“You’ve also got to understand the distinctiveness of Jewish anxiety about annihilation, which is real… But at the same time, anti-Semitism should never be a blinder or an impetiment of understanding the suffering of Palestinian people under occupation and the difficulty of having any serious bridge building when you are an occupied people.”
-Dr. Cornel West
If so, they’re doing a great job of missing their targets, to say the least.
Hypothetically speaking, were Hamas to target an Israel military installation on a Palestinian settlement and wound a child, the Newspeak would be that ‘Hamas is killing children’ out of Israel. When Israel targets a Hamas operative and kills 20 Palestinian civilians, the Newspeak stinks of “collateral damage” that we’re just supposed to accept as a necessary evil of self-defensive war.
The conundrum in this Newspeak is another ‘it’s wrong when they do it to us, but not when we do it to them‘ that loses its transparency as its repeated by our leaders [sic] in the West, giving the Newspeak illegitimate credibility.
The best way to battle Newspeak is with fact (from our YouTube playlist, “Israel Attacks Gaza”):
al Jazeera – “Nowhere to Run for Those Trapped in Gaza” – 30 Dec 08 (3:11):
al Jazeera – “B’Tselem Questions Israeli Account of Attack” – 1 Jan 09 (2:38):
al Jazeera – “Gazans Struggle to Survive Amid Onslaught” – 1 Jan 09 (2:41):
ei – “Civilians are Paying the Price in Gaza” – Haider Rizvi reports from the UN:
International aid groups, including several United Nations agencies, are warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza if Israel does not stop its military action there immediately.
“The consequences of [further] military action by Israel would be disastrous,” said Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam International, a London-based aid organization that is providing food and water for Palestinians affected by the Israeli blockade.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza depend on Oxfam and other international aid agencies for the basics of life — clean water, food and sanitation. Before the recent Israeli bombing campaign, Gaza had been cut off from the outside world for 19 months.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is also expressing similar concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The group says hospitals are “overwhelmed and unable to cope with the scale and type of injuries that keep coming in.”
At the time this article went to press on 30 December, more than 300 Palestinians are reported to have been killed — and nearly 1,000 wounded — since the Israeli air force began bombing Gaza Saturday….
Before the recent attacks on Gaza, aid organizations had repeatedly stressed that the Israeli blockade of Gaza was hindering their efforts to reach out to Palestinians who were in dire need of food and medicines.
Currently, nearly half of the population in Gaza does not have enough food to meet its basic needs. A majority of the population are refugees who were driven out of their homes by the Israeli occupation in 1948.…
“The blockade is illegal and constitutes collective punishment of ordinary men, women, and children,” said Diakonia’s Christoffer Sjoholm, who, although critical of Palestinian rocket attacks, condemned Israel’s plans to carry out further attacks on Gaza….
On Monday, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed deep concerns about the impact of the Israeli aerial attacks and demanded that the self-declared Jewish state must allow the humanitarian supplies to enter.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also called for Israel to take such actions.
“The frightening nature of what is happening on the ground, in particular, its effects on children who are more than half of the population, troubles me greatly,” Ban said. “I have continuously stressed the need for strict observance of international humanitarian law.”…
A statement released Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that many more deaths are likely as hospitals in Gaza are lacking sufficient medical supplies.
“The ability of the hospitals to cope with a problem of this magnitude, if the situation continued unchanged, will result in surge in preventable death,” a UNICEF spokesperson said in a statement. “Civilians are paying the price for a long blockade.”…
In recent days, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has repeatedly expressed its concern over the Israeli efforts to stop aid supplies. The agency stresses that days and weeks before the current military action the blockade was already hurting some 1.5 million people.
In a statement, UNRWA’s head Karen AbuZayd said she was horrified by the current situation in Gaza and wanted the Israeli government to heed calls for ceasing its bombardment of Gaza.
ei also relays a press release from Al Mezan Center for Human Rights:
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) has continued its military operation in the Gaza Strip for the fifth day. Today, it targeted an ambulance and its medical crew with a missile, killing a doctor and an orderly and critically injuring its driver. According to Al Mezan Center’s monitoring, the number of Palestinian casualties since the start of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead at 11:30am on 27 December 2008 has risen to 315, of whom 41 were children and nine women. At least 939 people have been injured, including 85 children and 52 women. The number of civilian objects that have been destroyed is as follows:
- Seven mosques have been completely destroyed from direct air strikes;
- 38 private industrial and agricultural enterprises have been completely destroyed;
- 16 schools have been damaged;
- Nine CBO offices were completely destroyed;
- Eight private vehicles were destroyed;
- 16 governmental facilities were destroyed.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights asserts, according to its monitoring of the situation on the ground, that the IOF has perpetrated grave breaches of the international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the course of its military actions in Gaza. The Center also asserts that the vast majority of IOF’s targets in Gaza are civilian targets that must not be deliberately targeted. This includes houses, mosques, police stations and at least one ambulance. Most of the casualties are not combatants and were not involved in any hostilities when they were targeted by IOF. This behavior reflects a blatant disregard of civilian life and of the international law that is supposed to protect it.
Al Mezan Center condemns the IOF’s violations of international law applicable in times of belligerent occupation and armed conflict. In particular, the violations by IOF of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its Protocol I have caused extreme suffering as well as loss of civilian life. Articles 15-19 of the Convention prohibit the disruption of the working of health facilities during times of conflict. Article 20 requires respect and protection of the persons who are involved in the search for civilians, the sick, the wounded, the elderly and mothers and care for them. IOF violates international humanitarian law by imposing a strangulating blockade that disrupts, and sometimes prevents, the provision of humanitarian aid to the population of the Gaza Strip.
Despite The New York Times bad paraphrasing, the quote from the UN official estimates “a minimum of 25 percent of all those killed are civilians and it may well be far higher.”
Another interesting Newspeak tool is to manipulate the meaning of “civilian.” Targeting Hamas and killing Gazan police officers make the police officers more “collateral damage,” but they are left out of civilian fatality estimates. The common term is “non-combatant” and that statistic is never reported.
Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels “terrorists” were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training.
“Seventy policemen were killed there, not all Hamas members,” said S., who opposes Hamas. “And even those who supported Hamas were young men looking for a job, a salary. They wanted to live. And therefore, they died. Seventy in one blow. This assault is not against Hamas. It’s against all of us, the entire nation. And no Palestinian will consent to having his people and his homeland destroyed in this way.”
Battles between authorities, especially when one or more authorities are the State admist an election season, always harm those already oppressed under the illegitimate authority more than those dominating the oppressed. Those in power have the primary objective (meaning over all other objectives) of maintain and strengthening the power of their institution. This is the cynical nature of institutions — even those that are generally benign because were the benign institution to lose power, clout, resources, etc., the institution would struggle to exist.
The Palestinian people do not have a legitimate amount of clout in the authorities that govern them, yet are being destroyed more than their most direct dominators: Hamas, Fatah, and Israel.
A 0.29 second Google News serach of “Gaza children” wields almost 15,000 results; the first page of which can make your head spin and question the legitimacy of the governments issuing tacit consent to the TerrorState of Israel.
Tariq Ali could sum this up best:
“There is no other way. And Israeli citizens might ponder the following words from Shakespeare [The Merchant of Venice] that I have slightly altered:
“‘I am a Palestinian. Hath not a Palestinian eyes? Hath not a Palestinian hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Jew is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that…the villainy you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.’”