What can't go on forever,
won't. As long as world leaders let Israel get away with murder, killing
Palestinians won't stop.
Wednesday marks Operation Pillar of Cloud day 8. Ceasefire deals don't
stop Israel's killing machine. It's a weapon of mass destruction.
It specializes in slaughtering civilians. On November 21, The International
Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) headlined "Israeli air force bombs government
buildings, media overnight; Israel refuses truce terms" after accepting
Overnight bombing targeted civilian sites. Pipelines delivering gas from
Egypt were bombed. Gaza City's Yarmouk sports stadium was struck.
Tuesday afternoon, leaflets were dropped. Gaza City area residents were
warned to leave their homes. Over 10,000 Palestinians sought shelter in
Gaza has no safe havens. During Cast Lead, UN facilities were bombed.
On January 6, 2009, missiles and shells targeted a UN school. Hundreds
of Palestinians sheltered there. Over 40 were killed. Many others were
UN officials said the school was clearly marked. Its location was reported
to Israeli authorities. It had no military significance. Israel deliberately
targeted civilians. Most were children. Israel called them terrorists.
Separate same day attacks struck another UNWRA school and a civilian home.
Twelve Daya family members were killed. Seven children and three women
died. Israel called them Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters.
On November 21, Gaza City's AFP headquarters was hit. Al Jazeera's office
was damaged. Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari was injured.
Civilians were targeted near Shafi mosque. No one's sure how many died.
Around midday Wednesday, numbers approach 160. Many missing haven't been
Dozens more for sure are dead. Others gravely injured will die. Many Palestinians
will be maimed for life. Numbers injured top 1,000. It's hard keeping
up with total casualties. One by one they mount.
IMEMC said, "only six" Palestinians were "identified as being resistance
fighters." Others are civilians. Many are women, children infants, and
Al Shifa Hospital staff said most victims admitted are women and children.
Nurses never saw so many bombing casualties over an eight-day period.
They're stressed to the limit treating them. Medications and other supplies
are running out fast. Life-saving ones have been exhausted. Catastrophic
describes conditions they're dealing with.
Israel hijacked the Al-Quds Palestinian satellite channel. Propaganda
reports told viewers that Hamas leaders were hiding in sewers like "mice
Israel bombed media sites multiple times. On Sunday, two buildings were
struck. At least six journalists were injured. Al-Quds TV cameraman Khader
al-Zahhar lost a leg. Severe injuries required amputation.
On Wednesday, more attacks followed. Israel wants truth silenced. On November
21, the Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA)
said Israel killed Aqsa TV cameramen Salamah and Al-Komi.
They were traveling in a clearly marked Al-Aqsa TV car. Israel willfully
targeted them. MADA called killing them a "heinous crime." Over the past
decade, Israel murdered 20 regional journalists. Four were killed during
Cast Lead. So far, three died during Pillar of Cloud.
MADA demanded an international investigation. It wants Israel held accountable.
Impunity encourages more crimes.
Bombing destroyed a Khan Younis police headquarters and nearby buildings.
Gaza's Interior Ministry building was destroyed. So was a major bridge
linking Gaza City with southern Gaza.
Cyber attacks target Israel. A massive campaign continues. Israel admitted
war is being waged on three fronts: on the ground, social networks and
cyberspace. Add scoundrel media reports. They're consistently pro-Israeli.
Since November 14, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said over 60
million cyberattacks targeted government web sites. Countermeasures foiled
most of them, he claimed.
The online activist group Anonymous said it hacked dozens of Israeli state
agency sites and a major bank. It claims 650 were disabled or defaced.
Anonymous #OpIsrael declared cyberwar. It retaliated against Israel's
"barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people"
and for "publicly threaten(ing) to sever all Internet and other telecommunications
into and out of Gaza."
"NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch," it added. A YouTube video
"We call on the Anonymous Collective to hack, deface, docks, hijack, database
leak, admin takeover, four oh four and DNS terminate the Israeli Cyberspace
by any means necessary."
"To the Israeli Government, Anonymous has grown tired of your bullying,
and now you will see the result of your actions. Cyber war has been declared
on Israel cyber space and you will see exactly what we are capable of."
Pre-dawn Wednesday, Anonymous hijacked Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom's
Twitter account. It tweeted "END THE OCCUPATION. FREE PALESTINE. PALESTINE
WE LOVE YOU."
On November 20, Mondoweiss published a letter from Khan Yunis to the world.
Maissa Abdul-Halim wrote it. She's an Al-Aqsa University student. She
could die any moment, she said. She wanted others to hear her words and
"Our blood is being shed every day," she said, "and the world has yet
to learn that we are human beings."
November 20 was UN Children's Day. It was day 7 of Israeli terror bombings.
Innocent civilians are dying. Many are children. "What crime have they
committed to deserve what is happening to them?!!"
"For all the world: we don't need your tears. We can cry all the day ourselves.
We need you to act, to act against your governments which support Israel,
act now against your silence."
"WE ARE NOT NUMBERS….We are human beings. We have feelings and passions.
We have blood. We have hearts in our chests. We have families. We deserve
to live just as you do."
Palestinian deaths don't matter. Media scoundrels don't keep count.
One Israeli fatality makes headlines. Terrorism, they scream.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined "Day 8: Terrorists bomb Tel
Aviv bus, again miss Jerusalem."
When Israel terror bombs Gaza, kills civilians, and ruthlessly threatens
an entire 1.7 million population, it's called self-defense. When counterattacks
kill Jews, it's "terrorism."
On November 21, a Tel Aviv bus was struck. An explosive device may have
been placed on board. Haaretz reported at least 21 hurt. Maan News said
at least 10. DF said 25, "five seriously." A later DF report said 27,
IDF spokesman, General Yoav Mordecai, said Cairo talks haven't slowed
Israeli attacks and possible ground operation preparations.
Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz said military priorities will continue
no matter what happens politically. In other words, diplomacy won't deter
Israel's belligerency and occupation harshness.
Peace isn't won on battlefields. It's when both sides prefer dialogue
to belligerence. Israel shuns it. Violence and instability serves its
Peace defeats it. Strategy calls for assuring it doesn't erupt. Bombing
continues conflict. Ground operations sustain it longer. On November 20,
Israel National News gave Efraim Inbar and Max Singer op-ed space.
Both urge invasion. "A thorough terrorist cleanup is necessary to ensure
the Jewish state’s ability to stand against the rising tide of Islamist
militancy," they said. "Let the international community oppose it as much
as they want to."
Confront Hamas "head-on." Do it sooner, not later. Wipe out resistance.
Ignore criticism about civilian casualties. Expand the current offensive.
"Clear-cut victory needs boots on the ground."
Deterrence will be achieved if Hamas and Islamic Jihad "are decimated….The
bottom line is that Israel is surrounded by enemies who will spare no
efforts to kill as many Israelis as possible."
It bears repeating. Conflicts beget more of them. An endless cycle of
violence is self-destructive. It benefits no one. Peace depends on prioritizing
diplomacy over confrontation.
Inbar teaches at Bar-Ilan University. His students should think twice
before enrolling in his courses. Singer is Hudson Institute (HI) senior
fellow/trustee emeritus. HI is hawkish, neoliberal, and pro-Israeli.
Policies perhaps benefitting them harm most others. Their "bottom line"
is one peace advocates should resolutely oppose.
The choice is simple. Get along or risk destroying ourselves. Odds so
far look grim.
A Final Comment
Here we go again. At minutes past noon EST, Reuters headlined "Hamas,
Israel agree truce: Palestinian source," saying:
An unnamed Palestinian close to Egyptian mediators provided no details.
Official confirmation didn't follow. Haaretz said Clinton will announce
The Financial Times reported that an unnamed Egyptian official said terms
were agreed. It's to take effect at 2PM EST.
Minutes past 1PM EST, Maan News said Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed
Kamel Amr and Clinton jointly announced it. It's to take effect within
"These efforts….have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore
calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen," said Amr.
An Israeli statement said:
Netanyahu "spoke a short while ago with President Barack Obama and agreed
to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance,
and in this way provide an opportunity to stabilize the situation and
calm it before any more forceful action would be necessary."
In other words, Israel reserves the right to resume hostilities any time
for any reason or none at all. It'll take full advantage.
Expect little more for Palestinians than short-term conflict cessation.
For over 64 years, belligerence has been official Israeli policy. Occupation
harshness exceeded 45 years.
Cairo talks changed nothing. Short-term relief excludes fundamental long-term
injustices. Palestinian liberation depends on resolving them.