Thursday, August 21, 2014

Western Leaders Support Israeli Genocide

Western Leaders Support Israeli Genocide

By Stephen Lendman

Longstanding US-led Western support lets Israel get away with genocidal mass murder and destruction. More on this below.

Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the latest example of well planned, premeditated Israeli aggression on Palestine. 

It has nothing to do with Hamas rocket attacks, self-defense or security.

It has everything to do with maintaining occupation harshness, assuring unchallenged control of all valued parts of Judea and Samaria, denying Palestinians self-determination, stealing their land and resources, as well as pursuing a longstanding Greater Israel objective.

Israel believes its "promised land" extends from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates. It includes parts of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon at least to the Litani River.

It lawlessly occupies Syria's Golan Heights, as well as Lebanon's Ghajar village and 14-square mile water-rich Sheba Farms.

In 1982, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs senior adviser Oded Yinon published "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s." It's a regional conquest and dominance plan.

For Israel to survive, Yinon believed it must dominate the Middle East. It must become a world power.

All challengers must be eliminated. Israel wants Arab nations balkanized along ethnic and sectarian lines. 

It wants weakened, fragmented, divided, reconfigured controllable satellites. Its Judaization of Palestine master plan involves slow-motion genocide.

It wants Arabs excluded from all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants irreversible facts on the ground established.

Ideally, it wants Palestine entirely Judaized. It wants Arabs ethnically cleansed by whatever means possible.

In February 2012, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, commented after visiting Israel and Occupied Palestine, saying:

"From the Galilee and the Negev to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities."  

"Throughout my visit, I received repeated complaints regarding lack of housing, threats of demolitions and evictions, overcrowding, the disproportional number of demolitions affecting Palestinian communities side by side with the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements."

"The policies adopted by Israeli authorities severely restrict Palestinians from building legally through various means." 

"Among others, Israel has not provided Palestinians with the necessary planning framework to ensure that their basic housing and infrastructure needs are met." 

"Currently, tens of thousands of Palestinians are estimated to be at risk of their homes being demolished due to unregulated building."

At issue is pursuing maximum Judaization with minimum Arabs. Current policies reflect Yigal Allon's post-Six Day War plan.

It called for permanent militarized occupation. It mandated "maximum land with minimum Arabs." Its other elements included:

  • dispossessing Palestinians from areas Israel wants exclusively for Jews;

  • annexing all valued parts of Judea and Sumaria;

  • controlling Greater Jerusalem;

  • claiming it as Israel's exclusive capital;

  • establishing settlements, military bases, free-firing zones, commercial locations, tourist sites, nature reserves, no-go areas, Jews-only roads, checkpoints, barriers, and other exclusively Jewish areas;

  • stealing Palestinian resources; and

  • crushing resistance by brutal subjugation and genocidal wars of aggression.

The late Edward Said once said "(y)ou cannot continue to victimize someone else" because of your own previous victimization or for any extrajudicial reason.

"We cannot fight for our rights and our history as well as future until we are armed with weapons of criticism and dedicated consciousness."

Mahatma Gandhi once said "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French." 

"It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs." 

"Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home."

Bertrand Russell once asked "(h)ow much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?

In his book titled "Peace Not Apartheid," Jimmy Carter said: 

"Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law."

"The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories."

President Nicolas Maduro said "(t)he Bolivarian Government of Venezuela vigorously condemns the unfair and disproportionate military response by the illegal state of Israel against the heroic Palestinian people."

Israel believes it has a divine right to operate extrajudicially. Western leaders offer full support.

Obama supports Israeli aggression. So do nearly all congressional members. They lie calling it Israel's right to self-defense. 

The Jewish state's only enemies are ones it invents. It does so as pretexts for colonization, occupation, apartheid, ruthless militarized repression and wars of aggression.

A July State Department statement lied saying "(n)o country should be expected to stand by while rocket attacks from a terrorist organization are launched into their country."

Fact: Hamas is no terrorist organization.

Fact: It's Palestine's democratically elected government.

Fact: It responds solely to Israeli aggression.

Fact: International law affirms its right to do so.

Fact: Israel is one of the world's most egregious human rights abusers.

Fact: It ignores international laws, norms and standards.

Fact: It operates extrajudicially.

Fact: It's guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some.

Fact: Western leaders turn a blind eye to what demands universal condemnation and accountability.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a convenient imperial tool. He shames the office he holds. 

He urged Israel to exercise maximum restraint. He was laregly silent on its genocidal war. 

He called legitimate Gazan rocket attacks in response to Israeli aggression "unacceptable."

British Prime Minister David Cameron "strongly condemned the appalling attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians…and underlined Israel's right to defend itself from them."

He ignored what speaks for itself. Hamas responds solely in self-defense. 

Its rockets are pinpricks compared to Israeli firepower. They killed two Israeli civilians and one Thai national.

Israel's genocidal war murdered over 2,065 Palestinians so far. It injured over 10,300 others. Many seriously. Some will die. Others will be maimed for life. Over 80% are civilians. Over 550 are children.

Israel indiscriminately turned large parts of Gaza to rubble. Entire residential neighborhoods were destroyed. 

Schools, hospitals, UN shelters and mosques were bombed and shelled. Not one square inch of Gaza is safe. 

State terrorism is official Israeli policy. So is lawless collective punishment.

Israel considers civilian men, women and children legitimate targets. So are civilian structures and infrastructure unrelated to military necessity.

Rogue terror states operate this way. America and Israel are the world's worst.

Ireland's Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore "condemn(ed) unreservedly the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel which pose such a grave threat to the population."

At the same time, he criticized mounting civilian casualties in Gaza.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier told Israeli Knesset members:

"I have come to tell you that the French people will always stand at the State of Israel's side whenever its existence is threatened."

He failed to explain its existence never faced existential threats except briefly during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For sure it faces none now.

Current French President Francois Hollande strongly supports Israel's right to "self-defense."

At the same time, he said "(a)ll efforts must be boosted to impose, now more than ever, a ceasefire in Gaza and end the suffering of the civilian population."

His government so far did nothing to do it. Nor any other Western one.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier said "(i)t's the legitimate right of Israel to protect its own people."

She turns truth on its head holding Hamas alone responsible for current and past conflicts with Israel.

GW Bush earlier said "Hamas…show(s) its true colors as a terrorist organization that refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist.'

"In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel, and agree to respect a sustainable and durable ceasefire."

Fact: Hamas will recognize Israel when it unconditionally accepts Palestinian self-determination within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its exclusive capital.

Fact: Israel bears full responsibility for sabotaging current and earlier efforts for sustainable peace and stability.

Israel is a lawless rogue terror state. Washington supports its brutal occupation and genocidal wars. So do other Western nations. 

As long as status quo conditions remain, justice for long-suffering Palestinians will remain elusive. 

Israeli genocidal wars of aggression will repeat. Unaccountable mass murder and destruction will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Israel's Genocidal War Continues

Israel's Genocidal War Continues

by Stephen Lendman

On Tuesday, peace talks collapsed. Israel sabotaged them. It refused to negotiate in good faith. It's longstanding Israeli practice.

Straightaway fighting resumed. Hamas rockets are pinpricks compared to merciless Israeli air, ground and sea attacks.

Sophisticated weapons cause mass slaughter and destruction. Through early evening Wednesday Gaza time, at least 24 more Palestinians were reported killed.

They're mostly civilians. They include women and children. The Palestinian death toll exceeds 2,040. Over 10,200 were injured. Many seriously. Some will die. Casualties keep mounting.

Life for many thousands of Gazans won't ever be the same. Many lost homes and all their possessions. Losing loved ones matters most.

Israel reported striking "60 terror sites" overnight. Two individuals were targeted. An attempt to kill al-Qassam Brigades commander Muhammad Deif failed.

His wife and four-year-old daughter weren't as fortunate. An Israeli air strike murdered them in cold blood.

Haaretz calls Dief "a serial assassination-attempt survivor." He survived at least five attempts on his life. 

If it's now six, Netanyahu will face added pressure to show how over 10,000 Palestinian casualties and large parts of Gaza in ruins benefit Israel.

July 12, 2006 was the last known time Israel tried to kill Dief. He was wounded, survived, and continues leading Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades resistance righters.

Anti-Israeli world public opinion remains strong. Global BDS initiatives are increasing.

According to Haaretz, Killing Dief is important for Israel. Assassinations are lawless extrajudicial acts.

In Israel, they're "considered achievements that can be marketed to the public," said Haaretz. At the same time, they don't fundamentally change things on the ground.

SuperValu is Ireland's biggest food retailer. It decided no longer to sell Israeli products. In early August, it ordered its 232 stores to remove them from their shelves.

Major Irish toy retailer Smyths did the same thing. It displayed a poster saying Israeli products were removed from store shelves.

The decision followed a huge surge in Irish Palestinian support. It includes growing numbers of boycott initiatives.

Reports indicate other major European retailers did the same thing without announcing it publicly.

Boycotting Israel is more important than ever. Hitting it economically works. So does citing Israel's genocidal war on Gaza as reason enough to do it.

An August Hebrew business web site called The Marker said retailers fear the influence of growing numbers of consumers boycotting Israeli products.

A spokesman for major Israeli fruit grower/exporter EDOM said:

"Importers from Europe are telling us that they can't sell Israeli produce."

"One European buyer has told me that he had been blocked in several chains in Denmark and Sweden, and then in Belgium." 

"Last weekend, he told me that mangoes which had been packaged in the Netherlands, as always, and shipped to Ireland, were returned, claiming that Israeli produce would not be accepted."

"I've heard of major exporters from whom chains in southern France are no longer buying." 

"There is no official boycott, but everyone is afraid of selling Israeli fruits. We can only hope that things do not get worse."

An Israeli pomegranate grower cancelled an "entire work plan in the UK" because major chains don't want Israeli products.

Belgium and Scandinavia importers report similar stories. Israeli fruit juice producer Priniv lost a major Swedish contract.

It did so for refusing to keep potential retail buyers from knowing it came from Israel.

BDS initiatives continue gaining traction. Israel's Operation Protective Edge accelerated the process.

BDS efforts in recent years succeeded in pressuring growing numbers of European retailers to announce they won't carry products from illegal Israeli settlements or companies operating there.

UK-based retail giant Tesco is second only to Walmart in sales and profits. It's the latest company to boycott settlement-made products.

It won't be the last. In recent years, campaigns against Israeli produce gained considerable traction.

Growing it on stolen Palestinian land explains why. Jordan Valley settler leaders said BDS efforts cost Israeli companies around $29 million in lost sales.

Campaigns against Israeli produce intensified after Britain's Co-operative retail chain boycotted companies operating in settlements.

Similar campaigns are ongoing in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Israeli exporter Agrexco collapsed in liquidation after BDS initiatives got European retailers to cut business ties. 

Will other Israeli companies suffer the same fate? Will BDS campaigns prove the best way to hit Israel where it hurts most - its economy?

Will they succeed in achieving long denied justice for Palestinians when other efforts failed? 

All campaigns for justice are longterm struggles. Expect the fullness of time to have final say.

For four days, San Francisco area activists prevented a ship from Israel' largest shipping company, Zim Integrated Shipping Services (Zim Line), from unloading its cargo.

Initially, organizers planned a one-day action. August 16 was chosen. Zim Line's Zim Piraeus avoided Oakland completely.

It remained at sea. It did so to avoid thousands of protesters on the docks. On August 17, they returned.

They got International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) support. Local 10 honored their picket line. 

They refused to unload the ship. They did so until Tuesday overnight. According to ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees, "(a)ll the work was (finally) completed."

The Zim Piraeus "was untied this morning and cast off at 8:45."

Reports said it left Oakland overnight Tuesday supposedly bound for Los Angeles. It made a U-turn, returned to Oakland, and got its cargo unloaded.

According to Arab Resource and Organizing Center's Reem Assil:

"Zim has undoubtedly suffered significant economic losses, and we have set a powerful precedent for what international solidarity with Palestine, through boycott, divestment and sanctions, can look like."

In solidarity with Palestinian resistance, it's even more effective. On August 20, San Francisco's National Black Newspaper BayView published Samih Al Qasim's "Enemy of the Sun" Palestinian resistance poetry, saying:

"You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
You may burn my books, my poems
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village,
O enemy of the sun
But
I shall not compromise
and to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist."

It added former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's comments on American 16th century colonization.

He called it "the worst case of ethnocide ever recorded in human history." It depopulated his native Haiti almost to the last man, woman and child.

It annihilated over 95% of native peoples throughout the Americas.

"Dear citizens," said Aristide, "the roots of terrorism lie there! There, in the heart of slavery" and mass extermination.

Palestinians are today's Native Americans. Israel continues genocidal war against them. It's been ongoing for decades.

Unless stopped, potential extermination is possible. It happened in Haiti, America and elsewhere. 

We're all Palestinians. They deserve universal support to stop Israel from annihilating them altogether. 

Operation Protective Edge is an example of how far Israel will go to control all valued parts of Judea and Samaria. It includes genocidal mass slaughter to do it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kiev's Dirty War

KIev's Dirty War

by Stephen Lendman

Rogue terror states wage wars the same way. America does it. So does Israel. 

Kiev's illegitimate fascist government operates extrajudicially. Rule of law principles don't apply.

Dirty war is waged on its own non-combatant men, women and children. Residential neighborhoods are bombed and shelled.

Banned chemical and other terror weapons are used. Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) member of parliament Miroslav Rudenko said:

"According to our soldiers' information, the Ukrainian forces are using chemical ammunition on DPR territory." 

"Once a shell bursts, a gas affecting sense organs is emitted. We have this information."

In early June, Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters said Kiev forces attacked Semyonovka near Slaviansk with an unknown chemical weapon.

On August 6, freedom fighters claimed "irrefutable evidence" of a weapon used similar to white phosphorous.

It burns flesh to the bone. It keeps burning until entirely consumed or deprived of oxygen. 

The Hague and Geneva Conventions categorically prohibit use of these type weapons. It doesn't matter.

Kiev uses them against civilians. So does Israel. America uses banned chemical, biological and radiological weapons in all its wars.

These countries kill and destroy indiscriminately. They commit daily crimes of war and against humanity. 

US special forces are trained killers. They're actively involved in training and aiding Kiev's military.

So is L-3 Communications. It's a private military contractor. According to Rossiya Segodnia's Center for International Journalism and Research's Daniel Zubov:

"L-3 is packed with former high-ranking US military generals and other officers, including several L-3 board members."

They include former Joint Chiefs chairman Henry Hugh Shelton and former Army vice Vice Chief of Staff General Richard Cody.

Kiev forces deliberately and maliciously inflict prohibited collective punishment on hundreds of thousands of Southeastern Ukrainians. It does so with full support from and complicity with Washington.

Two rogue terror states partner in crimes of war and against humanity.. They continue daily unaccountably.

Media scoundrels ignore the worst of what demands headlines. They point fingers the wrong way.

They call lawless Kiev forces liberating ones. Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighting democrats are called terrorists.

Daily managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. On Monday, a convoy carrying refugees was attacked.

Each side accused the other. Most likely, Kiev forces were responsible. 

What possible motive would Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters have to attack defenseless civilians from their own areas fleeing for safety?

Kiev forces benefit by blaming self-defense democrats for their crimes. Not according to The New York Times.

On August 18, it headlined "Rebels Killed Dozens in Attack on Refugees, Ukraine says." What about what freedom fighters say? What about what most likely did or did not happen?

Citing Ukraine's military, The Times said "(s)eparatist rebels on Monday attacked a caravan of cars carrying refugees trying to flee war-ravaged eastern Ukraine, killing 'dozens' of people in a devastating barrage of artillery fire…"

The Times quoted Ukraine military spokesman Col. Adriy Lysenko saying "terrorists had perpetrated a bloody crime."

"Many people died, including women and children." No specific numbers were given. Reuters reported "dozens."

The attack occurred on a main highway near Lugansk. "A powerful artillery strike…was so strong that people were burned alive in (their) vehicles…"

Freedom fighters denied involvement. They questioned whether any attack occurred.

At the same time, DPR Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin said Kiev forces "have bombed the road constantly with airplanes and Grads."

"It seems they've now killed more civilians like they've been doing for months now. We don't have the ability to send Grads into that territory."

Donetsk self-defense leader Alexander Zakharchenko added:

"As far as I understand, there was no column of refugees in Lugansk region that fell under fire."

"We…did not shoot any convoys (of refugees) with Grads and moreover we did not shoot with any Grads from Russia."

The State Department was quick to condemn the attack that may not have occurred if area self-defense leaders are right.

At the same time, deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf stopped short of laying blame.

"We strongly condemn the shelling and rocketing of a convoy that was bearing internally displaced persons in Lugansk," she said.

Throughout Israel's Operation Protective Edge on Gaza, Harf and State Department's Jen Psaki outrageously called Israel's premeditated genocidal war self-defense.

Over 80% of casualties were civilians. Over 500 children were killed. Israel's war without mercy continues. How many more Palestinians will die remains to be seen.

Kiev forces began attacking Southeast Ukrainian freedom fighters and civilians in early April. Conflict remains ongoing.

Dozens are killed or wounded daily. Well over 2,100 have died. Over 5,000 have been wounded.

UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly calls these "very conservative estimates."

Itar Tass said around 34 people were killed and 29 others wounded in the city of Donetsk in the last 24 hours alone.

Two districts were heavily shelled. A coal mine was struck. Attack drones struck targets.

On Wednesday morning, strong blasts occurred in central Donetsk. Gunfire set a warehouse with car tires ablaze.

Street-to-street fighting in Lugansk continues. Russian, German, French and Ukrainian foreign minister talks in Berlin Sunday included pledges to keep working for conflict resolution.

On August 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed Moscow's humanitarian aid initiative, border control and efforts to achieve a durable ceasefire.

"People are dying every day," he said. "Civilian infrastructure is being destroyed every day as well." He stressed Russia's position. Ceasefire "must be unconditional." 

"Unfortunately, our Ukrainian colleagues continue to put forward a variety of rather vague terms and conditions, including, as they put it, ensuring the 'tightness' of the borders." 

"(W)e have nothing against border control being maximally effective, and we are doing our best to achieve this goal."

"A ceasefire is a two-way street. Our colleagues from Kiev are complaining that the self-defence fighters are not communicating with them." 

"It’s difficult to be in contact when you're being bombed relentlessly, as is the case in Lugansk." 

"Our Western colleagues who have direct influence on Kiev have work to do in this department."

"Unfortunately, the United States was not represented at the meeting in Berlin."

Washington spurns diplomacy. It wants Kiev's dirty war continued. 

It wants freedom fighting democrats crushed. It wants fascist putschists firmly in control nationwide.

Lavrov's meeting with his German, French and Ukrainian counterparts achieved no results. Nor will follow-up discussions.

At the same time, Lavrov continues going all-out for peaceful conflict resolution. He refuses to accept anything less.

He's a world class diplomat. He shames his US and EU counterparts.

He deplores US-led adventurism. He pursues peace. He does so tirelessly.

He deserves Nobel Peace Prize recognition. War criminals usually get it. Obama is Exhibit A. 

He bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. For deposing a democratically elected government. For installing a putschist neo-Nazi-infested fascist one.

For partnering in Kiev's dirty war against its own citizens. For adding another high crime against peace to his rap sheet. 

For risking the unthinkable - direct confrontation with Russia. For potentially transforming a new Cold War into a hot one.

Madness defines his agenda. Peace is a non-starter. Multiple direct and proxy wars continue. Humanity remains hugely at risk.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Failure in Cairo

Failure in Cairo

by Stephen Lendman

It didn't surprise. Failure was inevitable. Talks were dead on arrival. Israeli policy is hardline. It's all take and no give. 

Rogue terror states operate this way. Israel is one of the worst. It's a democracy in name only. 

It treats Palestinians like subhumans. It considers its Arab citizens fifth column threats. 

It ignores fundamental international laws. It violates them repeatedly. It does so unaccountably.

Its negotiators were told to maintain status quo conditions at all costs. Demand everything. Give little or nothing in return. 

Delay, make new demands, and deny Palestinians what they most want and deserve. Long denied justice remains elusive.

Hours before the midnight Tuesday deadline, Israeli officials said ceasefire talks collapsed. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon recalled their negotiators. 

They returned home. They might as well not have come. They had no intention of resolving things equitably. It's longstanding Israeli practice.

Talks ended in failure. It's back to square one. Israel bears full responsibility. 

In response, media reports said Palestinians fired several rockets at Israel. No Palestinian group admitted responsibility.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of sabotaging talks. "We don't have any information about firing rockets from Gaza," he said.

"The Israeli raids are intended to abort the negotiations in Cairo."

Hamas was automatically blamed. No corroborating evidence was cited. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner lied saying:

"Yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire and renew fire at Israeli civilians from Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip." 

"This continued aggression will be addressed accordingly by the IDF; we will continue striking terror infrastructure, pursuing terrorists, and eliminating terror capabilities in the Gaza Strip, in order to restore security for the State of Israel."

Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. Lerner didn't explain. Or that Israel deliberately sabotaged talks and unjustifiably blamed Hamas.

Israel responded as expected. Dozens of air strikes followed. Over 30 targets around Beit Lahiya, al-Zaytoun, Maghazi, Khan Yunis, Deir al-Balah, al-Qarara, Sheikh Radwan, Khuza, eastern Shujaiyya and Rafah were struck. 

The wife and child of Hamas al-Qassam Brigades commander Mousa Abu Marzouq were killed. He commented on Facebook, saying:

"The Israeli occupation took missiles from Gaza as a pretext to target a senior Hamas personality. The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter."

Another air strike targeted the al-Dalou Sheikh Radwan home. A woman and young girl were killed.

Another seven Palestinians were killed in Dier al-Balah. At least 40 others were injured so far. No Israeli casualties were reported.

An IDF statement said "(f)ollowing renewed rocket attacks at Israel earlier this evening, amid the ceasefire, the IDF is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip."

"The IDF remains alert and maintains both defensive and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression. The IDF is determined to defend the civilians of the State of Israel."

Palestinian delegation head Azzam al-Ahmed said his team would leave Cairo on Wednesday.

"We are leaving…but we have not pulled out of negotiations," he said. He awaits an Israeli response to a Palestinian truce proposal.

"We will not come back until Israel responds," he said. Senior Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq said Israel would "not enjoy security so long as the Palestinian people do not."

Washington commented as expected. It supports Israel's killing machine. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said:

"We are very concerned about today's developments, condemn the renewed rocket fire, and as we have said, Israel has a right to defend itself against such attacks."

It bears repeating. So-called Israeli self-defense is naked aggression. Talks were dead on arrival. 

Israel denies Gazans what they most want. It wants suffocating siege conditions maintained. It wants what Gazans won't tolerate.

Fact: Operation Protective Edge was waged to maintain business as usual.

Fact: It was well-planned, cold, calculated, premeditated aggression.

Fact: Launching it had nothing to do with rockets from Gaza.

Fact: It had everything to do with denying Palestinians fundamental rights everyone deserves.

Fact: They include ending Gaza's siege, self-determination, and a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, free from Israeli occupation.

Fact: Hamas and other resistance responded to Israeli attacks.

Fact: They did so in self-defense.

Fact: They acted justifiably as international law allows.

Fact: Israel is a rogue terror state.

Fact: It bears full responsibility for high crimes against peace.

Fact: It willfully targets civilians.

Fact: Over 80% of Gazan casualties are civilians.

Fact: Lawless collective punishment is official Israeli policy.

Fact: Israel destroys non-military related targets illegally.

Fact: They include private homes, entire residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, and mosques.

Fact: Israel uses Palestinians as human shields.

Fact: It blames Palestinians for its crimes.

Fact: It gets away with mass murder unaccountably.

It bears watching what follows failed talks. Will full-scale fighting resume? Will Israeli forces again invade? Will mass slaughter and destruction continue? 

Will many more Palestinians die? Will countless others suffer horrific injuries?

Will more families lose loved ones? Will husbands lose wives? Will wives lose husbands? Will children lose siblings and friends? Will entire families be slaughtered in cold blood?

Will world leaders keep turning a blind eye to Israel's high crimes against peace? Will long denied justice for Palestinians remain elusive?

Will horrendous Palestinian suffering continue? Will it be in vain? Will Israel remain unaccountable for genocidal crimes too great to ignore?

Will Washington for supporting Israel's killing machine? Will global efforts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel gain more traction than ever?

Will world public opinion do so? Will it be enough to matter? Will Palestinians achieve long denied justice? 

Will their liberating dream come true? Will decades of struggle end equitably? Will some day finally arrive? 

A Final Comment

In recent days, Israeli soldiers and settlers attacked dozens of West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians. 

This week alone, Israeli security forces kidnapped over two dozen Palestinians. At the same time, numerous home demolitions occurred. 

Israel routinely conducts multiple pre-dawn community incursions. Families are terrorized. Homes are ransacked. 

Property is damaged, destroyed or stolen. Family members are arrested.

The Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency estimates around 40% of Palestinian males are detained one or more times during their lives.

It's for praying to the wrong God and wanting to live free on their own land in their own country. 

Israel considers these criminal offenses. Rogue terror states operate this way. Israel and America have the world's worst human rights records. 

They're guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some. Their policies threaten humanity's survival.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Police Brutality in America

Police Brutality in America

by Stephen Lendman

Justice in America is a four-letter word. Killer cops mock it. Nearly always with impunity. 

A badge lets them brutalize and kill. Blacks, Latinos and ethnic minorities suffer most. They're targets of choice.

The ACLU calls Ferguson, MO "Everytown, USA." Police brutality occurs multiple times daily across America.

In big cities. In small ones. In urban areas. In rural ones. Militarized policed make their own rules. They operate extrajudicially.

They kill with impunity. On August 9, officer Darren Wilson murdered 18-year-old Michael Brown. He executed him in cold blood.

Brown was unarmed. He posed no threat. He had no criminal record. An independent autopsy showed he was shot six times. 

Four times in the right arm and shoulder. Twice in the head. Retired New York medical examiner Dr. Michael Bade assisted forensic Pathologist Shawn Parcells in examining Brown's body.

They volunteered their services. They did so in response to the request of Brown's family. According to Dr. Baden, the final bullet fired into the top of his head was "not survivable."

Ferguson police lied. They claimed Brown's shooting followed an altercation he initiated. They said he tried to grab officer Wilson's gun.

He wasn't close enough to do it. No powder burns on his hands, arms or body proved it. 

Forensic evidence showed Brown either was walking away from officer Brown or had his hands raised in a "don't shoot" position. Eyewitnesses confirmed the same thing.

ACLU staff attorney Nusrat Choudhury said the killing of Brown raised disturbing questions about how often police kill unarmed black (and Latino) men in America.

It's "far too often," she stressed. Few incidents get national attention. Last April, a white cop killed 31-year-old black man Dontre Hamilton. He did so in Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park.

Police chief Edward Flynn lied. He claimed the officer "defend(ed) himself in a violent situation." An eyewitness report was polar opposite.

Hamilton posed no threat. An officer executed him in cold blood. He shot him 10 times at close range.

In July, New York cops killed Eric Garner. They placed him in a banned chokehold. They slammed his head into the sidewalk. It was during an arrest attempt for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes.

In early August, Beavercreek, OH cops murdered John Crawford III. He was in a Walmart holding a BB gun. 

Perhaps he considered buying it. He did nothing illegal.

Days after Brown's murder, Lost Angeles cops killed Ezell Ford. Police authorities lied. They claimed officers opened fire after a "struggle."

Ford's mother said he complied with officers' demands. He lay on the ground as ordered. He posed no threat.

The next day, Victorville, CA cops murdered Dante Parker. They did so after repeated tasering. It's a terror weapon. It risks death for victims with heart or other serious health problems.

In March 2012, Sanford, FL neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in cold blood.

He was unarmed, carried candy, a can of iced tea, and some cash. He threatened no one. He was a victim of Florida's racist stand your ground law. 

It's a license to kill. It legitimizes vigilante justice. It permits deadly force if authorities or individuals fear potential harm. 

Black and Latino males are most vulnerable. They can be murdered in cold blood on grounds of self-defense - true or false.

Police shootings repeat often across America. On January 1, 2009, Oakland, CA transit officer Johannes Mehserle killed unarmed Oscar Grant in cold blood. 

He threatened no one. He didn't resist. It didn't matter. He was thrust face-down on the ground, shot in the back, and murdered. 

Videotape on at least four cameras confirmed it. Media reports said five bystanders taped it. The community erupted.

In July 2010, Mehserie was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Grant's family demanded first-degree murder. 

Rarely ever are officers punished. Most often they get slaps on the wrist at most. Business as usual continues.

Police brutality is systematic across America. Little is done to constrain it. Accountability is virtually nil. Rare exceptions prove the rule.

Many cops are killing machines. Shoot first is policy. So blaming victims. It's standard practice. Blacks, Latinos and ethnic minorities are targets of choice.

They're harassed. They face verbal and physical abuse. They're arrested on false charges. They're murdered in cold blood.

In February 1999, New York cops fired 41 shots. They struck Amadou Diallo 19 times. They murdered him while he stood unarmed in his apartment building vestibule.

In 2006, New York cops killed Sean Bell in cold blood. On the eve of his wedding, they fired dozens of times at him as he emerged from a nightclub. He was unarmed. He threatened no one. Prosecutions didn't follow.

In February 2012, NYPD cops illegally entered Ramarley Graham's home. They had no search warrant or probable cause. Graham was unarmed. He was shot and killed in his kitchen.

Police departments officially authorize deadly force only when officers' lives or others are threatened. Cops take full advantage. 

They invent reasons to justify cold blood murder. The pattern repeats nationwide. Accountability is virtually nil. Just cause is whatever offending officers say.

Documented video and other evidence show an epidemic of police violence and other forms of brutality nationwide.

Footage shows police repeatedly tasering victims with 50,000 volts of electricity. Numerous unarmed blacks and Latinos are murdered in cold blood.

Defenseless men are beaten for any reason or none at all. Militarized police use automatic weapons, assault rifles, tear gas, attack dogs, and other weapons more commonly found in war theaters than on city streets.

According to the ACLU, American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops using weapons and tactics of war.

The notion of serve and protect is oxymoronic on its face. Heavily armed SWAT teams raid homes pre-dawn. They do so lawlessly. They do it on the pretext of searching for drugs.

Victims are shot. Homes are ransacked. Cops shouldn't treat people like "wartime enemies," says the ACLU.

"Any yet, every year, billions of dollars worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments." 

"Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color."

Racial profiling is rife. People of color are systematically targeted. They comprise around two-thirds of America's prison population.

It's the world's largest by far. It exceeds China's with four times America's population.

Most incarcerated are non-violent. Over half are for drug related charges. Around 75% are Blacks or Latinos.

Jim Crow never died. It's a modern-day elitist-designed racial caste system. It's a gulag instrument of social control. It's filled with many thousands of political prisoners.

Mass incarceration is official federal, state and local policy. It perpetuates recitivism. It keeps many of America's unwanted behind bars. It does nothing to reduce crime.

Blacks and Latinos are victimized by racism, poverty, judicial unfairness, get tough on crime policies, a guilty unless proved innocent mentality, three strikes and you're out, bigoted drug laws, and killer cops operating extrajudicially with impunity.

Amnesty International (AI) calls police brutality and use of excessive force "one of its central themes of (its) campaign on human rights violations."

It documents systemic brutality and other forms of ill-treatment across America. Abuses include beatings, unjustified shootings, and use of banned restraint techniques to subdue victims.

Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately victimized. Fundamental constitutional rights are violated. Justice is nearly always denied.

Paul Craig Roberts is right calling militarized US police a "murder machine." America is occupied territory. 

This writer's home city, Chicago, is called America's police repression capital. Why with so many other worthy candidates is hard to explain.

Killer cops are like crabgrass. They're everywhere. They're notoriously brutal. They take full advantage of de facto carte blanche authority.

They turn streets into battlegrounds. Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton titled his doctoral dissertation "War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America."

"How many people's lives were ruined in countless ways by a government intent on destroying them as representatives of an 'enemy' political organization," he wrote.

"Enemy" ideas included full employment, decent housing, education, justice, peace, and ending police brutality.

It continues relentlessly. Tactics include beatings and torture. Cops get away with crimes against humanity. Instead of punishment, they're promoted.

In 1994, Congress passed the Police Accountability Act. It's incorporated into the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.

It requires Attorney Generals to compile national data on excessive police force. Congress consistently fails to fund it.

State and local police forces aren't required to keep records or submit data to the Justice Department. Nor are police violence and excessive force criminalized as human rights abuses.

Blacks, Latinos, ethnic minorities and Muslims for being in America at the wrong time pay the biggest price.

Michael Brown is one among countless other victims of police state violence across America. 

His murder reflects what the ACLU calls "a widespread and pervasive problem throughout the United States, impacting the lives of millions of people in African American, Asian, Latino, South Asian, and Arab communities."

America's most vulnerable are systematically brutalized. It repeats unjustifiably nationwide.

It's systematic, without cause, in public, when driving, shopping, at work, at home, in places of worship, and when traveling.

Often it's violent. Too often it's lethal. Justice nearly always is denied. Killer cops are free to brutalize and murder again.

Candidate Obama promised a "Blueprint for Change" to ban and criminalize racial profiling and related mistreatment.

President Obama did nothing. Another promise made. Another broken. Constituencies supporting him overwhelmingly suffer most.

Systematic police brutality continues out-of-control. Virtually nothing is done to stop it.

Killer cops turned America into a battleground. Ferguson, MO is a microcosm of police state injustice. Michael Brown is one among countless other victims.

For people of color, America is unsafe to live in. It's heading for full-blown tyranny. Freedom, human and civil rights are figures of speech.

They're fast disappearing. For America's most vulnerable, they never existed.

Blacks, Latinos and ethnic minorities are all potential Michael Browns. 

America was never beautiful. it isn't now. It serves its privileged few alone. No one else.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Gaza Ceasefire Extended

Gaza Ceasefire Extended

by Stephen Lendman

Monday's ceasefire deadline was extended another 24 hours. It was set to expire at midnight local time.

Talks continue for a permanent ceasefire. Long denied justice for beleaguered Palestinians remains elusive.

It's hard knowing how another day, week or month will achieve what never before was possible.

Israel is a lawless, racist, apartheid rogue terror state. It's all take and no give. It wants its interests alone served. It wants fundamental Palestinian rights denied.

It wants Gazans isolated under siege. It wants brutalizing occupation continued. 

It wants Palestinian self-determination avoided at all costs. It wants the right to keep stealing Palestinian land.

It wants control of all valued parts of Judea and Samaria. It wants their resources. They include Palestine's large Eastern Mediterranean Leviathan natural gas (and oil) reserves.

It wants business as usual continued. It wants the right to persecute, brutalize and wage premeditated war on Palestine whenever it wishes.

It wants the right to do so for any reason or none at all. It wants the right to blame Palestinians for its crimes. 

It wants the right to get away with genocidal mass slaughter unaccountably. It wants the right to bomb and shell Gaza to rubble.

It wants the right to use chemical, biological, and radiological agents, other banned terror weapons, as well as newly developed ones producing injuries and symptoms medical professionals never before saw.

Reports from Cairo are mixed. One suggests longterm ceasefire terms are being finalized after 15 days of Egypt-mediated talks.

Others claim negotiations are at impasse on issues mattering most. Israel remains hardline. 

Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh said "Israel is seeking to break the confidence between Palestinians and the Egyptian mediators by refusing  to make any concessions."

Palestinian negotiators are determined to "realize our people's demands, which are worthy of the sacrifices made in the Gaza Strip."

Israel bears full responsibility for impasse. Fatah negotiator Faysal Abu Shahla said reports of progress are false.

"There has been no progress so far, and there are anonymous sources trying to put stumbling blocks before the Egyptian initiative."

"Therefore, we agreed to extend the talks by 24 hours, and we should reach a situation (by midnight August 19 local time) of either (an) agreement or no agreement." 

Things don't look good. Netanyahu's delegation continues going all-out for a longterm ceasefire without "signing a meaningful agreement."

"They avoided any agreement in an attempt to continue their unilateral plans to have control over everything, as they have done in the past."

On Tuesday, senior Hamas leader Izzat Al-Rishq accused Israel of deliberately undermining talks by making new last minute demands.

Israel is determined to deny Gazans concessions they most want. Agreeing to them changes everything. It makes Palestinian self-determination possible. 

It prevents Israel from controlling the territory of another sovereign state. It ends land theft. 

It gives Palestinians control of their borders, resources, air and coastal waters. It frees Gaza from siege. 

It's the beginning of the end of Israel's lawless occupation. It reverses Israel's Six-Day War gains. It makes sovereign Palestine within June 1967 borders possible.

It gives Palestinians East Jerusalem as their exclusive capital. It gives diaspora Palestinians the right to return. 

It gives Palestinians what they've long been denied. It makes liberation possible. It fulfills the dream of millions of Palestinians.

It defeats what Israel spent decades to achieve, maintain and advance. It's a dagger in the heart of its Greater MIddle East plans.

It's why Israel keeps going all out to avoid making meaningful concessions. It's determined to continue business as usual.

Its negotiators came to Cairo with clear orders. Maintain status quo conditions at all costs. Demand everything. Give nothing meaningful in return.

Claim the ruse of Palestinian "terrorism" as justification. Invent one Big Lie after another to do so. 

Repeat them publicly. Do it ad nauseam. Get Western media scoundrels to do it.

Convince world leaders that "Hamas terrorists can never be trusted." Hamas is Palestine's democratically elected government.

It's not a terrorist organization. It never was. It's not now. It's a legitimate resistance group. 

It virtually never initiates conflict with Israel. It responds justifiably to repeated Israeli provocations. International law permits it.

Netanyahu is a world class thug. He's guilty of multiple high crimes against peace. 

He blames them unjustifiably on Palestinians. He belongs in prison, not high office. 

So do other hardline Israeli officials. They're guilty of state-sponsored terrorism.

Operation Protective Edge was well-planned, cold, calculated premeditate aggression. Israel bears full responsibility.

Blaming legitimate Hamas self-defense turns truth on its head. Israeli justice blames victims for its crimes.

If Islamic Jihad leader al-Batsh is right, Cairo talks remain at impasse on issues mattering most to Palestinians.

"If progress was made with any issue being negotiated, we would have notified all the media outlets," he said.

Talks continue. Neither side wants more conflict. At the same time, Hamas and other resistance groups don't want weeks of struggle to be futile.

They reject status quo conditions. They want Gaza's siege ended. They want Israel held accountable for genocidal mass slaughter and destruction.

They want peace and stability. They want long denied justice.

Gaza's health ministry reported 2,016 Palestinian deaths. Another 10,196 wounded. Many severely. Some won't survive. Others will be maimed for life.

Expect death toll numbers to rise. Bodies under rubble are being found. Israel murdered nearly 550 children and infants. 

It considers them legitimate targets. Under international law, attacking civilians constitutes a war crime. Israel is guilty multiple times over and then some.

So is Washington for supporting its killing machine and waging its own wars of aggression. Both nations partner in high crimes against peace.

Wars without end attest to their barbarity. Millions suffer horrifically. Peace is a four-letter word.

Zionism is a curse. It harms Jews and non-Jews alike. It's a monster destroying its host. It threatens humanity. It rejects rule of law principles.

It's an ideology for the manufacture of human rights abuses. Gaza is Exhibit A.

On August 15, the World Jewish Congress and Conference of Presidents of (52) Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO) published an unconscionable "Open Letter to the Israel Defense Forces."

"Thank you for your service and sacrifice on behalf of the Jewish State and Jewish Nation," it said.

"We thank the leaders and members of the Israel Defense Forces for their courage, commitment, and humanity in the battle against Hamas and other terrorist organizations that constantly and deliberately endanger civilians in Gaza and Israel." 

"We remember those who fell and their families and pray for the quick recovery of those who were injured."

"A grateful American and world Jewish community thanks you."

"We are one people with one heart."

Signed:

World Jewish Congress
Ronald S. Lauder, President
Robert Singer, CEO

Conference of Presidents of (52) Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO)
Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman
Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO

AIPAC is CPMAJO's best known organization. It has enormous influence in Washington. It's an unregistered foreign agent.

It operates illegally. It promotes war. It deplores peace. It represents what deserves universal condemnation. It doesn't matter. It's a powerful force to be reckoned with.

It calls premeditated Israeli aggression "self-defense." It calls legitimate Palestinian self-defense "terrorism."

It repeats one Big Fat Lie after another. It supports the worst of Israeli crimes. So does the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

It was founded in 1897. It's the nation's oldest Zionist organization. It turns truth on its head.

It blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes. It supports Israel's cold-blooded murder of 2,000+ Palestinians as well as turning large parts of Gaza to rubble.

It calls lawless aggression "self-defense." So does the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It's America's second oldest Zionist organization. 

It "expresse(d) solidarity" with Israel's Operation Protective Edge. It repeated one Big Fat Lie after another supporting it. It unjustifiably blamed Hamas for Israeli crimes.

America's 52 Zionist organizations march in lockstep. James Petras calls them a "fifth column threat in America."

They support violence. They deplore peaceful coexistence. They promote confrontation over diplomacy. They endorse racist hate.

They turn a blind eye to Israel's worst human rights abuses and other crimes. They deplore democratic rights.

They believe in Jewish exceptionalism, specialness and uniqueness as God's "chosen people."

They endorse strength through militarism, belligerence, intimidation and naked aggression.

They call legitimate Israeli criticism "anti-Semitism." They call Israeli high crimes against peace "self-defense."

However Cairo talks conclude, one thing is certain. Justice will remain elusive. Fundamental Gazan rights will remain denied.

Israel will breach whatever it agrees to. It will do it straightaway. It will do so with impunity. It will keep committing human rights abuses. 

It will wage aggressive war whenever it chooses for whatever reasons it invents. World leaders able to make a difference will turn a blind eye. They'll continue supporting what demands condemnation.

Palestinian liberation remains a distant dream. They're on their own to achieve it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour