Understand Israel’s assault on #Gaza: 8 crucial points / Like us, you are probably saddened and upset by the recent surge in violence between Israel and Hamas. The violence directed at civilians on both sides is wrong, and should be condemned. However, as many of you have probably noticed, Israel’s pro-occupation media machine is hard at work promoting a lopsided view of the conflict in mainstream media. Therefore, we’ve compiled a few points to provide better context and more balanced info as you discuss the situation with your friends, family and any media contacts.
1. The casualty toll is the best indicator of the misery inflicted, and Palestinian casualties always far outnumber Israeli casualties. While all deaths in such conflicts are tragic, the Palestinian casualties are always tens or hundreds of times greater than the Israeli toll. In the 2008/9 conflict, 1387 Palestinians died, vs. 9 Israelis. In the current conflict, an estimated 80 Palestinians have died, vs. 0 Israelis.
2. Militarily speaking, the conflict is grossly asymmetrical. The media coverage rarely reflects the military reality of the conflict. Israel is a military superpower, with F-15 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, sophisticated missiles, an anti-rocket defence system (and nuclear arms.) Hamas and other militant groups have primitive and ineffective – often “home made” – rockets. Not a single Israeli fatality has resulted so far from the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza since the recent spate of violence began.
3. All violence directed against civilians violates international law. Firing rockets from Gaza violates international law, as they may well hit civilians rather than military targets. But the repeated Israeli strikes on Palestinian homes, apartments, cafés, and other civilian targets violate international law too. This, regardless of whether Israel fired “warning” shots, or phoned warnings to the inhabitants. While all such reckless acts should be equally condemned, the Canadian government has only seen fit to speak against the rockets from Gaza.
4. Israel unlawfully ignores the concept of proportionality as it responds to Gaza rockets. International law permits countries to respond militarily to threats, but such responses must be proportional to the threat faced. If none of the rockets shot from Gaza have hit their targets, or caused fatalities, the legality of Israel’s brutal response is highly questionable.
5. The Israeli assault on Gaza only deepens the “collective punishment” imposed by Israel since 2007. Under international law, it is unlawful to punish an entire community for the crimes of a few. Nevertheless, Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007, effectively punishing 1.5 million civilians in Gaza simply because Israel rejects the Hamas administration in Gaza. The latest Israeli military strikes only deepen this punishment.
6. The rocket attacks from Gaza are a desperate act by a people without hope. Unfortunately, the rockets shot from Gaza simply give Israel an questionable excuse to pound Gaza yet again. According to polls, most people in Gaza do not believe rockets are effective against Israel. Nevertheless, there is no broad outcry against them, as many view them as a symbol of resistance, albeit futile. The best way to minimize the influence of extremist Palestinian groups would be to give Palestinians real hope for their future.
7. Under the UN, warring parties are not supposed to “fight it out.” The UN Charter reserves the use of force to Security Council members. When local conflicts arise, UN leaders – including Canada – are supposed to immediately intervene to stop the conflict, and prevent loss of life. Canada has not yet called for any cessation of hostilities. In fact, the Harper government abandons all principles as it declares blind support for Israel.
8. Israel’s extreme belligerency towards Gaza may be linked to other factors. The current surge in violence is occurring in a broader political context. Some believe that Israel is pursuing violence to derail the Fatah-Hamas Palestinian unity government. Others believe it is a continuation of the assault on Hamas institutions which began in recent weeks in the West Bank. Still others believe that Israel’s actions may be related to a wish to control of natural gas supplies in Gaza.
Together, we can ensure that Canada takes a more responsible position on the question of human rights in Palestine.
For more information, please contact: Patricia Jean Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East Telephone: 438 380 5410 Email CJPME - CJPME Website
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Do you wonder which businesses are pushing most for the proposed EU-US trade deal TTIP? Or where they come from? And who has most access to EU negotiators? CEO’s at-a-glance info-graphics shine a light on the corporate lobby behind the TTIP talks.Read also the press release here.
Reporting by the Guardiannewspaper reveals the U.S. military has been spearheading and funding research which examines the use of social media services, like Twitter and Facebook, with a specific eye towards how such tools are used by political activists and how such networks might be “manipulated” or “influenced.”
Based on documents posted to the website of the Pentagon’s research arm, known as DARPA, the reporting details the military’s interest in social media networks and reveals how research into how they operate was channeled through large corporations, like IBM, and academic research institutions, which included the University of Indiana, Georgia Tech, and others.
Though pithy at times–some of the research focused on the ecumen of pop celebrities on Twitter, like Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber–the darker elements reveal a Pentagon mindset
Among those who had their online behavior scrutinized were participants in the Occupy Movement that took off in 2011, Arab Spring activists overseas, and those involved with other highly-charged political issues like fracking, capital punishment, and the fight against genetically-engineered foods.
As an example, researchers for DARPA-backed study stated: “When anti-government messages are spread in social media, government would want to spread counter messages to balance that effort and hence identify people who are mo
#NSA 'The US is out of control and will continue to infringe the rights of privacy' - YouTube
A German intel staff has been arrested for spying for the US, the second double-agent exposure in a week. RT asks ex-MI5 officer Annie Machon what NSA is looking for in other countries mobile phone records and will Germans push back against their allies.
Goldman Sachs Women Say They Make Less Than Men Who Frequent Strip Clubs, Call Them ‘Bimbos’ | Susan Antilla
Four years ago, a former Goldman Sachs & Co. executive and two of her former colleagues sued the firm, alleging sex discrimination and asking to be certified as a class.
Today, the women filed documents that added to an extensive dossier of allegations. Among the filings was a request that a judge in the Federal district court in Manhattan allow H. Christina Chen-Oster and her co-plaintiffs to proceed in their suit as a class representing a class of women who work — or worked — at the bank.
There are the strip clubs. The guys who organize departmental golf games and don’t invite the women. The liberal use of the word “bimbo” to describe Goldman women, many of whom graduate from the same Ivy League schools the men do. And, of course, the very discouraging numbers about pay and promotion. But t
We, Gaza-based BDS activists and Palestine's Students' Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI), salute our supporters all over the world, and call on you to stand on the right side of history and support our struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.
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