A major theme of this year’s US presidential election campaign was the threat to world peace allegedly posed by Iran’s nuclear program. Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney competed to take the hardest line. Obama boasted of organising the “strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history” and promised to “take all options necessary” to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program.
Israel's brutal eight-day assault on Gaza, which killed dozens of Palestinian children, was formally ended with an Egyptian-negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on November 21. It caused fresh carnage in the besieged Gaza Strip, which is regularly bombed by Israel and has not recovered from Israel's 22-day offensive in 2008-09 that killed about 1400 people. Rockets fired from Gaza in response to Israeli attacks killed five Israelis.
Dr Mazim Qumsiyeh is Palestine’s leading intellectual. His recently published book Popular Resistance in Palestine is a meticulous history of non-violent resistance in Palestine since Ottoman times. A professor who teaches and does research at three Palestinian universities (Bethlehem, Birzeit, Al-Quds), Qumsiyeh previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. He is also chair of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between Peoples.
As soon as Israel attacked Gaza in its “Operation Pillar of Defence”, it was clear the context in which its war was launched was very different from “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-09. The shift in regional context is largely due to the Arab Spring, which has shaken the Middle East. The most concerning development from Israel's point of view was Egypt's January 25 revolution, which overthrew US- and Israel-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak last year.
Israel's latest attack on Gaza killed about 32 times more Palestinians than Israelis killed by Palestinian rockets. But few who followed mainstream media reports would realise this fact. When the ceasefire was announced on November 21, 161 Palestinians and five Israelis had been killed in the attacks, CBSnews.com said. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said that by November 20, 66% of Palestinians killed were civilians. Of the more than 900 Palestinians injured, 97% were civilians.
Jews Against the Occupation (JAO) respond to their critics on everything from claims that 'Israel is a democracy' to 'you are not real Jews', from why they support BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) to why they see Israel as an 'apartheid state'. They also explain where their anti-occupation stance came from and why they started to question Zionism (support for an exclusively Jewish state). Contact Jews Against the Occupation at jao.org.au
Renowned Jewish-American academic and author Noam Chomsky visited the Gaza Strip over October 25-30. The article below, on the suffering of the Gazan people, is areprinted from www.chomsky.info. * * *
In a clear indication of Israel’s shocking callousness and disregard for civilian lives, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon today told PRI’s The Takeaway that most of those killed and injured in Israel’s eight day long bombardment of the Gaza Strip “deserved it.”
The Israeli army has hidden from public view a YouTube video that suggested UN-run schools in Gaza were used as rocket launching bases after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) strongly denied the allegations.
The violence Israel has unleashed on the Gaza Strip is not a war. On one side there is a highly militarised state, with one of the best equipped armed forces in the world, generously subsidised by billions of dollars in Western military and non-military aid. On the other side there are 1.5 million people, subjects of this state, which has herded them into a walled ghetto on which it imposes a starvation siege.