The Gaza Dilemma

In a convincing wrapup of events leading to the holocaust being perpetrated on the essentially defenceless people of Gaza, John Pilger refers to the Dagan Plan.

Behind this sordid game is the “Dagan Plan,” named after General Meir Dagan, who served with Sharon in his bloody invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Now head of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization, Dagan is the author of a “solution” that has seen the imprisonment of Palestinians behind a ghetto wall snaking across the West Bank and in Gaza, effectively a concentration camp. The establishment of a quisling government in Ramallah under Mohammed Abbas is Dagan’s achievement, together with a hasbara (propaganda) campaign relayed through a mostly supine, if intimidated western media, notably in America, that says Hamas is a terrorist organization devoted to Israel’s destruction and to “blame” for the massacres and siege of its own people over two generations, long before its creation. “We have never had it so good,” said the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Gideon Meir in 2006. “The hasbara effort is a well-oiled machine.” In fact, Hamas’s real threat is its example as the Arab world’s only democratically elected government, drawing its popularity from its resistance to the Palestinians’ oppressor and tormentor. This was demonstrated when Hamas foiled a CIA coup in 2007, an event ordained in the western media as “Hamas’s seizure of power.” Likewise, Hamas is never described as a government, let alone democratic. Neither is its proposal of a ten-year truce as a historic recognition of the “reality” of Israel and support for a two-state solution with just one condition: that the Israelis obey international law and end their illegal occupation beyond the 1967 borders. As every annual vote in the UN General Assembly demonstrates, 99 per cent of humanity concurs. On 4 January, the president of the General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto, described the Israeli attack on Gaza as a “monstrosity.”

When the monstrosity is done and the people of Gaza are even more stricken, the Dagan Plan foresees what Sharon called a “1948-style solution” – the destruction of all Palestinian leadership and authority followed by mass expulsions into smaller and smaller “cantonments” and perhaps finally into Jordan. This demolition of institutional and educational life in Gaza is designed to produce, wrote Karma Nabulsi, a Palestinian exile in Britain, “a Hobbesian vision of an anarchic society: truncated, violent, powerless, destroyed, cowed … Look to the Iraq of today: that is what [Sharon] had in store for us, and he has nearly achieved it.”

Although the UN has passed Resolution 1860 calling for a cease fire, Israel is continuing its strikes against anything that moves or doesn’t move in the beleaguered Gaza Strip.

This is unacceptable. The US may already been dragged into being accomplice to war crimes on the eve of Obama’s inauguration – is this Bush’s last petulant tantrum too?

Francis A. Boyle An Israeli War Crimes Tribunal – An Israeli War Crimes Tribunal (ICTI) May be the Only Deterrent to a Global War

Not that again – still at least some folks are waking up to the Machiavellian possibilities neocons may be hoping to ignite in these last desperate days of Straussian ponderosity.

Ari Shavit writes in Haaretz of that perennial classic, the White Man’s Burden

George E. Bisharat Israel Is Committing War Crimes – Hamas’s violations are no justification for Israel’s actions.

Pentagon denies arms shipment to Israel linked with Gaza fighting – interesting because the first time we looked the story said US was sending 3000 tons of ammo on a merchant ship.

In fact, here it is sitting on Reuters UK. So who’s the anonymous informant, and which story is true? ??

U.S. seeks ship to move arms to Israel

Fri Jan 9, 2009 11:42pm GMT

By Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show.

The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as “ammunition” on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

A “hazardous material” designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.

“Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot,” one broker said, on condition of anonymity.

“This (kind of request) is pretty rare and we haven’t seen much of it quoted in the market over the years,” he added.

The U.S. Defense Department, contacted by Reuters on Friday in Washington, had no immediate comment.

The MSC transports amour and military supplies for the U.S. armed forces aboard its own fleet, but regularly hires merchant ships if logistics so require.

The request for the ship was made on December 31, with the first leg of the charter to arrive no later than January 25 and the second at the end of the month.

The tender for the vessel follows the hiring of a commercial ship to carry a much larger consignment of ordnance in December from the United States to Israel ahead of air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

A German shipping firm which won that tender confirmed the order when contacted by Reuters but declined to comment further.

CHARTERS “RARE”

Shipping brokers in London who have specialized in moving arms for the British and U.S. military in the past said such ship charters to Israel were rare.

Israel is one of America’s closest allies and both nations regularly sell arms to each other.

A senior military analyst in London who declined to be named said that, because of the timing, the shipments could be “irregular” and linked to the Gaza offensive.

The ship hired by the MSC in December was for a much larger cargo of arms, tender documents showed.

That stipulated a ship to be chartered for 42 days capable of carrying 989 standard 20-foot containers from Sunny Point, North Carolina to Ashdod.

The tender document said the vessel had to be capable of “carrying 5.8 million pounds (2.6 million kg) of net explosive weight,” which specialist brokers said was a very large quantity.

The ship was requested early last month to load on December 15.

In September, the U.S. Congress approved the sale of 1,000 bunker-buster missiles to Israel. The GPS-guided GBU-39 is said to be one of the most accurate bombs in the world.

The Jerusalem Post, citing defense officials, reported last week that a first shipment of the missiles had arrived in early December and they were used in penetrating Hamas’s underground rocket launcher sites.

(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; editing by Michael Roddy)

UPDATE ON SHIP

Greek bloggers used Twitter to pressure the Greek government to halt the arms transfer.

Delivery of the munitions was suspended, just as the Greek government was coming under fire from opposition parties, and Amnesty International was calling for an arms embargo.

At first, official sources contested the story from the international news agency Reuters on January 9. But it was picked up by Twitter users and investigated after Indy.gr – an offshoot of the Indymedia Athens group – provided a translation of the article in Greek.

ADDENDA

From Enduring America 9/1/09:

1:10 p.m. Here’s one for the Israel Info Guys in Tel Aviv and New York.

You know the “human shields” line that Hamas hides behind civilians, especially women and children, to conduct their nefarious activities? Well, a released Gazan detainee has offered an inconvenient twist — at least for Israel:

In the first day (of the ground offensive) special forces stormed Beit Lahiya. Maybe a thousand soldiers landed on rooftops then began arresting people….They used us as human shields in military positions they established inside Gaza Strip before they drove us to a prison in Beersheba. They made us sleep on gravel, or on the sand. They stripped us of our clothes.

And here’s a little footnote: “They used a bulldozer to pile up the bodies of the dead.”

Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim – How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe

@AJGaza: UN says more than 15,000 people are now internally displaced after fleeing their homes in an attempt to avoid the fighting in #Gaza

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