Gaza 2014- what you really need to know.

WARNING:  this article makes uncomfortable reading.

I realise that some readers on either side of the Israel-Palestine barricade might not like me very much me as they read.  I won’t take this personally.

The alarm clock always wins: you have to wake up to smash it against the wall.

ISRAEL – some facts.

“Israel just doesn’t want a just peace.”

Gideon Levy Israeli author & journalist

Hamas Abbas picIsrael’s Prime Minister Netanyahu knows that  a negotiated peace settlement will force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza which it has illegally occupied and settled for 47 years.

He almost lost the West Bank to peace in April 2014,  and was still furious about the US recognition of the new Unity government in Gaza when, less than three months after its formation, outrageous fortune smiled on him.

The July kidnapping and murder of three Israeli boys was an event which he exploited and manipulated to stoke a furore of domestic outrage. With 95% of the Israeli public behind him, Netanyahu could, once again, mow the lawn in Gaza, and cut down those green shoots of peace.

Dubbed a Slaughter of the Innocents, Israel’s latest war has been viewed by many critics as a crime against humanity because of the high civilian death and casualty rate.

The Slaughter of the Innocents: The First Four

Murdered teens:  Eiyal Ifrach (19) Naftali Frankel(16)  Gilad Shaar (16) Mohammed Abu Khdeir (16)

Murdered teens: Eiyal Ifrach (19) Naftali Frankel(16) Gilad Shaar (16) Mohammed Abu Khdeir (16)

Sixteen year old Israeli boy, Naftali Fraenkel, and his two friends were kidnapped and shot dead in the West Bank on 12 June 2014. One of the boys, Gilad Shaer, phoned the police. After several hours, the police issued a Hannibal (i.e. kidnapping) alert. It is now widely accepted that the Israeli government withheld key facts:

  • within hours of the SOS call,  a torched car bearing the boys’ bloodstains, and Israeli license plates, was found by Palestinian police in Hebron.
  • hours after the Hannibal alert the authorities knew three boys were already dead. 

On 3rd July 2014, two days after the three Israeli boys were buried alongside each other, another sixteen year old boy was kidnapped in East Jerusalem. Although entirely unconnected with the killing of Naftali and his friends, Mohammed Abu Khdeir was beaten, doused in petrol – which was also poured down his throat – then burned alive. Four days later, the parents of Naftali Fraenkel and Mohammed Abu Khdeir comforted one another on the phone. Naftali’s mother said:

 “The shedding of innocent blood is defiance of all morality, of the Torah. No mother or father should ever have to go through what we are going through, and we share the pain of Mohammed’s parents.”

Mother of 16 year of Naftali Fraenkel

The kidnappers and murderers of all four boys were extremists operating unilaterally, without the knowledge of the democratically elected representatives of their respective areas – Hamas (West Bank) and Likud (Israel). Despite the repeated assertions of Palestinian officials, including Hamas, that Hamas had no knowledge of the abduction and killing of Naftali and his friends, and that a rival splinter group in Hebron had carried out the crime, Israel’s democratically elected prime minister, Netanyahu, launched Operation Protective Edge on 8th July 2014. Since then, over 60 Israelis and 1800 Palestinians, of which 400 are children and the rest mainly civilians, have been killed. slaughter of the innocents

GAZA – some  facts.

cardinal martino

In 2009, Cardinal Renaldo Martino said Gaza  resembles “a big concentration camp”.

Gaza, a tiny, densely populated, sea bound strip of land, which has been occupied since 1918. The British handed it to the Israelis in 1948. Since this date, the UN has been a permanent and necessary humanitarian presence there. The Oslo Agreement in 1994 forced Israel to accept Palestine rule in the area, whereupon Israel erected the Gaza Strip Barrier, effectively a prison wall cutting Gaza off from the wider land mass, and still in existence today. Several significant and terrible wars have been sparked by Israel’s refusal to demilitarise and open its Gazan borders. The Al-Aqsa Intifada raged for five years, with Israel only withdrawing its ground troops from Gaza in 2005. Following the election of Hamas in 2007, both Israel and Egypt imposed an absolute blockade of Gaza’s land sea and air. Imports and exports, and movement of people in and out of Gaza, all but stopped, prompting the Gaza War of 2008-9.

“No country and no people would live the way that Gazans have been made to live. The question of the morality of Israel’s action depends, in the first instance, on the question, couldn’t Israel be doing something [to prevent] this disaster that is playing out now, in terms of the destruction of human life? Couldn’t they have done something that did not require that cost? And the answer is, sure, they could have ended the occupation.”

Henry Siegman

henry siegman

Henry Siegman, American Jewish leader; president of the U.S./Middle East Project; former executive director of the American Jewish Congress; former executive vice president of the Synagogue Council of America.

Materials essential for the reconstruction of Gaza, following sustained and decimating Israeli military incursions there since 2007, cannot get through the blockade, with gravely deleterious consequences for the physical environment. The ongoing siege of Gaza, in which electricity and water is made available (by the Israelis) for as little as two hours a day,  has generated abject desperation in the territory.

Israel has been the subject of more than 60 condemnatory UN resolutions since 1948 (and Palestine none). In 2013 alone, the U.N. General Assembly criticised Israel in  21 resolutions. Only 4 other resolutions were passed that year, concerning Iran, Burma, Iran and, of course, Syria (for killing 120,000 of its own people). Since its inception, Israel has, with complete impunity, annexed, arrested, blitzed and bled all that stood in the way of its Zionist aims. Israel’s latest offensive in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, began in July ’14, and is essentially a continuation of the previous wars in the blighted territory.

 Hamas is the consequence of Gaza’s despair.

 

hell on earth

Five years on from Cardinal Martino’s concentration camp description, ‘Gaza looks like actual hell on earth.’ Imgur (web image host) July 30th 2014.

HAMAS – some facts.

 “If you strangle a people, deny them supply for years, extreme reaction is inevitable.”

Jon Snow

Gaza classroom 2013

Gaza classroom 2013

Arabic meaning enthusiasm, and an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas was democratically elected into office in the Israeli-occupied Gaza strip in 2007, defeating the moderate Fatah affiliates of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Unlike the PLO, which is recognised as a legitimate political force by the UN, Hamas is regarded as a terrorist organisation by the West, Israel and Egypt; but not by the rest of the Arab world, China and Russia. Hamas’ political objective is to free Palestine from Israeli occupation and establish an Islamic state. The latter aspiration has resulted in depressingly conservative lifestyle changes since 2007. Gazan women must wear the hijab. They must not dance, go to a male hair dresser, or run in marathons. Mixed bathing water parks and kids’ holiday camps have been closed; beauty parlours and internet cafes blown up. Hamas denies the Holocaust, bans folk tales and beats up lewd pop singers. Nonetheless,  Israel’s devastating brutality in the 2008 and 2012 wars has served to maintain support for Hamas in the West Bank’s degraded and despairing populace.

Some military facts: 

Palestinian children throw stones at Isr

Gaza v Israel= David v Goliath

Puffed up with crusading righteousness and American money,  Israel is world’s fourth most powerful military. By contrast, Gaza’s armoury comprises suicide bombers, kidnapping, homemade rockets and mortars, and boys throwing stones. In the days between Israel’s bombings of three UN Gaza schools – despite repeated and unequivocal UN communication that dozens of civilians, including children, were in refuge there – the US rushed through Congress $225m emergency additional funding for Israel’s fail-safe Iron Dome defence system. The US did not make any funding available to protect Gaza’s besieged population, including its 800 000 children, from Israel’s bombs.

Northern Ireland – an analogy.

IRA-bombing

Hyde Park bomb

The whys and wherefores of rockets and suicide bombers become irrelevant when you, your countrymen and your loved ones are their target. I can personally recall the decades of unease on the UK mainland following fatal IRA bombs in, for example, Hyde Park, Birmingham, Westminster, Chelsea Barracks, Harrods, Brighton, Deal Barracks, Bishopgate and Warrington. The situation was much worse again in Northern Ireland itself.

ira streets

The IRA operated in the heart of their homeland communities, and where it enjoyed majority support.

Armed by American money, militant Irish Republicanism was the serious threat to British national security, even though our military was vastly superior, and included nuclear capability. IRA bombs killed soldiers, and civilians, including children, in the UK mainland. Through systematic torture and murderous violence the IRA held their own communities to ransom, particularly in Belfast. To the British, the IRA and their affiliates were ruthless, unpredictable and irrational, resisting every effort to make peace, and deaf to the condemnation of, among others, two Popes.

 Ireland analogy

 Yet this is precisely what Israel is doing in Gaza.

And they are getting away with it because

muslims are the new Jews

 “Unless you have been on the street facing Israeli troops in Gaza, or sleeping on the floor under an Israeli aerial assault, as I have several times while delivering aid in 1989, 2000, and 2009, it’s impossible to imagine the total disproportion of power in this conflict. “I saw boys who were merely running away shot in the back by Israeli soldiers with Uzi [submachine guns] and arrayed in body armour, and in 2009 and 2012 at Rafah witnessed Israel’s technological superiority in coordinating sophisticated computers, drones, and F-15s with devastating effect. “

Dr. James E. Jennings, president of Conscience International and executive director of US Academics for Peace.

  Sifting the  US and UK Orwellian newspeak on the subject of Israel, in particular the fantastical coverage of Fox News,  yields a singular equation.

 Anti-Israel = anti-Semitic.

 Anyone who has the temerity to criticise Israel, even slightly, is likely to be deluged with deranged Zionist verbal abuse (I will be, as a result of this article). The corporate media, particularly in the US, present post-1948 Israel as the perennial victim, in particular by (quite rightly) humanising Israeli casualties – pictures, names and histories of the victims are provided. By contrast, Palestinian deaths, even of children, are collateral damage, and passed off with newspeak notions of IDF due care and diligence with regard to civilians, and Hamas’ calculated use women and children as human shields. (For the record, there is no substantive evidence that Hamas have used human shields. And even if they were, why shoot, given that Israel has its almost infallible Iron Dome? ) A more realistic (although similarly specious) equation is this one:

Pro-Israel = Anti-Muslim

Burqa-wearing women

This is because many people in the West, even if they don’t admit it, see Israel as the ONE spot in the wildly chaotic, corrupt and misogynistic Middle East with which they can identify. Understandably infused with collective guilt (see next section) about the Holocaust, the West is, in addition, or perhaps consequently, cognisant that Judaism is the cornerstone of Christianity, which underpins Western culture and law, and especially  our justice system.

sharia law

Sharia mutilations.

The West views with profound distaste Middle Eastern Sharia Law punishments such as stoning, decapitations and mutilations. It balks at low status of women across the region; and is baffled and horrified by acute Sunni-Shia violence raging between millions of people there. Unsurprisingly, these negative perceptions show the more culturally familiar Israel in an unduly positive light. It is not a giant logical leap from this notion of affinity with Israel to that of being supportive, or at least not hindering, of Israel’s efforts to defend itself, and therefore our Western values, against all of that. South Afrcia

In tandem with the compelling pro-Israel messages, are strong ones about Islamic extremism threatening to take over Christendom. Particularly in the non-intellectual press– Dailies Mail and Express, and, of course, the red tops – salacious delight is taken in Muslim-themed news items such as the Trojan Horse schools plot, veil-wearing mass immigration, or the building of yet another Mosque. A recent report into press standards last year noted

“a serious and systemic problem of racist, anti-Muslim reporting within sections of the British media”

Leveson Inquiry 2012

tony blair daily mail

Tony Blair uses Pte Lee Rigby’s murder to bolster his beware of radical Islam stance.

Appalling crimes such as the murder of Pte Lee Rigby, conspire with reports of flourishing al-Qaida cells and honour killings in Bradford and Birmingham etc,  and British Muslim support for 7/7 and 9/11 ,  to create a very real and prevailing fear of Muslims, notwithstanding the condemnation of these crimes by Muslim authorities, e.g..

 The murder of Drummer Lee Rigby was truly a barbaric act. Muslim communities then, as now, were united in their condemnation of this crime. This was a dishonourable act and no cause justifies cold-blooded murder.

 Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council

The fact that Lee Rigby’s killers were clinically insane is less newsworthy than the fact they were Muslims. Exactly as in the case with Zionist murderers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, it is profound mental disturbance, allied to a warped view of religion which is the problem. As can be seen in the Tony Blair article (above) increasingly, Muslim and Jihad have tended to be conflated in reportage. Misconception results.  For example,  the extent that a decade after 9/11 more than half of Fox News viewers were found to believe that American Muslims wished to establish Sharia law in the US.     muslims different text The massive death toll, including over 400 children, of (Muslim) Palestinians has elicited from US and UK leaders and media sporadic mumbling about Israel’s right to self-defence, and platitudes about civilian casualties. But for the main part, they are silent about the latest Gazan pogrom. We must be careful. There is a terrible precedent in recent history which tells us that

 “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.”

 Dietrich Bonhoffer

(German pastor and  Resistance fighter executed 1945 for plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler)

The Holocaust – you need to  know that:

There is substantive evidence that the majority of ordinary Germans did know that local concentration camps were incarcerating and killing Jews en masse. It is not possible, given the scale of the pogrom on German soil, that ordinary citizens could not have known about it. Indeed, by the end of the war, large numbers of German people were working in death camps, including those with gas chambers, such as Mauthausen (Austria) ;  Neuengamme (Hamburg): Ravensbruck  and Sachsenhausen (both in Brandenburg); Natzweiler (Elsass); Stutthof (east of Danzig); and Dachau (Bavaria).

The Holocaust, unquestionably the most shameful crime against humanity in modern history, happened because of the resounding silence and complicity of almost everyone who could have stopped it. As well as being scared, the masses were reluctant to speak out because of their own negative perception of Jews. Jews different text As is well documented, Hitler deluged his public with mass media propaganda, lies and fiction to paint Jews as money-obsessed, war-inciting, Christ-killing Devil’s spawn who were responsible for Germany’s humiliating WW1 defeat. He had very clearly outlined in Mein Kampf, published and widely available since 1926, and spent his whole political career advocating, that every last Jew be exterminated. And, while the world was silent,  six million of them were.

holocaust timeline

Timeline showing that although the wider world knew about the Holocaust, silence prevailed.

 

  “ 95% of Israelis support Operation Protective Edge.”

 (Source, Vox Media accessed 010814. Israeli Arabs were not polled.)

 

Allan Sorenson

Alan Sorenson’s viral snap of recreational Israelis who have pulled up a chair to watch Gaza burn. They cheered as the bombs went off.

It is very difficult to gauge the degree of dissent to Operation Protective Edge within Israel, but certainly most of Netanyahu’s press ganged populace believe that Israel is the injured party. Daily infusions of wholly slewed news are supplied to Israelis through their homeland press – e.g. The Jesrusalem Post and Ynet News, and US channels Fox “News” and, depressingly, even CNN and NBC.  Emphasised, by means of omission or manipulation of key details, is the idea that the huge Palestinian death toll, along with the casualties and damage to private and municipal property in Gaza, is entirely justified collateral damage as the Israeli’s battle to defend themselves from terror in Gaza. Thanks to mass demonstrations on the streets and via social media, the real message is getting out: that Israel’s Gaza offensive is, in fact, collective punishment and that the huge number of civilian deaths cannot be passed off as collateral damage. Both inside and outside Israel, people have opposed the war, and condemned Israel. Many have showed extraordinary courage by breaking ranks with their pro-Israeli circles. There are so many of them, and only a few are named and depicted in this piece.  They are the lamp bearers guiding us the way toward peace, the ones that history will remember as

 

The Schindlers of our Time

Schindler,_Oskar

Wide-boy, womanizer Oskar Schindler, German industrialist and member of the Nazi party. In 1939, seeing that the Holocaust was actually happening, he set about employing Jews in his factories, sparing 1300 of them certain death in the concentration camps. He later explained his simplistic motivation: “If you saw a dog going to be crushed under a car, wouldn’t you help him?”

At enormous cost to their personal lives and careers, a growing number of politicians, academics, religious leaders, journalists and soldiers have come out publicly against Israel’s 2014 military incursion into Gaza.

Many of these dissenters endure horrible abuse and complete loss of status within their community because they are Jews who say Israel is in the wrong.

Each one of these conscientious objectors has catapulted the truth into the eye of Israel’s gigantic military and propaganda machine. They are the singular, most positive outcome of the abhorrent Gaza war. These Schindlers of our Time refuse to accept the mass slaughter of Gaza’s innocents as justified, and are helping the world find the courage to do likewise.   It’s worth noting that Oskar Schindler was not especially clever or gifted. On the contrary, he was a rather unexceptional and flawed man. But his Krakow enamelware factory window gave out onto the dreadful spectacle of the burgeoning Nazi pogrom against the Jews.   In 1939, Schindler chose to go to the window, and SEE what was really happening out there, in his midst.

 The humanity we share enjoins us to go to the window as Schindler did. Our window is the computer or phone screen. There, if we wish, we will see for what has really happened in Gaza and why, and how it can be stopped.

  schindlers of our time

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27 Comments

  1. Charlotte this was a good article until you brought in Northern Ireland, my ex is an Irish Catholic and can verify that it was the British who tortured and terrorised innocent Irish people, behavior similar to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and the IRA retaliated… in a similar way to Hamas. You didn’t live in Ireland north or south, therefore you can’t know this in the way that Irish people did/do

    • Dear Greg,

      Thank you so much for your response. What an excellent observation. You are correct: my N.Ireland analogy takes a very slewed view of the Troubles. The point I was trying to make was that the British strongly felt the injured party (as Israel does) but would never have dreamed of retaliating in the way that Israel does. Of course, the British were guilty of some very nasty actions against the Irish people, too, and this should not be forgotten.
      Kindest regards, Charlotte.

  2. Very interesting and well researched article. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Hi Charlotte,

    I appreciate your article above and the inconvenient truth it exposes many to. The only section I read and questioned your source of information was the section on the rule of Hamas. You wrote that after Hamas was elected in Gaza…:

    “Hamas’ political objective is to free Palestine from Israeli occupation and establish an Islamic state. The latter aspiration has resulted in depressingly conservative lifestyle changes since 2007. Gazan women must wear the hijab. They must not dance, go to a male hair dresser, or run in marathons. Mixed bathing water parks and kids’ holiday camps have been closed; beauty parlours and internet cafes blown up. Hamas denies the Holocaust, bans folk tales and beats up lewd pop singers.”

    Based on my personal experience while visiting Gaza for months at a time in 2009, 2011, and 2013, these statements are not true. To start with, I encountered women not wearing hijab, particularly in Gaza City. It is true that a majority of women wear hijab, this is not enforced by any type of religious Hamas police and is more a product of culture and religious conviction. In addition, I attended a wedding on the rooftop of a house and there was blaring music and dancing – a common way to celebrate such an occasion.

    As for marathons, you must be referring the UNRWA’s cancellation of their 3rd annual marathon (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21667883). In the article, the cabinet secretary of the Hamas government told AFP news agency: “We regret this decision to cancel the marathon but we don’t want men and women running together….We did not tell Unrwa to cancel the marathon and we haven’t prevented it, but we laid down some conditions: We don’t want women and men mixing in the same place.” The BBC article cited above also mentions that “previous years, Hamas has supported the race and provided security.”

    The concern of men and women mixing in physical sports is not radical. One may look to Western sports leagues to see separation of men and women sports leagues (ie. soccer, basketball, etc.). That example aside, Hamas’s position may be considered a reflection of the conservative nature of the Palestinian culture in Gaza. For example, boys and girls in Gaza have often been separated in primary schools for decades, long before Hamas or political became a political force in Gaza. While Westerners may see this conservative culture backwards, I assure you it is normal in Gazan society and not new nor imposed by one group.

    The same BBC article quoted above also mentions that “In the past there have been attacks on the UN’s summer camps for children in Gaza after complaints that boys were allowed to mix with girls, the BBC’s Jon Donnison reports.” This does not mention any Hamas imposed ban on such water parks or camps run by UNRWA and the attacks are not connected to Hamas. There are extremists in Gaza and they may be responsible for such attacks, but this cannot and should not be attributed to Hamas without evidence. (Crazy Water Park, a simple resort in Gaza I visited in 2011, was later torched by masked men after being temporarily shut down by Hamas but member of Hamas were also among its investors. ).

    The other accusations you mention against Hamas I also kindly request you check your sources on these before stating such so the facts may be determined and, more importantly, that your larger message is not compromised by inaccuracies.

    My point in writing all this is to preserve your larger message and alert supporters of Palestinian rights that Hamas, while not perfect, is not necessarily extremists or terrorists that Israelis and others are claiming they are. The reality on the ground is much more complex and the history of Hamas as a movement is equally complex. I highly recommend reading on Italian journalist’s (Paolo Caridi) research into Hamas (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hamas-Resistance-Government-Paola-Caridi/dp/1609803825/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1407858979&sr=8-3&keywords=hamas_). People must realize that Hamas as a governing party and the military wing of Hamas (the Qasam) are distinct entities, just as the American civil government and its military policies and actions are distinct entities (related but distinct). A person can condemn the actions or policies of one and not necessarily the other and to suggest they are one and the same is not the case.

    On the contrary to the scary dictatorial presence Hamas is often accused of being in Gaza, many people I spoke to in Gaza see Hamas as a governing party that has attempted to bring stability and security to the society. For example, as the ruling government, Hamas insisted people have valid driving licenses and they cracked down on drivers who did not possess such, which was a common practice before. Similarly, the Hamas government has trained police officers to assist in civil matters, developed more court systems to handle dispute in society, and cracked down on extremists – such as the ones that kidnapped reporter Alan Johnston before Hamas was elected and who Hamas helped get released (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6267928.stm).

    Apologies for the long comment. Just wanted to alert you and your readers to dig deeper to understand what Hamas is and is not. There is much to criticize about them but also lots of ghost stories being told.

    Many thanks,
    Emily

    • Thank you, Emily, for taking the time to respond in such depth. I agree that it is pivotal that we establish the true nature of Hamas, and I assure you the claims made in my article were based on detailed online and literary research. Naturally, of course, having never lived in Gaza/under Hamas myself, I take your contrary assertions wholeheartedly on board. However, I take issue with your proposal of divorcing a governing body’s domestic and military wings (i.e. divorcing Hamas from the Qasam), given the inevitable implications acts of military aggression will have on a country’s domestic population. Furthermore, it is a fact that Hamas denies the Holocaust – this is disgraceful, and not to be overlooked despite its various admirable endeavours, and the horrific persecution of Gazans by Israel.
      I very much appreciate you responding, and I hope it might be possible to contact you in the future if I am researching the subject?
      Many thanks,
      Charlotte.

      • Hi Charlotte,

        The main point I wanted to make was that Hamas is not like ISIS or Boko Haram or whatever terrorist group the Israeli spokesperson compares them with. Their leadership has been highly educated (some in the US or UK) and their movement has evolved over time (one good synopsis can be found at http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.608906 ) There is much misinformation about them and. In fact, when elected in 2006, Hamas become more pragmatic and wanted diplomacy…

        True, one cannot completely separate a domestic government from its military wing but I wanted to point out that there is a civilian government component to Hamas since it participated in internationally monitored elections as a legitimate party and won (surprisingly). This rarely gets discussed amid all the talk of rockets and cycles of violence. Yet, it is through participation in elections and the challenges of governing that has moved them away from militancy…

        “In the wake of the elections, Hamas was no longer the militant opposition to a ruling Fatah party, but a legally elected government operating under siege. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, suddenly responsible for governing and facing a mounting economic, humanitarian and political catastrophe, sought to defuse the situation. In his June 2006 hand-written note to President Bush that Jerome Segal delivered to the State Department and the National Security Council, he requested a direct dialogue with the administration. Despite Hamas’s charter calling for the elimination of Israel, Haniyeh’s conciliatory note to the American president conveyed a different message. “We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don’t mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years,” Haniyeh wrote to Bush. This essentially added up to an offer of de facto recognition of Israel with a cessation of hostilities—two of the key US and Israeli demands of Hamas.” – full article in The Nation available here http://www.thenation.com/article/180945/how-war-gaza-could-have-been-avoided#)

        The Holocaust denial issue baffles me a bit as well. Hamas has made statements of denial, though I have also read statements of members that acknowledge the holocaust occurred and was tragic but also criticize the use of the holocaust as propaganda supporting Zionist aspirations and actions (Norman Finkelstein’s book “The Holocaust Industry” makes a similar point).

        Anyhow, I am happy to be in contact with you and help your research in any way. I am interested in learning more about your work in this area as well and would be happy to share my background and experiences in Gaza as well. Feel free to email me at rauschenberger222@yahoo.com

        Take care,
        Emily

      • Emily you write very well indeed on the subject – very knowledgeable and balanced. I very much appreciate your contribution, and I will be in touch when I am researching again, as you have flagged up some very important points.

      • I also highly recommend reading U.S. journalist Alison Weir’s recent book, Against Our Better Judgment, which details her research into how the US became involved in Zionism and supporting the state of Israel. She also created a non-profit called “If Americans Knew” to bring awareness and truthful coverage of Palestinians. She gives a great talk about her work and new book here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-UwcVP_k2Y), which I highly recommend watching and sharing.

      • The Weir book looks great. Incidentally, I meant to say that, especially given the desperate situation in Iraq, I should have distinguished between ISIS, Boko Harem et al, and Hamas. That was a good point, Emily. To re-emphasise for readers, Hamas and the PLO had formed a Unity government in April 2014, acquiescing to the UN 3 pre-conditions for negotiation – State of Israel, recognition of previous agreements & renunciation of violence. The US expressed willingness to negotiate on a wait and see basis. Netanyahu was enraged. Peace means the loss of the West Bank. Shameful.

      • Apologies for the few typos in both my responses! Emily

  4. I too am one of those Shindlers you mention, yet I fight on the forums supporting human rights, and the defence of Palestine.
    I have my say, and if I make any difference to the emotions of the un-dead and brain-dead, then I think I am doing a great job.
    I am just an individual who has some hope for humanity, just like you, someone has to do it.
    Much appreciated for your time and your insight.

    • Hello Patricia, Thanks for your comment. Wow – you are one of the Schindlers I referred to.That is extremely admirable, and your courage will inspire so many people who have less to lose by standing and speaking up about Gaza. I really appreciate your interest and response.

  5. excellent article though schindler worries me a little in that maybe he acted a little out of self interest it doesn’t detract from the fact that many were saved because of him and maybe it was the little he could do in the circumstances without repercussion but i’ve always wondered did he use his jewish workforce as cheap indentured labour, did you know that albert goering brother of hermann was supposedly of the resistance securing release and forging papers for many jews?

    • We shall never know Didi, I guess the moral is helping those in distress.
      Maybe it’s one of worldly things, see the good in someone then praise them up to the hilt, false propaganda, without really knowing motives if any.
      These days the Jews run many world businesses, and they pay a pittance to the workforce.

      • Hello Patricia, there certainly was some glossing over with the Hollywood portrayal of Schindler, I think! There are too many people, of all religions and none who pay their workers a pittance. This malpractice is certainly not confined to one religious community.

    • Didi, thank you so much for your comment. I chose Schindler because the (Schindler’s List) film meant that everyone would get what I meant, and the immediacy of impact outweighed the very valid points that you make, i.e.that he was not in reality a morally impeccable man. It was a bit of a chance, and Hollywood won. How interesting about Goering’s bother – I had heard that somewhere, yes. Your response to my article is very much appreciated. Thank you!

  6. As a Jew it is a requirement upon me to be compassionate and see the world through the eyes of the oppressed. How then can I condone the actions of a distant land that my upbringing tells me I have an (unearned) ‘right to return’ to?
    I have no choice but to stand up and say “not in my name”
    The approbation and vilification that has followed makes me deeply ashamed of some in my community, but there are many others who are speaking out too. Something has changed within us. Something is not the same. Let us hope it chips away at the surety of the Israeli government. When we stand alone we may be brave but we are a voice in the darkness. When we stand together we light a candle that slowly banishes that darkness.
    Here’s to light.
    Here’s to peace.

    • For further information on Gaza and Hamas, I just discovered the research of a notable Harvard scholar Dr. Sara Roy. In 2012 she published a book called Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza and I read she is considered one of the most knowledgeable scholars on Gaza. She has written numerous journal articles and books about Gaza since the 1980s and her research has been praised by many, including Edward Said. She is from a Jewish family that are Holocaust survivors. A brief youtube video of her analysis of Hamas can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReH3D1lrB0Y

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