Shock and Awe redux...

The “children of Israel” takes on new meaning as the Palestinians are bludgeoned into a stupor that is yet another example of a shock and awe campaign. While Hamas is mired in old style guerilla warfare, Israel unveils the newest paradigms of military strategy. 

Desperate people, like the Palestinians, accept help from whomever shows up and promises to fight for them. It’s how the Islamist regime took power in Iran in the face of SAVAK, and even how the nazis came to power in a ruined Germany. In each of those situations, it was primarily the undermining activity of interested and hostile third parties (the US and England in Iran in the 50s, and the US, England and Russia in Germany in the 20s and 30s) that were responsible for the conditions precedent to that desperation. Similarly, look past the bloody dog and pony show of rocket exchanges and name calling to the truth behind the present charade in Gaza: Israel does not want to give up Palestine. Period. Just as the British don’t want to give up N. Ireland, the Turks fought to keep Armenia and the Iraqis won’t release the Kurds, etc. The Israelis can make a show of it, but they know and everyone knows, Palestine is too weak to avail themselves of Israel’s overtures at “solutions.” How can they? The Palestinians are mortally wounded and controlled by outside forces — much to the convenience of Israel. It’s a sham, bottom-line. If Israel really wanted to settle this thing it could be done overnight with aid, resources, and neighborly cooperation. But neither it, nor the Arab states, nor the US — especially the US -- want that to happen. It is far more useful to keep things just as they are, depite the good will of much of the Israeli citizenry who are powerless to stop their government just as we were powerless to stop ours in Iraq.

Sixty years of chaos in the middle east is not an accident. To ascribe the ongoing conflict over Palestine to religious feuding is a facile and superficial red herring. Imperialism rules through the creation of chaos, and chaos was the main US objective in its war in Iraq, and has become the foreplay of the one-world, new-world-order. What you see happening in Gaza is more martial testing of Milton Friedman’s theory of economic shock treatment, or as Naomi Klein correctly calls it:  "The Shock Doctrine.” 

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Molten Lead in Gaza

JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT, Aljazeera’s Arabic channel was reporting on events in Gaza. Suddenly the camera was pointing upwards towards the dark sky. The screen was pitch black. Nothing could be seen, but there was a sound to be heard: the noise of airplanes, a frightening, a terrifying droning.

It was impossible not to think about the tens of thousands of Gazan children who were hearing that sound at that moment, cringing with fright, paralyzed by fear, waiting for the bombs to fall.

As a matter of fact, the cease-fire did not collapse, because there was no real cease-fire to start with. The main requirement for any cease-fire in the Gaza Strip must be the opening of the border crossings. There can be no life in Gaza without a steady flow of supplies. But the crossings were not opened, except for a few hours now and again. The blockade on land, on sea and in the air against a million and a half human beings is an act of war, as much as any dropping of bombs or launching of rockets. It paralyzes life in the Gaza Strip: eliminating most sources of employment, pushing hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation, stopping most hospitals from functioning, disrupting the supply of electricity and water.

Those who decided to close the crossings – under whatever pretext – knew that there is no real cease-fire under these conditions.

That is the main thing. Then there came the small provocations which were designed to get Hamas to react. After several months, in which hardly any Qassam rockets were launched, an army unit was sent into the Strip “in order to destroy a tunnel that came close to the border fence”. From a purely military point of view, it would have made more sense to lay an ambush on our side of the fence. But the aim was to find a pretext for the termination of the cease-fire, in a way that made it plausible to put the blame on the Palestinians. And indeed, after several such small actions, in which Hamas fighters were killed, Hamas retaliated with a massive launch of rockets, and – lo and behold – the cease-fire was at an end. Everybody blamed Hamas.

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Uri Avnery's Column of Gush Shalom

Gaza's Scant Resources Stretched to Exhaustion

Stench in the air: scant resources stretched to exhaustion

FIDA BASAL, 20, was not there when the missile struck her uncle's house the day after Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza. But her sister, Hanin, 18, was.

Fida found Hanin at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. One of Hanin's legs, her sister was told, had been amputated. "I want her leg now," Fida screamed at her mother. "God has no mercy. You get me her leg now."

Her uncle lost both legs.

Yet on Sunday the day Israeli troops flooded Gaza and ground battles with Hamas began, there appeared not to be a single one.

The casualties at Shifa on Sunday - 18 dead, hospital officials said, among a reported 30 around Gaza - were women, children and men who had been with children. One surgeon said he had performed five amputations.

"I don't know what kind of weapons Israel is using," said a nurse, Ziad Abd al Jawwad, 41, who had been working 24 hours without a break. "There is so much amputation.

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U.S. Supplied, Israel Uses WMD's

Depleted uranium found in Gaza victims

Medics tell Press TV they have found traces of depleted uranium in some Gaza residents wounded in Israel's ground offensive on the strip.

Norwegian medics told Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on December 27 have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies.

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Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus shells

Israel is believed to be using controversial white phosphorus shells to screen its assault on the heavily populated Gaza Strip yesterday. The weapon, used by British and US forces in Iraq, can cause horrific burns but is not illegal if used as a smokescreen.

As the Israeli army stormed to the edges of Gaza City and the Palestinian death toll topped 500, the tell-tale shells could be seen spreading tentacles of thick white smoke to cover the troops' advance. "These explosions are fantastic looking, and produce a great deal of smoke that blinds the enemy so that our forces can move in," said one Israeli security expert. Burning blobs of phosphorus would cause severe injuries to anyone caught beneath them and force would-be snipers or operators of remote-controlled booby traps to take cover. Israel admitted using white phosphorus during its 2006 war with Lebanon.

The use of the weapon in the Gaza Strip, one of the world's mostly densely population areas, is likely to ignite yet more controversy over Israel's offensive, in which more than 2,300 Palestinians have been wounded.

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"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."