrained.”

When the New York Times reported on Israel’s adoption of doctrine of the use of overwhelming force, it predictably shied away from acknowledging the effect on civilians. See Steven Erlanger, A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery, New York Times, January 10, 2009 (“Officers say that means Israeli infantry units are going in ‘heavy.’ If they draw fire, they return it with heavy firepower. If they are told to reach an objective, they first call in artillery or airpower and use tank fire. Then they move, but only behind tanks and armored bulldozers, riding in armored personnel carriers, spending as little time in the open as possible”).

To the extent the American media is concerned about civilian deaths, it is because the resulting popular outrage might curtail Israel’s operational freedom–not because people are being slaughtered:

There should be a special place in hell for people who think like this. (And they can room with the right-wing bloggers who claim that Gaza videographer Ashraf Mashharawi fabricated a video of his own brother’s death. See Gaza video genuine, journalists say, CNN, January 9, 2009.)

Return to text

[9] See Taghreed el-Khodary and Ethan Bronner, Israelis Say Strikes Against Hamas Will Continue, New York Times, December 28, 2008 (“The leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, said in a statement that ‘Palestine has never witnessed an uglier massacre.'”)

Return to text

[10] See Craig Whitlock, Griff Witte and Sudarsan Raghavan, Israel Halts Operations To Allow Aid Shipments, Washington Post, January 7, 2009 (“‘The wounded arrived with multiple fractures, ripped stomachs, amputated limbs,’ [physician Basam Warda] said. ‘The bodies were ripped apart.'”)

Return to text

[11] See Ibrahim Barzak and Steve Weizman, Israeli strike near UN school kills at least 30, Associated Press, January 6, 2009 (“In later scenes, the emergency room was packed, with all beds occupied and barely a patch of ground where there was not a body or a doctor standing. In other rooms, there were blood stains on the floor and other bodies lying there, with medics running to each of them to take their pulses.”)

Return to text

[12] See Ibrahim Barzak and Diaa Hadid, Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead, wounded, Associated Press, January 5, 2009 (“The hospital’s most gruesome scene was in its morgue, where blood pooled on the floor and refrigerators meant to hold 35 bodies were crammed with 70, laid side-by-side in drawers. [para] Mohammed Salman, 26, a volunteer medic washing blood from the inside of an ambulance, said he had treated people with horrific injuries, including headless children and a woman whose stomach had been torn open. [para] After 10 days of a relentless Israeli assault, Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, is overwhelmed. Bodies were crowded two to a morgue drawer, and some–like 3-year-old Issa, 4-year-old Mohammed and 5-year-old Ahmad–were on the floor.”)

Return to text

[13] See “Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead, wounded,” above.

Return to text

[13A] See Ibrahim Barzak and Ben Hubbard, Gaza medics face war’s carnage daily, Associated Press, January 10, 2009.

Return to text

[14] Egypt refused to allow medical personnel to enter Gaza:

Return to text

[15a] “True surprise attack”: See Ethan Bronner, Israel Reminds Foes That It Has Teeth, New York Times, December 29, 2008 (“The current operation started only after preparation and intelligence work, military commanders said, leading to a true surprise attack on Saturday and the instant deaths of scores of Hamas men”).

(As an aside, it should be noted that only the U.S. and its official friends are allowed to “show their teeth.”)

As it turns out, this was a “true surprise attack” because Israeli had misled the Palestinians. See Edith M. Lederer, UN official says Israel attacked during lull, Associated Press, December 29, 2008 (“Palestinians in Gaza believed Israel had called a 48-hour ‘lull’ in retaliatory attacks with Hamas when Israeli warplanes launched a massive bombardment of militant installations in the Gaza Strip, a U.N. official said Monday. [para] Karen Abu Zayd, commissioner of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which helps Palestinian refugees, raised the possible violation of an informal truce in a video press conference with U.N. reporters from her base in Gaza. [para] Abu Zayd mentioned the lull when she was asked whether the population of Gaza was aware ‘that this was all commenced by the Hamas government unilaterally ending the cease-fire and firing rockets.'”).

This single AP article appears to be the only mention of this remarkable revelation by any of the mainstream media. A search of Yahoo! News shows that five local newspapers carried the story.

A report from the International Crisis Group confirms that Egyptian officials gave Hamas assurances that Israel had committed to a 48-hour period of calm to allow negotiations to go forward. It is unclear, however, whether Egypt intentionally misled Hamas or was itself deceived by Israel. See International Crisis Group, Ending the War in Gaza, Middle East Briefing No. 26, January 5, 2009 (pages 4-5 and footnote 22).

In any event, the “lull” was intentional deception by Israel:


Israel’s attack was carefully timed to kill as many people as possible. See Amira Hass, How we like our leaders, Ha’aretz, December 30, 2008 (“Whoever gave the instructions to send 100 of our planes, piloted by the best of our boys, to bomb and strafe enemy targets in Gaza is familiar with the many schools adjacent to those targets – especially police stations. He also knew that at exactly 11:30 A.M. on Saturday, during the surprise assault on the enemy, all the children of the Strip would be in the streets – half just having finished the morning shift at school, the others en route to the afternoon shift”).

Return to text

[15b] “Many, many targets”: See Richard Boudreaux, Israeli troops clash with Gaza fighters as ground invasion begins, Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2009 (“‘We have many, many targets,’ said Maj. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli army spokeswoman. ‘To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation'”)

Return to text

[16] “Legitimate targets”: See Griff Witte, Israel Launches Fresh Attacks in Seventh Day of Fighting, Washington Post, January 2, 2009 (Israeli military spokeswoman, Maj. Avital Leibovich said “other Hamas leaders were also marked men. ‘We have defined legitimate targets as any Hamas-affiliated target,’ she said”)

“Infrastructure of terror”: See Isabel Kershner, In a Broadening Offensive, Israel Steps Up Diplomacy, New York Times, January 1, 2009 (“But in attacking symbols of the government on Thursday, Israel seemed to be blurring the lines. The military said in a statement on Thursday that Hamas government sites ‘serve as a critical component of the terrorist group’s infrastructure in Gaza.'”)

Return to text

[17]

Symbols of American strength:


Governmental ministries:


Police stations and a training academy:

  • Ibrahim Barzak, Israel strikes demolish Hamas compounds, kill 192, Associated Press, December 27, 2008 (“Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing nearly 200 people and wounding 270 others in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years. [para] Most of those killed were security men, but civilians were also among the dead. Hamas said all of its security installations were hit and responded with several medium-range Grad rockets at Israel, reaching deeper than in the past. [para] In Gaza City’s main security compound, bodies of more than a dozen uniformed security officers lay on the ground. One survivor raised his index finger in a show of Muslim faith, uttering a prayer. The Gaza police chief was among those killed. One man, his face bloodied, sat dazed on the ground as a fire raged nearby. [para] Later, some of the dead, rolled in blankets, were laid out on the floor of Gaza’s main hospital for identification. Hamas police spokesman Ehad Ghussein said about 140 Hamas security forces were killed. [para] Israeli military officials said more than 100 tons of bombs were dropped on Gaza by mid-afternoon. They spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines.”)
  • Samuel Sockol, Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza, Washington Post, December 28, 2008 (“When the assault began about 11:30 a.m., a graduation ceremony was underway in Gaza City at the Hamas police academy. Witnesses said 47 uniformed recruits were lined up when two missiles struck. Ala Zumu, a 27-year-old cameraman for al-Arabiya television, was one of the first on the scene. ‘I walked in and I saw bodies on the floor of the courtyard, policemen in their blue uniform suffocating. There was a pile of some 50 of them, some breathing, moaning, and some silent,’ he said. ‘I saw body parts scattered, heads, arms and legs.'”)
  • Ashraf Khalil and Ahmed Burai, Gaza police back on the beat amid Israeli attacks, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009 (“Gaza City police have redeployed in force, as Hamas works to maintain law and order in the Gaza Strip amid a prolonged Israeli air assault that has leveled dozens of police stations and left nearly 400 people dead. [para] But many officers on patrol are now wearing civilian clothing and carrying sticks rather than guns to avoid being targeted by Israeli warplanes.”)

Orna Schwartz, a 48-year-old Israeli nurse and mother of four, is sure that Israel’s bombing of defenseless policemen is justified. See Sudarsan Raghavan and Islam Abdel Kareem, Food and Medical Supplies Grow Scarce in the Gaza Strip, Washington Post, December 29, 2008 (“She expressed certainty that the Palestinians killed in the airstrikes were not civilians. ‘We have to comfort ourselves that the ones who died wore uniforms. I saw them on television. They wore blue clothes.'”)

To the Washington Post, these police officers are also “fair game.” See Griff Witte and Sudarsan Raghavan, ‘All-Out War’ Declared on Hamas: Israel Expands List of Targets to Include Group’s Vast Support Network in Gaza, Washington Post, December 30, 2008 (“The territory’s uniformed police have taken major hits, with several police compounds destroyed. The police force is tasked with enforcing order internally, not attacking Israel. But the Israeli military has said the police are fair game because they are armed members of Hamas’s security structure and some moonlight as rocket launchers.”)

17 chapels and synagogues: See Jimmy Carter, An Unnecessary War, Washington Post, January 8, 2009 (“Seventeen mosques, the American International School, many private homes and much of the basic infrastructure of the small but heavily populated area have been destroyed. This includes the systems that provide water, electricity and sanitation. Heavy civilian casualties are being reported by courageous medical volunteers from many nations, as the fortunate ones operate on the wounded by light from diesel-powered generators.”)

Media coverage of Israel’s deliberate bombing of mosques has neither evinced disapproval nor questioned either the truthfulness or the significance of Israel’s customary assertion that weapons were stored at the mosque:


Banks:


A television station:


A radio station:


The Christian University of New York: Israel’s target was the Islamic University of Gaza:


The American International School:


An elementary school established as a disaster relief center:

  • Shashank Bengali, Airstrike kills 3 at Gaza school U.N. using as refugee center, McClatchy Newspapers, January 6, 2009 (“An Israeli military strike killed three people at a United Nations-run school in Gaza City where they had sought shelter from an intensifying ground war inside the Gaza Strip, officials said Tuesday. [para.] U.N. officials said an Israeli strike directly hit an elementary school compound where more than 400 Palestinians had come to escape fighting in northern Gaza, and which was clearly marked as a U.N. installation. The U.N. said it was ‘strongly protesting’ the incident and called on Israel to immediately investigate it.”)


Ambulances and mobile health clinics:

  • Richard Boudreaux, Israel turns aside calls for Gaza truce, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009 (“Israeli warplanes pounded the densely populated coastal enclave for a fifth day, killing two doctors next to their ambulance. … The doctors, Mohammed Abu Hassira and Ehab Madhoun, were killed before dawn while pulling two Hamas fighters from the rubble of a collapsed shelter that had been a rocket-launching site. [para] Moaiya Hassanain, a Palestinian Health Ministry official, said their ambulance should have been identifiable from the air. [para] ‘Our medical crews wear distinctive uniforms and they are well known to the Israeli forces,’ he said. ‘There is no justification for targeting them.’ [para] An Israeli military spokesman said he didn’t know the details of the airstrike. ‘We certainly don’t target ambulances and regret such mishaps,’ he said.”)
  • Taghreed el-Khodary, In Dense Gaza, Civilians Suffer, New York Times, January 1, 2009 (“A dentist stood at the bed of a doctor, his good friend Ehab Madhoun, 32, who had just died, his shrapnel-pitted body wrapped in a white shroud. [para] The day before, Dr. Madhoun, a general practitioner, was in an ambulance responding to an Israeli strike at the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Another missile hit the ambulance. The driver, Muhammad Abu Hasira, died instantly. Dr. Madhoun lingered for a day, dying of his wounds on Wednesday in the intensive care unit of Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of people have been brought since Israel began its heaviest assault on Gaza in three decades. [para] The dentist cried. [para] ‘He was just doing his work,’ said the dentist, who would not give his name. ‘He’s a doctor, and I can’t understand why Israel would hit an ambulance. They can tell from the cameras it’s an ambulance.'”)
  • Ahmed Abu Hamda and Dion Nissenbaum, Crisis takes toll on Gaza’s seasoned doctors, medics, McClatchy Newspapers, January 5, 2009 (“At least six medics have been killed by Israeli strikes, and three ambulances have been destroyed by Israeli fire, according to United Nations officials”)
  • Ashraf Khalil and Rushdi abu Alouf, Israeli tanks, troops cut off Gaza City, Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2009 (“One ambulance, funded by the international aid organization Oxfam, was struck by an Israeli shell while trying to evacuate injured from the frontline community of Beit Lahiya, the organization announced. The impact killed one paramedic; a second paramedic lost his foot.”)
  • Ibrahim Barzak and Diaa Hadid, Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead, wounded, Associated Press, January 5, 2009 (“A medical building owned by a relief organization not connected to Hamas was also bombed, said Daher. He said the building was destroyed, along with an ambulance, three mobile clinics and donated medicines.”)
  • DanChurchAid, Mobile clinics bombed, January 6, 2009 (“We have just received news that all three mobile clinics were bombed and rendered useless on the night of the 5th of January. The vehicles were parked by the Union of Healthcare headquarters and all were clearly marked with red crosses and the caption ‘Mobile Clinic.'”)
  • Aviad Glickman, Petition: IDF targets ambulances, Ynet, January 7, 2009 (“Eight different human rights organizations filed an urgent petition with the [Israeli] High Court of Justice Wednesday, demanding that the IDF be prevented from attacking medical teams and ambulances operating in Gaza”)


A prison compound:


A medical warehouse:


A fuel reservoir:


A government guesthouse:


Private homes:


[18] See Sudarsan Raghavan, Israel Rejects Proposal for 48-Hour Truce, Washington Post, January 1, 2009 (from Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “‘We say publicly, and we mean it: The innocent civilian population is not our enemy”)

[19] “A major question remains”: See Stephen Farrell, Hamas Credo Led It to End Cease-Fire, New York Times, December 30, 2008 (“A major question remains whether Hamas expected the shock-and-awe Israeli offensive that has left Gaza reeling”)

“Targeted killings”: See Ashraf Khalil and Ahmed Burai, Key Hamas leader killed in Gaza strikes, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2009 (“The attack on [Hamas official] Nizar Rayan, confirmed by Israeli officials, family members and Hamas, may signal a shift in Israeli tactics as the assault on Gaza enters its sixth day. After nearly a week of pounding police stations, security compounds, rocket-launching cells and cross-border tunnels, the Jewish state could be reviving its practice of assassinating Hamas leaders.”)

[19A] See Aaron J. Klein, Israel Enters Gaza: Negotiating With Extreme Prejudice, Time, January 4, 2009 (“Already in recent days, Israeli forces struck a house of a Hamas leader while civilians were inside and bombed a mosque at Beit Lahiya believed by Israel to have been used to store weapons. With both of these actions, Israel is deliberately cultivating a sense that it has changed the rules of engagement in order to cripple Hamas.”)

[20] See Steven Lee Myers, The New Meaning of an Old Battle,” New York Times, January 3, 2009 (“In unleashing a series of punishing attacks in Gaza last week, Israel clearly aimed to hand Hamas a defeat from which it could not recover anytime soon. The campaign may succeed, experts here and in Israel say, but it could also backfire. Either way, the political consequences could reverberate throughout the Middle East …”)

[21] “Unavoidable operation”: See Dion Nissenbaum and Shashank Bengali, Israeli ground war bisects Gaza, deepens humanitarian crisis, McClatchy Newspapers, January 4, 2009 (“‘This operation was unavoidable,’ Olmert told his Cabinet”)

“Understanding of the international community”: See Edith M. Lederer, UN chief demands immediate Gaza cease-fire, Associated Press, December 30, 2008 (“‘We need and want the understanding, the support of the international community,’ [Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Gabriela] Shalev said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. ‘But first of all, we have the right to defend ourselves and we have the duty to protect our citizens. This comes before the understanding, which we hope to receive, of the international community.'”)

[22] “Defending right to defend itself”: See Taghreed el-Khodary and Isabel Kershner, Israel Rebuffs Peace Efforts, Driving Deeper Into Gaza, New York Times, January 5, 2009 (“Amid the diplomatic efforts, Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, insisted Monday that Israel was ‘not only defending its right to defend itself’ but was also waging a regional campaign ‘against extremism and against terror'”)

“We don’t respond”: See Ashraf Khalil and Ahmed Burai, Key Hamas leader killed in Gaza strikes, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2009 (“‘Hamas understands that Israel has changed the equation,’ Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said before leaving for Paris to consult with French officials. ‘The situation in which they shoot and we do not respond is over.'”)

[23] “Silk gloves”: See Dion Nissenbaum, Rejecting truce, Olmert vows `iron fist’ against Hamas, McClatchy Newspapers, January 1, 2009 (“‘We will treat the population with silk gloves, but will apply an iron fist to Hamas,’ said Olmert”)

“Military targets”: See Craig Whitlock, Israel Rejects Intensified Push for Cease-Fire, Washington Post, January 6, 2009 (“‘We don’t have any intention whatsoever to target civilians. The targets we choose are military targets,’ [Israeli military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich] said. ‘If there were civilian casualties, it would only be under the responsibility of Hamas.'”)

[24] “Human shields”: See Josef Federman, UN ambassador says Israel seeks to ‘destroy’ Hamas, Associated Press, December 29, 2008 (Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Gabriela Shalev “expressed regret for civilian deaths, but said Hamas is responsible for the bloodshed by operating in residential areas and using civilians as ‘human shields.’ [para] ‘We are very sorry, and really I say it as a mother, as a grandmother … to speak of children and of women being killed,’ she said. But ‘it’s only the Hamas to blame.'”)

“Secondary explosions”: Israel consistently defends bombing civilian targets on the ground that weapons were stored there. See, e.g., Richard Boudreaux and Ahmed Burai, Civilians suffer as missiles fly in Gaza and Israel, Los Angeles Times, December 30, 2008 (“Maj. Avital Leibowitz, an Israeli military spokeswoman, said the mosque near the Balousha home in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp was, ‘as far as we know,’ a weapons storehouse.”) Therefore, Israel just as consistently claims to have observed “secondary explosions” at these civilian targets. See, e.g., Ibrahim Barzak and Jason Keyser, Israel sends more troops to Gaza border, Associated Press, January 1, 2009 (“The Israeli military, which leveled the mosque Wednesday, said that it was being used as a missile storage site and that the bombs dropped on it set off secondary explosions); Arthur Max, Israel targets Gaza mosques used by Hamas, Associated Press, January 1, 2009 (“The Israeli army spokesman’s office said the mosque was hit because ‘terrorists were hoarding weapons’ inside and using the compound to launch missiles. [para] ‘The strike set off numerous secondary explosions, caused by the munitions stockpiled in the mosque,’ the spokesman said.”); Ibrahim Barzak and Amy Teibel, Israel kills top Hamas figure, escalating campaign, Associated Press, January 1, 2009 (“Israel’s military, which has said the homes of Hamas leaders are being used to store missiles and other weapons, said the attack on [Nizar] Rayan’s house triggered secondary explosions from the arms stockpiled there”).

[25] Israel’s massive onslaught against defenseless Gaza and its people shows, we are repeatedly told, that it had “learned” from the “failure” of its 2006 war on Lebanon, which, despite killing over 1,200 people, failed to bring Hezbollah to heel:

[26] Israel’s “strike” on Gaza is intimately connected with its internal politics:


“Strike” and “hit” are other favorite words for the media to use in describing violence by official friends.

[27] See Robert Burns, US suggests conditions of a Gaza cease-fire, Associated Press, January 5, 2009 (“‘Instead of caring about the people of Gaza, Hamas decided to use Gaza to launch rockets to kill innocent Israelis,’ Bush said. ‘Israel’s obviously decided to protect herself and her people'”)

[28] “Celebrated”:


Avi Pilchick: See Shashank Bengali, Israelis watch bombardment of Gaza town, McClatchy Newspapers, January 5, 2009 (“A tower of white smoke rose from the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun after another Israeli bombardment Monday morning, and a half-dozen Israelis, perched on a dusty hilltop, gazed at the scene like armchair military strategists. [para] Avi Pilchick took a long swig of Pepsi and propped a foot on the plastic patio chair he’d carried up the hillside to watch the fighting. “They are doing good,” Pilchick, 20, said of Israeli forces battling Palestinian militants in Gaza , “but they can do more.” … Sderot residents–some of them carrying binoculars–have gathered on the hilltop since the offensive began for a glimpse of the fighting, but little was clear Monday morning besides the pop of outgoing Israeli shells and the occasional helicopter gunship overhead. Pilchick was the only spectator who brought chairs and snacks including bread, cheese and a can of olives.”)

[29] See Mehdi Lebouachera, Israelis near Gaza call for more strikes on Hamas-run enclave, AFP, December 27, 2008 (“Another resident of the small town, Over Almalia, wants Israel to take drastic measures. ‘The army should send an atomic bomb and get rid of the situation there,’ he said angrily. ‘If we are scared, the people in Gaza should also be scared.'”)

[30] See Aron Heller, Anxiety, satisfaction in Israel over Gaza assault, Associated Press, December 30, 2008 (“This working-class border town has been pounded with several thousand missiles fired out of Gaza since 2001. Now anxiety is mixed with satisfaction that Israel’s military is finally getting even with its tormentors. [para] ‘It’s about time,’ said Victor Turjeman, a 33-year-old electrician. ‘We’ve been waiting for this for eight years.’ [para] ‘We should keep pounding them until they beg for mercy,’ he said. ‘As far as I’m concerned, all of Gaza can be erased.'”)

[31] An adaptation of Condoleezza Rice’s famous depiction of Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon. See Secretary Rice Holds a News Conference, Washington Post, July 21, 2006 (“What we’re seeing here, in a sense, is the growing — the birth pangs of a new Middle East”)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.