The U.S. media can be very one-sided and deceptive. This is especially true when it comes to war and/or the Middle East. It is not unusual for the world to hear one thing while the controlled U.S. corporate “mainstream” media propaganda machine feeds us something else.
In the overall historical perspective (recent events aside) neither group in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is totally right or wrong in their behavior. But we only get one biased side of the issue in the U.S.. This is to be expected — the U.S. arms Israel and gives them huge amounts of money in foreign aid. Of course, the U.S. also leads the way in the so-called “War on Terror” and in pre-emptive war. Below are some resources to help fill in the information gaps.
Ron Paul on the fighting between Israel and the Palestinians:
Eric Margolis writes an excellent summary of the issue:
Israel’s ‘Fait Accompli’ in Gaza
There are two completely different versions of what is currently happening in Gaza.
In the Israeli and North American press version, Hamas – “Islamic terrorists” backed by Iran – have in an unprovoked attack fired deadly rockets on innocent Israel with the intent of destroying the Jewish state.
North American politicians and the media say Israel “has the right to defend itself.”
True enough. No Israeli government can tolerate rockets hitting its towns, even though the casualty totals have been less than the car crash fatalities registered during a single holiday weekend on Israel’s roads.
The firing of the feeble, homemade al-Qassam rockets by Palestinians is both useless and counterproductive.
It damages their image as an oppressed people and gives right-wing Israeli extremists a perfect reason to launch more attacks on the Arabs and refuse to discuss peace.
Israel’s supporters insist it has the absolute right to drop hundreds of tons of bombs on “Hamas targets” inside the 360 sq km Gaza Strip to “take out the terrorists.”
Civilians suffer, says Israel, because the cowardly Hamas hide among them.
Actually, it is more like shooting fish in a barrel.
As usual, this cartoon-like version of events omits a great deal of nuance and background.
While firing rockets at civilians is a crime so, too, is the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which is an egregious violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions.
According to the UN, most of Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinian refugees subsist near the edge of hunger. Seventy per cent of Palestinian children in Gaza suffer from severe malnutrition and psychological trauma.
Medical facilities are critically short of doctors, personnel, equipment, and drugs. Gaza has quite literally become a human garbage dump for all the Arabs that Israel does not want.
Gaza is one of the world’s most-densely populated places, a vast outdoor prison camp filled with desperate people. In the past, they threw stones at their Israeli occupiers; now they launch homemade rockets.Call it a prison riot, writ large.
Michel Chussudovsky details some of the real reasons behind the Israeli aggression in The Invasion of Gaza: ‘Operation Cast Lead’:
The aerial bombings and the ongoing ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground forces must be analysed in a historical context. Operation “Cast Lead” is a carefully planned undertaking, which is part of a broader military-intelligence agenda first formulated by the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001:
“Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”[Barak Ravid, Operation “Cast Lead”: Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008]
It was Israel which broke the truce on the day of the US presidential elections, November 4:
“Israel used this distraction to break the ceasefire between itself and Hamas by bombing the Gaza strip. Israel claimed this violation of the ceasefire was to prevent Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli territory.
The very next day, Israel launched a terrorizing siege of Gaza, cutting off food, fuel, medical supplies and other necessities in an attempt to “subdue” the Palestinians while at the same time engaging in armed incursions.
In response, Hamas and others in Gaza again resorted to firing crude, homemade, and mainly inaccurate rockets into Israel. During the past seven years, these rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 17 Israelis. Over the same time span, Israeli Blitzkrieg assaults have killed thousands of Palestinians, drawing worldwide protest but falling on deaf ears at the UN.” [Shamus Cooke, The Massacre in Palestine and the Threat of a Wider War, Global Research, December 2008]
Planned Humanitarian Disaster
On December 8, US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte was in Tel Aviv for discussions with his Israeli counterparts including the director of Mossad, Meir Dagan.
“Operation Cast Lead” was initiated two days day after Christmas. It was coupled with a carefully designed international Public Relations campaign under the auspices of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Hamas’ military targets are not the main objective. Operation “Cast Lead” is intended, quite deliberately, to trigger civilian casualities.
What we are dealing with is a “planned humanitarian disaster” in Gaza in a densly populated urban area.
The longer term objective of this plan, as formulated by Israeli policy makers, is the expulsion of Palestinians from Palestinian lands:
“Terrorize the civilian population, assuring maximal destruction of property and cultural resources… The daily life of the Palestinians must be rendered unbearable: They should be locked up in cities and towns, prevented from exercising normal economic life, cut off from workplaces, schools and hospitals, This will encourage emigration and weaken the resistance to future expulsions” Ur Shlonsky, quoted by Ghali Hassan, Gaza: The World’s Largest Prison, Global Research, 2005)
Israeli Professor Neve Gordon Condemns Israeli Invasion of Gaza on Democracy Now 1/5/09
Israel is Committing War Crimes The Wall Street Journal
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