Tuesday 13 January 2009

Demands grow for Gaza war crimes investigation

Israel is facing growing demands from senior UN officials and human rights groups for an international war crimes investigation in Gaza over allegations such as the "reckless and indiscriminate" shelling of residential areas and use of Palestinian families as human shields by soldiers.

With the death toll from the 17-day Israeli assault on Gaza climbing above 900, pressure is increasing for an independent inquiry into specific incidents, such as the shelling of a UN school turned refugee centre where about 40 people died, as well as the question of whether the military tactics used by Israel systematically breached humanitarian law.

The UN's senior human rights body approved a resolution yesterday condemning the Israeli offensive for "massive violations of human rights". A senior UN source said the body's humanitarian agencies were compiling evidence of war crimes and passing it on to the "highest levels" to be used as seen fit.

Some human rights activists allege that the Israeli leadership gave an order to keep military casualties low no matter what cost to civilians. That strategy has directly contributed to one of the bloodiest Israeli assaults on the Palestinian territories, they say.

John Ging, head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza, said: "It's about accountability [over] the issue of the appropriateness of the force used, the proportionality of the force used and the whole issue of duty of care of civilians.

"We don't want to join any chorus of passing judgment but there should be an investigation of any and every incident where there are concerns there might have been violations in international law."

The Israeli military are accused of:

• Using powerful shells in civilian areas which the army knew would cause large numbers of innocent casualties;

• Using banned weapons such as phosphorus bombs;

• Holding Palestinian families as human shields;

• Attacking medical facilities, including the killing of 12 ambulance men in marked vehicles;

• Killing large numbers of police who had no military role.

Israeli military actions prompted an unusual public rebuke from the International Red Cross after the army moved a Palestinian family into a building and shelled it, killing 30. The surviving children clung to the bodies of their dead mothers for four days while the army blocked rescuers from reaching the wounded.

Human Rights Watch has called on the UN security council to set up a commission of inquiry into alleged war crimes.

Two leading Israeli human rights organisations have separately written to the country's attorney general demanding he investigate the allegations.

But critics remain sceptical that any such inquiry will take place, given that Israel has previously blocked similar attempts with the backing of the US.

Amnesty International says hitting residential streets with shells that send blast and shrapnel over a wide area constitutes "prima facie evidence of war crimes".

"There has been reckless and disproportionate and in some cases indiscriminate use of force," said Donatella Rovera, an Amnesty investigator in Israel. "There has been the use of weaponry that shouldn't be used in densely populated areas because it's known that it will cause civilian fatalities and casualties.

"They have extremely sophisticated missiles that can be guided to a moving car and they choose to use other weapons or decide to drop a bomb on a house knowing that there were women and children inside. These are very, very clear breaches of international law."

Israel's most prominent human rights organisation, B'Tselem, has written to the attorney general in Jerusalem, Meni Mazuz, asking him to investigate suspected crimes including how the military selects its targets and the killing of scores of policemen at a passing out parade.

"Many of the targets seem not to have been legitimate military targets as specified by international humanitarian law," said Sarit Michaeli of B'Tselem.

Rovera has also collected evidence that the Israeli army holds Palestinian families prisoner in their own homes as human shields. "It's standard practice for Israeli soldiers to go into a house, lock up the family in a room on the ground floor and use the rest of the house as a military base, as a sniper's position. That is the absolute textbook case of human shields.

"It has been practised by the Israeli army for many years and they are doing it again in Gaza now," she said.

While there are growing calls for an international investigation, the form it would take is less clear. The UN's human rights council has the authority to investigate allegations of war crimes but Israel has blocked its previous attempts to do so. The UN security council could order an investigation, and even set up a war crimes tribunal, but that is likely to be vetoed by the US and probably Britain.

The international criminal court has no jurisdiction because Israel is not a signatory. The UN security council could refer the matter to the court but is unlikely to.

Benjamin Rutland, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said an international investigation of the army's actions was not justified. "We have international lawyers at every level of the command whose job it is to authorise targeting decisions, rules of engagement ... We don't think we have breached international law in any of these instances," he said.

Olmert stops short of saying “ Israel controls US government”

From Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister has stopped short of saying that Israel controls the US government. Speaking to the Israeli media this week, Olmert said he had asked President Bush to order Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a key UN vote on the Israeli genocidal onslaught in the Gaza Strip.

“She was left shamed. A resolution that she prepared and arranged, and in the end she didn’t vote in favor,” said Olmert, bragging about “our clout and influence” in the US .

“We didn’t want her to vote in favor of the resolution. And this is what we eventually got.”

Olmert said he demanded rather aggressively to talk to President Bush and when Bush was on the phone, he told him to order Rice not to vote for the resolution.

“I said ‘get me President Bush on the phone.’ They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia . I said I didn’t care. I need to talk to him now. He got off the podium and spoke to me.

“I told him the US could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He (Bush) immediately called the Secretary of State and told her not to vote in favor.”

However, a State Department spokesperson has been quoted as denying Olmert’s claim.

“Mr. Olmert is wrong,” the official said.

“Even if everything had gone according to plan, she would have abstained. That was the plan,” said the official. “Israel does not make US policy.”

In 2001, an acrimonious argument reportedly erupted during the Israeli cabinet
weekly session between then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and then foreign Minister Shimon Peres during which Sharon reportedly yelled at Peres, saying: "Don't worry about American pressure, we control America."

Peres reportedly warned Sharon that refusing to heed incessant American requests for a cease-fire with the Palestinians would endanger Israeli interests and turn the US against Israel.

At this point, a furious Sharon turned toward Peres, saying:

"Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear:

“Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

Peres and other cabinet ministers reportedly warned Sharon against saying what he said in public, because "It would cause us a public relations disaster."

Israeli sources denied the story.

TAKE ACTION! to protect civilians in Gaza and human rights and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people‏



Take Action! CALL the Israeli Government and let them know that the mercy ship SPIRIT OF HUMANITY is coming to Gaza. DEMAND that Israel immediately STOP slaughtering civilians in Gaza and STOP using violence to prevent human rights and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264

Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence:
+972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

Major Liebovitz from the Israeli Navy:
+ 972 5 781 86248


International Press Contacts for the Free Gaza Movement(available for interviews and speaking engagements)

(Britain) Rachel Kane, English
tel: +44 78 1804 0982
email: kanerachel@live.co.uk

(Britain) Osama Qashoo, English/Arabic
tel: +44 78 338 1660
email: osamaqashoo@gmail.com

(Cyprus) Lubna Masarwa, English/Arabic/Hebrew
tel: +357 97 625 828
email: lubnna@gmail.com

(Cyprus) Mary Hughes, English
tel: +357 99 081 767
email: friendsofgaza@gmail.com

(Egypt/Gaza) Caoimhe Butterly, English/Arabic
tel: +20 121 027 072 / +972 598 273 960
email: sahara78@hotmail.co.uk

(France) Bianca Shanaa, French/Arabic/English
tel: +33 663 59 2028
email: bianca_shanaa@yahoo.com

(Gaza) Ewa Jasiewicz, English/Arabic/Polish
tel: +972 598 700 497
email: freelance@mailworks.org

(Gaza) Huwaida Arraf, English/Arabic
tel: +972 599 130 426
email: huwaida.arraf@gmail.com

(Greece) Petros Kontra, Greek/English
tel: +30 697 612 7545
email: kontra@eksegersi.gr

(Greece) Dr. Panagiotis Politis, Greek/English
tel: +30 697 731 5619
email: ppol@uth.gr

(Lebanon) Dr. Rania Masri, Arabic/English
tel: + 961 3 135279
email: rania@ourwords.org

(Spain) Mariam Fernández, Spanish/English
tel: +34 671 002 015
email: anamdelmar@gmail.com

(USA) Ramzi Kysia, English
tel: +1 703 994 5422
email: rrkysia@yahoo.com

(USA) Dr. Paul Larudee, English/French/Arabic
tel: 510 418 4485
email: larudee@pacbell.net


The Third Intifada… Is it time to fight back with stones?

Dima Hamdam.

On the first Friday of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, I was watching rushes coming in from Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, waiting for something to happen…

Hamas had called for a “day of anger” to protest Israel’s atrocities, and we were expecting clashes to break out between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers after Friday prayers.

Sure enough, there were clashes, and demonstrators have taken to the streets in several Palestinian cities, as well as Arab cities in the 1948-occupied territories. I thought it would gradually culminate into a mass-uprising… the third Intifada… but so far, it hasn’t.

Watching footage of young Palestinians covering their faces with Kuffiyah’s and hurling stones at the soldiers reminded me of 1987. Back then, I was a teenager living in Kuwait, and I was shocked to see Palestinian kids, younger than me, as they took to the streets, not afraid of massive Israeli tanks or soldiers carrying machine guns. This was a popular reaction to 20-years of Israeli occupation, but one incident is still widely believed to have been the “last straw” that led to the mass eruption; the killing of four Palestinian civilians by an Israeli jeep at a checkpoint in the Gaza Strip. (http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9155.shtml)

“Four deaths! Well the death toll in Operation Cast Lead today stands at 800 and the meter’s still rolling,” I said to a friend over the telephone today. “… where is the Third Intifada?”

He said it was probably up to Khaled Meshaal to make a phone call “when the time is right” and mobilise people. But since when did the Palestinians wait for “orders” to start an uprising? They didn’t wait for it in 1987, and in fact they took all the politicians, the PLO and all the factions, by surprise. Even in the Second Intifada, the initial revolt was a mass decision, not a response to orders from Arafat or anyone. Some might want to debate the legacy of the Second Intifada, but we cannot deny that the uprising of 1987 wasn’t just a message to the occupation, but to the already-fragmented leadership that the people were united, regardless of their
political affiliations.

No doubt the situation now is very different. Palestinians in the West Bank now have to deal with both the occupation and the Palestinian National Authority. There is also a greater risk that warring factions would want to make political gains out of popular actions. Ordinary civilians might be reluctant to march or chant under political banners. Palestinian cities are now cut off from each other which probably makes it difficult to organise a mass movement. But is silence really an affordable option now?

One might ask what gains can be made from another Intifada. Will it ultimately liberate Palestine? Well maybe not, but how is it acceptable that only one party, Hamas, is doing all the fighting, and only in the Gaza Strip? What’s going on in the West Bank? More land confiscation, more settlements, and a slow and “quiet” ethnic-cleansing process is going on in East Jerusalem while the world is looking away.

I do not know when the situation will be “ripe” for a third Intifada, and whether it is still is a viable option to begin with. I must admit: I’m a Diaspora Palestinian who’s never experienced the humiliation and oppression of the occupation. No one in my immediate family is at risk. Only Palestinians living in the occupied territories could say whether there should be a Third Intifada, but I think this is an urgent question that we must discuss, and I would love to hear from people within the West Bank… let’s debate this.

I look back at pictures of youth hurling stones in the 1980s, surely some of them are now married with children, would they send their children out now? Then I look back at what Palestinians have had to endure since 1987 and I realise the price they had to pay for their resistance; young boys who’ve limbs were broken by soldiers, fighters and civilians killed in Jenin in 2002, the horrors of Operation Defensive Shield, and of course the carnage taking place in Gaza. If I was a mother living in the West Bank would I send my children out to throw stones at soldiers, knowing that I could end up a bereaved mother like hundreds of others in Gaza?…

I’ll probably never know the answer to that. However, as the carnage continues in the Gaza Strip I cannot help but look at the West bank with extreme worry… if a Third Intifada isn’t an option, are there any alternatives?

But this much I know; everything Israel has done on the ground – the isolation of Gaza, cutting off the territories, playing up the Palestinian parties against each other – ultimately aims to destroy the cohesion of Palestinian society to an extent where it no longer speaks with one voice, and is no longer a viable nation that can create its own state. Our politicians have fallen into the trap, but we, as a people, must not.

Dima Hamdan is a London-based journalist and filmmaker.

The Children

Jack Hirschman.

This tremendous curse against the murderers of Gaza was written by New York born poet Jack Hirschman, who has spent a life on the barricades against the establishment, and whose work is a unique blend of Marxism and Jewish mysticism.

Jack Hirschman is the best known alternative poet of the United States. Unlike his beat generation colleagues and friends - for example Allen Ginsberg - he chose political revolution over the pre-hippy lifestyle.

Hirschman's poetry is much more than an outburst of righteous indignation.

It is an original blend between blue collar blue collar American speech, violent, yet thirsting for justice, and a reflection on the Qabbalah, which in its turn draws its inspiration on a merge between the Jewish and the Neoplatonic tradition. Comment by Miguel Martinez.


all over will remember
their legs their arms,
the amputated spaces
will be Nothing [1] branded
into their little souls,
never to forget, Israel
you shattered their vessels [2]
with your gunfire, shit on
the word, said fuck you
to the fetus in the womb.

You - not they - pissed on
your own wholly unholy
tetragramaton, its letters
a fraud and a fake.
I wish I could feed you
hand grenades in your mug,
I want to stuff dead children
into your eyes, lovers of learning lies.

May selah [3] be broken
in your mouth, may amen
never find chapter and verse,
may your food turn into
the gangrenous limbs of the
children you've felled,

those little trees of sparks.[4]
You've killed David over
and over, you star of death.

[1] The ayin of the Qabbalah.

[2] A reference to the klipot or "husks" of the Qabbalah.

[3] A reference to a Jewish prayer, as is amen here

[4] The "sparks" of the Qabbalah.

Source, Miguel Martinez's blog Kelebek http://kelebek.splinder.com/post/19555677/Maledetti+gli+assassini+di+Gaz

Jack Hirschman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Hirschman


We Support the Resistance in Gaza

The recent massacres in Gaza demonstrate the zionists' capacity for violence. They also reveal their fear and weakness in the face of Palestinian armed resistance. Still humiliated by their defeat by Hizballah in Lebanon in 2006, they have chosen to inflict massive casualties on easy targets. The deliberate bombing of schools stands out among the atrocities, which now include the bombing of mosques, hospitals, ambulances, universities and all other forms of civilian infrastructure.

Because the assault comes after a regime of mass starvation–with people forced to eat animal feed in the months before the military attack–we can predict that the secondary casualties from lack of food, clean water and medicine will dwarf even the staggering numbers from the attack itself.
The current attack can only be seen as the culmination of a deliberate plan to starve and kill the people of Gaza. The portrayal of zionist actions in corporate media as "retaliatory" and Palestinian resistance as "provocation" falsifies the nature and history of the zionist state.

“Israel” is a colonial settler state founded on the racist ideology of zionism. It has followed the expansionist and genocidal logic of white supremacist, settler-colonialism for over 60 years: its aim is to completely eradicate the indigenous population — either by “transfer” or by total annihilation.

Historically, the only force that has stood between the zionists and the completion of this goal has been the armed resistance. It was the armed resistance of Palestinians in the 1930s that first forced the British to reconsider their goal of establishing a zionist state in Palestine. Armed resistance forced Ariel Sharon to scrap his plan in 2000 of bringing a million new settlers into the West Bank. Armed resistance drove Israel out of South Lebanon, and forced 5,000 settlers out of Gaza.

In the absence of armed resistance, zionist expansion has continued unhindered and without international attention–as in the case of the Naqab, where Bedouins have been driven from their traditional lands. As the collaborationist Palestinian Authority increasingly tightens its repression against resistance forces in the West Bank, settler atrocities against Palestinians —aimed at driving them from their land— now escalate unchecked.

Rockets fired from Gaza on settlements in ‘48 occupied Palestine (e.g. Sderot, Ashkelon) are not mere acts of symbolism: they have defeated the capacity of the zionist state to offer settlers "security." Since "security" is now the main promise which the state holds out to its settler population, this defeat is quite significant. It has prevented the zionists from achieving their “demographic” goals: deluging Palestine with fresh new waves of colonial invaders.

We recognize that Palestinian resistance follows in the tradition of many other indigenous peoples who have had to survive and defend themselves against colonialism. First Nations peoples in the Americas, enslaved Africans in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin and South America, the Zapatistas in Mexico, the Herero in Namibia, the Mau Mau in Kenya, Aborigines in Australia, Arabs in Iraq, and the Macheteros in Puerto Rico have all had to, and continue to, defend themselves against white supremacist violence and land theft.

All in the international community who support the Palestinian people in their fight against zionist oppression must also support their struggle against the colonization of their land. This means supporting not just the right to resist, but the resistance itself— recognizing both its legitimacy and its viability.

The resistance has issued statements asking all supporters worldwide to state their support for the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance and recognize it as the sole alternative for Palestinian liberation. This was their only request.

We, the undersigned, answer this call:

1. We reject zionism as a white supremacist colonial ideology.
2. We recognize the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance as an expression of the will of the Palestinian people. This includes the right to decolonize all of historic Palestine by any means necessary.
3. We support the Palestinian resistance and acknowledge that it is the sole legitimate alternative in the fight for Palestinian liberation.
Long live the Palestinian Resistance!

Qawem Coalition
We are encouraging organizations to sign this statement by sending an e-mail to qawem@riseup.net . Names will be posted to the statement on our website: http://qawemcoalition.org

Pro-Resistance Coalition in Support of Palestine

People of good-will have been horrified by the most recent genocidal zionist assault on Gaza. Many have felt powerless to have any significant impact on it, but have still used the means at their disposal to express their outrage. Since neither the anti-war movement nor the Palestine solidarity movement have developed more serious forms of organized, oppositional power, these expressions of grief and anger have followed a well-worn pattern:

- Emergency demonstrations in front of the “Israeli” consulate

- Candle-light vigils for the people of Gaza

- Marches and rallies

With hundreds murdered within the first days of the bombing, and almost a thousand massacred by the third week, the sheer magnitude of atrocities committed by the zionist military in Palestine has brought groups together around the narrow call for an “end to the massacre in Gaza.”

Given the power that is currently organized in the US on the side of maintaining the zionist project, it is understandable that people who are earnestly searching for some way to intervene strategically on the Palestinian side would want to see the broadest possible coalition of forces around key goals. Regardless of political differences, and however conflicting the long-term goals of these forces may be, the crisis is felt to call for the broadest possible immediate action to stop an unfolding act of mass-murder.

As the zionists outdo themselves in the brutality of their military actions, this crisis-driven unity rears its head every few years. One thinks most immediately of the mass mobilizations that took place in 2002 after the bombing of Jenin and 2006 during the sustained air-assault on Lebanon.

But this unity not only fails to lead to more serious sustained action, it presents fundamental obstacles to the struggle for Palestinian liberation. These obstacles include:

1)A failure to denounce and reject zionism

2)A narrow reliance on marches, rallies, vigils and protests that have no impact

3)A co-opted and dangerous call for ‘unity’ between colonizing zionists and colonized Palestinians

4)A diffusion of resistance by channeling opposition into forms of protest that do not threaten the status-quo of occupation and war.

1. Failing to Denounce Zionism

By ignoring the implicit white-supremacist foundations of zionism, people are able to protest massacres while silently accepting the larger pattern of colonization. The message at the root of these actions seems to be one that denounces how Israel oppresses Palestinians (with ‘disproportionate’ violence) while silently accepting the racism, colonialism and violence implicit in “Israel’s” very existence.

As the violence of “massacres” becomes the exclusive object of protest, the violence of colonial settlement can be portrayed as “peace.” This also serves as one more weapon in the zionist propaganda arsenal: Palestinian resistance against the ordinary, daily violence of colonial oppression can be presented as “provocation,” and zionist violence as “retaliation.”

The failure to denounce zionism itself also means that zionists who object only to the most extreme policies of aggression are tolerated within a movement that should be guided exclusively by those who are fighting zionist oppression.

2. Rallies, Marches, Protests

Protests, marches, and rallies can be effective when they are part of a larger strategy of building and exerting power. This can take place when movements have a strong base and clearly articulated visions. If a union is considering a strike to enforce its demands, a mass demonstration of unity by workers is a direct threat to management. A million people mobilizing on the streets of Lebanon to demonstrate their opposition to foreign intervention aimed at disarming Hizballah was enough to scuttle a number of NATO plans. In both of these cases, the tactical meaning of demonstrations is an implicit threat: there is a next step after demonstrations, a threat that the powerful cannot ignore.

In both the anti-war and in the Palestine solidarity movements, there is no next step after marches and rallies, except more marches and rallies. Usually these marches and rallies will get big, then will taper off into smaller marches and rallies, and then will get big again in the face of the next crisis.

The marches and rallies alone fail to:

1) send a clear message in support of the Palestinian struggle for liberation through active resistance
2) have an immediate tactical impact on the machinery of genocide and war here where we live
3) become the launching point for more serious, sustained initiatives.

This is at least partly a consequence of the political forces involved in the current broad coalitions.

3. Unity between whom?

“Unity” in this case is not just the unity of more and less radical forces or of different social forces with limited shared goals. Because unity is formed around the call to “end the massacre,” it tends to include organized groups whose fundamental interest is in maintaining the state of “Israel”. They tend to be groups who think that massacres are a bad idea tactically (a real PR nightmare). For these groups, it is important to maintain support for “Israel” while at the same time objecting to the “cycle of violence” and calling for more “dialogue.”

In our current situation, these groups include people here who are tied to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority exists to administer the occupation and is now preparing to reap the benefits of the recent assault on Gaza. They are complicit in this US backed, zionist attempt to destroy the resistance. They have imprisoned and tortured members of the resistance. They have received guns and training from the “US” while promising not to use them against zionist invaders­that is to say, exclusively against Palestinians. Abbas has prepared an emergency cabinet to take control of Gaza when the zionist assault is over. While those tied to the Palestinian Authority need some kind of a stage from which to publicly proclaim their opposition to the attack, their condemnation of ‘Israeli’ attacks in Gaza keep them legitimate, but do not make them implicitly pro-resistance or pro-Palestinian liberation.

It has become clear that “unity” in this context includes forces who are against the resistance in Gaza and who oppose any real liberation for Palestinians. In any given coalition, these groups are more likely to have resources and sustained organizational infrastructures that put them in a much better position to project the message of collective action.

The main focus of political activity has been symbolic demonstrations that send a political message. That message fails to articulate unambiguous support for the Palestinian resistance, in this case military resistance in Gaza. These dangerous omissions negate the significance that such action might have. This is a crucial failure: political support for the legitimacy of the resistance is the single most important request that the Gaza resistance has asked of the broader international community.

4. Impact: Diffusing Resistance

Mass mobilizations in the streets carry with them the potential to disrupt the machinery of war and business.

One could better sympathize with limited calls for protest aimed at maximizing numbers if those numbers were being mobilized to do something to impede the infrastructure of mass murder. In six years of organizing against the war in Iraq, this goal has not crystallized. Any attempts at disruption of the imperialist war in Iraq have been limited to smaller groups in a few locations.

Here, once again, it is possible to see how the organizations involved in broad coalition work have functioned to keep anti-war actions on terrain that is safe and unthreatening to the war. These include groups who have functioned as appendages of the Democratic party who have used demonstrations as another stage for electioneering and self-promotion. At the root of their protests is not support for the Arab resistance and struggle for freedom, but alternately, progression of their own political and economic fortunes. Included in the types of coalitions who participate in co-opting sustainable, effective activism are left-wing party organizations that have used demonstrations primarily as a means of recruitment.

These types of coalitions diffuse resistance by providing avenues through which people can protest massacres while ensuring that these protests do not disrupt wars. These coalitions and their demonstrations allow people who feel ‘uncomfortable’ with massacres the ability to express this discomfort. Not organizing or supporting resistance beyond that, centralizes these demos within the consciousness of the demonstrating protestors. It becomes more about protestors’ feelings and anxieties than it does about stopping violent institutions and the states that perpetrate the bloodshed being protested.

Marches and rallies, if they did nothing else, could potentially be a way of getting new people involved in a movement with strategic goals. This is something different from mere recruitment to existing organizations and parties: it requires the building of credible initiatives by groups and individuals with shared goals that would allow us to exert power.

What We Can Do

Such strategic initiatives will not arise from coalition work with any of the forces already mentioned above. Zionists have a long history of involving themselves in “pro-Palestine” work in order to prevent Palestine solidarity from having any real consequences. Liberal democrats have worked hard to ensure that the anti-war movement does not organize demonstrations that might potentially harm the interests of Democratic Party war-mongers (Kerry in 2004; Obama in 2008).

Despite these ideological and structural obstacles, we need to build coalitions. In those coalitions, we need to hold serious strategy discussions, and from those strategy discussions, to build initiatives with both short-term and long-term goals. These initiatives cannot be the initiatives of any one group, but must be owned by a larger movement.

1) We need a coalition that is both anti-zionist and pro-resistance. Whatever immediate strategic action or initiative we may form, it must be guided by those who share the consensus that Palestinians have a right to reclaim all of their historic land by any means necessary.

2) We need a coalition that supports not only radical principles but radical actions. Such a coalition must be willing to look for ways to intervene tactically and to move beyond the script of rallies and demonstrations.

3) Out of that coalition, we need to set both short and long term goals and build movement infrastructure for achieving them.

The Qawem Coalition has come together to advance these goals:

- Supporting the resistance in its struggle to liberate all of historic Palestine
- Providing aid to Palestine that is not tied to political parties and organizations whose primary goal is to undercut support for the resistance
- Ending all “US” aid to “Israel”: military, economic and political
- Fighting colonialism and “US” imperialism here where we live If you are interested in joining the Qawem coalition (qawemcoalition.org), please write us at qawem@riseup.net. FREE PALESTINE!!!

How beautiful it is to kill, how just to die

Translated by Christine Lewis Carroll

and thereupon the Lord rained down brimstone and fire out of heaven, the Lord’s dwelling place, and overthrew these cities, with all the plain about them, and all those who dwelt there, and all that grew from their soil. And Lot’s wife, because she looked behind her as she went, was turned into a pillar of salt.”
Genesis 19, 23-26

The wrath of God is not only just but also beautiful, and its very beauty reveals and proclaims God’s superior justice. How can one not give in to this extraordinary picture of El Bosco painted by the Israeli aviation? Are not the bodies and homes below demolished precisely because of the beauty of this divine flash, of this dazzling fountain of light? Those who do not die, those who resist, those who curse amongst the ruins, are they not guilty for this reason, demanding with their very survival a new ejaculation of brimstone and fire?

The oldest religious atavisms are supported by the most modern means of destruction. Manipulation and lies apart, we bow fascinated by the Israeli brutality because it is brutal and comes from the sky; we admire their force and not their cause, and it is exactly the indisputable verticality of this force what confers it with a legitimacy unattainable to reason: it is all in one time and cast aesthetic and theological. At one time one could only destroy a city by being God; now the Israelis can do it as well. Only miraculous blessings and deserved punishment fall from heaven. The technological superiority of the Zionists – their superior contempt of human life activates this theological legitimation that their rulers consciously exploit, to the point that it is the biblical technotheology of the air raids, now the only source of legitimacy, what obliges them to repeat the raids on a bigger scale every time. It is so nice, so pleasant, so easy, so fair to reduce a city to rubble and so difficult, so ugly, so morally degrading to try to rationally defend Zionism…The God of the Bible who destroys from above is more just and beautiful the greater his destructive power. His victims adorn His power, justify His existence, pay tribute to His mercy; the greater the number of dead, more guilty are the corpses and more sublime the aggressor; the more children, women and old people that perish under this marvellous light, more marvellous is the light and more deserving the punishment. Only Yahweh is “disproportionate” – out of all proportion – and this is what the mass media and governments mean when they describe – respectfully and with admiration – the use of force by Israel: they mean it is “divine”, supernatural, superhuman, they mean it is justified, that we cannot judge it and even less condemn it without committing sacrilege. The means (of destruction) justify all the objectives. The technological “disproportion” declares its right regardless of human laws and requires very little propaganda to impose its authority: it is sufficient to be able to imitate God and “overthrew these cities, with all the plain about them, and all those who dwelt there” amidst a torrent of light. Even the most hardened atheists amongst us must ignore the dead as long as there are many, and cluster bombs and white phosphorous are used; as long as the murderer is almighty and its power religious and supernatural. Israel is a theocratic state, because of the way people live and kill there. The rest of the world admires Israel because of this. And when we look back on the spectacle, like Lot’s wife, we are converted into dumb pillars of salt.

The air is pure; the sky is not imputable. The Israeli pilot of the F16 does not even get his hair ruffled; elegant, sophisticated, punctilious in accomplishing his mission, disinfected from all the lowest instincts which could blur his vision, brilliant, ironic, serious, just, he imitates God and El Bosco and returns in time to Tel Aviv to try the food from a new Indonesian restaurant and discuss with his girlfriend the details of the new furniture bought in Ikea.

And down below? What happens meanwhile down below? What are the people below like?

Here we see them. They are part of the land, primitive, emotional, loud, threatening, obscure, clinging, superstitious, gregarious, ragged, ugly, pedestrian, horizontal, vulnerable, expendable: human. The article in El Mundo which illustrated this photograph added that they were also “exhibitionists”: contrary to us, the lords of the sky who prefer to bury our dead in private, the Palestinians of Gaza enjoy displaying the corpses of their children and proclaiming obscenely their grief. The shrewd anthropologist of the Spanish newspaper forgot to quote other differences just as eloquent: whilst as lords of the sky we like dying of old age in a hospital or in the privacy of our own homes, the Palestinians of Gaza like dying in the street, in public, blown up with no decency by a biblical bomb sent from the sky; whilst as lords of the sky we like killing without ruffling our hair or getting excited – to return in time for supper to Tel Aviv without visiting the hairdresser first – the Gaza Palestinians like killing and killing each other – because the rage and the hate would not let them do it any other way. If the Israeli “disproportion” justifies itself, the human proportions of the Palestinians are also eliminated. The photograph of the Israeli bombing is enough to convince us of the Zionist justice; the photograph of the Palestinian funeral is enough to convince us of the Palestinian guilt.

The difference between Israelis and Palestinians is summarised in these two images, in this contrast which the mass media, deliberately or not, feed without respite: the aesthetic and theological superiority on one part, based exclusively on their deadly weapons, and the “natural” inferiority of the others, reduced beforehand and from time immemorial to pure tinder for Yahweh’s fire, to mere fuel for the Divine Light. No reasoning, no request can thwart this difference; not even a Qassam rocket. There are only two ways to correct this contrast fixed in our retina and synthesised tamely in the way we look: or we arm the Palestinians with missiles, cluster bombs and white phosphorous or we disarm the Israelis and dissolve the State of Israel. Not until either of these two alternatives occurs, will it be of any use that human justice is on the side of the Palestinians in a world that dribbles fascinated – the USA, the European Union, the Arab governments, the UN, the mass media – in the presence of pictures of El Bosco painted by the Israeli aviation and the biblical just beauty. As long as human justice does not seem more just and beautiful to us than an Israeli bombing, the Palestinians – whatever they do – will only manage to enlarge the difference and give excuses to Yahweh for killing them from its remote, imperturbable elegance. Please do not give them excuses – do not launch rockets, do not fire arms, do not unsheathe knives, do not defend your homes, do not protect your children, do not shout, do not cry, do not eat, do not breathe. But if there is no human justice and the Palestinians are guilty before God of breathing (all the more so if they bleed!), if whatever they do, they have been condemned for eternity, it would be shameful to condemn them also – whatever they do – from the comfort of our moral airplanes. There are occasions when it is more immoral to moralise than murder.

But now the difference has been reduced a little. Under cover of the F16 in my warm home, shuddering and ashamed, I feel satisfied that the Israelis have given up their divine impunity and have also entered Gaza by land. They are still vastly superior, but they move at ground level so they become more Palestinian, a little more human and vulnerable; perhaps it would even be justifiable to kill them. Perhaps some may even die. I wish that instead of fear or admiration, some might even inspire us pity.

God is “disproportionate”; human justice is “proportionate”. Beauty is “divinely proportionate”; compassion is “humanly disproportionate”. Perhaps in the next few days we will see at last the image of an Israeli tank being destroyed by the heroic defenders of Gaza and then, after the joy, we would get taken away by the disproportion of the compassion - unexpected, incomprehensible, irrational – in the presence of an Israeli soldier taken prisoner or dead. In the absence of proportion, in the absence of justice, maybe the murderers now exposed to the weak, ugly and courageous defensive fire, the Zionists, dead, taken prisoner or wounded, painfully lying on the ground, would seem human to us for the first time.

In the Name of the Palestinians

"...We know this much : the Palestinians may bend, but they will not break. We must continue to defend their legitimate rights on the ground. Around the world, we must support their resistance in a determined, peaceful way. Israel, for all its awesome firepower, has not won the conflict ; Israeli society faces deepening crises. It is a matter of utmost urgency that the State and the people of Israel realize that, for them, there can be no secure future, and ultimately, no survival, without recognition of the legitimate rights and the dignity of the Palestinians. The strategy of playing for time, of willful blindness, of “shock and awe”, of bloodshed and massacre offers no assurance of victory. On the contrary, it is a formula for defeat..."

Startling—and stomach turning : where Palestinians are involved, memory and sense of proportion fail us. The Jewish conscience, justifiably, has long called upon the world’s powers and upon their citizens to remain vigilant, never to forget -in the name of “the duty of memory”- the atrocities, massacres and genocides of the past. But where the State of Israel is involved, we are expected to set all sense of proportion aside, to leap to conclusions. Suddenly, it would be assumed that these are two equally powerful belligerents. After a six-month ceasefire, one of the two parties to the conflict (the Palestinians) is said to have broken the truce by unleashing its rockets. The victim of aggression (Israel) is acting solely in self-defense—if we are to believe the version sold to the world by Israel, and relayed by complacent and complicit Western media with the full support of the Bush administration and of many European governments. The bravest among them can barely bring themselves to point out Israel’s “disproportionate” reaction. What courage !

And, most of all, what lies ! For decades—long before Hamas came to power—the Palestinians have seen their dignity trodden underfoot, their legitimate rights denied. From the Oslo “peace” accords to a succession of negotiations (more frequently compromises), from the repeated broken promises to media circus withdrawal schemes, the Palestinian representatives have achieved nothing for their people. Israeli governments, whether of the Left or the Right, stall for time, resort to lies, summarily execute their adversaries, and dismiss Palestinian civilian deaths as collateral in the name of Israel’s security while continuing to expand illegal settlements and pursue a policy of “facts on the ground.” Many experts, including Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur for Human Rights in Occupied Palestine, have confirmed that Israeli policy fails to respect the Geneva Convention ; that it has, by default, made the two-state solution almost impossible.

The Israeli government has fenced in the population of the West Bank (in complete disregard for United Nations General Assembly resolutions and the International Court) ; it has subjected the population of Gaza to a siege coupled with a blockade that has brought hunger, a shortage of medical supplies and care, and mass unemployment ; it has created a state of despair. International humanitarian relief organizations are sharply restricted in their activities ; badly needed food supplies are not getting through. The June 19 - December 19 truce was conditional on an end the siege and the blockade of Gaza, and partial opening the Egyptian border crossing. Neither Israel (nor Egypt) has respected these conditions ; the Palestinian population has been the victim of inhuman treatment, for weeks, months and years now. Are we to ignore these realities in order to justify the massacres now unfolding before our eyes ? Are the Palestinians responsible for their own misfortune because rockets were launched from Gaza ? The failure of memory is compounded by a loss of all sense of proportion : the number of Israeli victims is now multiplied by a factor of one hundred, two hundred, three hundred Palestinian civilians murdered by Israeli government fiat.

Israel flaunts its contempt for the self-styled “international community”, secure in unilateral support of the United States and the silence—in silent complicity—of European governments. An efficient communication strategy and a complacent media establishment (accompanied with the usual dose of predictable disinformation) allows the Israeli government to play for time, to inflict upon a population of one and one-half million human beings an inhuman siege, and now, a full-scale massacre. We have been reduced to spectators and our “neutrality” should have to protect us from our guilty conscience. Cynicism is at its paroxysm when we understand that the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians depend upon the political calculations of Israel’s leaders, eager to demonstrate their strength and determination with a view to the upcoming elections. The Lebanese disarray during summer 2006 should be rectified. Mission accomplished : 80% of Israelis support the murderous operations in Gaza ! Frightening !

Can we expect anything better from the “international community” of governments and states as we observe their reactions, both East and West ? Theirs is the guilty silence of the accomplice ; the hypocrisy ; the waiting game ; contempt for Palestinian lives—for whom the ideal solution would be Jordan, Lebanon, or some “permanently temporary” refugee camps. The time has come to create an international, global non-violent resistance movement against the violent, extremist policies of the State of Israel. We must mobilize world opinion by keeping the Palestinian issue in the public eye through ongoing, scrupulously accurate information ; by writing articles, organizing conferences and demonstrations in support of the Palestinians, and by improving synergy between the efforts and activities of existing organizations. We know this much : the Palestinians may bend, but they will not break. We must continue to defend their legitimate rights on the ground. Around the world, we must support their resistance in a determined, peaceful way. Israel, for all its awesome firepower, has not won the conflict ; Israeli society faces deepening crises. It is a matter of utmost urgency that the State and the people of Israel realize that, for them, there can be no secure future, and ultimately, no survival, without recognition of the legitimate rights and the dignity of the Palestinians. The strategy of playing for time, of willful blindness, of “shock and awe”, of bloodshed and massacre offers no assurance of victory. On the contrary, it is a formula for defeat.

The Old Testament and the Genocide in Gaza

"You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.”
Leviticus, Chapter 26, verses 7-9

"When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations…then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.”Deuteronomy 7:1-2,

"...do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them…as the Lord your God has commanded you...”Deuteronomy 20:16

There is not much doubt amongst Biblical scholars that the Hebrew Bible contains some highly charged non-ethical suggestions, some of which are no less than a call for a genocide. Biblical scholar Raymund Schwager has found in the Old Testament 600 passages of explicit violence, 1000 descriptive verses of God's own violent actions of punishment, 100 passages where God expressly commands others to kill people. Apparently, violence is the most often mentioned activity in the Hebrew Bible.

As devastating as it may be, the Hebrew Bible saturation with violence and extermination of others may throw some light over the horrifying genocide conducted momentarily in Gaza by the Jewish state. In broad daylight, the IDF is using the most lethal methods against civilians as if their main objective is to ‘destroy’ the Gazans while showing ‘no mercy’ whatsoever.

Interestingly enough, Israel regards itself as a secular state. Ehud Barak is not exactly a qualified Rabbi and Tzipi Livni is not a Rabbi’s wife. Accordingly, we are entitled to assume that it isn’t actually Judaism per se that directly transforms Israeli politicians and military leaders into war criminals. Moreover, early Zionists believed that within a national home Jews would become 'people like all other people', i.e., civilised and ethical. In that very respect, Israeli reality is pretty peculiar. The Hebraic secular Jews may have managed to drop their God, most of them do not follow Judaic law, they are largely secular, and yet they collectively interpret their Jewish identity as a genocidal mission. They have successfully managed to transform the Bible from being a spiritual text into a bloodsoaked land registry. They are there, in Zion i.e., Palestine, to invade the land and to lock up, starve and destroy its indigenous habitants. Accordingly, it seems as if the artillery commanders and IAF pilots that erased northern Gaza two nights ago were following Deuteronomy 20:16 they indeed did ".. not leave alive anything that breathes.” And yet, one question is left open. Why should a secular commander follow Deuteronomy verses or any other Biblical text?

Some very few sporadic Jewish voices within the left are insisting upon telling us that Jewishness is not necessarily inherently murderous. I tend to believe them that they themselves consider their words as genuine and truthful. But then one may wonder, what is it that makes the Jewish state brutal with no comparison? The truth of the matter is actually pretty sad. As far as we can see, Zionism is the only secular ideological and political Jewish collective around and as it happens, it has proved once again this week that it is genocidal to the bone.

As far as genocide is concerned the difference between Judaism and Zionism can be illustrated as follows: while the Judaic Biblical context is soaked with genocidal references, usually in the name of God, within the Zionist context, Jews are killing Palestinians in the name of themselves i.e., the ‘Jewish people’. This is indeed the ultimate success of the Zionist revolution. It taught the Jews to believe in themselves. To believe in the Jewish state. ‘The Israeli’ is Israel’s God. Accordingly, the Israeli kills in the name of ‘his or her security’, in the name of ‘his or her democracy’. The Israelis destroy in the name of ‘their war against terror’ and in the name the ‘their America’. Seemingly, in the Jewish state, the Hebraic subject reverts to mass killing as soon as he finds a ‘name’ to associate with.

This doesn’t really leave us too much room for speculation. The Jewish state is the ultimate threat to humanity and our notion of humanism. Christianity, Islam and humanism came along with an attempt to amend Jewish tribal fundamentalism and to replace it with universal ethics. Enlightenment, liberalism and emancipation allowed Jews to redeem themselves from their ancient tribal supremacist traits. Since the mid 19th century, many Jews had been breaking out of their cultural and tribal chain. Tragically enough, Zionism managed to pull many Jews back in. Currently, Israel and Zionism are the only collective voice available for Jews.

The last twelve days of merciless offensive against the Palestinian civilian population does not leave any room for doubt. Israel is the gravest danger to world peace. Clearly the nations made a tragic mistake in 1947 giving a volatile racially orientated identity an opportunity to set itself into a national state. However, the nations’ duty now is to peacefully dismantle that state before it is too late. We must do it before the Jewish state and its forceful lobbies around the world manage to pull us all into a global war in the ‘name’ of one banal populist ideology or another (democracy, war against terror, cultural clash and so on). We have to wake up now before our one and only planet is transformed into a bursting boil of hatred.

What you don't know about Gaza

Nearly everything you've been led to believe about Gaza is wrong. Below are a few essential points that seem to be missing from the conversation, much of which has taken place in the press, about Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip.

THE GAZANS Most of the people living in Gaza are not there by choice. The majority of the 1.5 million people crammed into the roughly 140 square miles of the Gaza Strip belong to families that came from towns and villages outside Gaza like Ashkelon and Beersheba. They were driven to Gaza by the Israeli Army in 1948.

THE OCCUPATION The Gazans have lived under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is still widely considered to be an occupying power, even though it removed its troops and settlers from the strip in 2005.

Israel still controls access to the area, imports and exports, and the movement of people in and out. Israel has control over Gaza's air space and sea coast, and its forces enter the area at will.

As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to see to the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

THE BLOCKADE Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, with the support of the United States and the European Union, has grown increasingly stringent since Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006.

Fuel, electricity, imports, exports and the movement of people in and out of the Strip have been slowly choked off, leading to life-threatening problems of sanitation, health, water supply and transportation.

The blockade has subjected many to unemployment, penury and malnutrition. This amounts to the collective punishment - with the tacit support of the United States - of a civilian population for exercising its democratic rights.

THE CEASE-FIRE Lifting the blockade, along with a cessation of rocket fire, was one of the key terms of the June cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. This accord led to a reduction in rockets fired from Gaza from hundreds in May and June to a total of less than 20 in the subsequent four months (according to Israeli government figures).

The cease-fire broke down when Israeli forces launched major air and ground attacks in early November; six Hamas operatives were reported killed.

WAR CRIMES The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or by Israel, is potentially a war crime. Every human life is precious. But the numbers speak for themselves: Nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers.

Negotiation is a much more effective way to deal with rockets and other forms of violence. This might have been able to happen had Israel fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

This war on the people of Gaza isn't really about rockets. Nor is it about "restoring Israel's deterrence," as the Israeli press might have you believe.

Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: "The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people."

Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia, is the author of the forthcoming "Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East."

Children of Gaza, Run to the Angels

Suzanne Baroud

Ironically, it was in Palestine, 20 years ago, that I concluded that there is no God. For how could a God, who claims to love all and treat all with impartiality, allow such horrors like those in Palestine to happen?

This unbelief grew stronger with each curfew, with each strike that mourned the death of yet one more martyr, with a decapitation induced by gunfire in the main square on a sunny Ramallah afternoon so many years ago. But it was cemented the day I had to tell one of my fifth grade students that his brother had just been taken away by the Israeli army. His expression, his body going limp, the shuddering of his shoulders as he wept with his classmates…that’s what finally did it.

Nearly 20 years have passed since that day, and I have now married into a Gazan family. I am a wife and mother, the sister and aunt of so many kids living the horror of what Gaza has become. As we watch the footage of Israel’s onslaught, I hear myself, whispering as I see one more martyred child, “Run to the angels….run.” After so many years, this living nightmare is fostering a burning desire to believe once again in the afterlife.

Caged, starved, sniped, suffocated. They are slaughtered like sheep, but the leaders of the free world just cannot seem to find a moment to comment. Golfing, vacationing, Obama, Bush, even the EU, they just aren’t important enough. My mutterings have become a like a canter. I call out to these stricken and shattered little bodies, who frankly never experienced life to lose it. The only consolation to offer is the respite found in death.

A crowd gathers, shrouded in gas, smoke and dust. In the front stand eight young fathers, each holding a white swaddled bundle of what used to be a son, a daughter. For a few moments there is no screaming, no chanting or crying, but a moment of quiet and stillness that presses one to wonder just whom has been granted the greater mercy, the toddler who caught the snipers bullet, or the young father, who will have to find some way to live beyond this moment?

A young boy sits on the sidewalk beside his mother. She is propped up against the wall of a collapsed building and her life is bleeding out all over the sidewalk. It is spattered on his face and smeared on his shirt. She uses the last of her strength to lift her arm and clutch his cheek in her palm and then she is gone. He rests his head in his hands and cries. He is all alone.

The camera zooms in on the scene of a freshly detonated building, a civilian home. A little girls brown curly hair covered in dust and eyes wide open is all that can be found of her. Her mother wails and pulls her hair while her father frantically searches among the rubble for the rest of his daughter, where could she be? I whisper again, “you will be made whole again in Paradise. Run to the angels”.

What amazing faith. What strong devotion that a father loses his mother, father, wife and eight children, that this man before anything can assert, “God is Great, Thank God for Everything”. He holds his child, now still and ashen, he smothers him with kisses and then gently pulls back the sheet to expose two bullet holes in his chest. He then tenderly places the child beside his brother and again, pulls the sheet back of his youngest son to reveal a single snipers bullet to the chest. He can barely compose himself and he moans to the sympathizing camera man, “God is Great, Thank God for Everything”.

An old and wrinkled Imam so lovingly cradles a little girl’s lifeless body, as if mishandling her now could inflict more pain, he mumbles a benediction and gently lies her beside her sisters and her brothers in the mass grave. I try to comfort her, saying, “Finally, a place of safety. Rest beside your sister. Your brother. Put your fears to rest and meet your beloved Prophet and the many of your little friends who have fallen before you.”

Hospitals, schools, mosques, civilian homes, UN shelters, all worthy targets. Doctors, medicines, food and water, truckloads of relief from all corners of the world line up for miles at the Egyptian border but they are refused entry. Security is high, food is scarce, water is completely gone.

Faith seems to spring forth in the strangest of moments. For me, it seems to be coming full circle out of desperation and in agony, for the sake of the snow-white souls of the many bloodied and dismembered innocents of Gaza.

UN workers coordinate with Israelis to get civilians to safety inside a UN school. Hundreds are tucked inside the mutually agreed safe haven. Soon after, the school comes under Israeli fire. Bruised and battered refugees stare Satan in the face, clad in his fatigues. Hundreds wounded, scores dead, many lost and unaccounted for.

Governments negotiate a cease-fire. Rumors buzz of conspiracies. The US President-elect is forever silent. Parents search beneath the collapsed walls for what remains of their children. Shattered concrete, random arms and legs, broken glass, tossed together in a bloody hodge-podge. But, in my mind, I see them whole, their little bodies swiftly being swept up into Paradise and I call out to them, “Run!”

- Suzanne Baroud is the Managing Editor of PalestineChronicle.com.

Is Israel Winning the "Media War" over Gaza?

Ramzy Baroud.

We are all Hamas," screamed a scrawny Mauritanian, repeatedly, as he determinedly drew his face closer to a TV camera. Behind him, thousands more tunefully chanted similar words, chants that were heard in different Arabic dialects, in fact in many different languages all across the globe.

Yet, Israel, somehow is claiming victory in the media war, which it calculatedly unleashed weeks before its most violent attack on Gaza yet. Thousands have been reportedly killed and wounded in the first two weeks, starting Dec. 27, in the tiny stretch of land (roughly 140 square miles), yet densely populated Gaza Strip of 1.5 million people.

"Whenever Israel is bombing, it is hard to explain our position to the world," said Avi Pazner, former Israeli ambassador to Italy and France, and "one of the officials drafted in to present Israel's case to the world media," according to the Jewish Chronicle. "But at least this time everything was ready and in place."

"Fewer military officers; more women; tightly controlled messages; and ministers kept on a short leash. This was Israel's new media game plan in Operation Cast Lead," the newspaper reported.

It's always difficult to fathom Israel's giddiness and sense of triumph as defenseless civilians are pulverized by mostly U.S.-supplied warplanes and bombs. Even if one chooses to empathize with Israel's dodgy claim, parroted endlessly by the George W. Bush administration, that the Israeli army is in a state of self-defense, one can never fully grasp the wisdom of its military tactics.

"Fatalities in Gaza are already over 400 and injuries close to 2,000 so far as is known. Total Palestinian civilian casualties are 400 times greater than the casualties incurred by Israelis," wrote three-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader in an open letter to Bush, five days into the Israeli onslaught. Nearly one week after the devastating airstrikes, Israel unleashed a ground offensive which is pushing the causality figures to unprecedented heights, made mostly of civilian victims, which by January 9, reached 795 dead and over 3,000 wounded.

Much of Israel's war machine is financed, manufactured and supplied by the United States. U.S. financial and military generosity has served as the backbone of all of Israel's wars against its neighbors, including the Palestinians. In Israel's war against Lebanon in the summer of 2006, lest it runs out, the U.S. rushed 'emergency' military supplies, including cluster bombs to the Israeli army, allowing the latter to ensure the demise of its arch enemy: thousands of dead and wounded Lebanese civilians.

In the ongoing war against Gaza, neither the U.S.' "dedication to the security of Israel," nor Israel's dedication to inflicting maximum harm on civilians have been in any way altered. While Bush brazenly chastised Hamas and the Palestinians for the death wrought on them by Israel, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama had nothing to say.

"The scale of bloodshed in Gaza over five days is the same as if almost 2,000 Israelis had been killed and 9,000 wounded in the same period. Imagine the consequences for Israel in such an event," wrote author and former BBC correspondent Deepak Tripathi. Would Obama find the staggering number worthy of cutting short his Hawaii vacation, even for a brief comment, if the tables were turned? Candidate of change, he said.

But Israel is winning the media war, reports Israel; a peculiar claim by any standards. If the reference is made to a 'victory' that helped win over mainstream U.S. media, one has to wonder if the corporate media has ever expressed any sympathy for Hamas, or any resisting Palestinian faction, be it secular, socialist or Islamist?

The opposite has always been true. Any violent Palestinian response to the Israeli occupation and its inherit violence has been dubbed "terrorist" for decades, even if Palestinians were targeting Israeli soldiers or paramilitary settlers. Aside from allowing a 'moderate' Palestinian commentator an occasional limited space to write a watered down op-ed, now and then – which serves as a feel-good moment that demonstrates the 'objectivity' of U.S. media - the pro-Israel mantra has defined every major American newspaper in every city in every state. That requires a separate discussion, but the persistent question remains: what is Israel winning exactly?

More Israeli women are stating Israel's case to the media, according to reports. The strategy is both sexist and underhanded. Following the Lebanon war, Israeli bikini models flooded U.S. men''s magazines exhibiting their barely covered bodies. Former Miss Israel, model Gal Gadot defended her nude photos, promoted partly by the Israeli consulate in New York as her attempt to help "improve Israel's war-torn image," reported the New York Post in June, 2007. Now as Israeli bombs are lightening the sky of Gaza, similar tactics are underway, in Maxim and other magazines.

Kadima leader and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni took its message to YouTube, conveying the same redundant but "tightly controlled" misinformation, that attempts to explain why imprisoning, starving, then senselessly bombing 1.5 million Palestinian Muslims and Christians is good for world peace, for democracy, for security, for the future of the region and the world.

But the fact is, Israel never won the media war in the United States for, frankly, there was never one to begin with. Yet somehow, millions of people around the world managed to read through the filters, the propaganda, the perplexing logic, the Maxim cover pages, and took to the streets in a collective act of passion and dismay, without billion-dollar media crafters "tightly controlling" their every move, scripting their chants or directing their hoarse voices: We are all Palestinians and "with our souls, with our blood, we will die for you Gaza."

What has Israel won exactly, aside from the haunting images of Palestinian youngsters in UN schools, homes and hospitals, mutilated, some silent and others screaming? This is no victory, but a brief illusion of one. As for the long-term repercussions, that is a whole new story. Israeli bombs over Lebanon in 1982 gave rise to Hezbollah, and its war of 2006 turned a small, resisting militant movement into a major powerbroker that will certainly help shape the future of Lebanon. Israel is now doing the same in Gaza. A victory, indeed.

- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers, journals and anthologies around the world. His latest book is, "The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle" (Pluto Press, London).

Gilad Atzmon interviewed by "Eleftherotypia" (Greek Sunday Paper)

"...Being under the spell of a modern evil apparatus we are afraid that telling the truth would reflect badly on us. We are shattered by our own realizations. We are becoming a self-sufficient subservient censoring machine. Against our will we are becoming collaborators of Zionism. Hence we shouldn’t be surprised if the grave fate awaiting us is no different from the Palestinian one..."

Matoula Kousteni: What will you present to us in Megaron?

Gilad Atzmon: Hello Matoula, I will be playing material from my latest album Refuge. It is basically a mixture of jazz and ethnic music furnished with electronics. In the last few years I am largely interested in what I tend to define as ‘Urban Folk’.

Matoula: What do you enjoy more in music?

Gilad: Not knowing what the next bar is going to sound like.

Matoula: The same day Ron Carter is also playing in Megaron. What do you think about him?

Gilad: Ron Carter is one of my prime mentors. When I started to listen to Jazz in the late 1970s it was Carter and Miles whom I was listening to most. It is a great honor for me to share a stage with such a legend.

Matoula: You have studied philosophy - when did you decide to devote yourself to music?

Gilad: At a certain stage I realized that being an ‘academic philosopher’ i.e., teaching people other people’s texts, is a non productive way of living. I decided to play music and to read and write at my leisure. To make philosophy for the sake of philosophy, the love of wisdom and the search for meaning. I am very happy with my decision because I am now operating as a free thinker.

Matoula: How do you get in contact with all these different music styles you play?

Gilad: I try not to interfere with music and my own music in particular. Music is out there around us, all you have to do is to choose the right notes. It is not that complicated really. For instance, choosing the wrong notes seems to me far more complicated. In fact, I do not even know whether it is me who chooses the notes. This all subject matter of music and styles is pretty magical, I do not comprehend it fully. I do believe that music starts to happen when consciousness fades away. I prefer to be subject to beauty rather than a self proclaimed author of that beauty.

Matoula: These days are very difficult for the Palestinians as there is the third day of attacks. How you feel about it?

Gilad: I am devastated by it but far from being surprised. As you may know, I support any form of Palestinian resistance. As far as I am concerned, any form of Jewish political gathering is doomed to lead towards tragic consequences. Zionism was there to launch a new Jewish civilized life. Its failure is evident. The brutality performed by Israel is far beyond bestiality. As far as I can see, Israel has moved now into extermination policies.

To address your question, I fully support the Palestinian people with all my heart. I want to see one Palestine on the land stretched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Israeli brutality should stand as proof that there is no room for a Jewish state, neither in Palestine nor anywhere else. The reason is simple, an Identity that is based on chosenness and racial supremacy (Jewish identity) risks itself and its surrounding environment.

Matoula: What can music or art do in these moments?

Gilad: Music and art as opposed to fashion is the genuine search for beauty. Beauty brings about the goodness in mankind. In the light of beauty, Israeli aggression and American barbarism may be defeated.

Matoula: Was it hard for you to leave your birthplace? How did you do it? Did your family follow you?

Gilad: It wasn’t that complicated. At the end of the day, the Jewish settlement of Palestine is a late phenomenon. The Jewish colonization is apparently totally foreign to the region. There is very little authenticity in Israeli culture. When the Israeli insists upon being authentic he eats Humus and swears in Arabic. Accordingly, like every other Israeli, I wasn’t really part of the region or the land. While Israel is a state, Palestine is a country. When I miss my ‘homeland’ i.e., the country, I go to a Palestinian or Lebanese restaurant, alternatively I can swear at my kids in a language I don’t really speak (Arabic).

Matoula: Have you any problem with being a Jew? You feel like you have denied your "Jewish identity"?

Gilad: I do not have a real problem because I’ve denounced my ‘Jewishness’ and ‘Israeliness’. I regard myself as an ex Jew and ex Israeli. I guess that I have many Jewish and Israeli traces in my behavior. My life struggle is to look into myself and to fight them one by one. However, a lot of my criticism of Jewish identity, Israel and Zionism is based on self reflection. It is the Israeli in me that I criticize and deconstruct. It is very important for me to mention that I do not have any problem with Jewish people. I am surrounded by amazingly graceful Jews. Many of them are proud self haters like myself. Others are just ordinary beautiful human beings who try to live their lives and survive the credit crunch. Yet I have a severe problem with Jewish political identity. It is a racially orientated identity and I obviously despise any form of racist politics.

Matoula: I know that you served your military service at the time of the Lebanon war in 1982. How was that experience?

Gilad: I was somehow lucky to be there. It was then when I realized that the entire Zionist narrative was a hoax based on lies and deception. In that war I launched into a journey, I started to gather my direct responsibility to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause. I realized that I had very little in common with the Jewish national project.

Matoula: Why you support the Palestinian people?

Gilad: Because it is all my direct fault. It is my direct and personal responsibility to bring Palestinians back to the land and the homes that were stolen from them by my grandfather, my father and unfortunately, myself.

Matoula: What is your ideal solution for the "never-ending" Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Gilad: I avoid the resolution discourse altogether. But I must admit that watching the Israeli brutality in the region makes it very clear to me that there is no room for any Jewish national entity in the region or anywhere else. The Jewish state has managed to prove categorically that ‘loving thy neighbors’ is far from being a Jewish collective value.

Matoula: You have always been very honest and revealing about this subject. Have you ever felt afraid?

Gilad: Interesting question, throughout the years I had been subject to numerous death threats. However, it has never been an issue. I support the Palestinian people who are slaughtered and starved. Hence, It would be pathetic to moan about my own personal fate or the dangers I may encounter. I do what I believe in, I always insist to say what I believe to be the truth at the time I say it and this is the only thing I care about.

Matoula: There are many who criticise you. As long as they keep doing that, will you continue to express your opinion?

Gilad: In fact they aren’t that many and they all somehow hold a very similar tribal perception and belong to the same camp. Somehow, they all operate in racially oriented Jewish political cells. Saying that, I think that any idea or thought should welcome criticism. Hence, I am open to critique and love to see my work deconstructed and even demolished. Anyhow, I have yet to come across any substantial argumentative criticism of my thought and writing. Instead all I see is a crude and banal attempt to silence me by spreading lies, slander and defamation.

I am happy and even proud to say that my ideas are vastly circulated and translated into very many languages including Greek. All attempts to silence me have failed so far. I believe that this won’t change as long as I manage to speak my heart and avoid any engagement with any political bodies or institutions. I have two secrets:

1. unlike most commentators on the subject, I restrict myself to critical writing and deconstruction of ethical and humanist issues. It is very easy to destroy a politician but it is probably impossible to silence a humanist!

2. I can be funny.

Matoula: Do you usually respond to the provocations or you simply just ignore them?

Gilad: I would respond to an argumentative provocation. Seemingly this has never happened. In fact there is not a single Zionist or pseudo-Zionist that would dare confront me on an open stage.

Matoula: What do you think about Barak Obama's election?

Gilad: I do not hold my breath. The man surrounded himself with some rabid Zionists. His chief of staff is Rahm Emmanuel, an ex IDF soldier and a person who is suspected to be an Israeli intelligence agent. I hope that sooner rather than later Obama wakes up.

Matoula: I have heard you talking about modern evil. What is modern evil?

Gilad: Modern evil is a sophisticated system that pushes the evil into the realm of the inexpressible. You see it all and you keep silent. You know what it is, you want to shout it out and yet something within you stops you. I will try to elaborate.

Evil is commonly interpreted as ‘profoundly immoral and wrong’. For me the ultimate manifestation of evil is the continuous abuse of the Palestinian people, people who were ethnically cleansed and are now locked, starved and bombarded in concentration camps by their cleansers. In the last four days we have been seeing 2 million starved Palestinians being subject to Israeli devastating air raids. Hundreds are dead, thousands are wounded and the world keeps quiet.

It is not just the Israelis who are guilty of such a crime. It is also world Jewry who institutionally support Israel, it is also the Wolfowitzes who made America and Britain into an Israeli mission force. But it doesn’t end there either. It is the entire Western political leadership that sees Gaza people minced into dust by IDF war machinery and yet fails to stand up for the obvious justice. It is the Western media that fills its mouth with water. It is all of us who see the Jewish state slaughtering civilians and does nothing. ‘For Evil to take place, all you need is a few good people who sit and do nothing’.

And yet modern evil takes us one step further. It is a sophisticated matrix that is very effective in silencing and dismantling the possibility of criticism. We see it all, we see the credit crunch, we see Lehman Brothers, we see the Wolfowitzes who took us to Iraq, the Greenspans who created a fantasy of financial boom at the expense of America’s lower classes, we learn about the 50 billion Dollar Swindler Bernard Madoff and we somehow fail to shout it out. We are devastated by what we see and yet we are suppressed by our fear of pronouncing the notion of Zionist power. In the name of correctness we refrain from telling the truth. In fact I myself had been proceeding carefully in circles before I managed to spit it out.

Being under the spell of a modern evil apparatus we are afraid that telling the truth would reflect badly on us. We are shattered by our own realizations. We are becoming a self-sufficient subservient censoring machine. Against our will we are becoming collaborators of Zionism. Hence we shouldn’t be surprised if the grave fate awaiting us is no different from the Palestinian one.

Seemingly, we have lost our true survival instincts for the sake of political correctness and liberal ideology. Thus, like the Palestinians we become subject to a very profound institutional crime. This is what modern evil is and I am very afraid of it. I know very well that by the time it all bursts, by the time we manage to utter it all, no one will be able to stop the tide of anger.

Board of Deputies of British Jews: on the road to nowhere

Gilad Atzmon.

Yesterday evening I was informed about an email notification from the most rabid Zionist institutes operating in Britain, The Board Of Deputies of Brithish Jews (BOD). The email suggested that the BOD had cancelled Sunday's Solidarity Rally with Israel.

According to the ‘official email’ The BOD has decided to cancel their solidarity rally because they grasped that it would be very unwise for the British Jewish community to associate itself voluntarily with the inhuman crimes practiced by Israel in Gaza. I have to admit that this would be the most clever thing a Jewish institution could do.

Read the text and judge for yourself:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Board of Deputies of British Jews Cancels Sunday's Solidarity Rally

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, in consultation with a coalition of prominent organisations in the Anglo-Jewish community, have decided to cancel the planned Israel Solidarity Rally, due to occur on Sunday 11th of January.

This decision has been taken after intense discussions within the community, due to a feeling that such a demonstration would not be in accordance with the Board's wish to bring the conflict to an immediate conclusion. It was thought that the demonstration might be perceived as the community taking one side in the tragic war in Gaza and Israel, and might be seen as supporting Israel's military campaign.

The Board calls for an immediate ceasefire, immediate negotiations between Israel and Hamas, and for lifting the economic blockade of Gaza, in order to allow the Gazan and Israeli people to live together in peace. There is no military solution, only a political one.

The Jewish community does not wish to be seen as a participant in the conflict, and in taking this stand we hope to be a part of the solution. The Board stands in solidarity with the besieged and injured people of Gaza, as well as the victims of terrorism in Israel, and we oppose all violence as contrary to the tenets of the Jewish religion. We would like to reach out to the British Muslim community, as well as those of no religion who have demonstrated against Israel's military campaign-we share your anguish at the destruction and loss of life caused, and hope that our action in calling off our demonstration will be a small step towards peace.

Board of Deputies of British Jews and The Jewish Leadership Council

For all enquiries contact:
The Board of Deputies of British Jews
6 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2LP

Tel: +44 (0)20 7543 5400
Fax: +44 (0)20 7543 0010
Email: info@boardofdeputies.org

According to the press release the BOD was concerned that the coming rally “might be perceived as the community taking one side in the tragic war in Gaza and Israel, and might be seen as supporting Israel's military campaign.” Moreover, “The Board stands in solidarity with the besieged and injured people of Gaza”, they as well oppose all violence as contrary to the tenets of the Jewish religion.”

Life is wonderful, I thought to myself, even The BOD, a racist Zionist organisation has managed to gather that "enough is enough". The text may even hint that Global Zionism is starting to crack after all. I thought to myself that the BOD has managed to sense the growing resentment towards Israel and Jews who blindly support its genocidal tactics. Naively I thought for a few seconds that for the first time we were seeing an institutional Jewish body facing Palestinian misery. For the first time we saw a significant move of ‘Jews against Zionism’.

But then I woke up, I thought that just before I vindicate the entire institutional world Jewry as represented here in the UK, I had better check out The BOD’s website. The bitter truth appeared on my computer screen immediately. The BOD, the representative body of British Jews does support the Israeli war. Nothing really changed. The email was a hoax. Yet it was a very clever and significant one. It outlined exactly what Jewish institutions should have done if they want to join humanity!!!

At that stage, I still wanted to believe that the BOD may be slightly more clever than what appears on its official website, I thought that perhaps they just failed to update their site due to the Sabbath. I called my three informers within the British Zionist community and they confirmed to me that the Rally is indeed going on as planned, they were as well aware of the ‘hoax letter’.

I must admit that by then nothing could take me by surprise. The nature of the conflict is fully determined. There is nothing world Jewry can do to save their beloved Israel.

If world Jewry continues to support Israel, as they momentarily do, it affirms to us all that Israeli war crimes are indeed committed in the name of the Jewish people and with their support. This would be enough to explain (rather than justify) the rapid increase in anti Jewish resentment that these communities claim is happening.

If Jewish institutions would be clever enough and withdraw their support of Israel, this would be more than welcome. It wouldn’t save Israel but it would mean that Israel is committing all these crimes in the name of the Jewish people but without the Jewish people's consent. This is the most reasonable thing Jews can do to save themselves. For some reason, they fail to do it yet.

Compound Fractured Fairy Tale

Sheila Casey.

Once upon a time a child was born in a place called the land of the free and the home of the brave. She was told that she was very, very lucky to be born in this land, the best country on earth. In school every morning, her entire class stood, placed their hands over their hearts, and solemnly recited a Pledge of Allegiance to her nation’s flag. After that the class sang a stirring song about the greatness of this land and its purple mountain’s majesty. The same songs were heard on Independence Day, and, as the music swelled to a crescendo, tears filled the child’s eyes with gratitude for being a citizen of such a wonderful land.

In other countries, rulers did terrible things to their people, but few of their people would hear about it, as the newspapers printed only lies in support of the evil rulers. That would never happen in her country, Amerika, where the right of free speech had been enshrined for centuries as the first and the most important amendment in the founding documents of the republic. She learned that although her country had fought in many wars, it was always as either a victim of an unprovoked attack, or as a brave ally to those who were innocent victims.

The years passed and she lived her life with little regard to the work of her government. She voted every four years, wearing proudly her “I voted” sticker for the rest of the day.

To be sure, there were disturbing occurrences every now and then. A president was gunned down in broad daylight on a city street, then later his brother, an influential senator, was killed. A charismatic leader of the descendants of the slaves was shot and killed at the height of his popularity. But each time, thanks to quick police work, the lone nuts who committed these deeds were located within hours and punished, making the streets safe once again.

She understood that there were poor people, those living under bridges and eating cat food. But she also knew, because it was endlessly repeated, that anyone could succeed in Amerika, and those at the pinnacle of wealth and power were simply more talented and harder working than everyone else.

Her confidence in the integrity of her government continued until an event, quite suddenly, changed it. Amerika attacked a country which had done nothing to threaten it. The video of bombs falling on an innocent city filled her with sorrow and shame. She stood in her office and cried.

Then she resolved to find out how such a thing could have been perpetrated by a land that was a beacon of freedom to all mankind.

Fortunately, she had just acquired an amazing invention that enabled her to read the thoughts of all the smartest people from around the world at no charge. She began spending long hours on the invention, searching for wise words to explain how Amerika had gone so wrong, and what could be done to put her back on track. To her relief, there were many influential thinkers who agreed with her that Amerika had made a grievous error, and she felt confident that loud cries of indignation and alarm, from so many quarters, would soon force Amerika’s evil leaders to reverse course.

Alas, that was not the case. Pundits kept punditing, marchers kept marching, and the war went on. Years passed and hundreds of thousands of innocent people died as Amerika sought to subdue the black bearded patriots bravely fighting against the invaders. Why exactly were the Amerikans there? This was never made clear.

Even worse, she saw the laws that had made her country great being dismantled. Laws against torture, laws protecting citizens’ privacy, and laws insuring fair trials and fair treatment for the accused, were watered down or thrown out entirely. Again there was great outrage from brilliant writers, again nothing changed. It seemed that the conscience of Amerika, those who were supposed to intercede and assure that no single lunatic derailed the entire country, had taken an extended vacation.

She was told that the new laws would keep her safe from the terrorists who hated her freedoms and wanted to kill her. But now, she felt more afraid of her own government than of the terrorists.

One day, after four years of war, while researching impeachment on her amazing invention, she came across a bold statement: That powerfully constructed steel buildings could suddenly turn to dust, because they were struck by two flimsy aluminum airliners, and experienced small fires on a few floors, that burned for a short time, appears unexceptional to a majority of Americans.

Her eyes widened and she embarked on an even more feverish quest for the truth. Within a few days, she had read hundreds of pages about the day in September 2001 that had changed everything, the day that sent Amerika on a rampage on the other side of the world, and destroyed the freedoms at home that the terrorists hated so much.

It didn’t take long. The evidence was overwhelming and her jaw dropped and stayed dropped for a week. What of all the astute writers whose words she had devoured daily, year after year? What of her heroes: Robert Scheer, Josh Marshall, Paul Krugman? What of the many leftist websites she frequented: Buzzflash, Alternet, Counterpunch, TPM, Crooks & Liars, Salon? The pod casts she savored, like Left, Right and Center? The TV shows she giggled at, like The Daily Show? How could it be, that not one of these sources had told her the truth about 9/11? And if they were lying about 9/11, what else might they be lying about? She had to know.

She began investigating again. Her new plasma TV sat idle and unused, DVDs from Netflix piled up, unwatched, and dust lay thickly on dresser-tops, un-noticed. The UPS man became a frequent visitor, bearing books from Amazon, and she dug deeper into the far reaches of the Internet, following link, after link, after link, to get to the long buried truth that someone didn’t want her to know.

JFK. RFK. MLK. JFK Jr. Oklahoma City bombing. World Trade Center bombing 1993. Shoot down of KAL 007, TWA 800. Deaths of Paul Wellstone, William Colby, Vince Foster. All lies! Nothing had happened the way she had been told. The government—her government—had been killing people who were inconvenient for at least 50 years. The media spun tales as absurd as an Escher drawing, and the placid public accepted their wild tales as fact.

But why? And who? Her initial rage at Shrub and his side-kick faded as she realized that they were mere functionaries, carrying out orders. Was it only a coincidence that Shrub had sat reading a book called “My Pet Goat,” as New Yorkers leapt to their deaths from burning towers? Or was this planned as a humiliating inside joke by his sadistic master, a joke that would finally be understood by the masses only a decade later?

She began to discern the over-arching plan that spanned decades and proceeded apace regardless of who sat in the office shaped like an oval. Presidents were not so much elected as appointed, as the lock-step media had the power to raise up the compliant, and throw down the rebellious. Powerful people who spoke truth soon found themselves relegated to the inside pages of the daily broadsheets, with only their most unattractive photos and embarrassing peccadilloes revealed. Further indiscreet statements, and they would find themselves in the obituaries.

She learned that there was a single family with net worth of $100 trillion dollars—twenty times the amount of the entire US money supply (M3) and enough to finance the US military’s current budget for 200 years. How had they gotten so rich? Were they so much more talented and hard-working that all the rest of us?


This family, and a few others like it, own a private corporation (no, you can’t buy stock) that issues US currency to the Amerikan people at interest. They create this money for no more than it costs to print it, while collecting billions of dollars every day in interest on the trillions now owed to them. Counterfeiting is legal in Amerika—and every nation with a Central Bank. They have a license to print money. They answer to no one.

With that money they rule the world. They control governments, corporations, the media, education, medicine. They create wars and fund both sides. They create booms and busts, and have the insider knowledge to sell at the peak and buy at the absolute nadir. Like squeezes of a wet sponge, each successive contraction drains more from the people into the vast pool of wealth controlled by the banksters.

Blackmail and bribery are the nature of their game. Pleased to meet you, have you guessed their name?

Perhaps most tellingly, they created the fiction of the nutso conspiracy theorist. You see why that was necessary? Anyone who uncovers the truth is ipso facto unreliable and borderline delusional. Thus they have built a nearly impenetrable barrier to a mass awakening. If only greasy-haired losers with comb-overs and grimy polyester shirts, who haven’t been laid since 1995, who spray spittle as they ventilate incoherently, have seen through the curtain, well-coiffed hockey moms will run from them screaming, and the banksters’ secrets are safe. Safe to continue counterfeiting, stealing, lying to those same hockey moms.

The woman had now reached the bottom of the rabbit hole. She had awoken from the American Dream to face the cold, clinical reality of evil encircling the world and tightening its hold on its unsuspecting victims a bit more every day, every year.

Something must be done! she resolved. She began writing, speaking, informing. But old friends backed away and her op-eds weren’t published. She appeared as little more than a lone, lunatic fly flailing in a solid web of geometrically perfect, internally consistent lies expanding outward indefinitely in all directions. Slowly, the full horror of the awful truth dawned upon her, as the fate of humanity became ever more apparent.

They will finally find out that they are enslaved, only when all possibility of escape has been eliminated.

She wept.