Socialism Art Nature

Those who support Palestinian self-determination must challenge Israel’s justifications for war—and that means setting the record straight about Hamas.

AS THE world reels in horror at mounting Palestinian deaths in Gaza, the Israeli propaganda machine and its willing accomplices in the U.S. mainstream media have issued their customary reply: Blame Hamas.

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed all responsibility for Palestinian deaths on Hamas:

We’re sad for every civilian casualty. They’re not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately targets civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They embed their rocketeers, their rocket caches, their other weaponry which they use to fire on us in civilian areas.

What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. So we try to target the rocketeers. We do. And all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can…They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.

Netanyahu presents Israel as innocently defending itself—and Hamas as inviting Palestinian deaths for propaganda purposes.

WHILE THE mainstream media regularly describes Hamas as anti-Semitic or even genocidal, it rarely if ever describes Israel’s treatment of Gaza as racist or genocidal. But no other description of Israel’s blockade of Gaza is appropriate.

 … Not only are calls for war crimes coming from high-level Israeli officials, but the premise—that Hamas would never accept a “Jewish presence” in Palestine—is false. When Hamas agreed to a unity government with the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by Fatah, back in April, the terms were clear. As Nathan Thrall wrote in his article "How the West Chose War in Gaza" in the New York Times:

[The unity government deal] offered Hamas’ political adversaries a foothold in Gaza; it was formed without a single Hamas member; it retained the same Ramallah-based prime minister, deputy prime ministers, finance minister and foreign minister; and, most important, it pledged to comply with the three conditions for Western aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel. Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government, however, and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat. (emphasis added)

Even after the chaos that Israel has wreaked in Gaza during July, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal reiterated the same commitments in a statement on July 27:

We are not fanatics, we are not fundamentalists. We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers…I’m ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs. However, I do not coexist with the occupiers.

In other words, Hamas does accept the presence of Jews in Palestine—but it does not accept the presence of Israel as a Jewish state, with apartheid laws that deny equal rights to Palestinians. This is the opposite of the explicitly racist and openly genocidal attitudes expressed by some of the leading political figures of Israel.

SO WHY is Hamas firing rockets at Israel?

For many people in Gaza, though certainly not all, the rockets send a message: If Israel’s policy toward Palestinians is occupation and genocide, than it cannot be business-as-usual for Israelis either.

For this, Israel brands Hamas “terrorists.” It should be noted that this was also the U.S. government’s official designation for Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress because of its bombing of public institutions in apartheid South Africa. It was also how the British government described American insurgents who overthrew the rule of the king in 1776.

Israel also accuses Hamas of placing its rockets in neighborhoods and using civilians as human shields. Indeed, Israel would like Hamas to build a clearly designated military installation in the desert—so that Israel could cleanly eliminate any capacity for resistance. But resistance movements always operate similarly against enemies with an overwhelming military advantage—as the American revolutionaries and the Vietnamese also did.

Moreover, the Israeli complaints are for public relations purposes—the Israel Defense Forces haven’t made anything like a legitimate effort to avoid civilian casualties.

Witnesses to Israel’s killing of four young boys playing soccer on a Gaza beach in July said it looked “as if the shells were chasing them”—that is, the Israeli naval vessel kept firing until it hit its pre-teenaged targets. Israel has bombed half of Gaza’s hospitals, as well as a UN school serving as a shelter for people who had been told by Israel to flee their homes.

Whatever one might think of Hamas, its politics and its strategy and tactics, we should be clear about one thing: the current slaughter against Palestinians is the product of Israel’s actions, not Hamas’.

Furthermore, it is not the place of people in the U.S., sitting in the heart of the world’s superpower and the main international supporter of Israel empire, to lecture dying Palestinians about what they should and should not do in the face of Israeli atrocities. Who Palestinians choose to represent them politically is a matter for Palestinians to decide, and no one else. Our role is to pressure the U.S. government to stop facilitating Israel’s massacre with its political, diplomatic, economic and military support for Israel.


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NewsOne:
Denzel “Jaba” Curnell, 19, died from a bullet wound to the head after an encounter with a South Carolina police officer on Friday night in, what authorities claim, was a suicide. But witnesses tell a different story. Several witnesses say that Officer Jamal Medlin told Curnell to get down and put his hands behind his head before he shot him. An autopsy revealed that Curnell died from a bullet wound to the right side of his head. Curnell, according to family, is left-handed. MORE HERE: http://newsone.com/3026965/denzel-jaba-curnell-unarmed-sc-teen-killed-by-police-officer/


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Translation: This man was lynched by a racist cop in South Carolina — a state which still openly flies the Confederate Flag at its Capitol building.

Denzel “Jaba” Curnell, 19, died from a bullet wound to the head after an encounter with a South Carolina police officer on Friday night in, what authorities claim, was a suicide. But witnesses tell a different story.

Several witnesses say that Officer Jamal Medlin told Curnell to get down and put his hands behind his head before he shot him. An autopsy revealed that Curnell died from a bullet wound to the right side of his head. Curnell, according to family, is left-handed.

MORE HERE: http://newsone.com/
3026965/denzel-jaba-curnell-unarmed-sc-teen-killed-by-police-officer/

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Translation: This man was lynched by a racist cop in South Carolina — a state which still openly flies the Confederate Flag at its Capitol building.


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Can you even imagine what the New York Times and US politicians would say if somehow Hamas had planted a bomb at the house of Benjamin Netanyahu, killing him and his two 12-year old children, at night while they slept?! Would this not be referred to as the crassest act of terrorism by the Western media?! And yet, when Israel does precisely such a thing to Palestinian leaders and their families, the word “terrorism” does not appear anywhere in articles reporting on the act.

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Israeli forces killed a leader of Islamic Jihad’s military wing and two of his sons early Friday with an airstrike on their home in the southern Gaza Strip, as the Palestinian death toll topped 800 in the battle’s 18th day. A 36-year-old reservist also fell in combat in Gaza’s north, the military said, bringing the number of Israeli soldiers killed over the past week to 33.

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I am sorry for the innocent who were killed in Palestine. However, the number has been greatly exaggerated. Most of those who were killed were 18-35 year old men linked to Hamas. Israel cannot accept a truce, because they would be recognizing a terrorist organization. Please do some research before you speak on an issue. Some of us here actually have a real stake in this conflict. To you it's just some game you can get high off of by pretending you understand or care. Thank you

Wow. You have no clue.

In fact, Hamas is no more nor less of a terrorist organization than is the Israeli Army if you look at the historical record in terms of sheer destruction, innocents killed, war crimes committed, and the mass slaughter of civilians. Actually, the Israeli Army is the far greater terrorist in that respect.

Beyond that, Israel has spent the last several decades and years systematically stealing and dispossessing the Palestinians of their land; occupying Palestine through brute military force; maintaining a system of racial Apartheid within Israel and the occupied West Bank; refusing to let Palestinian refugees return to their homelands; bulldozing and destroying thousands of Palestinian homes and farmlands; murdering and imprisoning thousands of Palestinian children; and placing a criminal siege upon the people of Gaza that leaves them in a state of utter poverty, desperation, and malnutrition, all of which constitutes a crime against humanity.

It is not Hamas or Palestinians doing all of the above to Israelis. It is Israelis doing this to Palestinians. THAT is the number one source of the problem. For there can never peace where there is no justice.

Finally, I would argue that that the entire world has a “stake” in Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians. Your problem is that you think this is only a narrow regional conflict. It’s not. It effects the entire human species.

It is not without reason that the greatest fighters for justice in the history of the world have all raised the common refrain: “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and “No one can be free while others are oppressed.”

Such statements are more true than you apparently realize.


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Sign the petition at the link!

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ya heard? 
#FreePalestine
Over one million Palestinians displaced or murdered by Israel since 1948 …

ya heard?

#FreePalestine

Over one million Palestinians displaced or murdered by Israel since 1948 …


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In case anyone doubted that the police are a bunch of bigoted, barbaric, lynchings-waiting-to-happen.


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If you were outraged by the police murders of Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, or any of the countless others, you need to be fucking outraged about this. This Black man was lynched in broad daylight by the NYC police. The cops are a terrorist organization, plain and simple. Sign the petition linked to in the article.

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Dr. George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller


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In my opinion, the right of oppressed people to be free from terrorism, violence, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, ALWAYS trumps “free speech” in such scenarios …

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 … I make no apologies for the fact that this piece is full of rage. When news of the murders broke, when the digital world began to absorb and discuss its meaning, I had been about to email my editor to request a few days off, because the impact of some particularly horrendous rape threats had left me shaken, and I needed time to collect my thoughts. Instead of taking that time, I am writing this blog, and I am doing so in rage and in grief - not just for the victims of the Isla Vista massacre, but for what is being lost everywhere as the language and ideology of the new misogyny continues to be excused. 

Why can we not speak about misogynist extremism - why can we not speak about misogyny at all - even when the language used by Elliot Rodger is everywhere online? 

We are told, repeatedly, to ignore it. It’s not real. It’s just “crazy”, lonely guys who we should feel sorry for. But as a mental health activist, I have no time for the language of emotional distress being used to excuse an atrocity, and as a compassionate person I am sick of being told to empathise with the perpetrators of violence any time I try to talk about the victims and survivors.

 … I know for sure that just by writing this I will have exposed myself to more harassment, more threats, more verbal assaults. The comments below this piece will be stuffed, as they always are, with rank sexism, along with by a few brave souls trying to counter their arguments or maintain some pretence at tolerant, adult debate. I have clear memories of a time when I really looked forward to engaging with people who commented on my blog, even when we disagreed, when online politics was an exciting, dynamic space of living conversation. I remember it, and it’s in the cache, so it must have happened. But many young women at the start of writing and digital careers today have no such memories.

We have been told for a long time that the best way to deal with this sort of harrassment and violence is to laugh it off. Women and girls and queer people have been told that online misogynists pose no real threat, even when they’re sharing intimate guides to how to destroy a woman’s self-esteem and force her into sexual submission. Well, now we have seen what the new ideology of misogyny looks like at its most extreme. We have seen incontrovertible evidence of real people being shot and killed in the name of that ideology, by a young man barely out of childhood himself who had been seduced into a disturbing cult of woman-hatred.


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On this day in 1985, the Pennsylvania State Police drop a bomb from a helicopter on the West Philadelphia headquarters of the Black liberation group MOVE, shooting victims as they tried to escape the blaze. The police bombing would kill 11 people including 5 young children and destroy over 65 homes. This is one chapter in the State’s long repression of MOVE, which includes the framing of journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal.

On this day in 1985, the Pennsylvania State Police drop a bomb from a helicopter on the West Philadelphia headquarters of the Black liberation group MOVE, shooting victims as they tried to escape the blaze. The police bombing would kill 11 people including 5 young children and destroy over 65 homes. This is one chapter in the State’s long repression of MOVE, which includes the framing of journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal.


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yeah, no. it doesn’t work to try to spin the growth of violent white-supremacist hate groups in the U.S. as something that is “good,” because it shows how insecure they feel about the approaching status of non-white Americans as comprising a majority of the population.

actually, this is based on the incorrect view that white supremacy and racism exist in the US because white people are the majority race, and since we live in a “democracy,” white people rule. but not only did white people become the majority by exterminating the Native population and controlling every move of the Black population; it is also the case that our society is ruled by a tiny elite minority who represent a fraction of the total white population. these elites no more care about the millions of white people living in poverty and homelessness, than they do about people of color. and these elites will ALWAYS depend upon extreme racist street-thugs like the KKK, etc., to maintain their hold on power through the age-old terror tactic of divide-and-conquer.

so, no, the growth of racist hate groups in the US is not a good thing and will [unfortunately] not be resolved by simply “outnumbering” white people demographically.

as always, we have to rip up the roots of an exploitative, oppressive system which by necessity breeds racism, oppression, and social enmity.

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