Friday, July 18, 2014

Matt 24 watch, 244: What is going on in Gaza, and why is it that BBC etc routinely portray it as, "XXX Palestinians were killed in Israeli Bombing attacks, and oh yes, a few rockets were fired into Israel with no deaths . . . "

I generally find current news coverage on the Middle East increasingly out of reasonable balance and highly unacceptable. The founding of a terrorist state in Syria and Iraq was a ho hum, with little or no coverage on the significance of what is going on. The reporting on the kidnapping and live on cell phone to 911 murder of three teens for the crime of being Jews was not satisfactory either, and the sense of oh yes we can get back on standard narrative when in a very isolated, rare (and inexcusable) event an Arab teen was murdered -- apparently by Jews, was palpable. 

Something is wrong.

Deeply wrong.

For instance, I just noticed this Times of Israel report, on just how fragile the Israeli rocket defense system that has saved many lives so far is:
A mix of radars and electro-optic devices detect the launch, classify its size and the threat it represents, and pinpoint, in a splotch on a map, the areas that are in danger. 

This process takes seconds. But for the soldiers who receive the air force’s warning, serving under the command of Lt. Col. Levi Itach, the head of the army’s early warning branch, the procedure is filled with operational dilemmas.

Itach suggested, as an example, a Grad rocket with a 40-kilometer range. His soldiers, seated beside air force personnel in a joint command center in central Israel, receive notice of a launch after five seconds. By then they have verified that the object is neither a flock of birds nor a crop-duster tracing the ballistic path of a rocket.

Then the air force’s electro-optic systems analyze the heat signature of the rocket and the trajectory of the take-off and provide, based on the projected kill capacity of the projectile, the Home Front Command with an initial target area.

Five seconds later, additional radars, tracking the behavior of the projectile, narrow the target area significantly.
This continues throughout the rise of the rocket, Itach said, with the stain on the map diminishing throughout, but with the response time dwindling, too.

“Operationally speaking, where do you cut it off?” he asked. “How much time do you leave the citizen? What’s enough time? A 70-80-90-year old; a five-year-old: realistically speaking, how much time do they need?”

The Grad with the 40-kilometer-range, he said, flies for two minutes. The more exact the warning, the fewer people exposed to the siren, the lesser the impact on the national psyche, the lesser the toll on the economy. In the example he gave, he said, the citizens are given 45 seconds to scurry to shelter.

That’s the automatic response, programmed into the system. During the current conflict, he said, his soldiers, sitting “shoulder to shoulder” with the air force personnel, have the authority to decide in real time whether or not to sound the alarm if, say, the projected target stain just touches the edge of a certain sector or city.

They err, though, on the side of caution: the target area, generated by computer model, is multiplied by three in order to ensure civilian safety.

The notion of sparing undue civilian fright, though, and the capacity to do so, is relatively new. On January 17, 1991, when Saddam Hussein fired missiles from Iraq at Israel, the entire populace was instructed to take cover . . .
Translated, sooner of later, under bombardment, this very expensive and delicate system is going to fail at tragic cost, and we already must reckon with the traumatising impact on school children who know they are being targetted by Islamist terrorists dominating a quasi-state for the capital crime of being Jews:

Remember, those are Jewish school children in Jerusalem, the 3,000 years long cultural and religious centre of gravity of Jewishness and Judaism. Yes, few Israelis are  being killed now, but that is not for lack of trying. The horrific suicide bombing murder campaign of the early 2000's, with difficulty, has been suppressed. So now the resort is to rocket bombardment, which has been countered by a fragile civil defense effort at enormous cost. 

No other nation in the world would be in effect asked to sit there and allow its general population to be bombarded at will by rockets fired by pirates. 

For shame!

Eight year old Miriam Monsonego, daughter of the principal of a Jewish day
school in Toulouse, France; murdered in 2012 for the capital crime of
breathing while being Jewish
(And no, this is NOT about being in Israel, perceived as a colonial oppressive Apartheid outpost of Western Imperialism. Remember the murder of an eight year old Jewish girl in France in 2012 for the same capital crime of breathing while being Jewish? Or the ISI-Pakistan backed deliberate targetting and torture-murder of a Rabbi and his wife in the wider mass murder Mumbai terrorist attacks? The Iran-backed bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina? And more, much more? Let me cite Wiki on just what happened to eight yeat old Miriam in France, not Israel:

>>[Mohammed Merah] chased an 8-year-old girl into the courtyard, caught her by her hair and raised a gun to shoot her. The gun jammed at this point and he changed weapons from what the police identified as a 9mm pistol to a .45 calibre gun, and shot the girl in her temple at point-blank range. The gunman then retrieved his moped and drove off.>> 

. . .  No, we must face the fact that we are dealing with ethnic-religious hate and murder of Jews, seventy years after the world recoiled in horror at the gates of the death camps of Nazi Germany and said, never again. And, if you think that the now all too common "colonialist apartheid state of Israel" narrative just outlined is accurate, please out of duty of care to accuracy and fairness, please, please at least read this summary on the modern history of Israel here. In a nutshell, Israel is the legitimate historic homeland of the Jewish people, which for 3,000 years they have been quite willing to share with others who live in peace with them. A national resettlement from exile underwritten by the League of Nations and the UN is legitimate, as is the fact that it is also the land of resettlement of the exiled Jews of the Middle East diaspora, in aggregate at least equal to the Palestinian Arab refugee population. Thus, we have an exchange of refugees, which has been fairly common over the past century. The fact that 1/5 of Israel's citizens are Arabs with full civil rights (and no compulsion to serve in the military -- though many volunteer) speaks further volumes.)

But that is not all, it seems that the now routinely headlined "XXX Palestinians have been killed" narrative is being propagandistically manipulated -- on top of the longstanding deliberate pattern of siting terrorist weapon and military installations in the midst of civilians in order to use them as human shields -- already a war crime.

Which, predictably, we hear little or nothing about.

I add, from Charles Krauthammer:
Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel–Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’s proudly self-declared raison d’ĂȘtre: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.
Telling. And tellingly willfully ignored or suppressed.

WND's Bob Unruh exclusively reports (based on a MEMRI monitoring report):
. . . officials in the interior ministry for Hamas, one of the Middle East organizations designated by the United States as a terror group [--> and which in Clause 7 of its covenant cites with approval and commitment a Hadith that speaks of an end of days mass slaughter of Jews, the notorious Gharqad Tree Hadith], apparently has another slogan: propagandize all the time.

“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza,” the group dictated in an advisory to social media activists, bloggers and others who may write about the issue.

And the group said when Palestinians are conversing with Westerners, they should “avoid entering into a political argument … aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.”

It was the Middle East Media Research Institute that located the guidelines “to Gaza Strip social media users for reporting events and discussing them with outsiders.”

The rules, headlined “Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign,” were released through a video posted on the Hamas website, as well through Twitter and Facebook, MEMRI said.

MEMRI reports the guidelines “are aimed an ensuring preservation of the line of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations; preventing the leaking of information that would be of military value to Israel; bolstering Hamas’ propaganda efforts outside the Gaza Strip, in both the Arab world and the West; and preventing damage to Hamas’ image.”

The analysts said Hamas particularly wants to portray that its actions are a response to “Israeli aggression.”
MEMRI tellingly adds these further excerpts from Hamas' maliciously deceitful -- that's fair and in my view all too well warranted comment -- instructions:
"Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase 'In response to the cruel Israeli attack,' and conclude with the phrase 'This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.' Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of 'the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction.'

"Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation's version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.

"Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.

"To the administrators of news pages on Facebook: Do not publish close-ups of masked men with heavy weapons, so that your page will not be shut down [by Facebook] on the claim that you are inciting violence. In your coverage, be sure that you say: 'The locally manufactured shells fired by the resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation that deliberately fires rockets against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza'..."
This is an outrage. 

 Gaza has zero percent Israeli occupation, period. 

(And the previous occupation was a legitimate result of a successful fundamentally defensive response to aggressive behaviour and threatened war of genocide . . . or, have we utterly forgotten what was being threatened in May-June 1967 by the Arab states? And, before that?)

From 1999-2000, from the Oslo-Madrid process starting from 1993, a full settlement was put on the table that would have given the Palestinian Arabs 97% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza, with compensating land for adjusted borders. With, a causeway between the two zones. And, was it US$ 15 billions in support, and obviously with much more behind it. This was refused and resort was made to suicide bombing campaigns on flimsy propagandistic excuses.

That is the real underlying context, save for this: by "occupation" too often is meant the mere existence of Israel as a Jewish state.

As a further point,  just ask yourselves, why is it that Israel has taken to hitting specific Gaza sites from the air and has now gone in with ground troops?

The answer is obvious, Hamas and affiliated groups -- having smuggled in 10,000 rockets and more, have again been firing rockets into Israel to harass and target civilians, now reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. 

And they have been doing this while hiding behind human shields, religious sites and even under hospitals.

The cynical manipulation, willful deceit, twisting about of the patent facts as a matter of policy as MEMRI has revealed for the world to see if it is willing and the utter want of basic respect for innocent life should tell us all we need to know about Hamas et al. 

Or, more properly, remind us.

That Western media houses with enormous resources seemingly routinely push the propaganda narratives of such groups without proper balance and correction, speaks volumes.

What should Israel do?

What is necessary, and it seems that a ground incursion that digs out the nests of pirates and terrorists is indicated.  Backed up by effective interdiction of further arms smuggling. And, the captured ring leaders should be put on trial for conspiracy to commit mass murder and use of human shields as a wall of protection behind which they set out to do that. All this, soon, before the pirates acquire weapons of mass destruction such as gas shells, anthrax or other bio weapons or worse, such as a radiation enhanced bomb or even a nuke. The attitude we are seeing clearly points in that direction.

Indeed, the use of the territory as a platform for attacks against civilians etc is properly grounds for occupation. 

Or, more properly, re-occupation; for, nine years ago -- having captured the strip in 1967 as it was part of a platform for aggression with the declared intent of genocide -- Israel withdrew from Gaza and provided opportunity for building a serious country run in the legitimate interests of its population for a reasonable standard of life. Instead, the pirates and terrorists took opportunity to set up bases for terrorism behind human shields.

That context speaks volumes, and none of it to the credit of not only Hamas et al, but also the major news media. 

For shame! END