AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

AUSTRALIANS AT WAR
THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Friday, August 01, 2014

IS THE U.S. GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES AGAINST THE GAZAN PEOPLE?

The hypocrisy of the US knows no bounds. On the one hand they tell the world they are demanding the Israelis put a halt to the carnage they are wreaking in the Gaza Strip and, on the other hand are resupplying the Israelis with the wherewithal to continue their carnage.

The US knows full well that the weapons and fuel they are supplying to the Israelis is for the purpose of continuing to wage war against civilians. They have no excuse. The US are fully aware that Israel are committing war crimes yet the US continues to supply weapons which they know the Israelis are more than likely to commit further war crimes with.


Why are the nations of the world not condemning the US for their complicity in Israeli war crimes?

WARNINGS DO NOT ABSOLVE WAR CRIMES

The Israelis have been in the habit of calling some Palestinian families to warn them that their homes are about to be bombed. Most of these homes are owned by civilians, most of whom have no connection to Hamas or any other political or militant organisation.

Deliberately bombing civilians is a war crime but, by warning the civilian occupiers that their homes are about to be destroyed, the Israelis believe that it somehow absolves them of any crime. Furthermore, not only do the Israelis think that it absolves them of crimes, but it also provides them with an opportunity to then accuse Hamas of using civilians as ‘human shields’.

How would it be, one wonders, if an Hamas operative telephoned the mayor of say Sderot and told him that the town hall was about to be bombed by rockets but, due to the fact that they can’t guarantee the accuracy of the rockets, it would be best if he evacuated the entire township within the next ten minutes. And if the mayor then refuses to evacuate could he not then be accused of using civilians as human shields?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

HAS NETANYAHU GONE BEYOND THE POINT OF NO RETURN?

Whenever Israel has chosen to use aggression to intimidate its neighbours in the West Bank, Lebanon or, as it is doing today, in the Gaza Strip, it has always left itself wriggle room to back off when public opinion and, more importantly, US and Western support seemed to be running against them.

It has done this by progressively escalating their assaults on their enemies by pretending to be the victim when their enemies retaliate. That way they can always tell the world via their well-oiled global propaganda machine that they are merely responding to attacks being made against them by ‘terrorists that hate Jews’. They claim that they only want peace and that their assaults against the Palestinians are purely defensive and designed to deter attacks against them. They tell the world that their assaults are designed to eliminate or minimise civilian deaths and injuries and are aimed only at military targets. They claim that, when civilians are killed and wounded, it is because the place where they have been killed or wounded was being used by ‘terrorists’ who have deliberately used the civilians in the area as ‘human shields’ in order to avoid having their weapon placements being hit.

However, when one delves into the histories of Israeli’s various conflicts with their Palestinian and Arab neighbours, a different reality emerges.

Rather than retaliating against rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters, as is claimed in this latest round of extreme violence, Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip were actually responding to shooting attacks against unarmed Palestinian civilians by the Israelis who have used snipers to kill at least five innocent Palestinian civilians, including a 58-year-old mentally ill woman who had wandered too close to the border fence with Israel. More than 60 other Palestinian civilians have also been wounded by Israeli snipers as they worked in the fields near the border. These attacks against Gazan civilians have been for the express purpose of goading the Palestinian fighters into retaliating by firing rockets into Israel which, in turn, then provides Israel with an excuse to attack the Gaza Strip on the pretext of stopping the rockets.

In the past when Israel has launched major attacks against Hamas, Israel has always used the same tactic whereby they attack and keep attacking until at some point world public opinion causes the Israelis to agree to a ceasefire.

But this time around, the circumstances of the fighting have provided Israel with an opportunity to press on with the fight as they see the possibility of actually realising their dream of retaking the Gaza Strip with the ultimate aim of pushing out the Palestinians and reoccupying it and eventually annexing it to Israel. There have been a number of factors that have produced these circumstances. Firstly, while Netanyahu has always been sensitive to public opinion, his government today has a number of senior ministers and officials in it who are even more right-wing than he is. They are the ‘don’t care what the rest of the world thinks’ faction of the Israeli government who are quite openly advocating a full invasion and occupation of the Gaza Strip and the complete destruction of Hamas and their allies by either killing or capturing all of them and/or forcing them to flee out of the Gaza Strip. This would be the first step toward reoccupying the territory with Israeli civilians. Secondly, Netanyahu’s aggressive stance this time around has very strong support among Israelis, 80% of whom support his actions against the Palestinians. Also working in Netanyahu’s favour is Hamas’s insistence that any ceasefire will be accompanied by assurances that the Gaza Strip will have its blockade against it lifted and that it will be able to trade freely with Israel, Egypt and internationally via an internationally monitored seaport and airport. Hamas is hoping that popular worldwide support for their demands will persuade international leaders, especially in the US and Europe, to push Israel for a ceasefire and an agreement that features Palestinian demands. Israel, on the other hand, is looking for nothing less than the full destruction of Hamas and has made it clear that they will not be acceding to Hamas’s conditions for a ceasefire. Netanyahu will likely take full advantage of the unprecedented support he has gained from the Israeli people.

During the course of this round of violence, Netanyahu has steadily ramped up the assaults against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and particularly on Gaza city itself and the surrounding neighbourhoods. The bombing and shelling has become increasingly more indiscriminate with civilians being deliberately targeted as they seek shelter in hospitals and schools after their homes had been destroyed. Civilian infrastructure is also being increasingly targeted as the recent destruction of the Gaza Strip’s only electric power generating plant has demonstrated.

As the destruction of the Gaza Strip gathers pace the Israeli propaganda machine has been hard at it spinning the increasingly most outrageous and obviously transparent lies that would be laughable if not for the tragedy they are attempting to cover up or blame others for. The Israelis have even accused Hamas of bombing their own hospitals and schools and killing their own children and other civilians in spite of independent witnesses confirming that the Israelis were responsible for the death and destruction of these people and facilities.

Netanyahu has stated that the Israeli Defence Forces will not rest until every tunnel has been destroyed and all of the rockets found and destroyed. In making such a statement and knowing that an operation of that magnitude will likely take some considerable time, he has clearly indicated that Israel has no intention of leaving the Gaza Strip anytime soon – if, indeed, ever.

Netanyahu is very much aware of the world’s reaction to the onslaught that is taking place in the Gaza Strip. He has seen the massive pro-Palestine demonstrations that have taken place around the world and has heard the pleas from world leaders and the United Nations to end the slaughter but he continues to ignore them. He gets encouragement from the fact that the US, while calling for Israel to enter a ceasefire agreement, at the same time stocks up Israel’s diminishing munitions supplies as well as continuing to supply Israel with the jet and diesel fuel needed by the Israelis to continue their attacks on the Gaza Strip and the Gazan people.


Netanyahu thinks he’s on a roll this time around and, with the backing of the majority of the Israeli people who have succumbed to the propaganda behind him together with the support of the US, sees no reason to relent in his aspirations to defeat Hamas and put the Gaza Strip under Israeli control. With the destruction already wrought in the Gaza Strip coupled with domestic and US support, Netanyahu may have convinced himself that he has gone beyond the point of no return and may even believe that it is his manifest destiny to retake the Gaza Strip and make it a part of Greater Israel once and for all.

Monday, July 28, 2014

ISRAELIS WAGE TOTAL WAR AGAINST THE GAZA STRIP

Such is the small size of the Gaza Strip, together with the extremely dense way the enclave is populated, and coupled with the devastating way the Israelis have destroyed entire neighbourhoods including homes, hospitals, schools, government buildings and infrastructure as well as the huge loss of civilian life across much of the entire Strip, the Palestinians can be forgiven for thinking that total war is being waged against them.

And, as the entire world can see in this day and age of social media, total war, contrary to anything the Israeli propaganda machine is saying, is indeed being waged against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

The only means by which the Palestinians can defend themselves is to give the Israelis a dose of their own medicine by way of deterrence with whatever meagre weaponry they have at their disposal which comes mainly in the form of homemade rockets and mortars and lightweight firearms.

When total war is being waged against a people, the people are entitled to defend themselves by whatever means is at their disposal. The ‘human shield’ meme that the Israelis and their Western supporters like to accuse Hamas of being guilty of by virtue of defending themselves from within the midst of the civilian population is hardly valid particularly when total war is being waged around them and when there is no other place from which one can defend oneself without exposing yourself to the enemy.


The Israeli claim that their aim is simply to destroy Hamas rocket launching sites and the tunnels is merely an excuse to wage total war against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and to completely destroy the entire enclave and deprive the Palestinians there of anywhere to live forcing them to seek refuge elsewhere. This will then allow the Israeli to occupy most if not all of the Gaza Strip for the purpose ultimately of annexing it to Israel and populating it with Israeli’s.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE ISRAELIS' BIG LIE

When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview on Sunday what his exit strategy from Gaza is, Netanyahu replied:  “Sustainable quiet. I mean we didn't seek this escalation, Hamas forced it on us. They started rocketing our cities, steadily increasing the fire”.

The implication here is clear. Netanyahu is saying that Hamas started the present round of violence between the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel by lobbing rockets into Israel. The suggestion is that Hamas simply started firing rockets into Israel in order to provoke the Israelis – for some unexplained reason – into retaliation.

But this is not the case.

What Netanyahu – together with most of the Western media, conservative commentariat and other assorted Israeli apologists – have forgotten to mention is the months of indiscriminate shooting by IDF snipers of unarmed Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank that preceded the current crisis. Israel was not retaliating to unprovoked rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip but, rather, the Palestinians in the Gaza were retaliating to deliberate provocation by the Israelis who were murdering Palestinian civilians, one of whom was a mentally ill woman shot dead by an Israeli sniper. Others were farm and salvage workers who were in the open areas that were farmed and worked close to the Israeli security fence.

Israel’s claim that Palestinians had started this round of violence is a familiar refrain whenever there has been conflict between the two sides. However, when one examines the chronology of events that has led up to these conflicts, one finds that invariably it has been Israel that has been the provocateurs.

In just the first two months of 2014 alone, Human Rights Watch have documented four killings of unarmed Palestinian civilians by Israeli Defence Force snipers with another 60 having been wounded by shooting by the IDF firing from the other side of the border fence into the Gaza Strip. In order to deter the Israelis from shooting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and also to encourage the Israelis to lift their crippling blockade of the enclave – which in itself is a form of provocation – Palestinian fighters have launched rockets into Israel. It has been just the kind of response the Israelis have been looking for as it provides them with an excuse to escalate by bombing and rocketing Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip.

This method of quiet provocation then retaliation followed by a disproportionate counter-retaliation by the Israelis who would then claim to be the victims follows a very familiar pattern for which Israel has a long history. It was even used by the Israelis to kick start the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel ultimately occupied the Syrian Heights, which they later illegally annexed and renamed the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. History would have us believe, at least according to the Israelis, that it was the Syrians that started the 1967 war by lobbing artillery shells onto Israeli settlements close to the demilitarised zone on the border between Syria and Israel at the Syrian Heights. The reality, as General Moshe Dayan later confided to a reporter, was something quite different. As Dayan explained, it was the Israelis that deliberately provoked the Syrians by pushing bulldozers up the hills into the demilitarised zones in order to get the Syrians to open fire on them with their artillery pieces. This then provided the Israelis with an excuse to counter-retaliate by firing on the Syrian position using tank, artillery and aircraft. (1) As a result of these actions, the situation eventually escalated and resulted in the Six Day War.

As well as the killings by the IDF of civilians in the Gaza Strip, there have also been the killings of youths and children in the West Bank over the past 19 months or so. Some had been involved in stone throwing though they had never been any real threat to the heavily armed and protected Israeli occupying forces, but most had not been involved in protests or stone throwing at all and were innocent bystanders who were deliberately targeted by Israeli snipers. Some 16 of these killings of Palestinians by the IDF during 2013 alone have been documented. There were also the filmed killings of two youths shot by Israeli snipers on Nakba Day. Then there were the killings of several Palestinian youths latter when the Israeli occupying forces were searching for the kidnappers of the three Israeli settler youths who were latter found murdered. Few of these events get reported in the Western media but the Western media are quick to widely report any retaliation from the Palestinians presenting such actions as being unprovoked and therefore worthy of Israeli retribution as part of the Israeli right to defend itself. Little, if anything, is ever said about the Palestinians right to defend themselves.

Ever since the Israelis began taking lands from the Palestinians in 1947 until now they have always used provocation to justify their actions. The Western world has generally ignored their blatant crimes and has rarely insisted on the Israelis obeying the various UN resolutions that have been made against them. Slowly, though, the peoples of the Western world are becoming more aware of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people and this is happening now because the media moguls that have control over the mainstream media do not as yet have control over the social media via the internet. While ordinary people are able to voice their views to a far wider audience than ever they did before, so the truth of what is really happening to the Palestinian people will be revealed. It’s just a matter of time before the Zionist Israelis will eventually have to answer for their crimes.

The world now knows exactly what the fascists of Israel are really up to. It’s not about defending themselves, it’s about creating a Greater Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people.



ENDNOTE


(1) Maoz, Zeev, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security and Foreign Policy. (Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2009.) p. 84. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WILL THERE BE A GROUND INVASION OF THE GAZA AND WHAT WILL BE THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES?

There has been much talk of an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip these last few days as Israeli tanks and armour together with some 20,000–30,000 Israeli troops amass around the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel; indeed, Israeli commandoes have already made some incursions into the Gaza Strip clashing with Hamas fighters in fire-fights. The question is, however, will Israel actually commit itself to this massive escalation of the crisis and what would be the likely consequences of such an action?

But the first question one needs to ask is: Why haven’t the Israelis already invaded the Gaza? What’s been holding them back?

There are several probable answers to that. First, it’s possible that Netanyahu is simply bluffing and hoping that the mere presence of an Israeli invading army on the ground and in clear sight of the Palestinians in the Gaza may be enough to get Hamas to reconsider their position and concede to a ceasefire. At least this is essentially what Netanyahu is telling the world – though not quite in so many words. The problem with this scenario is that it assumes that Israel is merely reacting to Palestinian aggression and simply wants the rockets to stop when in reality the rockets being launched into Israel were as a direct result of Israeli aggression toward Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip in the first place. Israeli IDF snipers have for several months leading up to the present crisis been killing farmers and other civilians who have been working in fields close to the border fence with Israel. Also killed was a mentally ill woman who wandered too close toward the fence. In other words, it has been the Israelis that have deliberately provoked this current crisis and not the Palestinians as the Western media is portraying.

Another probable reason why Netanyahu has held back from launching a ground invasion is because he is cautious of both world opinion and knows also that he lacks full support from the US and Europe leaders – not to mention the people of the world.

In light of his fear of worldwide public opinion being against him, Netanyahu may also be waiting for Hamas to actually score a big hit with one of their missiles which could then possibly swing public opinion and/or world leader’s opinion enough for him to feel safe in launching an invasion without too much criticism from them.

Netanyahu is a little cannier than some of his more right-wing ‘don’t care what the world think’ colleagues in his cabinet who are pressing hard to launch an invasion. He is genuinely sensitive to world opinion but, at the same time, desperately wants to be rid of Hamas and the Jihadists so that Israel can once again fully occupy the Gaza Strip.

It’s likely that Netanyahu is just waiting for the right moment and it’s possible that that moment might not eventuate.

But then, what if he does decide to invade the Gaza Strip? What then would be the likely consequences of an invasion?

Such a decision could have catastrophic consequences for the entire Middle East.

An invasion would likely be resisted by the Palestinians and could also lead to an uprising of Palestinians in the West Bank – something which the Israelis might also be hoping for providing them with an excuse to launch a full-scale occupation there too. This, in turn, might even trigger a response from international jihadists who would find their way into Jordan and Egypt in the hope of getting an opportunity to fight against the Israelis. While unlikely, Hezbollah in Lebanon may even feel inclined to help out by putting aside their differences with those on the Sunni side of the Arab street; they’ve done it before. Already rockets have been fired from Lebanon into Israel, most likely by Palestinian and/or Sunni groups based there.

In the last few days Israel has warned inhabitants of northern Gaza that they will be increasing their raids on the area and have told civilians to leave prior to commencement of bombing sorties. This has led to a mass exodus of civilians fleeing north Gaza and heading south. Such methods of getting Palestinians to flee their homes are reminiscent of how Jewish fighters ethnically cleansed Palestine in the first place in order to create Israel. One wonders if history is repeating itself.


The Gaza Strip is teetering on a knife edge. One of two things will end up happening; either Israel will invade and permanently occupy the Gaza Strip and hope that at least a large proportion of the Gazan people seek refuge in the Sinai or Jordan or there will be no invasion, a peace somehow brokered and then a return to the status quo for another two or three years until the next time some extreme right-wing Israeli premier feels the time is right to yet again provoke the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip in the hope that this time the world will support the Israeli take over of the occupied territories.

Monday, July 14, 2014

GAZA AND THE NEOCON LIES

Neoconservative master propagandist Jonathan Tobin writing in Commentary today says about the current crisis that “Hamas set events in motion last month when some of its operatives kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers and then escalated the conflict by shooting several hundred rockets into the Jewish state from its Gaza stronghold”.

Rubbish.

It was Israel that set events in motion when IDF snipers shot dead Gazan civilians during the months preceding the current crisis. A number of those randomly murdered were farmers tending fields close to the border with Israel. One of the dead was a mentally ill woman who was shot dead after wandering too close to the fence separating the Gaza from Israel.

On top of that, there is no evidence that Hamas had anything to do with the killings of the three Israeli youths murdered in the West Bank.


Also ignored by Tobin are the deaths of five Palestinian youths shot dead in the West Bank by Israeli snipers before the three Israeli killings. While I’m not suggesting here that one set of deaths in any way justifies another set of deaths, I am saying that it is important to present the chronology of events in the correct order before anyone attempts to pervert reality with outright lies.

Friday, July 11, 2014

‘HUMAN SHIELDS’: MYTH AND REALITY.

As part of its propaganda against Israel’s enemies, Israeli and neoconservative propagandists like to present Palestinian fighters as cowards that hide behind so-called ‘human shields’.

Neoconservative propagandist Jonathan Tobin, for example, today writes that, “having decided to escalate another round of violence by launching hundreds of rockets into Israel, the Islamist group is still hoping to use the presence of Palestinian civilians around legitimate military targets as a weapon against the Jewish state”. However, as Tobin concedes, the Gaza Strip is extremely densely populated and, short of making themselves sitting targets in open fields, Palestinian fighters have no option but to conduct the defence of their homelands from within the built-up areas of where they live. It is the nature of urban guerrilla warfare – especially if the Israelis decide to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian fighters are hardly going to stand out in open fields with their AK-47s and RPGs to face Israeli ground attack aircraft and squadrons of Israeli Merkava battle tanks.

But there is another side to the ‘human shield’ scenario. In fact, it is not the Palestinian fighters that resort to using human shields; it’s actually the Israelis who have been filmed and documented as having used children as human shields.

Realty is always the opposite of Zionist and neoconservative propaganda.

WHO’S REALLY RETALIATING AGAINST WHO IN PALESTINE?

As missiles and rockets fly from the Gaza Strip ever further into Israel, the Israeli government are seeing support in Israel for action against Hamas increasing. It’s just what the “don’t care what the world thinks” faction of the Israeli extreme right wants to see. It strengthens their argument for calling on Netanyahu to launch a full-on invasion of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in order to wipe out Hamas completely.

Netanyahu, however, remains reluctant to go the full distance just yet, fearful of world opinion and a continuing lack of support for such a move from both Europe and the US. While the US supports “Israel’s right to defend itself”, Obama has offered his team to act as broker for a ceasefire to deescalate the tit-for-tat and grossly disproportionate bombings. However, Obama is very unlikely to support a full-scale invasion of either of the territories.

The Western media who largely support Israel’s stance by insisting that Israel is defending itself against Palestinian rockets being fired into Israel have almost entirely ignored the fact that the Palestinians have actually been firing rockets into Israel as a response to Israeli random sniper shootings of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and more recently in the West Bank. This round of the conflict – like all previous wars between the Palestinians and the Israelis – is not Israel defending itself against rocket attacks from the Palestinians, but the Palestinians defending themselves against Israeli persecution, aggression and occupation with whatever weapons they have.

For years the Israelis had got away with presenting themselves to the world as victims of Palestinian aggression when in fact it has been – and still is – the Palestinians that have been the victims of Israeli suppression and ethnic cleansing.


Despite the pro-Israeli Western media’s best propaganda efforts, the West is slowly waking up to the reality of what is really going on between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Provocation has been the name of the Israelis game – followed by loud claims of being the victim when the Palestinians fight back.