Subject : ON EMPATHY, VIOLENCE AND INFORMATION
THEORY IN THE MIDDLE EAST WAR.
23 July 2006
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
In one of his many books on the phenomenon of madness in contemporary
western societies, British psychoanalyst R.D. Laing wrote at
the end of a long description of a "schizophrenic" patient in the
context of her "normal" family life, how he personally longed to drive
the "normals" out of their "wretched minds". His greater ambition was
to return war and competition to its human context, so that these
extremes could be understood as unacceptable in human terms.
Empathy, it has been said by specialists in communication, is "the
reason for reason". Without the recognition of feelings, reality has no
meaning. Digital, analytical thinking is only part of the
mental process for understanding the Real. In order to reach higher
levels of understanding (or deeper levels, as the case may be)
dialectical leaps involving the Imaginary and the Symbolic are
necessary. Linear logical analysis is simply not enough to explain
change, because it exists in a timeless space on a single plateau
confronting tactics with tactics.
"A human being," wrote Albert Einstein,
In this bulletin we share with our readers testimonies and attempts at
analysis from the murderous pathology of war in the Middle East.
- is part of a whole, called by
us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space.
- He experiences himself, his
thoughts and feelings, as something separated from
- the rest--a kind of optical
delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind
- of prison for us, restricting
us to our personal desires and to affection for a few
- persons nearest us. Our task
must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening
- our circles of compassion to
embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature
- in its beauty.
First we invite readers to visit the two Internet sites below which
express two extremes in the lives of Israelis : the imaginary
instinct for national survival "at all costs", and the real
search for co-existence within the real world.
An ironic "thank-you" note to the civilized west from Lebanon: http://fromisraeltolebanon.info/
The brave effort of war resisters in Israel : http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jul2006/isra-j18.shtml
And a third Internet site we recommend again (in case you have not yet
seen it) is the film documentary on the slow murder of the Palestinian
The following 11 articles represent a variety of perspectives
on the human catastrophe caused by U.S.-supported Israeli aggressions
against their neighboring Palestinians and Lebanese :
Item A. is a quantitative
description of U.S. foreign aid to Israel since 1949; by retired U.S.
foreign service officer, Shirl McArthur.
Item B. is a 7-minute music
video by James McMurtry, interpreting the debacle of American
society "behind the façade".
Item C., a message from George
Kennedy, offers an alternative interpretation of Israeli military
Item D. is a New York Times
article sent to us by Elisabeth Chamorand on the U.S. weapons
industries and their link with Israel.
Item E. is a video tape by Noam
Chomsky on the "murder of a nation".
Item F. is an article sent by Michael
Albert on the collaboration of the Canadian media in support of
Item G. is an article by Alexander
Cockburn on "everything you need to know" about the war.
Item H. is an interpretive essay
by Jonathan Cook on "Israel's junior partner" in the Middle
Item I. is an article sent to us
by Dr. Catherine Shamas, by Nahla Chahal, Coordinatrice
de la CCIPPP(Campagne Civile Internationale pour la Protection du
Item J. is an article by Sam
Ghattas describing the hundreds of Israeli troops which seem to be
preparing for a search and destroy mission deep into Lebanon,
on Friday, 21
is an article by Dahr Jamail from Damascus, on the
to Israeli aggressions.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3
from Shirl McArthur :
21 July 2006
A Conservative Estimate of Total
Direct U.S. Aid to Israel: $108 Billion
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. aid since World War
II. The $3-plus billion per year that Israel receives from the U.S.
taxpayer is about one-fifth of the total U.S. aid budget, and amounts
to more than $600 per Israeli.
by Shirl McArthur
from James McMurtry :
20 July 2006
This music video touches on America's
economic corporate control, struggles of workers ,conditions of
veterans, war in Iraq, and the prison industrial complex.
- Must Watch 7 Minute Video
- "Will work for food. Will die for oil."
from George Kennedy :
19 July 2006
I wouldn't be too hasty to leap to conclusions on this one. See what
I've written here,
which, btw, Ray McGovern thinks is a "nice speculative analysis."
from Elisabeth Chamorand
22 July 2006
U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis
- by DAVID
S. CLOUD and HELENE COOPER
(with Thom Shanker)
WASHINGTON, July 21 The Bush administration is rushing a
delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel,
which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its
air campaign against Hezbollah
targets in Lebanon,
American officials said Friday.
The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with
relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials
said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others
because of the appearance that the United
States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way
that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.
The munitions that the United States is sending to Israel are part of a
multimillion-dollar arms sale package approved last year that Israel is
able to draw on as needed, the officials said. But Israel’s request for
expedited delivery of the satellite and laser-guided bombs was
described as unusual by some military officers, and as an indication
that Israel still had a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike.
Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice said Friday that she would head to Israel on Sunday at the
beginning of a round of Middle Eastern diplomacy. The original plan was
to include a stop to Cairo in her travels, but she did not announce any
stops in Arab capitals.
Instead, the meeting of Arab and European envoys planned for Cairo will
take place in Italy, Western diplomats said. While Arab governments
initially criticized Hezbollah for starting the fight with Israel in
Lebanon, discontent is rising in Arab countries over the number of
civilian casualties in Lebanon, and the governments have become wary of
playing host to Ms. Rice until a cease-fire package is put together.
To hold the meetings in an Arab capital before a diplomatic solution is
reached, said Martin S. Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel,
“would have identified the Arabs as the primary partner of the United
States in this project at a time where Hezbollah is accusing the Arab
leaders of providing cover for the continuation of Israel’s military
The decision to stay away from Arab countries for now is a markedly
different strategy from the shuttle diplomacy that previous
administrations used to mediate in the Middle East. “I have no interest
in diplomacy for the sake of returning Lebanon and Israel to the status
quo ante,” Ms. Rice said Friday. “I could have gotten on a plane and
rushed over and started shuttling around, and it wouldn’t have been
clear what I was shuttling to do.”
Before Ms. Rice heads to Israel on Sunday, she will join President Bush
at the White House for discussions on the Middle East crisis with two
Saudi envoys, Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, and Prince Bandar
bin Sultan, the secretary general of the National
The new American arms shipment to Israel has not been announced
publicly, and the officials who described the administration’s decision
to rush the munitions to Israel would discuss it only after being
promised anonymity. The officials included employees of two government
agencies, and one described the shipment as just one example of a broad
array of armaments that the United States has long provided Israel.
One American official said the shipment should not be compared to the
kind of an “emergency resupply” of dwindling Israeli stockpiles that
was provided during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, when an American
military airlift helped Israel recover from early Arab victories.
David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said:
“We have been using precision-guided munitions in order to neutralize
the military capabilities of Hezbollah and to minimize harm to
civilians. As a rule, however, we do not comment on Israel’s defense
Israel’s need for precision munitions is driven in part by its strategy
in Lebanon, which includes destroying hardened underground bunkers
where Hezbollah leaders are said to have taken refuge, as well as
missile sites and other targets that would be hard to hit without laser
and satellite-guided bombs.
Pentagon and military officials declined to describe in detail the size
and contents of the shipment to Israel, and they would not say whether
the munitions were being shipped by cargo aircraft or some other means.
But an arms-sale package approved last year provides authority for
Israel to purchase from the United States as many as 100 GBU-28’s,
which are 5,000-pound laser-guided bombs intended to destroy concrete
bunkers. The package also provides for selling satellite-guided
An announcement in 2005 that Israel was eligible to buy the “bunker
buster” weapons described the GBU-28 as “a special weapon that was
developed for penetrating hardened command centers located deep
underground.” The document added, “The Israeli Air Force will use these
GBU-28’s on their F-15 aircraft.”
American officials said that once a weapons purchase is approved, it is
up to the buyer nation to set up a timetable. But one American official
said normal procedures usually do not include rushing deliveries within
days of a request. That was done because Israel is a close ally in the
midst of hostilities, the official said.
Although Israel had some precision guided bombs in its stockpile
when the campaign in Lebanon began, the Israelis may not have taken
delivery of all the weapons they were entitled to under the 2005 sale.
Israel said its air force had dropped 23 tons of explosives Wednesday
night alone in Beirut, in an effort to penetrate what was believed to
be a bunker used by senior Hezbollah officials.
A senior Israeli official said Friday that the attacks to date had
degraded Hezbollah’s military strength by roughly half, but that the
campaign could go on for two more weeks or longer. “We will stay
heavily with the air campaign,” he said. “There’s no time limit. We
will end when we achieve our goals.”
The Bush administration announced Thursday a military equipment sale to
Saudi Arabia, worth more than $6 billion, a move that may in part have
been aimed at deflecting inevitable Arab government anger at the
decision to supply Israel with munitions in the event that effort
On Friday, Bush administration officials laid out their plans for the
diplomatic strategy that Ms. Rice will pursue. In Rome, the United
States will try to hammer out a diplomatic package that will offer
Lebanon incentives under the condition that a United
Nations resolution, which calls for the disarming of Hezbollah, is
Diplomats will also try to figure out the details around an eventual
international peacekeeping force, and which countries will contribute
to it. Germany and Russia have both indicated that they would be
willing to contribute forces; Ms. Rice said the United States was
Implicit in the eventual diplomatic package is a cease-fire. But a
senior American official said it remained unclear whether, under such a
plan, Hezbollah would be asked to retreat from southern Lebanon and
commit to a cease-fire, or whether American diplomats might depend on
Israel’s continued bombardment to make Hezbollah’s acquiescence
Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, said that Israel
would not rule out an international force to police the borders of
Lebanon and Syria and to patrol southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah has
had a stronghold. But he said that Israel was first determined to take
out Hezbollah’s command and control centers and weapons stockpiles.
from Noam Chomsky :
19 July 2006
Lebanon - Israel Facts the Media Isn't Telling
7 Minute Video and transcript. Click here to view
from Michael Albert :
21 July 2006
Israel, Racism, and the
Israel is provoked, and then responds. For the military attacks on the
Gaza Strip in late June and early July, we are told that the
provocation was the June 25 operation by Palestinian resistance
fighters against a military outpost near Gaza, and specifically the
capture of an Israeli tank gunner.
by Dan Freeman-Maloy
The Palestinian operation, according to most Canadian media, was
unprovoked – it could not have been provoked by the Israeli attacks
leading up to the operation, though in June alone these had already
killed 49 Palestinians. Nor could it have been provoked by the
imprisonment of 359 Palestinian children, 105 Palestinian female adults
and another 9000+ Arab males (mostly Palestinians) in Israeli jails, or
by the mass starvation of Gaza. As a June 30 editorial in the Globe and
Mail put it, “the onus for resolving the confrontation lies with
Hamas,” and while Palestinians must quietly endure tank shelling, air
strikes and starvation, “Israel is within its right to respond to
terrorism and violence.”
Without pause, Israel has since gone on to invade Lebanon, killing
hundreds of Lebanese, while Gaza continues to starve. In the Canadian
media, Israel was provoked to do so, in this case by the capture of two
Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah.
Hizbollah has not been provoked in the same way the Palestinians have
been. So what prompted their action? An obvious possibility is that
they were moved to action by the Israeli assault on Gaza. By the time
Hizbollah carried out its July 12 attack, the Israeli escalation
following June 25 had already claimed another 67 Palestinian lives.
More direct grievances with Israel include the continued Israeli
imprisonment of many Lebanese, particularly Hizbollah supporters, and
the Israeli live ammunition training on the Lebanese border which
recently killed several Lebanese villagers. But one could barely begin
to consider this on the basis of information provided by Canadian
media. No attacks on Israel can have been provoked. All of Israel’s
attacks must be provoked and defensive.
On July 13, Prime Minister Stephen Harper revealed the extent to which
this logic has come to dominate Canadian diplomacy. With the Israeli
military intensifying its assault on the Lebanese population and on
critical civilian infrastructure, Harper described the massive attack
as a “measured” exercise of Israel’s “right to defend itself.”
Mainstream media joined in the chorus: “Faced with such aggression,
Israel had no choice but to strike back,” a July 15 Globe and Mail
editorial declared. The next day, several Canadians were added to the
sky-rocketing death count from Israeli massacres.
Israel’s massacres in Gaza and southern Lebanon coincide with a shift
in Canadian foreign policy. Under the past two regimes (Martin’s
Liberals and now Harper’s Conservatives), Canada has rapidly shed any
pretense of having an independent foreign policy and has aligned itself
completely with the United States, Israel’s chief financial backer and
arms dealer. Where past Canadian regimes would have settled for silent
complicity in war crimes, Harper actively cheers and participates in
them. This drastic realignment of Canadian policy happens at a time
when the U.S. and Israel are embarking on aggressive, criminal wars
involving major human rights violations.
For Canadians to accept this, they will have to consume an equally
drastic dose of racism, dehumanization, and distorted understanding.
Getting them to do so may be somewhat of a challenge. The Canadian
media have taken up the task with gusto.
Aggression and defense
“No nation would stand by while its enemies
bombarded its towns and cities.”
Of course, the Globe’s editors were not talking about the
nation. The Palestinians are expected to stand by while Israel bombards
its towns and cities, as it has been doing continuously for the past
six years, with a sharp escalation in June – well before June 25, by
which time of the month 49 Palestinians had already been killed. But
when Palestinians resist through armed struggle, we read on the Globe
and Mail’s editorial pages that Israel’s “right to respond to the
latest Palestinian provocations is beyond question.” We cannot expect
“superhuman effort” from Israel, the editors explain, and this is what
would be required “to resist retaliating.”
–Globe and Mail Editorial, July 15
Through most of June, the situation was quite different – but then it
was only Palestinians who were being killed, only Palestinians who were
starving. This was, in the words of the Toronto Star’s Mitch Potter, a
period of “relative calm.” For disturbing this calm, Palestinians bear
a double responsibility: for aggression against Israel, and for forcing
Israel to attack Palestinians in response. As Potter insists on
repeating, the ongoing Israeli assault was itself “sparked initially by
the June 25 capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants.”
In fact, if the notion of self-defense was applied with any
consistency, the operation of June 25 would be beyond reproach.
Following an economic siege and recurring air strikes on their
communities, Palestinian fighters based in the Gaza Strip initiated an
attack against the Israeli military. This is no small feat, since
Gaza’s airspace and borders are under tight Israeli control, and it is
difficult for a lightly armed popular resistance to bring down F-16s.
Nonetheless, the fighters managed to tunnel their way underground for
hundreds of metres, deep beneath Israeli fortifications, to reach a
military outpost for their raid. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in
the fighting, as were two Palestinians, creating a very rare symmetry
in the death count. Palestinian fighters also destroyed an Israeli
tank, likely one of those that regularly shell Palestinian communities
from such outposts. They captured the tank gunner and brought him back
to Gaza as a prisoner of war.
The Palestinian resistance thus had one Israeli detainee, as against
some 10,000 prisoners on the Israeli side. The resistance group offered
a limited exchange. They would release the tank gunner if Israel freed
Palestinian child prisoners, female prisoners, and approximately 1,000
“administrative detainees” currently in Israeli prisons without charge.
A negotiated settlement reached through conditions of reciprocity and
dignity could well have seen the soldier released. But Israel had a
As former Israeli intelligence director Shlomo Gazit explained, the
situation served as a “pretext” for escalating military operations in
Gaza. Israeli forces began a series of forceful incursions, destroying
critical civilian infrastructure though air strikes, shelling
Palestinian communities, and instituting a comprehensive siege on the
territory. These escalations quickly revealed the Israeli goal as
regime change. The Israeli military rounded up and detained 64
political leaders from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, including
elected legislators and a third of the Palestinian Cabinet. It began
aerial bombardment of central civilian structures housing the
The Israeli regime responsible for these attacks enjoys thorough
support from the Canadian government. Its Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert,
visited Canada little more than a year ago. During the visit, he
received a pledge from the federal government that it would maintain
preferential trade policies towards Israel. Olmert also visited Ontario
Premier Dalton McGuinty at Queen’s Park, where he helped to set up a
parallel provincial trade arrangement. Joking with reporters as he
presented McGuinty with a gift, Olmert asked: “Do you want us to
hug?”[http://www.cjnews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=6122&s=1] Olmert and
Canadian officials did everything but.
The Harper government strengthened links with Israel further, making
Canada still more complicit in ongoing Israeli crimes. As Israeli
attacks ravaged Gaza, journalists with concern for ‘balance’ ought to
have paid attention to who was doing the killing and who the victims
Instead, Canadian media continued shifting focus to Palestinian
culpability and encouraging the government’s pro-Israel partisanship.
The spin in news coverage was spelled out explicitly on editorial
pages. The Toronto Star’s editors called attention to “the folly of
what [Palestinians] wrought by electing a Hamas government,” while
staking limited optimism on “the hope of a chastened Palestinian
Authority.”(June 29) The editors of the National Post and the Globe and
Mail held Palestinians directly responsible for Israeli attacks. “That
there is a humanitarian tragedy afflicting the Palestinian people there
can be no doubt,” a July 29 National Post editorial conceded, “but in
the current context it is a tragedy entirely of their own making.” On
June 30, the Globe’s editors hammered away at the same theme: “The main
responsibility for the death and destruction that has followed [June
25] lies with Palestinian militants and leaders.”
The capture of a tank gunner as a prisoner of war was translated into
an act of aggression, a “kidnapping.” Within a couple of weeks, the
three leading Anglo Canadian dailies – the Globe and Mail, the Toronto
Star and the National Post – had published the name of the captured
(“kidnapped”) soldier more than 100 times, often alongside his age and
other personal information. The Globe’s Shira Herzog, reflecting a
broad journalistic consensus, explained that strong Israeli retaliation
was necessary: Israel “is a country that takes collective pride in the
sanctity of every life, an ethos that comforts Israeli soldiers in
combat who know that no human effort will be spared to rescue even a
single one of them from enemy territory, dead or alive.”
As for the apparent contradiction given Israel’s approach to the lives
of Palestinian prisoners, the issue could not be ignored entirely. On
the thorny issue of child prisoners, the Globe referred readers to a
front-page article on the topic it had published on June 19, titled
“Getting locked up to get away from it all.” The piece argued that
Palestinian children view imprisonment in Israeli jails as “a dream
vacation” and are getting themselves imprisoned willfully as part of a
Palestinian cultural trend. Regarding female prisoners, the paper
published a June 27 report titled “Palestinian female prisoners have
‘blood on their hands.’” The title was based on a quote from the
Israeli prison authority, and the article assured readers that those
Palestinian women convicted in Israeli military courts were quite
guilty and very bad. The Post, for its part, ran an editorial referring
without distinction to all the Palestinians whom the resistance was
demanding be released – children, women and “administrative detainees”
alike – as “fanatics now justifiably languishing in Israeli prisons.”
Canadian media thus followed the Israeli lead, prizing the sanctity of
every Israeli life while holding Palestinian lives in utter contempt.
“It is our duty to prevent any danger of
losing a Jewish majority or creating an inseparable bi-national reality
in the Land of Israel.”
-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, June 20, 2006
(Speech to the 35th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem)
As disturbing as it is, contempt for Palestinian life on the part of
Israel and its supporters is unsurprising. It is, in fact, a necessary
cornerstone of the ideology of political Zionism, which guides the
Israeli political establishment and determines the core of Israeli
This policy is based on the determination to establish and maintain a
state with a Jewish majority on lands that have long been home to a
predominantly non-Jewish native population. Pursuit of this goal has
involved expelling Palestinians from these lands, prohibiting their
right to return to their homes, and encouraging large-scale Zionist
settlement from abroad. This is a recipe for perpetual crisis and
violence. Israeli forces effectively control all of historic
(mandatory) Palestine, the territory stretching from the Jordan River
to the Mediterranean Sea. And despite Israel’s forced exile of millions
of Palestinians from these lands, the present inhabitants of this
territory are in the majority not Jewish.
For Canadians to support Israel, they must adopt the Israeli
perspective regarding the native population of this land, the view that
the Palestinian population is an ethnic imbalance to be corrected, a
problem to be dealt with, a “demographic threat” to a state which must
be made “Jewish” at all costs. This thoroughly racist position frames
mainstream Canadian debate.
It is hardly worth quoting the National Post on this, given that the
paper is operated by CanWest Global, a media conglomerate founded by
two of Canada’s leading Israel lobbyists (Israel Asper and Gerry
Schwartz). But the position holds firm on the liberal wing of the
Consider, for example, the work of Mitch Potter, the Toronto Star’s
leading Israel-Palestine pundit in recent weeks. Potter is aware that
Gaza is not the planet’s most densely-populated area by accident, but
largely as a result of the mass expulsion of Palestinians from the 78%
of historic Palestine occupied by Zionist forces in 1948 (when Zionists
took their first real stab at achieving a Jewish majority). Some
700,000 Palestinians were then expelled from the territory claimed as
the State of Israel, forced into either neighboring countries or the
22% of Palestine still outside of Zionist control (the West Bank and
Gaza Strip). With respect to the southern Israeli settlement of
Ashkelon, for example, Potter offers the following background: “The
modern city was formed by Jewish immigrants to Israel in the site of
the Arab town of Al-Majdal, whose 11,000 residents were mostly driven
into Gaza after the 1948 war.”
Potter does not even feel it necessary to explain why those driven out
cannot return to their homes in accord with the basic, inalienable
rights of refugees displaced during wartime. Instead, Potter
automatically assumes the Israeli perspective. He correctly explains
that the Israeli “disengagement” from Gaza was simply an outgrowth of
Israel’s agenda of ethnic and national discrimination. For obvious
reasons, Israel has been finding it difficult to deny the indigenous
presence on the land it has conquered. This difficulty, Potter
explained, was addressed through an effort to permanently exclude the
Palestinian refugees of Gaza from dominant settler society: “Analysts
spoke of an emerging Israeli consensus that understood a bitter pill
had to be swallowed once and for all in order for Israel to cure itself
of the demographic realities of the burgeoning Palestinian birth rate.”
This is unabashed racism: the native majority population is described
as a disease to be treated by state policy, though even conceding
Palestinians a stretch of land to starve on is a “bitter pill.” None of
the leading Canadian newspapers published a serious challenge to this
Instead, they repeatedly published the flimsy argument that such a
challenge would itself be racist. In a rhetorical sleight of hand that
has become quite familiar, commentators repeatedly suggested that basic
principles of human and national rights must be sacrificed on the altar
of political Zionism, and that defending the rights of Palestinians
(particularly those in exile) amounts to anti-Jewish racism. The point
was put clearly in a July 3 column in the Globe and Mail: “it’s
anti-Semitic to call, as CUPE did [http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/hanieh310506.html],
for an unconditional right of return of all Palestinian refugees, since
such a massive demographic change would mean the destruction of Israel
as a Jewish state.”
The Globe thus tells us that Palestine’s indigenous population is not
only inferior and troublesome, but also oppressively racist by its very
From this perspective, contempt for Palestinian life comes all too
naturally. On June 29, the National Post, ever a mouthpiece for Israeli
diplomacy, addressed the issue through an interview with Israeli
foreign and deputy prime minister Tzipi Livni. For Livni, as reporter
Douglas Davis uncritically relayed to readers, international contempt
for Palestinian life is still insufficient: “She is particularly
irritated by the equivalence given to the deaths of Palestinian and
Israeli children … ‘Only when the world sends the right message to the
terrorists will they understand that it’s not the same.’” Canada’s
leading journalists have already gotten the message.
Consider, again, the work of Mitch Potter, who in his recent position
as the Toronto Star’s leading Israel-Palestine pundit is a canary in
the mineshaft of liberal Canadian racism. On June 30, just one day
after the publication of Livni’s anti-“equivalency” plea, Potter made
the following assertion: “Despite five days of international headlines
there has been but a single death – that of kidnapped 18-year-old
Israeli hitchhiker Eliyahu Asheri.”
Apparently, it was not worth counting the two Palestinian children,
aged 2 and 17, who were killed on June 28 by an unexploded Israeli
shell in the Gaza community of Khan Yunis (though this had even been
reported in the New York Times). Nor was it worth retracting or
correcting Potter’s statement in light of the Israeli military’s
killing of a Palestinian in nearby Rafah at 2am on the morning of the
30th, or of another in the West Bank city of Nablus a little more than
3 hours later (already by 6:13am, Agence France Press had reported the
Nablus killing). There were reports of other deaths during this period,
which Potter or his editors could easily have investigated if they took
Palestinian life seriously.
Evidently, they do not. As the Palestinian death toll mounted in the
following week, denying the fatalities outright became untenable.
Instead, Potter reduced Palestinian resistance to stubborn stupidity
and described the fallen fighters as animals: “Another batch of
Palestinian militants drawn out lemming-like and falling by the dozen
to higher-calibre Israeli fire, just like their predecessors.” [For
Potter to call Palestinians lemmings is certainly ironic].
Falling, he might have added, to U.S. weapons, with the support of
Canadian foreign policy and its loyal pundits.
Whitewashing collective punishment
“Hezbollah and Hamas … triggered the current
by staging guerrilla raids into
On July 12, Hizbollah, for decades the main southern Lebanese
resistance to Israel, captured two Israeli soldiers and killed two more
on the Israel-Lebanon border. That day, Israel not only killed 23
Palestinian civilians in Gaza, but also began to bomb Beirut. Israeli
military action against Lebanon swiftly escalated. On July 15, for
example, Reuters reported that Israel used loudspeakers to order
Lebanese civilians to leave the village of Marwaheen. 20 people,
including 15 children, got in a van to leave. Israel then bombed the
van, killing them all.
–Toronto Star, July 19 (reporter Less Whittington)
Of all of Israel’s international allies, including the United States,
the Harper government was widely regarded as the most outspoken
diplomatic supporter of escalating Israeli attacks. For Canadian media,
fully accustomed to whitewashing Israeli atrocities, this was only
appropriate. Massacres and the war crime of collective punishment were
sanitized and reduced to offhand euphemisms: “As in the Palestinian
territories,” the Globe’s Orly Halpern reported, “Israel is ratcheting
up the pressure on the civilian population in an effort to push the
Lebanese to reject Hezbollah tactics.”(July 14)
And as in Palestinian territory, the attacks were a matter of defense.
On July 15, the Globe editorialized: “The kidnapping of the two Israeli
soldiers, in a small country that holds the life of every soldier dear,
was a grievous provocation. Coming just weeks after the seizing of
another soldier by militants at the other end of the country, it looks
like a coordinated campaign of intimidation.”
The imputed “coordinated campaign of intimidation,” which Globe editors
disapprove of, is not to be confused with Israel’s “ratcheting up the
pressure on the civilian population,” with which the Globe raises only
As Israel continued to kill and starve Palestinians, and as the
Lebanese death toll from Israeli massacres mounted into the hundreds
(with several Canadians killed in the indiscriminate bombardment),
Mitch Potter explained that Palestinians now shared blame for the
violence – with Hizbollah: “The words Hamas and Hezbollah may sound
equally foreboding to most Western ears. And the militant merger of the
two has brought the Middle East to the brink of regional war.” (July
Even for the killing of Canadians, Israeli culpability was sidelined:
“Lebanon terror hits home,” read a Toronto Star headline on the topic
for July 17; “Canadians were killed in crossfire of fight with
Hezbollah,” read another headline, this one from the July 18 issue of
the Globe and Mail. In much of the coverage, it was as if Canadians
were fleeing a natural disaster, not a campaign of collective
punishment fully condoned by the Harper government.
The reliance on Israeli sources became almost comical. By July 19, the
Lebanese death count from Israeli massacres had reached 312, with more
than 100,000 civilians displaced. As Canadians scrambled to leave
Lebanon amidst the Israeli assault, the public relations line of the
chief Israeli diplomatic to Canada received the widest possible
circulation through a story printed by the Canadian Press. Drawing
entirely from unsubstantiated claims, the piece ran with the headline
“Canadians fleeing Lebanon could be Hezbollah targets: Israeli
Israel has since pledged to continue its invasion of Lebanon for weeks
to come, and both the Canadian government and Canadian media are lining
up in support. The Toronto Star’s Mitch Potter continues to get
front-page attention for his articles, led by prominent cover
references to Lebanese “terror” (July 18) and the suggestion that
Hizbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah could be the “next Osama bin
Laden” (July 19). Potter’s journalism is shallow public relations, most
recently for Israeli assassination efforts against Nasrallah. Potter
has described the leader as an eloquent, strategic figure with a mass
base for regional resistance to Israel. From his vantage point in “the
corridors of power” in Israel, Potter notes that “the strategies for
Israeli victory are converging on Nasrallah’s head.”
Israel, while pledging a prolonged attack on Lebanon, has continued its
atrocities in Gaza and escalated attacks on the West Bank, with
incursions into the Palestinian towns of Nablus (where the Israeli
military took over the municipality building, smashed cars and shot
indiscriminately at residents’ houses), Tulkarem, Bethlehem and Jenin.
The Harper government’s nearly unconditional support for this Israeli
aggression is scandalous, matched only by the media’s support for
Harper. On July 20, the Globe and Mail’s editors reaffirmed this. The
title of the editorial in ‘Canada’s national newspaper,’ which praised
Harper for his “refreshing” pro-Israel diplomacy, conveys the general
tone of coverage: “Harper is right on the Mideast.”
Mounting a challenge
There are indications that the Canadian population may be
lagging behind the political establishment in its contempt for
Palestinians. At the end of 2004, the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC)
released polls which offer some hope in this regard. They found that
prior to the recent intensification of support for Israel, official
Canadian pro-Israel partisanship was opposed by majority public
opinion. The polls found that the more Canadians learn about the
Israel-Palestine conflict, the more they sympathize with the
In recent months, this sympathy has found increasingly organized
expression. The past week’s massive demonstrations in Montreal come on
the heels of various important displays of regional solidarity with the
Palestinian struggle. Prominent among these is the decision by the
Ontario wing of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-Ontario),
Canada’s largest union of public sector workers, to identify Israel’s
regime of systematic ethnic and national discrimination as apartheid,
and to join the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against
Israel until apartheid is dismantled. This movement is continuing to
spread, and is picking up momentum within the United Church and
As the Canadian government opts instead for open rejection of the
rights of Palestinians (and Lebanese), “Israel advocacy” groups like
the Canada-Israel Committee take comfort in support from the mainstream
press. When the Harper government became the first of Israel’s allies
to support renewed suffocation of the Palestinian economy (in March
2006), CIC communications director Paul Michaels commented happily that
the “decision was greeted positively on the editorial pages of most
Canadian newspapers.” Again in late June, Canadian media indifference
to attacks on Palestinians occasioned the expression of satisfaction on
the part of the CIC: “While events on the ground included several
Israeli air strikes in which civilians were injured or killed, this
week’s media coverage was fairly light.”
With support from the government and the corporate press, Israel’s
allies pretend to near universal Canadian representation. They are in
turn able to depict Palestine solidarity as a rejection of the popular
consensus: “This week,” a Globe article on July 8 declared, “public
opinion was inflamed again when, contrary to the outrage [against CUPE
for its Palestine work], the Toronto Conference of the United Church of
Canada commended CUPE Ontario for its stand, and echoed the union’s
call for a boycott of Israeli goods.”
There is no denying the real strength of Canada’s institutional base of
support for Israel. However, there is good reason to believe that this
does not flow from “popular opinion.” Rather, it results from the
eagerness of the Canadian government to harmonize its foreign policy
with the U.S., the support of corporate Canada for this agenda, and the
strength of Canadian “Israel advocacy” groups which draw support from
corporate organization, the United States and Israel itself. Mainstream
media are reflecting and shaping the pro-Israel consensus determined by
these powerful interests. But they have yet to bring a real public
consensus behind them.
In this context, opportunities for a successful challenge to Canadian
support for Israel remain very real. But it is only outside of the
political establishment that this challenge can be built, and only
through alternative information systems that it can be sustained. In
any event, it is clear that while genuine awareness of the
Israel-Palestine conflict may translate into Palestine solidarity, the
mainstream press, far from the solution, is quite near to the core of
from Alexander Cockburn :
July 21, 2006
Hamas and Israel: Everything You Need To Know
As the tv networks give unlimited airtime to
Israel’s apologists, the message rolls out that no nation, least of all
Israel, can permit bombardment or armed incursion across its
borders without retaliation.
by ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The guiding rule in this tsunami of drivel is that the viewers should
be denied the slightest access to any historical context, or indeed to
anything that happened prior to June 28, which was when the capture of
an Israeli soldier and the killing of two others by Hamas hit the
headlines, followed soon thereafter by an attack by a unit of
Memory is supposed to stop in its tracks at June 28, 2006.
Let’s go on a brief excursion into pre-history. I’m talking about June
20, 2006, when Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in
an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between
Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it
killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.
Back we go again to June 13, 2006. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a
van in another attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive
barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.
Now we’re really in the dark ages, reaching far, far back to June 9,
2006, when Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians
and injuring 32.
That’s just a brief trip down Memory Lane, and we trip over the bodies
of twenty dead and forty-seven wounded, all of them Palestinians, most
of them women and children.
Israel regrets… But no! Israel doesn’t regret in the least. Most of the
time it doesn’t even bother to pretend to regret. It says, “We reserve
the right to slaughter Palestinians whenever we want. We reserve the
right to assassinate their leaders, crush their homes, steal their
water, tear out their olive groves, and when they try to resist we call
them terrorists intent on wrecking the ‘peace process’”.
Now Israel says it wants to wipe out Hezbollah. It wishes no harm to
the people of Lebanon, just so long as they’re not supporters of
Hezbollah, or standing anywhere in the neighborhood of a person or a
house or a car or a truck or a road or a bus or a field, or a power
station or a port that might, in the mind of an Israeli commander or
pilot, have something to do with Hezbollah. In any of those
eventualities all bets are off. You or your wife or your mother or your
baby get fried.
Israel regrets… But no! As noted above, it doesn’t regret in the
least. Neither does George Bush, nor Condoleezza Rice nor John
Bolton who is the moral savage who brings shame on his country
each day that he sits as America’s ambassador (unconfirmed) at the UN
and who has just told the world that a dead Israel civilian is worth a
whole more in terms of moral outrage than a Lebanese one.
None of them regrets. They say Hezbollah is a cancer in the body of
Lebanon. Sometimes, to kill the cancer, you end up killing the body. Or
bodies. Bodies of babies. Lots of them. Go to the website fromisraeltolebanon.info and take a look.
Then sign the petition on the site calling on the governments of the
world to stop this barbarity.
You can say that Israel brought Hezbollah into the world. You can prove
it too, though this too involves another frightening excursion into
This time we have to go far, almost unimaginably far, back into
history. Back to 1982, before the dinosaurs, before CNN, before Fox TV,
before O’Reilly and Limbaugh. But not before the neo-cons who at that
time had already crawled from the primal slime and were doing exactly
what they are doing now: advising an American president to give Israel
the green light to “solve its security problems” by destroying Lebanon.
In 1982 Israel had a problem. Yasir Arafat, headquartered in Beirut,
was making ready to announce that the PLO was prepared to sit down with
Israel and embark on peaceful, good faith negotiations towards a
Israel didn’t want a two-state solution, which meant -- if UN
resolutions were to be taken seriously -- a Palestinian state right
next door, with water, and contiguous territory. So Israel
decided chase the PLO right out of Lebanon. It announced that the
Palestinian fighters had broken the year-long cease-fire by lobbing
some shells into northern Israel.
Palestinians had done nothing of the sort. I remember this very well,
because Brian Urquhart, at that time assistant secretary general of the
United Nations, in charge of UN observers on Israel’s northern border,
invited me to his office on the 38th floor of the UN hq in
mid-Manhattan and showed me all the current reports from the zone. For
over a year there’d been no shelling from north of the border. Israel
With or without a pretext Israel wanted to invade Lebanon. So it did,
and rolled up to Beirut. It shelled Lebanese towns and villages and
bombed them from the air. Sharon’s forces killed maybe 20,000 people,
and let Lebanese Christians slaughter hundreds of Palestinian refugees
in the camps of Sabra and Chatilla.
The killing got so bad that even Ronald Reagan awoke from his slumbers
and called Tel Aviv to tell Israel to stop. Sharon gave the White House
the finger by bombing Beirut at the precise times -- 2.42 and 3.38 --
of two UN resolutions calling for a peaceful settlement on the matter
When the dust settled over the rubble, Israel bunkered down several
miles inside Lebanese sovereign territory, which it illegally occupied,
in defiance of all UN resolutions, for years, supervising a brutal
local militia and running its own version of Abu Graibh, the torture
center at the prison of Al-Khiam.
Occupy a country, torture its citizens and in the end you face
resistance. In Israel’s case it was Hezbollah, and in the end Hezbollah
ran Israel out of Lebanon, which is why a lot of Lebanese regard
Hezbollah not as terrorists but as courageous liberators.
The years roll by and Israel does its successful best to destroy all
possibility of a viable two-state solution. It builds illegal
settlements. It chops up Palestine with Jews-only roads. It collars all
the water. It cordons off Jerusalem. It steals even more land by
bisecting Palestinian territory with its “fence”. Anyone trying to
organize resistance gets jailed, tortured, or blown up.
Sick of their terrible trials, Palestinians elect Hamas, whose
leaders make it perfectly clear that they are ready to deal on the
basis of the old two-state solution, which of course is the one thing
Israel cannot endure. Israel doesn’t want any “peaceful solution” that
gives the Palestinians anything more than a few trashed out acres
surrounded with barbed wire and tanks, between the Israeli settlements
whose goons can murder them pretty much at will.
So here we are, 24 years after Sharon did his best to destroy Lebanon
in 1982, and his heirs are doing it all over again. Since they can’t
endure the idea of any just settlement for Palestinians, it’s the only
thing they know how to do. Call Lebanon a terror-haven and bomb it back
to the stone age. Call Gaza a terror-haven and bomb its power plant,
first stop on the journey back to the stone age. Bomb Damascus. Bomb
Of course they won’t destroy Hezbollah. Every time they kill another
Lebanese family, they multiply hatred of Israel and support for
Hezbollah. They’ve even unified the parliament in Baghdad, which just
voted unanimously -- Sunnis and Shi’ites and Kurds alike --
to deplore Israel’s conduct and to call for a ceasefire.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these little excursions into history, even though
history is dangerous, which is why the US press gives it a wide birth.
But even without the benefit of historical instruction, a majority of
Americans in CNN’s instant poll –- about 55 per cent out of 800,000 as
of midday, July 19 -- don’t like what Israel is up to.
Dislike is one thing, but at least in the short term it doesn’t help
much. Israel’s 1982 attack on Lebanon grew unpopular in the US, after
the first few days. But forcing the US to pressure Israel to settle the
basic problem takes political courage, and virtually no US politician
is prepared to buck the Israel lobby, however many families in Lebanon
and Gaza may be sacrificed on the altar of such cowardice.
from Jonathan Cook :
20 July 2006
Israel’s historical use of
Israel may be able to drag its paymaster, the United States, deeper
into the mire of the Middle East as a junior partner rather than as an
honest broker, giving Israel cover while it carves up yet more
Palestinian land for annexation.
by Jonathan Cook
from Dr. Catherine Shamas :
19 July 2006
Un peu de pudeur !
Comme si ça avait
commencé là, il y a quelques jours, avec
l¹enlèvement des deux soldats israéliens à la
frontière du Liban. Tout était si serein, si calme avant
cet acte perpétré par le Hezbollah... Et le pire
concernerait l¹ambiguïté des motivations de ce parti,
probablement liées à sa nature meurtrière et
barbare, ou au fait qu¹il soit une organisation terroriste, ou
pourquoi pas antisémite qui aspire à tuer les juifs, si
sa motivation n¹était pas de servir les bas
intérêts politiques et machiavéliques de la
par Nahla Chahal, Coordinatrice de la CCIPPP
(Campagne Civile Internationale pour la Protection du Peuple
Syrie ou de l¹Iran... enfin, un mélange de tout ça.
Comme s¹il n¹y a pas eu, il y a juste un mois, à la
mi-juin, le crime de la plage de Gaza où une famille
entière a été assassinée, un vendredi,
pendant une sortie promise aux enfants s¹ils «
réussissaient leur année scolaire »,
d¹après Hoda, une fillette de 9 ans, la seule survivante.
Une commission d¹enquête internationale ? pas question !!
Israël n¹accepte pas.
Comme s¹il n¹y a pas eu cette indifférence
internationale à l¹égard de la Palestine qui dure
depuis des années, depuis qu¹Israël, justement
Israël, a décidé de quitter le processus de paix,
lueur d¹espoir éphémère d¹une solution
négociée, née en 1993 et assassinée mille
fois depuis. Nous n¹allons pas refaire l¹histoire, mais
rappelons au moins que le Quartet ne fait rien, strictement rien,
depuis des années, que cette fameuse commission laisse
Israël prendre les mesures unilatérales qui lui semblent
bonnes, que le mur continue son avancée malgré
l¹avis de la Cour internationale de justice sur son
illégalité, que le cortège du malheur palestinien
pas de se dérouler devant les yeux du monde entier qui n¹a
pas envie devoir.
Comme s¹il n¹y avait pas eu la suspension de l¹aide
européenne à l¹Autorité palestinienne, depuis
que le peuple palestinien a élu au Parlement les candidats du
Hamas, cette autre organisation terroriste, barbare, antisémite
et tout... Les observateurs européens étaient là,
ils attestent de la régularité de ces élections.
Mais enfin, pourquoi les Palestiniens ont fait un si mauvais choix ?
Peut-être sont-ils eux aussi barbares, terroristes et
antisémites !! Alors, il faut réduire à la
soumission absolue les
Palestiniens, les Libanais, les Irakiens et tous ceux qui oseraient
contester l¹ordre établi...
Car ordre établi il y a. Georges Bush a défini l¹axe
du Bien, et ses caractéristiques, et ses membres. Sa
suprématie est légitime du fait même qu¹il
représente le Bien, et il mène une guerre totale et
permanente aux mauvais. Ni Nations unies, ni règles
internationales. Invasion et occupation de l¹Irak. Guantanamo et
centres de détention secrets. Israël kidnappe des ministres
du gouvernements palestiniens ? Allons donc, on ne fera pas un drame
pour ceux-là, de surcroît des palestiniens du Hamas,
certainement moins bons que les Palestiniens tués par dizaines
tous les jours, enlevés et détenus administrativement
pendant des années, humiliés et laissés pour
compte, sans aucun avenir perceptible, sans horizon, sans même
une promesse de recherche de solution, sans rien. RIEN. Et ils osent
tenir tête, ces barbares ? ils ne se soumettent pas mais
enlèvent un soldat pour demander la libération des femmes
et des enfants prisonniers en Israël ? Etonnant quand même.
Cet entêtement doit être une arme secrète !
Décapitons alors pour voir ce qu¹il y a derrière ou
dedans ! Cela faisait plus de deux semaines que Gaza était
bombardée nuit et jour, des centaines de civils tués,
dont une grande partie des enfants, la centrale électrique de la
ville détruite par Israël qui menace de couper l¹eau
aussi. Qu¹est ce qu¹on faisait ailleurs ?
Rien, sinon exiger que les Palestiniens restituent sans conditions le
soldat enlevé. Car un membre respectable de l¹axe du Bien
n¹allait quand même pas négocier avec ces barbares et
leur donner satisfaction.
Si le Hezbollah n¹avait pas entrepris l¹enlèvement des
deux soldats, la situation en Palestine se trouverait devant une
impasse totale. Impasse due à l¹absence de recherche de
solution au dernier épisode, celui de l¹enlèvement
du soldat à côté de Gaza et des revendications
palestiniennes, mais absence de recherche de solution, tout court.
D¹avoir laissé la situation en Palestine atteindre ce
degré de pourrissement, d¹avoir laissé à
Israël la totale liberté sur tous les plans, y compris
celle d¹organiser les tueries incessantes, de balayer d¹un
revers de main les résolutions internationales, et de jouir
d¹une totale impunité, voilà ce qui a conduit
à l¹engrenage actuel. Bizarrement, et sans pudeur aucune,
Condoleezza Rice s¹est soudain souvenue de la "Feuille de route"
et a annoncé qu¹il faudrait la reprendre et
l¹appliquer. La Feuille de route
!... la énième version des plans d¹application du
processus de paix, version revisitée, réduite à
souhait au profit d¹Israël et malgré cela
négligée et jetée aux oubliettes. Tant qu¹il
n¹y avait rien qui obligeait le monde à s¹en souvenir,
les Etats-Unis, l¹ONU, l¹Europe et les pays arabes laissaient
Israël agir à sa guise.
Mais de quoi se mêle le Hezbollah ? N¹est-il pas un parti
libanais et non palestinien ? Cet argument est tout à fait
étonnant. Pourquoi les Etats-Unis seraient en droit
d¹intervenir partout dans le monde, de concevoir le plan du
« Grand Moyen-Orient », et de prétendre que
l¹invasion et l¹occupation de l¹Irak visent à
mettre ce plan en application, et un parti libanais n¹aurait pas
le droit de se mêler de la situation en Palestine, tout à
côté du Liban. Comment y aura-t-il mondialisation
d¹une part et cantonnement dans la localité la plus stricte
d¹autre part ? l¹ordre établi serait-il la
mondialisation de la suprématie militaire et économique
vassalise le reste du monde à des degrés
différents, jusqu¹au morcellement ethnique, confessionnel,
régional, là où ça sert les «
intérêts nationaux des Etats-Unis » qui sont devenus
le seul critère valable pour gérer les relations
internationales. Un concours de circonstances a rendu puissant le
Hezbollah, parti populaire qui a fait ses preuves durant les
années de lutte pour la libération du Sud Liban
occupé par Israël - de 1978 à 2000 - et parti
armé. Le Hezbollah entretient des relations avec la Syrie et
l¹Iran ? Ceci ressemble à l¹argument étatsunien
qui accuse l¹Iran d¹intervenir en Irak ! Les Etats-Unis qui
ont traversé des dizaines de milliers de km pour arriver en
Irak, qui y ont déployé plus de cent mille soldats, qui
occupent le pays et y font la pluie et le beau temps, n¹admettent
pas que son voisin s¹y mêle. Voilà le nouvel ordre
Mais non ! c¹est une question de rapport de force. Alors, pourquoi
le Hezbollah se priverait de garder les outils de sa force, dont ses
armes, et pourquoi se priverait-il d¹essayer de modifier ce
rapport de force, ne serait-ce que partiellement, pour un
rééquilibrage de la situation ? Le prix à payer
est trop élevé, dira-t-on. Faut-il pour autant accepter
la soumission totale devant ceux qui usent de la force brutale.
N¹est-ce pas là la définition de la servitude ?
Certains Libanais ne sont pas d¹accord avec
cette aspiration du Hezbollah à modifier le rapport de force
global avec Israël. Il n¹y a pas consensus national nous
dit-on. C¹est vrai, mais y a-t-il jamais eu consensus national
pour bouger ? Celui-ci est précieux durant les périodes
de stabilité, ou pour installer la stabilité, et non pas
tout au long de l¹histoire et à chacun de ses instants.
Et la résolution 1559, à laquelle tient si fortement le
gouvernement français, qui en fut un des artisans et dont il
réclame aujourd'hui l'application pour une sortie de la crise ?
Si seulement Israël appliquait une seule des résolutions
internationales. Une contre dix, ça serait acceptable. Mais
zéro contre tout, ça s¹appelle de la soumission. Et
un déni de tout droit à l¹Autre. Il se trouve que
des Palestiniens, des Arabes, et des esprits libres du monde entier
n¹arrivent pas à intérioriser cette loi
de la soumission et oeuvrent pour limiter ses effets. Cela
s¹appelle de la résistance. Et c¹est légitime.
C¹est exactement la peur du succès, même minime,
d¹un rééquilibrage du rapport de force qui pousse
Israël à réagir avec cette violence
démesurée dès qu¹un acte signifie la
contestation de sa totale suprématie et liberté
d¹action. Israël est à la fois puissant et
vulnérable. Puissant grâce aux armes, au soutien
inconditionnel des administrations étatsuniennes
successives, à l¹absence de plus en plus prononcée
d¹une quelconque volonté internationale autre.
Vulnérabilité liée à la condition
même de la création d¹Israël, entité
artificielle implantée dans cette partie du monde par la
volonté occidentale qui cherchait à y installer une base
avancée, et surtout à résoudre la question juive
de la façon la plus antisémite qui soit (en tentant une
nouvelle fois de se débarrasser des juifs d¹Europe, et en
les entassant dans un nouveau ghetto, cage dorée, mais cage
quand même). Et vulnérabilité parce que Etat
créé sur une injustice flagrante, celle de la
décision de sacrifier le peuple palestinien pour réaliser
ces objectifs. Israël est prisonnier de ses conditions
d¹existence. Il lui faut exercer à chaque instant sa totale
suprématie, sinon il se sent menacé de disparition !! Il
se trouve qu¹il y a un hic dans l¹affaire, qui est
l¹existence des Palestiniens. Le slogan sioniste « une terre
sans peuple pour un peuple sans terre » est tellement mensonger
qu¹il n¹arrête pas de jouer des mauvais tours à
ses inventeurs, autre impasse que l¹usage de la brutalité
et de l¹arrogance envenime, alors que des approches sages,
humaines, respectueuses du drame que l¹histoire a fait subir aux
Palestiniens auraient pu réduires. Voilà que
l¹impasse de la situation en Palestine génère encore
une fois une
explosion. Tout indique qu¹elle n¹est qu¹à ses
débuts et que l¹ensemble de la région du
Moyen-Orient peut basculer dans la violence la plus
déchaînée,aux conséquences les moins
Il serait irresponsable de croire que la situation est
maîtrisée, que des jours ou des semaines de pressions
meurtrières sur le Liban viendraient à bout de cette
volonté de rééquilibrer ne serait-ce que
très partiellement le rapport de force, en vue de
véritables solutions politiques qui tiennent quelque peu la
route. Il ne s¹agit pas ou plus de la résolution 1559.
L¹explosion la dépasse de loin. Et de toute
manière, l¹armée israélienne,
l¹agression israélienne ne peuvent en aucun cas être
les outils de l¹application de la résolution 1559.
L¹unique résultat de cette politique que préconise
les Etats-Unis et que fait sienne la France serait la catastrophe :
elle conduirait au renouveau de la guerre civile au Liban. Les
Etats-Unis sont bien capables d¹une telle crétinerie, on le
constate tous les jours en Irak. Mais quel intérêt a la
France à suivre cette voie. Une
reprise plus que problématique de sa place dans la région
? Il n¹y a pas que les Etats-Unis qui manquent de pudeur !!
from Sam Ghattas :
21 July 2006
Beirut, Lebanon -
Israel massed tanks and troops on the border, called up reserves and
warned civilians to flee Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon as it
prepared Friday for a likely ground invasion.
- Israeli Troops Massing
on Lebanese Border
- by Sam F. Ghattas
The Israeli army confirmed some of its troops have
been operating in Lebanon for days although no major incursion has been
An official from the UN monitoring force in south
Lebanon, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to talk to the press, told The Associated Press in Beirut
that between 300 and 500 troops are believed to be in the western
sector of the border, backed by as many as 30 tanks.
Israeli forces would conduct ground operations as
needed in Lebanon, but they would be "limited," Israeli army chief of
staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz said. He also said nearly 100 Hezbollah
guerrillas have been killed in the offensive in Lebanon.
"We will fight terror wherever it is because if we
do not fight it, it will fight us. If we don't reach it, it will reach
us," Halutz said at a news conference in Tel Aviv. "We will also
conduct limited ground operations as much as needed in order to harm
the terror that harms us."
Israeli will allow aid supplies into Lebanon, an
envoy said, a day after the United Nations warned of a growing
humanitarian crisis following 10 days of the heaviest bombardment of
the country in 24 years.
Hezbollah militants fired 11 rockets at Israel's
port city of Haifa, wounding five. Israeli warplanes pounded the
Beirut-to-Damascus highway, collapsing part of Lebanon's longest
bridge. A UN-run observation post near the border was hit, but no one
Ships lined up at Beirut's port as a massive
evacuation of Americans and other foreigners picked up speed. US
officials said more than 8,000 of the roughly 25,000 Americans in
Lebanon will be evacuated by the weekend.
As sunset approached, lines of tanks, troops,
armored personnel carriers and bulldozers were parked on a two-lane
highway in northern Israel - close enough for some soldiers to see
Lebanese villages and homes.
A senior Israeli military official said it intends
to destroy Hezbollah's tunnels, hideouts, weapons caches and other
assets during its expected land incursions into southern Lebanon, not
create a buffer zone as it did during its 1982-2000 occupation.
The goal is to weaken Hezbollah so that the Lebanese
army can move into areas previously controlled by the guerrillas,
possibly with the aid of an increased international peacekeeping force,
said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the topic
dealt with sensitive military matters.
Mounting civilian casualties and the displacement of
hundreds of thousands of Lebanese could limit the time Israel has to
achieve its goals, as international tolerance for the bloodshed and
destruction runs out.
An Israeli military radio station warned residents
of 12 border villages in southern Lebanon to leave before 2 p.m.
At least 335 people have been killed in Lebanon in
the Israeli campaign, according to the Lebanese health minister.
Thirty-four Israelis also have been killed, including 19 soldiers.
Lebanese soldiers buried 72 people killed in recent
bombings in a mass grave just outside a barracks in the southern city
of Tyre. Volunteers put the bodies, many of them children, in wooden
coffins and spray-painted the names of the dead on the lids.
The United States - which has resisted calls to
press its ally to halt the fighting - was sending Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice to the Mideast on Sunday. She ruled out a quick
cease-fire as a "false promise" and said "Hezbollah is the source of
The mission would be the first US diplomatic effort
on the ground since the Israeli onslaught against Lebanon began.
Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said he expected
a corridor for food, medicine and other supplies to be opened later
Friday or Saturday. His remarks came as French Foreign Minister
Philippe Douste-Blazy called for safe passage of urgent aid his country
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Thursday of a
humanitarian crisis in Lebanon and called for an immediate cease-fire,
even as he admitted "serious obstacles" stand in the way of easing the
The price of food, medical supplies and gasoline
rose as much as 500 percent in parts of Lebanon as the bombardment cut
supply routes. The UN estimated that a half-million people have been
displaced, with 130,000 fleeing to Syria and 45,000 believed to be in
need of assistance.
Top Israeli officials said Israel won't stop its
offensive until Hezbollah is forced behind the Litani River, 20 miles
north of the border - creating a new buffer zone in a region that saw
18 years of Israeli presence since 1982.
As Israel stepped up its small forays over the
border to seek Hezbollah positions, rocket stores and bunkers, it has
faced tough resistance.
Israeli warplanes fired missiles that partially
collapsed a 1.6-mile suspension bridge linking two steep mountain peaks
in central Lebanon. The bridge has been hit several times since
The bombing also set ablaze three buses that had
just dropped off passengers in Syria, but the drivers escaped, police
Renewed attacks struck the ancient city of Baalbek,
a major Hezbollah stronghold, and security officials said two people
were killed and 19 wounded. Hezbollah strongholds in south Beirut and
elsewhere also were struck overnight, killing one person. Missiles hit
a village near the Israeli border, Aita al-Shaab, killing three,
A house in the border village of Aitaroun was
flattened, with 10 people believed inside, but rescuers couldn't reach
it because of shelling, security officials said.
At least 11 rockets hit Haifa, Israel's
third-largest city, and five people were wounded, with 23 treated for
shock. More rockets fell elsewhere in northern Israel, the army said,
with strikes reported in Rosh Pina, Safed and in several communities
near the Sea of Galilee.
Hezbollah has fired hundreds of rockets from the
Lebanese border since fighting began, forcing Israelis into underground
shelters. Eight people in Haifa were killed July 16.
A UN official, speaking on condition of anonymity
because of the sensitivity of the situation, said an artillery shell
fired by the Israeli military made "a direct hit on the UN position
An Israeli military spokesman said the rockets were
fired by Hezbollah guerrillas at northern Israel. The differing
accounts could not immediately be reconciled.
During an Israeli offensive against Lebanon in 1996,
artillery blasted a UN base at Qana in southern Lebanon, killing more
than 100 civilians taking refuge with the peacekeepers.
The UN mission, which has nearly 2,000 military
personnel and more than 300 civilians, is to patrol the border line,
known as the Blue Line, drawn by the UN after Israel withdrew troops
from south Lebanon in 2000, ending an 18-year occupation.
Two Apache attack helicopters collided in northern
Israel near the border, killing one air force officer and injuring
three others, Israeli officials said. Israel's air force began an
Hezbollah said three of its fighters had been killed
in the latest fighting, bringing to six the number killed since Israel
began its campaign after the militant Shiite Muslim group captured two
of its soldiers July 12.
Annan denounced Israel for "excessive use of force"
and Hezbollah for holding "an entire nation hostage" with its rocket
attacks and capturing the Israeli soldiers.
The number of reserves called up by the Israeli army
was not disclosed, but a military official, speaking on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said it would
be several thousand.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah shrugged off
concerns of a stepped-up Israeli onslaught, saying the captive Israelis
would be freed only as part of a prisoner exchange.
He spoke in an interview taped Thursday with
Al-Jazeera to show he had survived an airstrike in south Beirut that
Israel said targeted a Hezbollah leadership bunker. The guerrillas said
the strike only hit a mosque under construction and no one was hurt.
Lebanese streamed north into Beirut and other
regions, crowding into schools, relatives' homes or hotels. Taxi
drivers in the south were charging up to $400 per person for rides to
Beirut - more than 40 times the usual price. In remote villages of the
south, cut off by strikes, residents made their way out over the
mountains by foot.
More than 400,000 people - perhaps as many as a
half-million - are believed to live south of the Litani, according to
former top UN adviser Timur Goskel. The river has twice been the border
of Israeli buffer zones. In 1978, Israel invaded up to the Litani to
drive back Palestinian guerrillas, withdrawing from most of the south
Israel invaded Lebanon again in a much bigger
operation in 1982 when its forces seized parts of Beirut. It eventually
carved out a buffer zone that stopped at the Litani. That zone was
reduced gradually but the Israeli presence lasted until 2000, when it
Associated Press Writers Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations
and Gabe Ross in Haifa, Israel, contributed to this story.
from Dahr Jamail
22 July 2006
Subject: Iraq Dispatches: Fury Grips Syria Over Lebanon Attacks
Fury Grips Syria Over Lebanon
*DAMASCUS, Jul 21 (IPS) - The daily Israeli bombardment of Lebanon
and the floods of refugees pouring in have set off a wave of anger
by Dahr Jamail
"How can people watch this destruction in Lebanon and do nothing,"
Hassan Majed Ali, president of the Union of Engineers in Damascus told
IPS. "What is happening in Lebanon is opposed by 100 percent of us here
Ali, who heads a union of 19,000 engineers, said "the Israelis have not
complied with any of the UN resolutions since 1949. Why hasn't the
world forced Israel to comply with UN resolution 224 which told them to
withdraw from Arab lands? And now nobody is forcing them to stop their
destruction of Lebanon."
This will also be Israel's loss, he said. "The Lebanese, our brothers,
have now lost everything. And now the Israelis have lost what
friendship they may have had left with the Arab world."
Maher Skanderani, a 37-year-old merchant in downtown Damascus said
everyone is furious over what is happening in Lebanon. "And everything
which is happening illustrates the main problem -- which is Israel
invading Palestine and taking Palestinian land."
Anger is spilling over against the U.S. government - and its citizens.
Ola Saleh, a 25-year-old civil rights volunteer from Latakia said: "In
Syria people used to differentiate between the Bush regime and the
American people. But now not only do Syrians not respect the Bush
regime, they no longer respect the American people for allowing this to
Few believe that the Israeli attack is a reaction to the abduction of
two soldiers. "Israel has a political and military strategy, they do
not react," said 60-year-old Ibrahim Yakhour, information and
communications advisor at the State Planning Commission in Damascus.
"They understand the region very well and know how to exploit it. When
they lose two soldiers they exploit this for their own interests."
Syria could become involved in the conflict, he said. "It just depends
if they (Israel) have this in their plans."
Yakhour said Israel has "used American actions in their own interests,"
and has in the past "pushed Arab states to reactions which they can
exploit for their own interests."
Others, like 45-year-old literary critic Emad Huria, believe that Syria
will inevitably become involved in the conflict. "The whole region is
now involved," he told IPS. "If not today, then tomorrow."
Hamad al-Khatib, 26-year-old owner of a mobile phone shop told IPS that
"Israel doesn't care about law, and eventually they will involve Syria
in this disaster. But Syrians will always resist the plans of the
Israeli government, because we have our dignity."
Ali from the Union of Engineers said Syria has been put in a difficult
situation already by the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
"If we had said the invasion of Iraq was democratic, Bush would support
us. We in Syria opposed Saddam, but we are not with this destruction
and killing of Iraqis in Iraq. I don't know anyone in the world who
supports what is happening in Iraq."
Ali finally told this correspondent: "We welcome you to Syria. We
welcome you to Damascus. But don't kick me from my house."