Topic: human rights
- Foreign Minister Livni (13/01/2009 - Israel to show no restraint) and biased Jerusualem Post editor Elliot Jager (AM ABC this morning) forced (?) to front Australian camera and microphone lately a sign the Israel war machine is moving to mitigating lost PR offensive after
- widespread coverage of slaughter in Gaza;
- role of quality analysis on the internet over the Big Media break, or maybe
- that the professional big media are returning from their break and doing their job better as well.
- the sophistry of the 'pathetic' Jerusalem Post editor is fairly easy to rebut because it is right wing rhetoric posing as usual a false dichotomy between (a) Israel being loved or (b) surviving. This from a country with reportedly 130 nuclear warheads according to the Federation of American Scientists (Nuclear Weapons - Israel). An existential risk that seems to grow Israel every year with increasing land grabs by "settlers". This false rhetoric is like outgoing W Bush 'you are either for us or against us'. Truth is no one on this planet survives without love, from the inception of Israel post WW2 with the blessing of the Allies, to a mothers love for her newborn, to the respect and trust of one's neighbours or cars driving in the street stopping for pedestrians. Only a right wing fantasist thinks in such terms - with apparently a healthy neurosis of readership in Israel. A local Bondi Jewish colleague who freely admitted to this writer "I am probably biased, my relatives live in the range of the rocket fire" then referred me for more information to the Jerusalem Post for background!
- As per additions to crikey strings yesterday by this writer the rocket and mortar fire from Gaza in July, August, Sept, October 2008 were minimal or as close to zero as anyone could hope for as per Israel Politik web site and graph. The graphs are posted below and when one integrates the real politik of the early Nov 08 conflict over the first 4 months of the effective truce (where Hamas is eminently reliable in halting rockets and mortars) it becomes clear the averaging over the lull is a bogus measure. Just as Princeton legal professor Falk working for the UN as advised.
The graphs are sourced to http://www.israelpolitik.org/2009/01/07/how-did-the-cease-fire-end/
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The significance of this Hamas discipline up to early November 08 is massive. They have always been known to do what they say unlike Fatah. The real issue should be who or what broke the truce. Hamas says the 4 month blockade of humanitarian food and medical supplies (in an already desperately starved population of 1.5 million, 50% children, 45% of children being anaemic) and in the absence of rocket or mortar fire was a constructive breach by Israel. The recommencement of hostilities in early November 09 reportedly saw rocket fire back to old levels.
- By November Hamas reacted to the pressure with a tunnel into Israel, IDF fatal airstrike blowback kills 5 and the rocket/mortar fire recommenced killing the ceasefire and food and medical supply blockade on Israeli border continuing uninterrupted. This led by official end of the truce in late December to a massive air attack by Israel having their pretext and feeding into other geo political (W Bush as a hawk, final watch), close down influence of Iran, complete what the coup failed to do in 2007, pursue $4B in Gaza offshore gas supplies for Israel, and their own domestic election in Feb 2009 pandering to the 30% of voters who support Greater Israel expulsion of Palestinians (needed in a majority coalition govt).
Yesterday we wrote in a comment string in crikey:Tom McLoughlinWednesday, 14 January 2009 6:18:21 PMI take it ......you concede the truce worked for 4 months. That it broke down in November. I know the causes of that break in the truce are controversial. Let me be so presumptuous as to suggest how it happened:
The tunnels to Egypt were working as fast as they could but never fast enough to supply 1.5 million Gazans. The Israelis showed no real interest in lifting the "economic sanctions" via their crippling blockade via the Israeli border. They mitgated any sympathy with the 'knowledge' their enemy was importing missiles via the Egypt/Philedelphi border of 9 km or so. Besides they weren't going to give their sworn enemy Hamas a break, that had survived the US/Israel backed coup a year previous because free flow of food and and supplies would set Hamas up as a successful govt that delivers on it's election.
So they starve Hamas, and 1.5 million Gazans half of them children. Hamas gets desperate. 45% of the children in Gaza are anaemic and with that life threatening illnesses. Others have no hope of timely medical services. Eqypt won't help because they have their own diplomacy to juggle with the US and Israel - the toughest players in the region.
So Hamas lets a tactical tunnel go thru to the Israeli side. They need extra leverage to bargain with to lift the starvation blockade and bolster their government credentials. They are thinking of kidnapping another Israeli soldier like Gilad Shilat - by the way Google to Xinhua (Chinese?) News agency suggests the tactic is ongoing 12 Jan 09:
Israel springs the tunnel and responds with maximum air force killing 5 Hamas members. Up until this time there has been 4 months of near to complete break in shelling of rockets and mortars. But this exchange effectively brings the ceasefire to an early conclusion. Hamas rockets recommence at the previous intensity pre June 08.
Only this time the southern Israelis have enjoyed the peace alot and they vote ...Tom McLoughlinWednesday, 14 January 2009 6:49:45 PM
- And this report of a $4B dollar gas supply in Gaza waters which can potentially supply 10% of Israel's energy budget is also worrying, that there are seriously mixed motives as in economic motives:
"BG Group at centre of $4bn deal to supply Gaza gas to Israel ..."
dated 23 May 2007.
So Gaza does have something Israel can use after all. Like a smaller version of Iraq oil in play? And who benefits from the income of that? Certain sleazy politicians running for office, maybe getting a few donations?
Also one assumes it never occurred to Israel that they could simultaneously open the Israeli side of the border to full throttle food medical and other genuine supplies and at the same time bomb the Philadelphi tunnels with a bit of warning to protect civillian lives?
How complicated can it be? Stock standard carrot and stick. But there is no carrot under a Right wing USA and Israeli administrations. These people are failed politicians and failed individuals with a capital F.
- Big media here have been self censoring the figures regarding the real restraint of rockets/mortar fire for 4 months by Hamas.
- There is a notable absence of any spokespeople on the air waves for the Lowy Institute high quality academics on matters geo politik and/or defence, funded by Australian Jewish billionaire Westfield's Frank Lowy. The Lowy family are close to the Govt Party here the ALP (eg ex PM Paul Keating helped build a shopping centre) and presumably E Barak's Labour in Israel. Possibly Lowy Institute have nothing good to say about Israel based on the above rocket statistics and therefore saying nothing?
This older paper at the bottom of their front page is actually very relevant:
Zealous democrats: Islamism and democracy in Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey
The question is often asked 'What will Islamists do to democracy?' But it seems equally valid to ask 'What might democracy do to Islamists?' In this new Lowy Institute Paper Anthony Bubalo, Greg Fealy and Whit Mason examine how three different Islamist movements, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Prosperous Justice Party in Indonesia and the Justice and Development Party have sought to adapt to democratic politics and how in turn electoral or democratic participation has shaped the evolution of their ideology, policies and activism.
And now we notice their web log:
The Interpreter - Australia in the World Blog of the Lowy Institute for International Policy,
With this tedious post Can technology solve Israel's Hamas problem?
- a quite dated 7.30 Report feature of Lowy son's maintenance of historic air squadron of planes takes on a more sinister overtone given the role of Israel's air strikes killing and wounding 5,000 mostly civillians. Their report is here:
Temora hosts world-class warbird collection, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast: 29/05/2007, Reporter: Paul Lockyer
Can the Lowys assure us no Israeli airforce trainees have using the rich man's 'toy collection' in order to train up for brutal strikes against civillians in Gaza? If they have would it be reasonable to boycott Westfield as called for by Naomi Klein (by looks and words a left wing Jewish North American surely) in the last few days?
Naomi Klein: Enough. It's time for a boycott of Israel | Comment ... 10 Jan 2009 ... Naomi Klein: The best way to end the bloody occupation is to target Israel with the kind of movement that ended apartheid in South Africa.
- New Matilda locally produced ezine yesterday carries story of 325 standard shipping containers of ammunition sent by specially chartered merchant ship from the USA bound for Israel, just like arms supplies during the 2006 Lebanon war:
Israel/palestine 14 Jan 2009 The End Of Palestinian Resistance? Mustafa Qadri
- SAM's editor telephoned through a question to the editorial desk of the SMH over Marg Simons crikey expose' of opinion writer Paul Sheehan's failure to declare conflict of interest in funding by Israel of his trip to there:
He quotes from that junket in his opnion piece in the middle of the Gaza slaughter last Monday:
It's too easy just to blame Jews - Opinion - smh.com.au It's too easy just to blame Jews. Email ? Printer friendly version; Normal font; Large font. Paul Sheehan January 12, 2009.
Question for the Herald is: Will the Herald sack him for failure to declare his financial conflict of interest? It's ironic because the Herald have carried some very strong balance in the last week including today generating tears with this one about this disgusting slaughter:
'Why are they killing us and nobody moves?' Sydney Morning Herald via Los Angeles Times 15 January 2009, with this devastating extract from a fatally wounded 14 year old girl:
Her grandfather was killed. No one told her right away. They waited two hours.
"Why did they kill him?" she said, starting to cry again. "Why are they are killing us and nobody moves? If we were cats in Europe and America they would have cared for us."
The wounds on Alaa's face were treated - but whatever else was wrong with her was not detected.
Doctors hurried to care for dozens of others who were carried, bleeding, through the halls.
Alaa died in her bed.
After sunset, when the fighting calmed and the Israeli troops retracted, the ambulance driver, Mr Abu Reida, left the house he was hiding in.
He went to the street where he had been headed hours earlier. He saw the body of a woman named Ruheia. She had been shot in the head.
He drove home.
Los Angeles Times