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Remember Gaza: One of History's Great Crimes

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 at 6:40 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Gaza

Remember Gaza: One of History's Great Crimes

by Stephen Lendman

Israel wages cold, calculated premeditated aggression on Gaza. Doing so is well-planned long before conflicts begin.

Operation Protective Edge (OPE) is the latest example. It raged for 51 days. From July 8 through August 26. It left large parts of Gaza in ruins.

Mostly residential neighborhoods, vital infrastructure, schools, hospitals, mosques, UN refuges and other non-military targets.

It murdered over 2,200 Palestinians in cold blood. Including around 600 children and 300 women.

It wounded over 11,000. Including about 3,300 children and 2,100 women. Around 80% of casualties were civilians. Many are disabled for life.

Israel considers them legitimate targets. It wages terror wars against non-combatants. Doing so is called Dahiya or the Dahiya Doctrine.

It's named after a Beirut suburb. IDF forces destroyed it during Israel's 2006 Lebanon war. Willfully. Ruthlessly. Maliciously. Lawlessly.

Israel prioritizes killing non-combatant civilians. Damaging or destroying power and other vital infrastructure.

As well as non-military related assets, economic interests, and centers of civilian power and influence.

International law doesn't matter. Israel operates extrajudicially. Lawless collective punishment is official policy.

So are high crimes against peace. Horrific ones. Ruthless ones. Genocidal ones. Nuremberg level ones demanding accountability not forthcoming.

Washington funds Israel's killing machine. It's done so generously for decades. Billions of dollars annually.

The latest weapons and technology. Both countries partner in genocidal high crimes against peace.

Western leaders support them. Israel takes full advantage. Wars and other high crimes repeat with disturbing regularity.

It bears repeating. OPE is the latest example. It was well-planned premeditated mass murder and destruction.

Not one square meter of Gaza was safe. Densely populated civilian neighborhoods were willfully bombed, shelled and/or attacked on the ground.

Doing so was like shooting fish in a barrel. Gazans are trapped inside the world's largest open air prison. There's no place to hide.

No safe havens. No refuges off limits to Israeli attacks. Struggling to survive against one of the world's most ruthless, lawless regimes.

Perhaps the most one-sided mismatch anywhere. Israel's killing machine against near defenseless Palestinians.

Using banned terror weapons. At times new ones tested in real time. Chemical, biological and radiological ones.

Causing injuries doctors never saw before. Horrific ones. Leaving survivors maimed for life.

Death, destruction and human misery haunts Palestinians at Israel's discretion. Whenever it decides to attack. For any reasons. Invented ones. Or none at all.

Previous articles explained. Attacking Gaza had nothing to do with Hamas rockets. Or Israel's security.

It had everything to do with:

• maintaining lawless militarized occupation;

• denying Palestinians self-determination;

• stealing their land and resources;

• controlling their borders, air space and coastal waters;

• maintaining Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital;

• preventing diaspora Palestinians from returning;

• blocking meaningful Fatah/Hamas unity;

• pursuing a longstanding Greater Israel objective;

• eliminating all challengers;

• balkanizing regional countries for unchallenged Middle East control;

• extending Israel's "promised land" from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates;

• including parts of Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon to the Litani River, and whatever else Israel can grab.

Risking regional war. Perhaps expanding it globally. Potentially with weapons of mass destruction. Risking the unthinkable.

Rogue states operate this way. America and Israel are the world's most barbaric. The most ruthless, bloodthirsty, merciless by far.

They target humanity. They threaten world peace. It hangs by a thread.

Stopping them before it's too late matters most. The alternative risks mass destruction.

Palestinian suffering continues. Agreed on ceasefire terms weren't implemented. Israel spurns them. It didn't surprise.

Its promises aren't worth the paper they're written on. Or its verbal pledges.

Its Gaza blockade persists. Its residents remain isolated on their own. Billions of dollars are needed to rebuild.

Reconstruction hasn't begun weeks after conflict ended. Israel largely blocks vitally needed materials.

According to the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, "(n)o significant change" occurred so far. Minor ones only too insignificant to matter.

What's needed for Gaza's recovery isn't forthcoming. Construction materials "trickl(ing) in…are a (minor) fraction of what is needed (for) reconstruction at a reasonable pace," said Gisha.

If unrestricted fully funded rebuilding began straightaway, ten or more years would be required to restore what Israel damaged or destroyed.

In the meantime, Gazans live under horrific conditions. With inadequate or no housing. Limited power supply.

Inadequate medical care. Even enough food for some to sustain health and well-being.

On September 30, The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) called for immediately ending Israel's blockade.

It expressed grave concerns. It warned of "Repercussions of Its Institutionalization and Continuity."

It's "dissatisfied" by lack of reconstruction. It fears continued blockade despite Israel's pledge to ease it.

It's been ongoing for over eight years. With no sign of ending. Causing enormous hardships. Human misery no one not experiencing it can understand.

"The only right way to end the disastrous impacts of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip is to immediately lift the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip, allow the freedom of movement of persons and goods, and make a dramatic change in Israeli policies in order to put an end to the current crisis under which the Gaza Strip population has been living," said PCHR.

Limited entry of goods and services doesn't help. Conditions worsen. They don't improve.

Blockade prevents "freedom of movement of persons from and to the Gaza Strip, falls within the institutionalization of the Israeli-imposed closure and does not seriously contribute to the reconstruction process or improving (disastrous) humanitarian" conditions, PCHR explained.

Institutionalized closure violates core international humanitarian and human rights laws. Things remain deplorable. Human suffering is real.

Since Israel's blockade began, international leaders spurned their fundamental obligations. They failed to demand enforcement of key international laws, norms and standards.

They let Israel violate "Palestinians' economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights."

PCHR believes the only way to address lawless closure is ending it.  Straightaway. Immediately. Stopping collective punishment.

Restoring a degree of normalcy. Granting Gazans their fundamental rights. Nothing less is acceptable. Not now. Not ever.

Don't expect New York Times editors to explain. Their history of pro-Israeli bias is deplorable. Longstanding. Distorted one-sided coverage persists.

On October 10, they headlined "Having to Rebuild Gaza, Again." Not a word about Israel's premeditated war of aggression.

It's ruthless killing machine. Its responsibility for lawless mass slaughter and destruction.

Its willful targeting of non-combatant men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm. It's collusion with Washington in all its wars.

Don't expect New York Times editors to explain. They support Israel's worst crimes. Wrongfully blaming them on Hamas.

Palestine's democratically elected government. Its sole legitimate one. "Israel's implacable enemy," Times editors maliciously claim.

It's no terrorist organization. Big Lies persist. Irresponsible claims about Hamas wanting Israel destroyed.

It long ago expressed willingness to sacrifice 78% of historic Palestine. In return for remaining land within June 1967 borders.

Controlling its borders, air space, offshore waters and resources. With East Jerusalem Palestine's exclusive capital.

With diaspora Palestinians able to return. With fundamental international law enforced.

With peace instead of war at Israel's discretion. Don't expect Times editors to explain.

What's "the point of raising and spending many millions of dollars (to) rebuild (Gaza) so (Israel) can" destroy it whenever it wishes, they asked? It's "inevitable," they said.

They fail to hold Israel accountable. Throughout Operation Protective Edge, they blamed Hamas for IDF crimes.

They consider premeditated Israeli aggression self-defense. They do it shamelessly. They turn truth on its head claiming it.

They fail to hold Israel accountable in all its wars. Its multiple daily attacks on Palestinian civilians. Longstanding land theft.

Militarized occupation. The longest in modern times. Lawless by any standard.

Institutionalized racism. Horrific persecution. Treating Palestinians as subhumans.

Mass arrests and imprisonments for political reasons. Torture as official policy. Targeted assassinations.

Operating extrajudicially. Doing so with impunity. With Western community support. With Times editors endorsing it.

Shamelessly calling illegitimate president/longtime Israeli collaborator Mahmoud Abbas "a moderate committed to peace…"

A "credible political" leader. Ignoring Hamas' legitimacy. Wrongfully claiming it "seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority…"

Ludicrously saying "Israel has shown a willingness to cooperate on reconstruction." Facts on the ground prove otherwise.

Wrongfully claiming "Gaza (is) used as a launchpad for attacks against Israelis." Failing to explain Hamas and other legitimate resistance groups launch no preemptive attacks.

They respond solely to Israeli aggression. Most often after multiple provocations.

Times editors want Gaza demilitarized. Eliminating its right to self-defense. So Israel can pummel it at its discretion. Whenever it wishes. For any reasons or none at all.

Times editors shamelessly call Hamas "a destructive militant group." It bears repeating. It's Palestine's legitimate government.

Not according to Times editors. "The only long-term answer (going forward) is to empower 'moderates' and give Palestinians hope of constructive future that could, in time, include a comprehensive peace settlement leading to an independent state," they claim.

Don't expect them to expose decades of peace process hypocrisy. It's dead on arrival every time. It's the greatest hoax in modern times.

Or hold Israel responsible for repeated high crimes against peace. Or demand long overdue accountability.

Or substitute truth and full disclosure for managed news misinformation rubbish.

Or support right over wrong instead of the other way around. Peace instead of war.

Equity and justice instead of longstanding Palestinian persecution. Doing the right thing because it matters.

Integrity, virtue, honor and high moral standards are their own rewards. So is good journalism. What Times editors consistently shun.

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.

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