What is really happening in Gaza? The myth of Israel 'defending itself'
By Ali Abunimah / stopwar.org.uk

THIS MORNING Israel ended an effective truce with armed groups in Gaza, and carried out the extrajudicial execution of Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of the military wing of Hamas.

Israeli attacks today killed at least seven people including two young girls in Gaza. Aside from the fact that it almost always violates truces and ceasefires, seeking escalation where instead there could be calm, what motives might Israel have?

Israel’s “Minister of Home Front Defense” [Avi Dichter] says Gaza must be “reformatted” as if it were a computer hard drive, just like Israel did in the West Bank in 2002 during a series of massacres it called “Operation Defensive Shield.”

Dichter is a former head of Israel’s Shin Betassassination organization, which claimed responsibility for killing of al-Jabari.

Israel’s Ynet reported in Hebrew that Dichter said in a closed meeting, in the course of his visit in the south under the escalation, that “there is no other choice, Israel must carry out a formatting action in Gaza, actually format the system and clean it out, the way we did in Judea & Samaria during Operation Defensive Shield.” Dichter added that it is only in this way that the military deterrence will return.

Israel credits these attacks with turning the Palestinian Authority (PA) into an even more obedient partner of the Israeli army in suppressing Palestinian resistance. In the 2000s, under the supervision of US general Keith Dayton, PA forces were re-made into a more effective Israeli proxy force to suppress any resistance, particularly from Hamas.

Ron Ben-Yishai, a Ynet columnist with close ties to the “security” establishment wrote that the attack on al-Jabari and other anticipated attacks “was planned a long time ago, but it was postponed due to the election campaign.” Ben-Yishai did not specify whether he was referring to the US election that saw President Barack Obama re-elected on 6 November, or the Israeli election scheduled for January.

The goal claims Ben-Yishai is to “restore [Israel’s] deterrence through a series of painful attacks on top military figures and assets belonging to all the terror organizations in Gaza, with an emphasis on Hamas.”

“Unprecedented damage”

Dichter’s call for “Defensive Shield”-like devastation and killing has been echoed in the Israeli press. Reuven Berko, a commentator in Israel Hayom wrote:

Israel must not serve as a capricious victim of one or the other organization of bearded persons. It must bomb the [Gaza] Strip and cause unprecedented damage to activists and infrastructure, without exposing its soldiers to direct contact. Gaza is a chronicle of sisyphic combat, which will be decided in deterrence founded on damages [described] by orders of magnitude, so each individual soldier should be spared. Since the alternative for the Hamas leadership is already ready in Gaza, only a very few of the old timers should be retained as a ‘focus of knowledge’, with [this knowledge] burnt into their consciousness, to retain the memory and the deterrence.

Effectively, Berko is calling for mass elimination existing leadership, and its replacement with one more pliant to Israel’s wishes.

Israeli targeting of civilians

As Ben-Yishai acknowledged, Israel’s escalation of attacks on Gaza began not – as Israeli propaganda usually claims – after Palestinians fired rockets toward civilian areas, but after Palestinian resistance fighters targeted and hit Israeli forces enforcing the siege and occupation of Gaza.

It was Israel that “retaliated” by shelling civilian areas killing and injuring dozens of civilians in recent days. Before today’s additional victims, Israel’s attacks had claimed a high toll on Gaza. Between 8 and 13 November, Israel killed 6 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including three children and injured 52 others, including 12 children and 6 women, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

As of 6 November – before the latest orgy of killing by Israel – 71 Palestinians had been killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip in 2012, and 291 injured, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In the same period 19 Israelis had been injured by Palestinian fire from Gaza and none killed.

While today’s attacks are defined as “limited” and even “surgical” in Israeli terms, that is not how they are seen in Gaza.

“Gaza has been enduring Israeli policies of extermination and vandalism since 2006. We reiterate our condemnation of the international conspiracy of silence and Arab impotence in the face of these continuous Israeli crimes,” said the One Democratic State Group in a statement, also signed by the University Teachers Union and the Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel.

“We note that not a single action against Israel has been taken by any Arab country. Will the Arab Spring stand aside and watch while we are being butchered? Empty rhetoric will no longer be accepted. Words of condemnation have to be translated into action.”

The statement called for an escalation of global campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions and other forms of protest against Israel.

 

VIDEO: the timeline of what's really going on in Gaza.

 

4.3 · 2
What's Next
Related
Load Comments
Trending Today
The Mental Disease of Late-Stage Capitalism
Joe Brewer · 17,448 views today · I’ve been talking with a lot of my friends recently — in private where they felt comfortable letting their guard down — about the dirty little secret no one is supposed to talk...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 2,979 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
How the World Runs on Looting the Congo
27 min · 2,320 views today · Every drone flown by the U.S. military has inside a piece of the Democratic Republic of the Congo--a valuable mineral, of which the DRC has trillions of dollars worth buried...
The Old Paradigm’s Demoralizing Orthodoxies Make Us Confuse Despair With Realism
Arlene Goldbard · 1,862 views today · Undergraduates ask me how to keep from getting cynical and demoralized, and my first question is how much mainstream news media they consume each day.
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 1,628 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
New UN Report Finds Almost No Industry Profitable If Environmental Costs Were Included
Exposing The Truth · 1,598 views today · If you haven’t been paying attention, I don’t blame you for at first not believing this. After all, companies go to great lengths to greenwash their image and present...
Amy Goodman: How the Media Is Ruining This Election
3 min · 1,210 views today · Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! tells us about Trump-land and how the media is ruining this election. 
Depression Is a Disease of Civilization: Hunter-Gatherers Hold the Key to the Cure
Sara Burrows · 1,131 views today · Depression is a global epidemic. It is the main driver behind suicide, which now claims more than a million lives per year worldwide. One in four Americans will suffer from...
Why Sanders Supporters Should Not Let Democratic Primary Demoralize Them
Kevin Gosztola · 1,016 views today · Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was expected to do very well in the five primaries on April 26, but after the results, Bernie Sanders and his supporters face...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,002 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal
Mark Manson · 789 views today · There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe read a few...
9 Ways We Can Make Social Justice Movements Less Elitist and More Accessible
Kai Cheng Thom · 749 views today · In my first year of college, I stopped calling myself an activist. It took attending just a few meetings of the campus queer group for me to realize that I didn’t fit in with...
Brené Brown on How to Reckon with Emotion and Change Your Narrative
Brené Brown · 719 views today · The most powerful stories may be the ones we tell ourselves, says Brené Brown. But beware—they're usually fiction.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 713 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
The Real Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan. It Was Not To End the War Or Save Lives.
Washington's Blog · 616 views today · Atomic Weapons Were Not Needed to End the War or Save Lives Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 612 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 579 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
Caitlin Moran's Posthumous Advice for Her Daughter
Caitlin Moran · 448 views today · My daughter is about to turn 13 and I’ve been smoking a lot recently, and so – in the wee small hours, when my lungs feel like there’s a small mouse inside them, scratching to...
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 394 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
Rose Pere: We Believe In The Oneness of Everything That Exists
2 min · 367 views today · At her home just north of Tuai, a small town in the mountains of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere shares some of the beliefs of her...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?