— Jenna Pope (@JennaBPope) August 21, 2014
Yeah, still happening, still heart-rending. Reuters reports:
Israel launched its offensive in Gaza on July 8 … Gaza health officials say 2,066 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.
Israeli attacks have devastated many areas in the densely-populated enclave, home to 1.8 million people, with 425,000 of people displaced, according to the United Nations.
Sixty-four Israeli soldiers have been killed in the conflict, as well as three civilians in the Jewish state.
(By the way, why does Reuters call a 25% non-Jewish country a “Jewish state”?) To the Reuters figure of 2066 Palestinians I added the 12 civilians that Israel killed during West Bank pro-Gaza protests. As I reported earlier, the UN states that 86% of identifiable victims on the Palestinian side have been civilians. If that trend has continued (the latest OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs) report inexplicably doesn’t say how many of the dead are identifiable as civilian or non-civilian!) in Gaza, that means Israel has killed 1,788 civilians there and in the West Bank.
Here are three recent UN reports (PDF) on the specifics of what Israel is doing (with the support of our US tax dollars, of course):
At approximately 21:30 on 19 August 2014, Israeli planes attacked a three-storey house belonging to Rabah Shihda al-Dalu, in Sheikh Radwan,northwest of Gaza City. According to Israeli media, the target was Mohammed al-Deif, the Head of the Hamas military wing, and the ordnance used consisted of five one-ton bombs. The house was completely destroyed, four neighbouring houses were extensively damaged, as were the building and vehicles of a local transportation company. It is unclear if Al-Deif was killed, but his wife, son, daughter, and another woman and her two sons were killed. Fifteen others were injured. The body of Al-Deif’s daughter was recovered today.
At approximately 04:50 on 20 August, an Israeli plane launched a missile at a house in Deir al-Balah belonging to Mustafa Mohammed al-Louh. The house and a neighboring house belonging to the owner’s son were destroyed, and seven members of the family were killed; three men; the pregnant wife of one; and their children. Another family member, a 17-year-old girl died of her wounds today.
At approximately 02:30 today, 21 August, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the house of Nasser Kellab, west of the town or Rafah. The targets were three senior Hamas commanders who were killed, as were another five persons, including children; bodies are still being recovered. Two people were also killed in a neighbouring house.
For the bigger picture on what is being done to Gaza civilians besides killing them, read Fred Branfman’s cut-to-the-chase summary of what’s taking place. I like his fronting of the parallels between the U.S. in Vietnam and Israel in Gaza:
Israel claims it is justified in maiming and murdering civilians because Hamas is using them as ‘human shields.’ But there is always a military and political rationale for bombing civilians. In Laos, Deputy CIA Director James Lilley explained that though North Vietnamese soldiers were not in the villages, they would hide there if the U.S. didn’t bomb civilians. Prime Minister Nethanyahu offers a similar rationale for mass civilian murder today.
Other rationales include hoping that mass murder of civilians will turn the population against their leaders, as when former Israeli General Amos Yadlin stated in the N.Y. Times that Israel must bomb partly so that ‘Gaza’s people (are) given the chance to elect new leaders.’ As the U.S. Senate Refugee Subcommittee concluded after visiting Laos, the bombing’s purpose was to hurt the enemy by destroying its ‘social and economic infrastructure.’ …
It is precisely because there is always a rationale for bombing civilians that the progress of human civilization is largely measured by the extent to which civilians are protected in times of war from indiscriminate bombing and shelling, and that those who violate these rules are prosecuted for crimes of war. Protecting civilians against indiscriminate murder is not only a question of war. It is a measure of your own humanity.
In, the “Oh shite how do they still get away with it” category, yes, another sexy Orientalist nightmare disinfotainment spectacle. This is what BBC thinks we need to watch while Israeli bombs kill Gaza’s civilians, hundreds of them children:
So the ruthless and omnipotent assassin, a regular plot device of political thrillers, is in this case a Palestinian militant. Just like the show’s American inspiration, Homeland (which is in turn based on an Israeli original), it revives the spectre of the Arab bogeyman as the evil genius among us, ghosting across borders on false passports. The only apparently sympathetic Palestinian in the drama, Atika, turned out last week to be in league with the hitman, setting up her Jewish lover for the kill.
In other depressing news, EU states and the U.S. pursue a UN resolution to force a coup d’ etat against Gaza’s elected government.
Smarter and better for your brain, read a very well-documented take on mainstream ‘liberal’ pundits gigantic FAIL when it comes to Israeli war criminality:
During the July-August slaughter of Gaza residents, few liberal American commentators could muster the support for Palestinians’ right to self-determination, or even their right to not be mass murdered, yet these same analysts can conjure for certain domestic issues or for people they see as oppressed by states other than American or its allies. By misrepresenting or ignoring evidence and overlooking crucial contexts, analysts such as Kevin Drum, Nicholas Kristof, David Remnick, and Michael Walzer asserted a false symmetry between Palestinians and the Israeli state or outright sided with the latter.
Sama Sabawi is also very smart, offering excellent analysis of what mainstream ‘news’ coverage always excludes:
Our ‘human story’ often consists of footage of the dead and dying accompanied by short sound bites of concerned relatives and crying victims. When we insist on expressing our political views, contextualising the footage, asking for as much air time as the pro-Israel voices get or challenging the language the media has adopted in covering the conflict, we are often met with polite silence or cold rejection.
Finally, the good news, BDS and Boycott Israel, what really matters: good work blocking that Israeli ship in Oakland! And Jewish Voices for Peace: great job protesting war criminal Michael Oren’s appearance in Chicago:
— Chicago JVP (@ChicagoJVP) August 22, 2014
P.S.: Lastly, beware of the following behavior, which had a serious and negative impact on a fine website, Common Dreams:
The Double Identity of an “Anti-Semitic” Commenter
Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel
by Lance Tapley
Wednesday, August 20, 2014