UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 11, 2009

THE HIDDEN REASON ISRAEL WANTS GAZA UNDER ITS CONTROL

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research - The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.

British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon's Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority. . .

The BG license covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. . . 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza's gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza's offshore gas reserves.

British Gas has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields. . .

Under [a] proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza's offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel. The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended. . . Israel's intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. . .

The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under "Operation Cast Lead" was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources. . . That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza's natural gas: The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel's request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials.

Pakistan Daily - The world has been watching Israel's genocide of the Palestinians for a long time but incredibly, the media never mentions the Palestinians' natural resources or the fact that Israel has thwarted Palestine's efforts to develop them.

The Palestinians are usually portrayed on television as victims of impossible, cyclical poverty. Ironic the Palestinians wouldn't have to live in poverty if Israel would let them develop their natural resources.

But developing Palestine's energy resources wouldn't be in Israel's self-interest. The oil and gas revenues would empower the Palestinians. They wouldn't have to starve to death or struggle in poverty. Empowered Palestinians would be able to invest in infrastructure of their legal government, Hamas. . . .

The major corporate media has completely ignored and/or has remained blissfully ignorant about Palestinian oil and gas because it goes against the script of how powerful hidden western corporate and government interests want to portray Palestine.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

G-d meant for the Jews to have that gas.

January 11, 2009 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While this may be true -- it's certainly true, for example, that the primary reason Israel is supported by the U.S. is its usefulness as a strategic outpost and garrison in an energy-rich region -- shame on you Mr. Smith for using the easily debunked conspiradroid, Michel Chossudovsky, as a reference.

Michel Chossudovsky should never be given the opportunity to be seen as a reliable, intellectual reference in light of his penchant for selling (literally and figuratively) the easily debunked urban legend, "nine-eleven-was-an-inside-job", as well as other mythological products.

There simply is no excuse for lending this man of snake oil an iota of respect or credence. And by using such a questionable (to but it nicely) reference it throws a lot of doubt on the veracity of the claim. Which is to say, it makes it much easier for people to disregard the claim-in-question due to the fact that moonbat-conspiradroid Chossudovsky looms.

January 11, 2009 10:33 AM  
Blogger PlanB247 said...

The "easily-debunked urban legend"... Where do you work, the US Congress? Because the US government is about the only entity that thinks 9/11 questions are easily debunked.

Sam Smith regularly links to all kinds of people, including right-wing nutsos like World Net Daily and left-wingers like the World Socialist Workers Website. It's up to readers to come to their own conclusions, and to weight the merit of each source. To outright dismiss Chossudovsky, who regularly exposes imperial lies (in my opinion), because his questions about 9/11 just tells me you have a political axe to grind against those who question the official "conspiracy theory". And, I for one, am not buying the crap you're selling.

January 11, 2009 11:13 AM  
Blogger Elderlady said...

If you don't like what Chossudovsky says, read the Pakistan newspaper.

If you don't like what the Pakistani paper has to say - do "the google" on Gaza + Gas Reserves.

There is more information out there.

There appear to be two working wells. The monies from the sale of the gas should be going to the Palestinians --- not to the Israelis.

It's much harder to "demonize" a people with the resources to sustain themselves. It's much harder to ghettoize a people who would be able to provide their own electricity, and their own water, and who might be able to keep the raw sewage out of the street.

All those services provided by government. None of those services currently provided by the government of occupation - Israel.

I don't disregard the claim at all.

Chosssudovsky is not the only person who makes the claim.

People will believe what they want to believe.

What I believe is this: You don't start a war of this magnitude over a few rockets landing in someone's bean patch.

Countries start a war of this magnitude for natural resources. We did it in Iraq. Israel has done it in Gaza.

The goal of the Israel army is the complete annihilation of the Palestinian people in Gaza, and total control of billions of dollars of gas reserves --- both on the strip --- and offshore.

The snake oil may not be coming from Chossudovsky. It may indeed be coming from the Israeli government.

January 11, 2009 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You don't start a war of this magnitude over a few rockets landing in someone's bean patch."

Of course you don't start a war over a few rockets landing. (And they're not aimed at "bean patches" but at schools.) But that's not how the war began. The war was begun by the Palestinians long before there ever was an Israel, even before there was a holocaust. Even the Hamas Charter specifically says this:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Moslem Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1968 and after."

The Hamas charter can be seen here:

http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm

If you haven't read it, you should. It should eliminate any doubt whatsoever about who began the war, and what the goals of Hamas are. Israel would be foolish indeed to stop fighting, or to engage in any negotiations with the Palestinians while Hamas still exists, or at least until they recognize Israel and change their charter.

January 11, 2009 2:08 PM  
Anonymous hell awaits said...

I'm sure Israel and BG intend to steal Palestine's assets, but Israel just simply likes the taste of blood.
"Listen to the words of Professor Arnon Sofer, the government consultant who did so much to help plan the isolation and imprisonment of Gaza, in a interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2004: “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,” Sofer predicted. “Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure on the border is going to be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” Sofer admitted only one worry with all the killing, which will, he says, be the necessary outcome of a policy that he himself helped to invent. “The only thing that concerns me,” he says, “is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”

January 11, 2009 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, 2:08!
I'm so glad somebody said this!
And what does your informed comment and link lead to?
Another drone, saying things like "(B)ut Israel just simply likes the taste of blood".

And yet these are same the people who will swear roundly that they are not antisemitic, and do not hate the Jewish people.

No, of course not.

January 11, 2009 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody is buying the Israeli propaganda of "self defense" anymore:

CLICK HERE

January 11, 2009 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have facts before your face and refuse to acknowledge them. You have the stated words of your 'friends' in Hamas before your eyes and refuse to see them. You have the long, long history of Arab agression against the Jewish people stretching out behind you; but you will not look back to it for the truth.

I won't waste my time arguing with you, 8:15. I'm simply not buying your propaganda anymore.

January 12, 2009 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@7:14

Yes the facts are before my face: Israel is a terrorist state that is oppressing and wantonly butchering the indigenous population.

Also the "long, long history of Arab agression [sic] against the Jewish people" is pure bunk.

January 12, 2009 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

message APN sent to all Capitol Hill offices on January 5th.



Support Israel by Supporting U.S. Leadership and a Ceasefire

Dear :

In recent days, AIPAC has been calling on Members of Congress to issue
statements supporting "Israel's right to defend its citizens from terrorism." Unfortunately, their call fails to mention any need to work to end the crisis. This approach is regrettable. What Israel needs now is not just expressions of support and solidarity, but active diplomacy, led by the United States, to end the fighting.

The firing of rockets and mortar rounds from Gaza into Israel is absolutely unacceptable, as is the use of tunnels to import more and heavier weapons into Gaza. Israel has the right to protect its citizens from such attacks and threats. But Israel has learned through painful experience that military force alone cannot eliminate these threats.

While the IDF can achieve short-term tactical gains in Gaza, it cannot destroy popular support for Hamas, stop all rockets from falling, or force the release of Gilad Shalit. Indeed, the ongoing military escalation risks playing into the hands of extremists. It increases dangers to soldiers and civilians -- Israeli and Palestinian -- and risks getting Israel bogged down in an open-ended mission in Gaza. It also raises the specter of a two-front war, should Hizballah decide to renew conflict on Israel's northern border, with all the challenges to the IDF and danger to Israeli civilians that this would entail.

Both Israel and Hamas have an interest in stopping the escalation and
re-establishing the ceasefire, but neither side wants to be seen as being the first to blink. The international community, led by the United States, must provide the diplomatic and political cover necessary for both sides to step back from the brink.

Americans for Peace Now -- an organization devoted to achieving real security and peace for Israel -- urges members of Congress to issue statements supporting Israel. But real statements of support should do
more than merely endorse Israel's right to self-defense. Rather, they must also reflect Israel's right to long-term stability and security, which only diplomacy can provide. Statements supportive of Israel must therefore include:

- a clear recognition that a ceasefire is in the vital interests of both Israel and America;

- an urgent call for the Bush Administration to show real leadership and spare no effort to work with Israel, regional parties, and other members of the international community to establish a new ceasefire; and

- a demand that any new ceasefire be accompanied by efforts to lay the groundwork for the kind of changes on the ground and the establishment of a political process that can avoid a return to military action in the future.

We are not naive. We recognize the extraordinary difficulty Israel faces in achieving any sustainable ceasefire agreement, formal or informal, with an extremist, ideologically-motivated organization like Hamas. But the painful lessons of the 2006 Israel-Hizballah War must not be forgotten. Any resolution to this crisis will require Israel and Hamas to engage eventually, directly or indirectly, to establish a ceasefire. The real questions are:

* How many more Israelis and Palestinians will die or be wounded in the interim?
* How much less international sympathy Israel will have when the ceasefire is being negotiated?
* How much bigger will the disaster on the ground be, both in Israel and Gaza, once a ceasefire is achieved?
* How much damage will have been done to the credibility and viability of the peace process and the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps?
* And perhaps most importantly, will a ceasefire this time be accompanied by both the kind of changes on the ground and the establishment of some sort of political process necessary for it to succeed?

For the sake of Israelis in southern Israel, who are again suffering as renewed rocket fire sows fear and disrupts their lives, and for the sake of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, whose extraordinarily difficult lives are worsening daily, a new ceasefire must be established. And this time, a ceasefire must be accompanied by tangible improvements in the humanitarian situation and the establishment of a political process that can prevent the re-emergence of violence in the longer term. Absent these elements -- as has been the case thus far -- a ceasefire will once again be little more than a temporary pause in the violence, during which militants have the opportunity and incentive to re-arm, re-trench, and prepare for the next round.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need more information about Israel and the effort to achieve peace and security in the Middle East.

Best regards,

Lara Friedman
Director of Policy and Government Relations
Americans for Peace Now

January 12, 2009 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Israel may have fucked up. said...

The aerial war against Gaza launched by Israel just after Christmas, and the ground offensive, with which it rang in the New Year, were shocking in their brutality, but should constitute no surprise, if viewed from the standpoint of long-term Israeli strategic aims. The Israelis have argued that the offensive was launched in response to eight years' of relentless attacks by Hamas rockets into Israel. But then, one asks: why now? Why should they wait eight years?

Perhaps the massive military onslaught, which has killed over 800 Palestinians and wounded thousands, has nothing to do with Kassam rockets. Perhaps it is not a tactical military operation by Israel, but a strategic decision on the part of Israel's Anglo-American backers, whose ultimate aim is war against Iran. Perhaps the military calculations in Tel Aviv are that continued massive pounding of Gaza by air and in house-to-house fighting, will take such a ghastly toll on the Palestinian civilian population, that Iran, touted as the backer of Hamas, will be forced to move into the conflict. Perhaps that is precisely the reaction Israel desires, in order to justify launching its war against the Islamic Republic, a war which has been on the drawing boards of the Israelis and their neocon sponsors for many years.

If that is the name of the game, it may well be that it will backfire totally. Not only will Iran not be drawn into the trap, but the continued genocidal campaign against the Palestinians may utterly discredit Israel politically and morally, and contribute to a shift in attitudes even in Europe and, most importantly, in the U.S. That, in turn, may open the way to redefining the conflict and therefore opening the way for real solutions.

The Clean Break Doctrine

What we have witnessed in Gaza since December 27 is the implementation of one crucial part of an Anglo-American strategic doctrine for redrawing the map of the Middle East (within a broader context), known as the "Clean Break." This doctrine had been cooked up by Dick Cheney's neocon task force in 1996 and served to then-aspiring PM Benjamin Netanyahu, on a silver platter. The policy had been fashioned by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and his wife Meyrav, among others, under the auspices of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies in Jerusalem. The paper, which was one in a series of strategic policy papers from 1992 on, outlining how the Anglo-Americans could establish world hegemony in the post-Cold War world, derived its name from the idea that Israel must make a "clean break" with the historic 1993 Oslo Accords between it and the Palestinian Authority, and revert to "a peace process and strategy based on an entirely {new intellectual foundation} one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform". (http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm).

This new approach involved Israeli initiatives to secure its northern borders: "Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which America can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents in Lebanon..." This did not exclude attacks by proxy Israeli forces on Syria from Lebanon, targetting Syrian sites in Lebanon as well as in Syria proper.

The doctrine went on to develop the idea that Israel, "in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan" could shape the strategic environment "by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria." "This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq," the paper specified. As for the Palestinian question, "Clean Break" was equally explicit: "Israel has a chance to forge a new relationship between itself and the Palestinians. First and foremost, Israel's efforts to secure its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian controlled areas, a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize..."

This 1996 policy paper was enthusiastically endorsed by Benjamin Netanyahu, who presented its basic tenets in a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress days later, as "his" policy. However, before it could move accordingly, Israel would have to wait until the neocon establishment which had prepared the doctrine, regained power in Washington. This occurred promptly, in the wake of the dubious results of the 2000 U.S. presidential elections, and the events of September 11, 2001. It was 9-11 which made it possible for the "Clean Break" strategic doctrine to become U.S. military policy.

After the neocons had succeeded in their 2003 war against Iraq to actually depose Saddam Hussein, they followed up with "regime change by other means" in Lebanon (with the Hariri murder laid at Damascus's door). The Israeli 2008 bombing of a site in Syria alleged to be a nuclear installation, was the ultimate humiliation to Damascus. What remained on the Clean Break agenda were Iran and those militant Islamist Arab forces said to be allied to Tehran, to wit, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon. It was widely acknowledged in the press and political realm that, were the Cheney faction to endorse an Israeli bid to attack Iran -- whether by bombing its presumed nuclear installations, and/or fomenting subversive processes within the country, -- then those elements which could engage in an effective asymmetric response against forces allied to the aggressors, must be taken out first. That was the rationale behind the 2006 Israeli war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, a war which, however, did not proceed according to Tel Aviv's script. Hezbollah prevailed militarily and politically, much to the chagrin of the Cheneyacs in the US/UK and Israel.

The Target is Iran

Throughout 2007 and 2008, the debate raged among concerned parties, including on the www.globalresearch.ca website, as to whether the war party would or could mount a military attack against Iran, using the pretext that questions regarding its nuclear program remained open, etc. Statements attributed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatening the existence of Israel, were hyped up, to justify a preemptive strike against Tehran. But certain military realities had to be taken into consideration, at least by those who knew something about warfare.

The concern raised by competent military professionals, including those inside the U.S., was that, were Iran to be attacked (by the U.S. and/or Israel), the asymmetric response on the part of pro-Iranian factors in the region would unleash regional conflict with an immediate potential to become global. This was the thinking which led U.S. officials to tell Israel point blank that they would not endorse a military attack on Iran. Now, further confirming this report, the New York Times has released a timely article detailing Israel's bid and Washington rejection of permission to bomb Iran's plant at Natanz.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/washington/11iran.html?_r=1&th=&emc=th&pagew)

In the article by David E. Sanger, it is reported that it was following the late 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which said Iran had no nuclear weapons program, that Israel asked the U.S. for bunker busters, permission to fly over Iraqi air space, and refueling equipment. President Bush, according to the article, "was convinced by top administration officials, led by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, that any overt attack on Iran would probably prove ineffective, lead to the expulsion of international inspectors and drive Iran's nuclear effort further out of view." Bush et al reportedly also "discussed the possibility that an airstrike could ignite a broad Middle East war" which would draw in U.S. forces in Iraq. The article further quotes a spokesman of Gates, saying the Defense Secretary stated a week earlier that he believed "a potential strike on the Iranian facilities is not something that we or anyone else should be pursuing at this time."

Among those factors catalogued as pro-Iran, which might be activated in the event of an attack against Iran, were Shi'ite communities as well as armed militias in Bahrein, Saudi Arabia, Kuweit etc., and of course Iraq. Hezbollah remained the leading danger in Lebanon. In addition, the Palestinian Hamas movement, though not Shi'ite, was considered a serious threat. Thus, if any serious Israeli move against Iran were to be considered, one would have to figure out how to deal with Hamas first; not because it were such a powerful military force, comparable, say to Hezbollah, but because its self-conceived role as leading opposition to belligerent Israeli intentions would ensure its immediate mobilization in case of an Israeli move, a mobilization which would not be generically political, but pointedly military, and aimed at any Israeli vulnerabilities.

Thus the move against Hamas. Contrary to Israeli and other propaganda, the onslaught against Hamas in late 2008 had {nothing} to do with that Palestinian faction's alleged violation of the ceasefire, since it was Israel's continuing blockade of Gaza which was in violation. Rather, the Israeli military assault constituted a repetition of the strategy tried in 2006 against Hezbollah: to wipe out a potential nuisance, while proceeding to target Iran. The outgoing U.S. administration's military had signalled its rejection of a new war against Iran, but would obviously not object to Israeli aggression against Hamas, if presented as a thing-in-itself.

The neocon faction, led by outgoing Vice President Cheney, is viewing the Gaza war as a preparation for aggression against Iran, and the spark that ignites regional conflict. John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and one of the most outspoken among the neocon war party, announced on December 31, that the Gaza war was the first step towards an attack against Iran, which he deemed necessary. "I don't think there's anything at this point standing between Iran and nuclear weapons other than the possibility of the use of military force possibly by the United States, possibly by Israel," he was quoted by Fox News. "So while our focus obviously is on Gaza now," he went on, "this could turn out to be a much larger conflict. We're looking at potentially a multi-front war." And, as Daniel Luban summarized in a January 10 piece for http://www.antiwar.com, the general consensus among the neocons was that the Gaza war was a proxy war against Iran.

Israel chose the timing of its Gaza war most carefully, with these considerations in mind: the lame duck, lame-brained U.S. President could be counted on to assert publicly that Israel had every right to defend itself from Hamas's deadly rocket attacks. President-elect Barack Obama would not venture to denounce the Bush administration's policy as long as it were still officially in power. Any initiatives launched by the European Union would be rebuffed by Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Livni and Prime Minister Olmert, in fact, ignored any and all calls for a cease-fire on grounds that Israel alone would decide if and when any such a cease-fire could be organized. Israel's demands have been that the international community (in whatever form -- UN peacekeeping troops or whatever) would have one and only one task: to ensure that Hamas could no longer fire rockets on Israel, and that no weapons could be delivered to Gaza through the Egyptian border. The power of the Israeli establishment to blackmail any European or other attempts at mediation, -- on utterly unspoken, totally implicit, but universally understood grounds that any criticism of Israeli policy can be misconstrued as anti-semitic, -- has been demonstrated. The attempt of the EU troika to plea for a ceasefire, like the moves by the Russians too, have been ineffective.

Israel may be seriously miscalculating the total situation. It is to be mooted that the Israelis thought, -- and perhaps still think -- that, if they continue with their inhumane aggression in Gaza, killing women and children and obliterating anything that has to do with civil life in Gaza, then the other side will give up. This will not occur. Anyone who knows how the militant Hamas leaders think, realizes that their resistance even with their relatively modest missiles, will continue to be launched, up to the last man. For militant Hamas members, there is no fear of dying in struggle; on the contrary, a fighter killed in the battle for liberation is a martyr.

By the same token, if the Israelis believe that their escalation of the war will provoke Hezbollah, but more importanly, Iran, to enter the fray, they may be as badly mistaken. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivered a major speech on December 30, denouncing the Israeli aggression and calling for the defense of Palestinians. Significantly, he explicitly compared the Gaza war to the Israeli war on Hezbollah (Lebanon) in 2006. "What is happening today in Gaza is not similar but identical to what happened in July of 2006" (http://www.presstv.ir/pop/print.aspx?id=79953). He charged that the same international forces, and certain Arab states, "are asking Israel to eliminate Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the rest of the resistance factions...." The marching orders that Nasrallah issued were {not} that others should join the armed struggle. Rather, he called on Arabs to "take to the streets by the thousands, by the tens and hundreds of thousands, and demand from these [Arab] governments to act responsibly." This included emphatically the demand that Egypt open the Rafah border to Gaza, but, he added, "I am not calling for a coup in Egypt....". Days later, on January 7, Nasrallah warned Israel against expanding the hostilities to Lebanon, but that was it. The rocket reportedly fired from southern Lebanon against Israel, was not the work of Hezbollah, the group declared.

As for Iran, its leadership's response has been most cautious. Immediately after the aggression, demonstrations took place in Iran unhindered, but the leadership explicitly warned demonstrators not to attack or occupy diplomatic missions of foreign nations, for example, the British Embassy, which some protestors had targetted. When, on January 5, it was reported that 70,000 Iranian students had declared their readiness to go to Israel as suicide bombers, the regime responded unequivocably that that was {not} the answer. Supreme Leader of the Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted on January 10, saying, "I thank the pious and devoted youth who have asked to go to Gaza ... but it must be noted that our hands are tied in this arena." Iran criticized the inaction of Arab governments, but that was it. Iranian Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani had met in Damascus with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on January 7 to discuss the crisis.


Although some commentators have tried to cast these events in Iran as part of a domestic political faction fight between Ahmadinejad, seen as the militant, and Khamenei, seen as the elder statesman, the issue transcends any such internal political controversy. The issue is strategic, and the Iranians know it.

In short, it appears that both Hezbollah and the Iranian leadership have realized what kind of a trap was being laid for them, and have wisely refrained from taking any irrational step that might entrap them. It is to be expected that they will continue to lie low, and bide their time, in hopes that the Palestinians can hold out until the regime change in Washington is completed.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11747

January 12, 2009 1:51 PM  
Anonymous People with moral insanity cannot really understand the motives of normal people and must guess their reactions said...

How Many Divisions?
The Blood-Stained Monster Enters Gaza
By URI AVNERY

Nearly seventy ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called “the Red Army” held the millions of the town’s inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

Some time before that, a similar crime was committed in England. The Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield. The Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. They called it the Blitz.

This is the description that would now appear in the history books – if the Germans had won the war.

Absurd? No more than the daily descriptions in our media, which are being repeated ad nauseam: the Hamas terrorists use the inhabitants of Gaza as “hostages” and exploit the women and children as “human shields”, they leave us no alternative but to carry out massive bombardments, in which, to our deep sorrow, thousands of women, children and unarmed men are killed and injured.

* * *

IN THIS WAR, as in any modern war, propaganda plays a major role. The disparity between the forces, between the Israeli army - with its airplanes, gunships, drones, warships, artillery and tanks - and the few thousand lightly armed Hamas fighters, is one to a thousand, perhaps one to a million. In the political arena the gap between them is even wider. But in the propaganda war, the gap is almost infinite.

Almost all the Western media initially repeated the official Israeli propaganda line. They almost entirely ignored the Palestinian side of the story, not to mention the daily demonstrations of the Israeli peace camp. The rationale of the Israeli government (“The state must defend its citizens against the Qassam rockets”) has been accepted as the whole truth. The view from the other side, that the Qassams are a retaliation for the siege that starves the one and a half million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, was not mentioned at all.

Only when the horrible scenes from Gaza started to appear on Western TV screens, did world public opinion gradually begin to change.

True, Western and Israeli TV channels showed only a tiny fraction of the dreadful events that appear 24 hours every day on Aljazeera’s Arabic channel, but one picture of a dead baby in the arms of its terrified father is more powerful than a thousand elegantly constructed sentences from the Israeli army spokesman. And that is what is decisive, in the end.

War – every war – is the realm of lies. Whether called propaganda or psychological warfare, everybody accepts that it is right to lie for one’s country. Anyone who speaks the truth runs the risk of being branded a traitor.

The trouble is that propaganda is most convincing for the propagandist himself. And after you convince yourself that a lie is the truth and falsification reality, you can no longer make rational decisions.

An example of this process surrounds the most shocking atrocity of this war so far: the shelling of the UN Fakhura school in Jabaliya refugee camp.

Immediately after the incident became known throughout the world, the army “revealed” that Hamas fighters had been firing mortars from near the school entrance. As proof they released an aerial photo which indeed showed the school and the mortar. But within a short time the official army liar had to admit that the photo was more than a year old. In brief: a falsification.

Later the official liar claimed that “our soldiers were shot at from inside the school”. Barely a day passed before the army had to admit to UN personnel that that was a lie, too. Nobody had shot from inside the school, no Hamas fighters were inside the school, which was full of terrified refugees.

But the admission made hardly any difference anymore. By that time, the Israeli public was completely convinced that “they shot from inside the school”, and TV announcers stated this as a simple fact.

So it went with the other atrocities. Every baby metamorphosed, in the act of dying, into a Hamas terrorist. Every bombed mosque instantly became a Hamas base, every apartment building an arms cache, every school a terror command post, every civilian government building a “symbol of Hamas rule”. Thus the Israeli army retained its purity as the “most moral army in the world”.

* * *

THE TRUTH is that the atrocities are a direct result of the war plan. This reflects the personality of Ehud Barak – a man whose way of thinking and actions are clear evidence of what is called “moral insanity”, a sociopathic disorder.

The real aim (apart from gaining seats in the coming elections) is to terminate the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In the imagination of the planners, Hamas is an invader which has gained control of a foreign country. The reality is, of course, entirely different.

The Hamas movement won the majority of the votes in the eminently democratic elections that took place in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. It won because the Palestinians had come to the conclusion that Fatah’s peaceful approach had gained precisely nothing from Israel - neither a freeze of the settlements, nor release of the prisoners, nor any significant steps toward ending the occupation and creating the Palestinian state. Hamas is deeply rooted in the population – not only as a resistance movement fighting the foreign occupier, like the Irgun and the Stern Group in the past – but also as a political and religious body that provides social, educational and medical services.

From the point of view of the population, the Hamas fighters are not a foreign body, but the sons of every family in the Strip and the other Palestinian regions. They do not “hide behind the population”, the population views them as their only defenders.

Therefore, the whole operation is based on erroneous assumptions. Turning life into living hell does not cause the population to rise up against Hamas, but on the contrary, it unites behind Hamas and reinforces its determination not to surrender. The population of Leningrad did not rise up against Stalin, any more than the Londoners rose up against Churchill.

He who gives the order for such a war with such methods in a densely populated area knows that it will cause dreadful slaughter of civilians. Apparently that did not touch him. Or he believed that “they will change their ways” and “it will sear their consciousness”, so that in future they will not dare to resist Israel.

A top priority for the planners was the need to minimize casualties among the soldiers, knowing that the mood of a large part of the pro-war public would change if reports of such casualties came in. That is what happened in Lebanon Wars I and II.

This consideration played an especially important role because the entire war is a part of the election campaign. Ehud Barak, who gained in the polls in the first days of the war, knew that his ratings would collapse if pictures of dead soldiers filled the TV screens.

Therefore, a new doctrine was applied: to avoid losses among our soldiers by the total destruction of everything in their path. The planners were not only ready to kill 80 Palestinians to save one Israeli soldier, as has happened, but also 800. The avoidance of casualties on our side is the overriding commandment, which is causing record numbers of civilian casualties on the other side.

That means the conscious choice of an especially cruel kind of warfare – and that has been its Achilles heel.

A person without imagination, like Barak (his election slogan: “Not a Nice Guy, but a Leader”) cannot imagine how decent people around the world react to actions like the killing of whole extended families, the destruction of houses over the heads of their inhabitants, the rows of boys and girls in white shrouds ready for burial, the reports about people bleeding to death over days because ambulances are not allowed to reach them, the killing of doctors and medics on their way to save lives, the killing of UN drivers bringing in food. The pictures of the hospitals, with the dead, the dying and the injured lying together on the floor for lack of space, have shocked the world. No argument has any force next to an image of a wounded little girl lying on the floor, twisting with pain and crying out: “Mama! Mama!”

The planners thought that they could stop the world from seeing these images by forcibly preventing press coverage. The Israeli journalists, to their shame, agreed to be satisfied with the reports and photos provided by the Army Spokesman, as if they were authentic news, while they themselves remained miles away from the events. Foreign journalists were not allowed in either, until they protested and were taken for quick tours in selected and supervised groups. But in a modern war, such a sterile manufactured view cannot completely exclude all others – the cameras are inside the strip, in the middle of the hell, and cannot be controlled. Aljazeera broadcasts the pictures around the clock and reaches every home.

* * *

THE BATTLE for the TV screen is one of the decisive battles of the war.

Hundreds of millions of Arabs from Mauritania to Iraq, more than a billion Muslims from Nigeria to Indonesia see the pictures and are horrified. This has a strong impact on the war. Many of the viewers see the rulers of Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority as collaborators with Israel in carrying out these atrocities against their Palestinian brothers.

The security services of the Arab regimes are registering a dangerous ferment among the peoples. Hosny Mubarak, the most exposed Arab leader because of his closing of the Rafah crossing in the face of terrified refugees, started to pressure the decision-makers in Washington, who until that time had blocked all calls for a cease-fire. These began to understand the menace to vital American interests in the Arab world and suddenly changed their attitude – causing consternation among the complacent Israeli diplomats.

People with moral insanity cannot really understand the motives of normal people and must guess their reactions. “How many divisions has the Pope?” Stalin sneered. “How many divisions have people of conscience?” Ehud Barak may well be asking.

As it turns out, they do have some. Not numerous. Not very quick to react. Not very strong and organized. But at a certain moment, when the atrocities overflow and masses of protesters come together, that can decide a war.

* * *

THE FAILURE to grasp the nature of Hamas has caused a failure to grasp the predictable results. Not only is Israel unable to win the war, Hamas cannot lose it.

Even if the Israeli army were to succeed in killing every Hamas fighter to the last man, even then Hamas would win. The Hamas fighters would be seen as the paragons of the Arab nation, the heroes of the Palestinian people, models for emulation by every youngster in the Arab world. The West Bank would fall into the hands of Hamas like a ripe fruit, Fatah would drown in a sea of contempt, the Arab regimes would be threatened with collapse.

If the war ends with Hamas still standing, bloodied but unvanquished, in face of the mighty Israeli military machine, it will look like a fantastic victory, a victory of mind over matter.

What will be seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a blood-stained monster, ready at any moment to commit war crimes and not prepared to abide by any moral restraints. This will have severe consequences for our long-term future, our standing in the world, our chance of achieving peace and quiet.

In the end, this war is a crime against ourselves too, a crime against the State of Israel.

January 12, 2009 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been meaning to address the role of Hamas in aiding the reduction of the Warsaw Ghetto. To paraphrase Rumsfeld, "absence of evidence means we can bomb them silly."

Interesting to see the energy angle emerge. With the dollar and the USG ready to collapse, Zionism's sugar daddy won't be around forever. Better to hack the Palestinians to death than go broke and have to learn to get along.

January 12, 2009 10:27 PM  
Anonymous tmrfiles said...

Contrary to what you say, Israel does not want Gaza under its control, and gave it to the arabs in 2006, who destroyed it and used it for a terrorist training camp. The natural gas off the coast of Haifa is well within the territorial waters of Israel, who this discovery belongs to.

January 19, 2009 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

only when the jewish world finally turns to stand with rachel corrie and their palestinian brothers and sisters will we finally see an end to the monstrous devouring entity which is the state that calls itself israel.

January 19, 2009 6:25 PM  
Blogger benji said...

Israel recruits 'army of bloggers' to combat anti-Zionist Web sites By Cnaan Liphshiz, Haaretz 01/20/2009

http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056648.html

Israel democracy:
http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/downloads/democracy_flash/democracy_eng.swf

Speech by Gerald Kaufman MP in the British House of Commons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGuYjt6CP8

benji

January 20, 2009 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can A Jew Be Wrong......?
It seems from reading posts by jews that it is impossible for them to be wrong.... in any situation....
Facts that prove there wrong are conspiracies..... People who prove there wrong are anti semite... so it seems that they are so undeniably perfect that it is not even possible for them to make mistakes.... jews can’t be accused of war crimes..... They just say the people (mostly women and children) they kill are anti semite and deserve to die so they wash their hands of responsibility (its okay to kill in the name of racism but only if you’re a jew)
Denying your crimes does not make you innocent (every criminal that’s imprisoned today would be set free if that was the case) ....keep pretending you can do no wrong..... The world is watching and the truth is there to be seen even if jews want to call it conspiracy.

January 23, 2009 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..Listen to the words of Professor Arnon Sofer, the government consultant who did so much to help plan the isolation and imprisonment of Gaza, in a interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2004: “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,” Sofer predicted. “Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure on the border is going to be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” Sofer admitted only one worry with all the killing, which will, he says, be the necessary outcome of a policy that he himself helped to invent. “The only thing that concerns me,” he says, “is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”...

February 7, 2009 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..Listen to the words of Professor Arnon Sofer, the government consultant who did so much to help plan the isolation and imprisonment of Gaza, in a interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2004: “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,” Sofer predicted. “Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure on the border is going to be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” Sofer admitted only one worry with all the killing, which will, he says, be the necessary outcome of a policy that he himself helped to invent. “The only thing that concerns me,” he says, “is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”...

February 7, 2009 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..Listen to the words of Professor Arnon Sofer, the government consultant who did so much to help plan the isolation and imprisonment of Gaza, in a interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2004: “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,” Sofer predicted. “Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure on the border is going to be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” Sofer admitted only one worry with all the killing, which will, he says, be the necessary outcome of a policy that he himself helped to invent. “The only thing that concerns me,” he says, “is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”...

February 7, 2009 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..Listen to the words of Professor Arnon Sofer, the government consultant who did so much to help plan the isolation and imprisonment of Gaza, in a interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2004: “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,” Sofer predicted. “Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure on the border is going to be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” Sofer admitted only one worry with all the killing, which will, he says, be the necessary outcome of a policy that he himself helped to invent. “The only thing that concerns me,” he says, “is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”...

February 7, 2009 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Starting the attacks on a Saturday was a “stroke of brilliance,” says the country’s biggest selling paper Yediot Aharonot ; “the element of surprise increased the number of people who were killed.” ...

February 7, 2009 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

neve gordon is a professor at Tel-Aviv university...
"Israeli soccer matches were suspended during the assault on Gaza. When the games resumed last week, the fans had come up with a new chant: "Why have the schools in Gaza been shut down?" sang the crowd. "Because all the children were gunned down!" came the answer!!!!!
Aside from its sheer barbarism, this chant reflects the widespread belief among Israeli Jews that Israel scored an impressive victory in Gaza – a victory measured, not least, by the death toll...
...Every child has a story. A Bedouin friend recently called to tell us about his relatives in Gaza. One cousin allowed her five-year-old daughter to walk to the adjacent house to see whether the neighbours had something left to eat. The girl had been crying from hunger. The moment she began crossing the street a missile exploded nearby and the flying shrapnel killed her. The mother has since been bedridden, weeping and screaming, "I have let my girl die hungry". neve gordon/ˆgael bronner

February 7, 2009 3:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home