>

Two Years Later, Israeli Cast Lead War Criminals Elude Justice

Accompanying an alarming metastasis of racism within Israel, baleful, triumphalist zionist rhetoric directed at the defenceless people of the Gaza gulag is building ominously once more.

The scenario for the next round is unfolding in front of our eyes and it resembles depressingly the same deterioration that preceded the massacre of Gaza two years ago: daily bombardment on the Strip and a policy that tries to provoke Hamas so that more expanded assaults would be justified. As one general explained, there is now a need to take into account the damaging effect of the Goldstone report: namely the next major attack should look more plausible than the 2009 one (but this concern may not be that crucial to this particular government; nor would it serve as an obstacle).

Today, on the anniversary of the commencement of Israel’s attack of the people of Gaza, many of us reflect on the events of two years ago in mourning and regret that its criminal progenitors have eluded justice, courtesy of the largesse and impunity lent by Israel’s blinkered, biased imperial benefactor, the US and its bevy of colonialist toadies, including Australia.

Then acting Australian PM Julia Gillard disgracefully cheerled the Israeli massacre:

Israel’s attack upon Gaza was met with a curious indifference by most of the so-called leaders of Western nations. As acting Prime Minister of Australia at the time, the ill-informed Julia Gillard refused to criticise, let alone condemn the actions of Israel. Supposedly speaking on behalf of the Australian people, she said: “Australia recognises the right of Israel to defend itself.” That comment was made on the third of January 2009, by which time it was widely known that 430 Gazans had already been killed and 2,300 wounded in 750 individual strikes carried out by air and by sea over the previous five days.

The Cast Lead massacre was committed with malice aforethought on an imprisoned Gaza population of 1.5 million people, 55% of whom were under the age of 18 years. Israel broke its truce with Hamas on November 5th, 2008 although there had been no actual Hamas rockets during the ceasefire. Nor had Israel cooperated with the spirit if not actual terms of the truce by easing its illegal blockade. Israel automagically, conveniently blames Hamas for any rockets fired from the oppressed Gazan sliver of land. In revenge, Israel inflicts ongoing indiscriminate collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza, whom it has now incarcerated for 1,293 days.

Yet the truce was working, as during the final couple of months, there were practically no rockets fired from Gaza at all. After breaking the truce ,.Israel refused to renew it, even though Hamas expressed its willingness to renegotiate provided the siege was eased. Israel attacked on the 27th December, 2008. During the 22 infamous days of Operation Cast Lead, Israel killed 1417 Palestinian people, 352 of whom were children.

Flaunting the Geneva Conventions, Israel fiendishly, illegally targeted and destroyed ambulances, hospitals, schools, universities, the sole electric power and sewerage plants, chicken farms, dairy farms, crops, trees, police stations, homes and whole villages. Israel made around 50,000 Gazans homeless during winter, then for 18 months after the end of its 22 day attack, malevolently disallowed materials for rebuilding to enter Gaza. Two years later:

Israel has so far only approved the import of materials for 25 UNRWA[2] construction projects for schools and clinics, a mere seven per cent of UNRWA’s entire reconstruction plan for Gaza. Even for these approved projects, only a small fraction of the required construction materials have actually been permitted to enter Gaza so far.

More generally, says the report, the UN has estimated that Gaza needs 670,000 truckloads of construction materials for housing alone in Gaza. An average of only 715 truckloads of construction materials have entered the Gaza Strip per month since the ‘easing’ announcement, says the report. At this rate, it would take many decades to build the needed homes. And because UNRWA has been unable to get construction materials to build new schools, 40,000 eligible children could not be enrolled at UN schools at the start of the new academic year.

“Only a fraction of the aid needed has made it to the civilians trapped in Gaza by the blockade”, said Jeremy Hobbs, Director of Oxfam International. “Israel’s failure to live up to its commitments and the lack of international action to lift the blockade are depriving Palestinians in Gaza of access to clean water, electricity, jobs and a peaceful future.”

Altogether in the Occupied Territories, between 29th September, 2000 and 30th November, 2010, around 1313 Palestinian children have been slaughtered by Israeli security forces, according to B’TSelem.

According to an Al Mezan report from December 2010, over 21,000 people remain displaced two years after the end of Operation Cast Lead. Israel has committed more grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 147) as

careful documentation indicates that the IOF destroyed at least 1,723 shelters after the end of hostilities when they had come under Israel’s effective control. These shelters could not be deemed military objectives. Nor were they near any other legitimate military targets. Their destruction was therefore illegal, violating fundamental international humanitarian law principles, and amounting to war crimes.

Thanks to rejection by the credulous zionist sycophants in the US congress of the painstaking research within the UN-commissioned Goldstone Report into Cast Lead war crimes, Israeli war criminals responsible for the planning and execution of the heinous Cast Lead massacre still walk free, with no justice attained for, nor compensation paid to Israel’s civilian victims.

‘Despite its listing count after count of international law contraventions, Israeli “war crimes” and “possible crimes against humanity,” the European Union, the United Nations, the Red Cross, and all major Human Rights Organizations have called for an end to the illegal, medieval siege, it carries on unabated. On 11th November 2010 UNRWA head John Ging said, “There’s been no material change for the people on the ground here in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, no economy…The easing, as it was described, has been nothing more than a political easing of the pressure on Israel and Egypt.’

Though the resistance of Palestinians who endure it is unflinching, and international boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israeli apartheid and occupation are flourishing, Israel’s pitiless, illegal siege remains.

Israel’s harvest from its vindictive, cruel folly is bitter – as Nelson Mandela said, “A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he’s locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.” Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their freedom. How much hatred, prejudice and narrow-mindedness imprisons Israel?

Palestinians deserve long overdue justice to be brought to their oppressors, for the hideous illegal siege to be lifted completely and for Israel’s aggression and expansionism to end. Join the #Gaza2 Campaign on twitter and post on your blog to remind the people of Palestine that neither they nor the calamities and evils inflicted on them during Operation Cast Lead by Israel and its collaborators are forgotten.

Palestine / Israel Links

The toxic downfall of the Jewish dream of a safe homeland
An Open Letter from Gaza: Two Years after the Massacre, a Demand for Justice
Israel’s image campaign a facade
Israeli foreign minister: Peace deal ‘impossible,’ ‘forbidden’
Dennis Ross Bats For Netanyahu
Hillary’s Envoy : Not Everyone is Cheering
New Mossad Chief Makes Nice to Brits
In Pictures: the slaughter of Gazan children – Victims of the Israeli occupation forces in the tenth day of their attacks on Gaza Strip – January 5, 2009
The drums of war are heard again in Israel
Davuto?lu blames Israel for failure to mend ties
And What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Gaza? Operation Cast Lead and the Dismembering of a People
Sorry, ‘Mother Jones’ but you’re piping the Israeli narrative of Gaza ‘war’
How long will American Jews deny this crushing reality?
Rabbi threatens civil war if settlements are evacuated
IDF warns troops: Facebook can bring terrorists to you
Jewish activist faces jail for West Bank resistance
Nomads No More: Israel evicts Indigenous Bedouins for more sterile racist settlements
Groundbreaking report details Israel’s inhumane conditions for isolated prisoners
UK considers recognizing PA diplomats
Palestinian group launches ‘Gaza Holocaust’ website
Another Gaza war?
Vigil outside the Israeli embassy in London to mark the second anniversary of the start of Operation Cast Lead
“To shoot an elephant” is an eye witness account from The Gaza Strip. December 27th, 2008, Operation Cast Lead. 21 days shooting elephants. Urgent, insomniac, dirty, shuddering images from the only foreigners who decided and managed to stay embedded inside Gaza strip ambulances, with Palestinian civilians.
The Gaza massacre and the struggle for justice
Suheir Hammad: 2. Rafah
Stuttgart Declaration
An Open Letter from Gaza: Two Years after the Massacre, a Demand for Justice
Operation Cast Lead 2 Years On
Leftist Yonatan Pollak sentenced to 3 months in jail
Shin Bet puts Israeli ‘anarchists’ in crosshairs
Israeli activist sentenced to 3 months in prison for protesting Gaza war

Wikileaks Links

WikiLeaks founder baffled by sex assault claims
THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG, Special Holiday Weekend Edition!
Saving Private Manning
Beyond WikiLeaks: The Privatization of War
Austria and the WikiLeaks Diplomatic Cables
WikiLeaks tells why drug king is still free
Wikileaks: State Department Lied, Denying Dubai Asked for Assistance in Tracking Mossad Assassins
Wikileaks cables have revealed a disturbing development in the African uranium mining industry: abysmal safety and security standards in the mines, nuclear research centres, and border customs are enabling international companies to exploit the mines and smuggle dangerous radioactive material across continents.
EX-CIA SPOOK CALLS FOR “COVERT ACTION” VS. ASSANGE
WikiLeaks may spawn new sedition act

Other Links

Afghanistan denounces deadly NATO-led raid
America in Decline: Why Germans Think We’re Insane
Can Gillard Last?

Hamas positions under-reported in the media

For the record.

In Haaretz (22/9/09):

The head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has told United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon that the group supports any steps leading to the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, according to the Palestinian news agency Ramattan.

The letter – written by Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday to coincide with a UN conference currently underway in New York – stated that, “We would never thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders [from] June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The missive also comes as Barack Obama prepared to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his first Mideast summit as United States president.

Haniyeh’s message was only covered by Xinhua and was identical to the Haaretz story.

Not very convincing coverage compared to Erekat’s centre stage at ABC News.

There was a glaring lack of coverage elsewhere of Al Jazeera’s reportage of Hamas’s willingness to cooperate with Goldstone’s recommendations:

“AJ: .. to carry out their own independent investigations into their conduct during the war … a request Hamas told us they’d be happy to carry out if it means the international community will then take seriously claims in the report that Israeli soldiers committed warcrimes.

Ahmed Youssef (Deputy Foreign Minister, Hamas): Regarding Hamas firing rockets on the civilian areas, this is something easy to do the investigation by looking where these rockets hit and where is the target of these rockets if these rockets really intended to be targetting civilian areas or military bases in the neighbourhood.”

The closest approximation to Youssef’s position was in the NYTimes, where crucial parts of his statement presented on Al Jazeera were omitted. Youssef was reported substantially in the third person, unlike the plethora of howling Israeli apologists contained therein:

Ahmed Yousef, a senior adviser to the Hamas government in Gaza, said the local authorities would investigate the relevant cases in the report. But he reiterated his government’s position that Israeli civilians killed by rockets were victims of the fact that the Palestinians had only “primitive weapons, and with such weapons, mistakes are to be expected.” The rockets, he added, were fired in self-defense.”

Jpost cites third hand the NY Times account.

Understanding Hamas

Hamas is typically vilified and ignored by western media obsequious to the fascist Israeli cause – Ken Livingstone makes a stellar effort in illuminating facets of the democratically elected government of Gaza in his interview with leader-in-exile, Khaled Meshal, covering his life, the sadistic Gaza siege perpetrated by the Ziocolony and the hideous, illegal Occupation.

KL: What is the situation in Gaza today?

KM: Gaza today is under siege. Crossings are closed most of the time and for months victims of the Israeli war on Gaza have been denied ­access to construction materials to rebuild their destroyed homes. Schools, hospitals and homes in many parts of the Gaza Strip are in need of rebuilding. Tens of thousands of people remain homeless. As winter approaches, the conditions of these victims will only get worse in the cold and rain. One and a half million people are held hostage in one of the biggest prisons in the history of humanity. They are unable to travel freely out of the Strip, whether for medical treatment, for education or for other needs. What we have in Gaza is a disaster and a crime against humanity perpetrated by the Israelis. The world community, through its silence and indifference, colludes in this crime.

KL: Why do you think Israel is still imposing the siege on Gaza?

KM: The Israelis claim that the siege is for security reasons. The real intention is to pressure Hamas by punishing the entire population. The sanctions were put in place soon after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in January 2006. While security is one of their concerns, it is not the main motivation. The primary objective is to provoke a coup against the results of the democratic elections that brought Hamas to power. The Israelis and their allies seek to impose failure on Hamas by persecuting the people. This is a hideous and immoral endeavour. Today, the siege continues despite the fact that we have, for the past six months, observed a ceasefire. Last year, a truce was observed from June to December 2008. Yet the siege was never lifted, and the sanctions remained in place. Undermining Hamas is the main objective of the siege. The Israelis hope to turn the people of Gaza against Hamas by increasing the suffering of the entire population of the Strip.

Meshal points to the rightful remedies which could, if the US was an honest player, be applied:

KL: How do you think the blockade can be lifted?

KM: In order for the blockade to be lifted, the rule of international law must be respected. The basic human rights of the Palestinians and their right to live in dignity and free from persecution would have to be acknowledged. There has to be an international will to serve justice and uphold the basic principles of international human rights law. The international community would have to free itself from the shackles of Israeli pressure, speak the truth and act accordingly.

Meshal highlights accurately the chain of events which lead to the massacre of the people of Gaza earlier this year:

L: Israel says that the bombing and invasion of Gaza last year was in response to repeated breaking of the ceasefire by Hamas and the firing of rockets into southern Israel. Is this the case?

KM: The Israelis are not telling the truth. We ­entered into a truce deal with Israel from 19 June to 19 December 2008. Yet the blockade was not lifted. The deal entailed a bilateral ceasefire, lifting the blockade and opening the crossings. We fully abided by the ceasefire while Israel only partially observed it, and towards the end of the term it resumed hostilities. Throughout that ­period, Israel maintained the siege and only intermittently opened some of the crossings, ­allowing no more than 10 per cent of the basic needs of the Gazan population to get through.
Israel killed the potential for renewing the truce because it deliberately and repeatedly violated it.

I have always informed my western visitors, including the former US president Jimmy Carter, that the moment Hamas is offered a truce that includes lifting the blockade and opening the crossings, Hamas will adopt a positive stance. So far, no one has made us any such offer. As far as we are concerned, the blockade amounts to a declaration of war that warrants self-defence.

Significantly, Meshal declares his commitment to democratic processes and describes why the Islamic nature of Hamas is not an impediment for democracy in Palestine.

KL: Do you wish to establish an Islamic state in Palestine in which all other religions are subordinate?

KM: Our priority as a national liberation movement is to end the Israeli occupation of our homeland. Once our people are free in their land and enjoy the right to self-determination, they alone have the final say on what system of governance they wish to live under. It is our firm belief that Islam cannot be imposed on the people. We shall campaign, in a fully democratic process, for an Islamic agenda. If that is what the people opt for, then that is their choice. We believe that Islam is the best source of guidance and the best guarantor for the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

KL: Does Hamas impose Islamic dress in Gaza? For example, is it compulsory in Gaza for women to wear the hijab, niqab or burqa?

KM: No. Intellectually, Hamas derives its vision from the people’s culture and religion. Islam is our religion and is the basic constituent of our culture. We do not deny other Palestinians the right to have different visions. We do not impose on the people any aspects of religion or social conduct. Features of religion in Gaza society are genuine and spontaneous; they have not been imposed by any authority other than the faith and conviction of the observant.

Truce talks – an End to Israel’s Collective Punishment?

Haaretz is running a story which contains a degree of hope that soon the horrendous blockade on Gaza by Israel may be lifted. Will the outcome truly be dependent on the views of Khaled Meshal?

The pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported Sunday that Israel has agreed to release 1000 Palestinian prisoners as part of the deal, including Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. But the London-based daily also said that Israel has refused to free Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Ahmed Sa’ada.

According to the report, Israel has agreed to release 350 of the 372 prisoners on a list presented by Hamas.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed that “supreme efforts” are being made to secure Shalit’s release in the near future.

On Saturday night, Israel’s “troika” – composed of Prime Minister Olmert, Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni – held an unusual meeting at the Defense Ministry to discuss the negotiations for a cease-fire deal in the Gaza Strip, along the lines proposed by Egypt.

The meeting also included Minister Rafi Eitan, whom Olmert recently asked to join the meetings involving information on Shalit.

Eitan, an avid sculpture is ex Mossad and Shin Bet and once was Begin’s advisor on terrorism [irony] on which he is regarded as an expert. He has also liased with MI6 on terrorism in Northern Ireland which ended after the IRA put out orders for his assassination.

A senior political source said on Saturday that “there is still no decision on Shalit, mostly because of Hamas’ need to form a joint position on the matter.”

The same source also said that any reports that a deal may be at hand are exaggerated. “As soon as there is something to talk about, the political-security cabinet will meet,” the source added. “So far the matter has not reached the decision-making stage.”

On Thursday the prime minister held a series of meetings on Shalit. A senior political source said that during the talks a number of new ideas were introduced with regard to a potential deal. “In recent days, efforts on Shalit’s behalf have been accelerated,” the source said.

The breakthrough was achieved last week during talks in Cairo between Egypt’s chief of intelligence, Gen. Omar Suleiman, and Hamas representatives, and later in talks between the senior Egyptian mediator and Amos Gilad, the head of the Defense Ministry’s political-security bureau.

Gilad returned from Cairo Thursday with what appears to be a detailed agreement for a cease-fire and he is expected to go back to Egypt in a day or two.

On Saturday, a senior Hamas figure from the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud al-Zahar, traveled to Cairo, in what was his first public appearance since going underground during Operation Lead Cast. He was accompanied by Hamas parliamentarian Salah al-Bardawil as well as Nizar Awadalla, who handles the Shalit case for Hamas. Accompanying them was the spokesman for the Hamas government, Taher al-Nunu.

Zahar told the Arabic language satellite television station Al-Jazeera on Saturday that Hamas will evaluate the Israeli proposals and will offer its final response to it.

The senior Hamas official will also travel with his delegation to Damascus for talks with Meshal and his aides. Their meeting is considered crucial on whether a deal will be finalized.

At this point the following are believed to be the main points of the deal that is being formulated:

# A cease-fire for 18 months in the Gaza Strip (unrelated to the West Bank). Once the cease-fire comes to an end, it will be possible to extend it for another 18 months. Hamas has promised to prevent attacks from the Gaza Strip and the IDF will avoid attacks of its own.

# A full reopening of the crossings between Israel and the Strip, which means more than mere humanitarian assistance will be allowed to cross into Gaza. Israel has conditioned a full reopening of the crossings on the release of Gilad Shalit.

# Gilad Shalit will be returned to Israel in the near future, in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

# Reopening of the Rafah border crossing. Following Egyptian insistence, the crossing will be run by Palestinian Authority officials loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas. However, unlike a similar 2005 agreement, Hamas will be allowed to maintain a presence at the crossings.

This formula appears to be acceptable to Israel, Egypt and the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, under Ismail Haniyeh. The main obstacle at this point may lie in Damascus, since Meshal may block it. Also opposed to the formula under negotiation is the head of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Ja’abari.

In another Haaretz story, it’s reported that Turkey and Qatar are playing a large role in peace talks and the release of Shalit.

Turkish news channel CNN Turk reported Friday that Turkish officials were currently holding talks on the issue with Hamas officials in Damascus, the base of the Islamist militant group’s political leadership.

Reuters Friday quoted a Palestinian official as saying that Turkey and Qatar have taken a lead role in the negotiations over Shalit in recent months.

Other than the difference between the one year truce mooted by Hamas and the 18 month truce favoured by Israel, and a limiting in the numbers of political prisoners to be freed in exchange for Shalit, it is unclear to me why Meshaal would impede the latest proposed deal.

He said recently on Friday that “Hamas would reject a truce unless the deal included lifting the blockade”, and these terms appear to have been met, unless Israel is simply putting up smoke and mirrors.

The more conservative Jerusalem Post reiterates part of the Haaretz story with further illuminations:

The London-based Al Hayat quoted Palestinian sources as saying Israel has agreed to release 1,000 Hamas prisoners in exchange for Schalit, including Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti.

The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report.

On Saturday, government officials told The Jerusalem Post that a change in the positions of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has created a window of opportunity to strike a deal with Hamas for a prisoner swap that would free Schalit before a new government is established.

Olmert and Livni are now willing to release more and “higher quality” security prisoners in a swap than they were before Operation Cast Lead, according to the officials.

A top government official told the Post on Saturday night that a combination of the change in the stance of Olmert, Livni and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin to back a prisoner swap together with the outcome of last month’s Operation Cast Lead had created a “window of opportunity” to reach a deal with Hamas.

According to the official, Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin also supported a prisoner swap with Hamas.

The official downplayed the significance of the Turkish involvement in the Schalit talks, saying that while dialogue was positive, the Egyptian mediation track was more likely to succeed.

Senior Hamas official Osama al-Muzaini yesterday denied Turkish media reports that a prisoner swap agreement could be clinched by Tuesday.

The reports of a breakthrough were “motivated by political considerations ahead of the elections in Israel,” Muzaini said.

News channel CNN Turk reported on Friday that Turkish officials were discussing a deal with Hamas leaders in Damascus.

Both the security cabinet and the full cabinet will convene to endorse a list of Palestinian security prisoners to be released if the details of a prisoner swap are finalized.

The names of the Palestinian detainees will then be posted on the Internet for 48 hours to allow those who object to their release to petition the High Court of Justice.

Ma’an News Agency reiterates the 1000 prisoner swap figure mentioned in Haaretz.

Israel has agreed to release approximately 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release captured Israeli soldier in Gaza Gilad Shalit, Palestinian sources told the London-based daily Al-Hayat newspaper on Saturday.

The list of those to be released likely includes 25 prisoners sentenced to long term imprisonments including all women, children, Palestinian lawmakers and ministers. The sources noted that Hamas insisted on the release of eight high-profile prisoners including Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmad Sa’adat and Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouthi.

According to the sources quoted by Al-Hayat, Israel agreed to release Marwan Barghouthi, but refused to release Sa’adat. It appears that the current ruling coalition in Israel led by Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni’s Kadima and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud are aiming at completing the prisoner swap before Tuesday’s elections.

Meanwhile Abbas is using the slight window of opportunity before the Israeli elections on Tuesday to push for Israel to accept the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

Israel has “no other choice” than to embrace the Arab Peace Initiative set out in 2002 if it wants to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Saturday.

During a visit to Ankara in the wake of Israel’s 22-day war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Abbas pointed to the Arab League initiative — revived in March 2007 at a summit in Riyadh — as the best way forward in the Middle East.

“Israel has no other choice than to accept the Arab peace plan,” said Abbas during a meeting with Turkish President Koksal Toptan, the domestic Anatolia news agency reported.

The Arab Peace Initiative would see all Arab nations establish normal relations with Israel in return for an Israeli pullout from occupied lands and the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem.

While citing “positive aspects” in the initiative, Israel never formally accepted it, chiefly because it refers to a right of return for Palestinians made refugees by the 1948 founding of the Jewish state.

Promoted by Saudi Arabia, the initiative was embraced by all Arab League member nations at a summit in Beirut in March 2002. Abbas said Turkey — which is not a league member — supports it.

Emanuela at All Voices puts Israel’s existing so-called ‘unilateral’ truce, militant rockets and inflammatory killings by Israel in perspective.

Jews sans Frontiers republish a powerful letter to EU Envoy Marc Otte pertinent to both the repellent EU support for the illegitimate Abbas, Israel and its blockade on Gaza.

The word ‘terrorist,’ among Israelis and their supporters, means ‘Palestinian’. Thus, all Palestinians are considered terrorists. The reason for that is that every Palestinian, even a child, strikes terror in the heart of Israelis. Israelis are terrorized by the fear that they might one day be held to account for the 100 years of crimes, of ethnic cleansing, land theft and murder. Israelis can forgive the German people the holocaust but they cannot forgive Palestinians for being their victims, and for being, simply by being, the incarnation of their fault. This is why they see the rebuilding the sewage system, letting kids go to school, drinking clean water, as an encouragement of “terrorism.” For these children will learn at school that their houses and their fields, the lives their parents could have had, the world that was theirs, were stolen from them. And what is more horrible, more instilling terror in the heart of the perpetrators than the thought of a day of reckoning and the knowledge of their guilt?

Your question, dear Marc Otto, should not be directed to Israelis. The truth terrorizes them so much they can barely speak coherently. Your question should be directed at the governments that sent you. Ask them this:

For how long are you going to support and defend the criminals instead of supporting bringing them to justice? For how long are you going to support the murder of children in defense of the dispossession of their parents?