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28 January 2009

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Homer

Well, on the bright side, it seems there are no reports of Israeli soldiers drinking the blood of their child victims; cutting off their ears for festoons; using their skulls for bowls, etc: Thank God!!

FB Ali

I think one of these stories was also confirmed by the BBC. While filming Abed Rabbo's 4-year old daughter, Samer, in an Egyptian hospital they got the details of how she was shot by the Israelis from an accompanying relative. Immediately after the ceasefire their reporters went to the reported site of the incident and talked to her father and other witnesses. The accounts tallied exactly with what they had been told in the Egyptian hospital.

They said on their newscast that their attempts to provide these witness statements to the Israeli military for an investigation were rebuffed.

J

Colonel,

It is unforgivable events like this that shows over and over again that U.S. military aid to Israel needs to be stopped, ALL U.S. military aid to Israel STOPPED! Israel has proven beyond all shadow of doubt that they have abused their U.S. military aid.

Fred

"In a defense of his military on Sunday, Olmert accused Israel's critics of using "moral acrobatics" to question Israel for using its military to try to halt the Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza that's killed 12 people since September 2005."

The prime minister certainly wins the gold medal in moral acrobatics. 12 killed in 3 years. Israel killed that many in minutes. How many Palestinians are now dead? Hundreds? This is beyond disgraceful.

Matthew

Maybe he they thought defending Israel was "paramount." Such are the effects of empty nostrums like "disproportionate" responses.

Will

i had misposted this item. the use of these weapons is by itself a war crime. Pinhonles of entry, undetectably lodged in internal organs, the victims better off dead.

MIDEAST: Alarm Spreads Over Use of Lethal New Weapons

By Erin Cunningham

(DIME explosives Tungsten)

Jose

Sadly, too many such reports to be just fiction.

Sadly, on makes Hamas stronger rather than weaker.

I wonder if George Mitchell even knows about these reports.

Ian

Uh, Homer, don't throw the blood libel around. When criticizing the Israeli military, it's good not to sound as though you're planning a pogrom. Seriously, not OK.

In other war crimes news, let's not forget the admitted use of white phosphorus as weapon in an urban area. These kids are not having enough fun playing with WP to justify dropping it on their neighborhood.

(note: the third link's video is graphic-injury free, thankfully)

mo

Yes Jose, much like the fiction of Beirut, Sabra, Shatilla, Qana, Marwahin...

This was yet another murderous rampage by a nation that no longer fights wars but uses long range weaponry to try to cow and subdue civilian populations into behaving like good little "injuns", by targeting the civilian populations. All the evidence of Israel's last two "wars" show that they no longer believe they can defeat their opponents on the battlefield and are hoping that the "locals" will do it for them.

The message is that as long as those people are in power, we will keep doing this to you and your children. It is no coincidence that so many children were targetted. THAT WAS THE MESSAGE. "Hamas causes your kids to die, not our bullets."

Many have argued about who won the 2006 war. Well, if you were in doubt, look at the "war" in Gaza. What happened to the IDF that could role into any Palestinian town? What happened to the occupation being described as "police action". What happened to the the days when the IDF could surround a Palestinian leaders compound with impunity?

Hizballah happened.

The 2006 war led to people waiting to see if Hamas could emulate Hizballah. The IDF did not enter a single town in Gaza - Because they didn't want the casulties? Since when did the Israelis ever take casulties in the Occupied territories?

Hizballah have, as evidenced by "operation cast doubt" changed the balance in the Middle East. The impunity of the IDF on the battlefield is no more. Every enemy faced in now faced with the need to know just one bit of intelligence: Are they as good as the Lebanese?

If the israelis really think that this rampage against children really makes up for their failure in 2006 then all the better. Theres nothing as advantageous on the battlefield as the enemies over-blown belief in his own abilities.

Nasrallah promised the last war would be the last one fought on Lebanese soil. He promised that there would be a huge surprise for the Israelis and that 2006 would be a walk in the park compared to what they have ready.

Historically he has never made a statement of bombast. He has never to be shown to have lied in his speeches.

And so far, he has never been wrong.

Clifford Kiracofe

This has been standard practice since 1948 it would seem. Their Bolshevist fathers and grandfathers practiced same on Russian Slavs.

A late Christian Palestinian friend of mine compiled an encyclopedia on the Palestine Question. Some of it is online at
http://www.palestine-encyclopedia.com/EPP/TheAuthor.htm

Mitchell goes to Israel and the Israelis step up bombing attacks...sends a message.

Abu Sinan

The "Purity of Arms" touted by Israel has been a lie since before the state was founded. The only people that buy this rubbish are supporters of the state.

Half the time I dont think they even buy it, but accept it is being part of their PR struggle.

Will

direct link to Pat Buchanan commentary

It is also amazing how Pat Buchanan can stay on the air at MSNBC with his direct opinions. On the air he called Gaza a “concentration camp.” The zioncon opponent promptly responded “how dare you compare it to Auschwitz and such?” Pat B. quickly rebutted “ I didn’t say “death camp,” I said “concentration camp” such as the British used against the Boer in South Africa ,” or some such reply.

On ithe site he has Q. Noor, videos, Part1 & 2 the former Lisa Halaby, tellls it like it is on MSNBC Morning Joe. Subject matter Gaza. She held her own well against zioncon & ignoramus counterfire

As others have commented, it is amazing what an advocate the American born well connected articulate former Lisa Halaby can be. Her sister was a bridesmaid at the Schwartzneger wedding so she has the social connections besides being a queen mother.

The solid wall of no criticism of Israel being permitted is slowly being breached.

doug

It's all really about Iran. Promises of peace in Gaza are the carrot Netanyahu is holding out.

DAVOS, Switzerland – Israeli election front-runner Benjamin Netanyahu told a session of the World Economic Forum on Thursday that preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons ranks far above the global economy among the challenges facing leaders of the 21st century.
....
"We have had two wars with two Iranian proxies in two years and Persia has now two bases on the eastern Mediterranean," said Netanyahu, referring to this month's brutal fighting in Gaza against Hamas and Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"I think we are going to have to deal with neutralizing the power of the mother regime," he said. "The Hamas stronghold would be about as important, if Iranian power was neutralized, as Cuba was when the Soviet Union became irrelevant."

euclidcreek

As "explainers" fill the media with "noise" best to ignore them, and speak and write the truth. What can be done?

Keith

Are any of the things here worth discussing, or are they outside of the scope?

Clifford Kiracofe

There is a useful recent study on HAMAS at the US Army Strategic Studies Institute:

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=894

Homer

Ian: Uh, Homer, don't throw the blood libel around. When criticizing the Israeli military, it's good not to sound as though you're planning a pogrom. Seriously, not OK.

Hmmm...

I never thought, wrote, or even suggested anything with regard to blood libel.

You are packing way way too much content upon my post.

I think these `white flag incidents' are war crimes, not ritualistic killings.

Planning a pogrom????

Ahh ... no: Again, you are packing way way too much content upon my post. I never thought, wrote, or even suggested anything with regard to planning a pogrom.


Ian

Homer, I wasn't trying to say that you're a bad person or that you were thinking malicious thoughts while you typed.

Some phrases have an ugly history. If I were to talk about a "final solution" to a problem, it's reasonable for people to think I'm making a holocaust reference. If I'm not intending to talk about the holocaust, I should either rephrase or explain why I need to use those words in a non-holocaust context.

Likewise "Israeli soldiers drinking the blood of their child victims" is an expression of the blood libel, intentional or not.

The blood libel isn't something obscure I'm pulling out for obscurity's sake. It was the main language in which Christian antisemitism expressed itself for more than a thousand years. If you convinced an ignorant crowd that a visible minority group as an entire community likes to kidnap, torture, murder and eat children, then you would have a pogrom going in no time flat.

The key to what I wrote earlier: "it's not good to sound as though you're planning a pogrom." You are clearly not an antisemite, and I knew when I read your original comment (#1) that it was not expressing an antisemitic idea. However, the image you used to illustrate that idea was archetypically antisemitic.

I don't think that's who you are, and I don't think that's the effect you want to have on your readers, and so I wanted to warn you that your words meant something much more evil than you intended to say.

curious

Edrogan vs. Perez at Davos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj_2GuNUdAI

Clifford Kiracofe

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/crisisingaza/

Good for overall coverage; see particularly video clips.

Clifford Kiracofe

Religious groups are ‘penetrating’ Israeli army
Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent

Last Updated: February 04. 2009 1:02AM UAE / February 3. 2009 9:02PM GMT NAZARETH // Extremist rabbis and their followers, bent on waging holy war against the Palestinians, are taking over the Israeli army by stealth, according to critics."

"In a process one military historian has termed the rapid “theologisation” of the Israeli army, there are now entire units of religious combat soldiers, many of them based in West Bank settlements. They answer to hardline rabbis who call for the establishment of a Greater Israel that includes the occupied Palestinian territories.

"Their influence in shaping the army’s goals and methods is starting to be felt, said observers, as more and more graduates from officer courses are also drawn from Israel’s religious extremist population.

“We have reached the point where a critical mass of religious soldiers is trying to negotiate with the army about how and for what purpose military force is employed on the battlefield,” said Yigal Levy, a political sociologist at the Open University who has written several books on the Israeli army...."
http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090204/FOREIGN/407279653/1002

US Christian Zionists/Fundamentalists are synchronized with the extreme Israeli "Religious Right."

Clifford Kiracofe

Ordnance issues:


"The white wings it turns out come from a type of rocket developed by Israeli arms manufacturer "Rafael" to detonate minefields. The "carpet" rocket system is affixed to armored platforms, which fire the rockets at mine fields. The rocket creates a cloud of vapor above the target and the explosions within the cloud create shockwaves that cause the landmines below to detonate.

The phosphorous bombs fired by the IDF were also new to the residents of Gaza. Nonetheless, every child in the Gaza Strip knows that the greenish containers and their fragments contain the white phosphorous that explodes over their heads like some sort of fireworks, causing thick smoke and setting fire to buildings, cars, and trees.

These are the explosives that Palestinian and foreign doctors suspect are to blame for serious burns and some cases of death.

Only at the end of Operation Cast Lead did the IDF admit to using white phosphorous....

Unexploded one-ton bombs, half-ton bombs, and 250 kilogram bombs are also exhibited there, alongside several types of anti-tank missiles, and 30 mm. bombs, illumination rounds, and anti-tank mines used by IDF troops to raze houses, like in the neighborhoods east of Jabaliya.

In addition, a number of institutions, like human rights centers and private houses are currently holding their own collections of exploded ordinance, including heavy chunks of bomb and missile shrapnel, bundles of anti-tank missile wires, and shells of every size.

Private citizens and children collect the fragments, much of which has killed or wounded their loved ones. Some Gazans found that one of the types of weapons that caused injuries included tiny cubic pieces of metal that were embedded in concrete walls.

Human rights organizations and medical officials are attempting to link the different types of weaponry to the types of injuries they are finding among Gazans. One of the assumptions is that the small fragments of metal are the weapons responsible for causing the near total and perfect amputation of limbs found in many injured Gazans ? a new occurrence in Gaza. One of the assumptions is that the tiny metal fragments come from missiles fired by IAF drones...."

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1061474.html

confusedponderer

Article by Haartez on the IDF, unit tribalism, attitudes and slogans:

Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009

The slogan "Let every Arab mother know that her son's fate is in my hands!" had previously been banned for use on another infantry unit's shirt. A Givati soldier said this week, however, that at the end of last year, his platoon printed up dozens of shirts, fleece jackets and pants bearing this slogan.

"It has a drawing depicting a soldier as the Angel of Death, next to a gun and an Arab town," he explains. "The text was very powerful. The funniest part was that when our soldier came to get the shirts, the man who printed them was an Arab, and the soldier felt so bad that he told the girl at the counter to bring them to him."

Does the design go to the commanders for approval?

The Givati soldier: "Usually the shirts undergo a selection process by some officer, but in this case, they were approved at the level of platoon sergeant. We ordered shirts for 30 soldiers and they were really into it, and everyone wanted several items and paid NIS 200 on average."

What do you think of the slogan that was printed?

"I didn't like it so much, but most of the soldiers wanted it."

The part with the arab printing it for them is hard to beat in its grim absurdity.

The whole thing has something juvenile to it, much like with metal t-shirts. It reminds me of the point, previously raised here, about lack of adult supervision as a structural problem in the IDF.

Sociologist Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, of Bar-Ilan University, author of "Identities in Uniform: Masculinities and Femininities in the Israeli Military," said that the phenomenon is "part of a radicalization process the entire country is undergoing, and the soldiers are at its forefront. I think that ever since the second intifada there has been a continual shift to the right. The pullout from Gaza and its outcome - the calm that never arrived - led to a further shift rightward.

"This tendency is most strikingly evident among soldiers who encounter various situations in the territories on a daily basis. There is less meticulousness than in the past, and increasing callousness. There is a perception that the Palestinian is not a person, a human being entitled to basic rights, and therefore anything may be done to him."

I feel that this view probably accurate. Election results and growing support for kooks like Liebermann confirm that to me. If that assessment is correct, then the IDF is in for some serious morale and discipline problems, especially as far as the treatment of civilians is concerned.

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