Thursday 29th of July 2021

bomb addicts...

bombbomb                        The Israeli military conducted a new series of air raids on Gaza after Israel’s defense minister expressed gratitude to the US for blocking a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire for the third time in a row.

Israeli warplanes pummeled the Palestinian enclave overnight on Monday, local media reported.


The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) hit buildings near Al-Qatiba Square in the western part of Gaza, according to the Jerusalem Post, while local reports suggested that an office for Palestinian Prisoners' Affairs was targeted, as well as agricultural lands. 

Footage purporting to show the bombardment and its aftermath has been shared on social media.


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shameless sons of zion...

 Slavoj Zizek: Israelis’ SHAME over what their state is doing in West Bank would be sign of truly belonging to Israel


The latest Arab-Jewish escalation reveals that rule of law is disintegrating in Israel – at least for Palestinians, who are left to themselves and cannot appeal to any higher agency that will intervene when they are attacked.

Sometimes the Slovene government does something that makes me deeply ashamed of being a citizen of Slovenia. One such moment came earlier this month when, in an act of solidarity with Israel, it decided (together with Austria and the Czech Republic) to fly Israeli flags along the national and EU flags on government buildings. The official explanation was that Israel is under rocket attacks from Gaza and has to defend itself – none of the usual calls for mutual restraint, just a clear assignation of guilt.

But the current escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict did not begin with rockets from Gaza; it began in East Jerusalem, where Israel is again trying to evict Palestinian families. The frustration of the Palestinians is easily understandable: for over 50 years following the 1967 Six-Day War, they have been stuck on the West Bank in a kind of limbo, with no identity, refugees in their own land. 

This protraction is in Israel’s interest: they want the West Bank, but they don’t want to directly annex it, because in doing so they would have to make the Palestinians living there Israeli citizens. So the situation just drags on, and is from time to time interrupted by negotiations which were perfectly described by a Palestinian participant: both sides sit at the opposite sides of a table with a pizza in the middle, and while they negotiate over how to divide the pizza, one side constantly eats its parts. 

When, as a sign of solidarity with protesting Palestinians on the West Bank, Hamas began to launch rockets against Israel, this act (which should be condemned) could have served as the perfect ground for Netanyahu to gain political points: a genuine desperate protest against the Israeli ethnic cleansing became yet another Hamas-Israel conflict, with Israel just responding to rocket attacks. But Netanyahu had to admit that the civil unrest in Israel was a greater threat than the rockets from Gaza. He condemned the “anarchy” of Jewish-Arab violence in cities across Israel. 

One of the focal points of the protests is the Israeli city of Lod, south-east of Tel Aviv, with a strong Palestinian presence. Lod’s mayor has described the events as a “civil war.” Gangs from both sides are terrorizing individuals, families, and stores, up to direct lynchings.

“Far-right Jewish Israelis, often armed with pistols and operating in full view of police, have moved into mixed areas this week. In messages shared by one online Jewish supremacist group, Jews were called to flood into Lod. ‘Don’t come without any instrument for personal protection,’ one message read,” the Guardian reported on Saturday. “Amir Ohana, the public security minister, has encouraged vigilantism, announcing on Wednesday that ‘law-abiding citizens carrying weapons’ were an aid to authorities. He made the comments after a suspected Jewish gunman was accused of killing an Arab man in Lod. The minister, without presenting evidence, said it was in self-defence.”

The most dangerous aspect of the situation is that the Israeli police are not even pretending to be acting as a neutral agent of the law and public safety; they were reportedly applauding the far-right Jewish mob waving Israeli flags in Lod. 

In short, the rule of law in disintegrating in Israel, at least for its Palestinian citizens – they are left to themselves, alone; they cannot appeal to any higher agency that would intervene when they are attacked. This scandalous situation is just a consequence of what has been going on in Israel in recent years: the openly racist extreme right (who want to assert what they obscenely call Israel’s “full sovereignty” over the West Bank and treat Palestinians who live there as unwelcome intruders) is more and more recognized as legitimate and becoming part of the public political discourse. This racist stance has always been the de facto foundation of Israeli politics, but it was never publicly acknowledged; it was just the secret – although known to everyone – motivation of the Israeli politicians whose public official position was always (at least until recently) the two-state solution and respect for international laws and obligations. 


Now that this facade of respect for the law is dissolving, it is not enough to say that the reality we see now was the truth behind the appearance all along. Appearances are essential; they oblige us to act in a certain way – so without the appearance, the way we act also changes. The distance between the public appearance and the dark reality behind it enabled Israel to present itself as a modern state of law in contrast to Arab religious fundamentalism, but with this public acceptance of the religious fundamentalist racism, Palestinians are now a force of secular neutrality, while the Israelis act like religious fundamentalists.

The wider context of this escalation of events in Israel makes the entire picture even darker: first in France, then in the US, a considerable group of military officers and retired generals published letters warning against the threat to the national identity and the way of life of their countries. In France, the letter attacked the tolerance of the state against Islamization, and in the US, they warned about the “socialist” and “Marxist” politics of the Biden administration. The myth of the depoliticized character of the armed forces is dispelled: a considerable part of the army supports the nationalist agenda. In short, what happens now in Israel is part of a global trend.


But what does this mean for the Jewish identity? As one of the Holocaust survivors said, “In the past, an anti-Semite was a person who dislikes Jews; now, an anti-Semite is a person whom Jews dislike.” The title of a recent dialogue on anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in Der Spiegel was: “Wer Antisemit ist, bestimmt der Jude und nicht der potenzielle Antisemit” (“The Jew, not the potential anti-Semite, determines who is an anti-Semite”). OK, sounds logical; the victim should decide their victim status, so in the same sense that this holds for a woman who claims she was raped it should hold also for Jews. But there are two problems here: (1) Shouldn't the same also hold for Palestinians on the West Bank, who should determine who is stealing their land and depriving them of elementary rights? (2) Who is “the Jew” who determines who is anti-Semitic? What about the quite numerous Jews who support the BDS or who, at least, have doubts about the State of Israel politics on the West Bank? Is it not the implication of the quoted stance that, although empirically Jews, they are in some “deeper” sense not Jews, they betrayed their Jewish identity? (I was once ferociously attacked as anti-Semitic for just using the term “the Jews”…)

Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg proposed the notion that a shame for one’s country, not love of it, may be the true mark of belonging to it. A supreme example of such shame occurred back in 2014 when hundreds of Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors bought an ad in Saturday’s New York Times condemning what they referred to as “the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine.” “We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch,” their statement read. 

Maybe today, some Israelis will gather the courage to feel shame apropos of what the Israelis are doing in the West Bank and in Israel itself – not, of course, in the sense of shame of being Jewish, but, on the contrary, of feeling shame for what the Israeli politics in the West Bank is doing to the most precious legacy of Judaism itself.


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shameless joe...


Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), in a statement Monday, said the “United States should not stand idly by” allowing casualties to rise in Gaza while President Joe Biden lets “precision-guided weaponry” be given to Israel “without any strings attached.”

“The violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip is spiraling out of control,” Omar said in the statement. The congresswoman has blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “at least 1,505 casualties in Gaza, including 200 deaths, 59 of them children.”


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supporting but not voting for...


Washington: US President Joe Biden says he supports a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a major shift from his previous position that Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks coming from Gaza.

Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his views in a phone call on Tuesday (AEST).


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asking for "de-escalation"...

Tensions in Israel have been worsening over the past few days, as Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at various Israeli cities and Israel's air force has retaliated by hitting Hamas facilities.

US President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he is expecting a major de-escalation of the recent tensions between the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and Hamas, according to the White House.

"President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today. The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel's progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States. The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire", the White House said in a statement.



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Earlier in the week, contradicting reports emerged in regard to a possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after tensions erupted in May. On Wednesday, a senior Hamas official, Mousa Abu Marzook, said he expected a ceasefire to happen "within a day or two".

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday confirmed that the Security Cabinet had voted unanimously to approve a ceasefire between Tel Aviv and Hamas.

"The Security Cabinet unanimously accepted the recommendation of all heads of security services, the chief of general staff, the head of the Shabak, the head of the Mossad and the head of the National Security Council to accept the Egyptian initiative on a bilateral ceasefire, which will come into force later," the statement said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry released the statement in its Twitter account, highlighting that the agreement was reached without preconditions, also noting Israel's "significant achievements in the operation, some of which are unprecedented."


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so what was this all about?


Answer: weapon testing...


“THE ART OF WAR”F-35s bombing Gaza


by Manlio Dinucci  

The United States, which has four ammunition warehouse bases in Israel, also provides it with a large arsenal. Israel, which already has one of the most powerful Air forces in the world, is now testing F-35s in combat against the Palestinians.


Israeli Forces spokesman Zilberman announced the start of the bombing of Gaza, specifying that "80 fighters are taking part in the operation, including the advanced F-35s" (The Times of Israel, May 11, 2021). It is officially the baptism of fire for the US Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation fighter, whose production Italy also participates in as a second-level partner.

Israel has already received twenty-seven F-35s from the US, and last February decided to buy no longer fifty F-35s but seventy-five. To this end the government has decreed a further allocation of 9 billion dollars: 7 were granted by a US to Israel free military "aid" of 28 billion, 2 were granted as a loan by the US Citibank.

While Israeli F-35 pilots were being trained by the U.S. Air Force in Arizona and Israel, the US Army Engineers built in Israel special hardened hangars for the F-35s, suitable for both fighters’ maximum protection on the ground, and their rapid take-off on attack. At the same time, the Israeli military industries (Israel Aerospace and Elbit Systems) in close coordination with Lockheed Martin enhance the fighter renamed "Adir" (Powerful): above all its ability to penetrate enemy defenses and its range of action which was nearly doubled.

These capabilities are certainly not necessary to attack Gaza. Why then are the most advanced fifth-generation fighters used against Palestinians? Because it serves to test F-35s fighters and their pilots in real war action using Gaza homes as targets on a firing range. It does not matter if in the target houses there are entire families.

The F-35s, added to the hundreds of fighter-bombers already supplied by the US to Israel. are designed for nuclear attack particularly with the new B61-12 bomb. The United States will shortly deploy these nuclear bombs in Italy and other European countries, and will also provide them to Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East with an arsenal estimated at 100-400 nuclear weapons. If Israel doubles the range of F-35 fighters and is about to receive eight Boeing Pegasus tankers from the US for refueling the F-35s in flight, it is because it is preparing to launch an attack, even nuclear, against Iran.

The Israeli nuclear forces are integrated into the NATO electronic system within the "Individual cooperation program" framework with Israel. Although not a member of the Alliance, Israel is integrated with a permanent mission in the NATO headquarters in Brussels. In the same framework, Germany supplied Israel with six Dolphin submarines. modified for launching nuclear missiles (as Der Spiegel documented in 2012).

Italy’s military cooperation with Israel has become a law of the Republic (Law No. 94 of May 17, 2005). This law establishes comprehensive cooperation, both between armed forces and military industries, including activities that remain secret because they are subject to the "Security Agreement" between the two parties.

Israel has supplied Italy with the Opsat-3000 satellite, which transmits very high-resolution images for military operations in distant war theaters. The satellite is connected to three centers in Italy and, at the same time, to a fourth center in Israel, as a proof of the increasingly close strategic collaboration between the two countries.

Italy supplied Israel with thirty Leonardo Aermacchi fighters for pilot training. Now it can provide Israel with a new version of the M-346 FA (Fighter Attack), which - Leonardo Industry specified - serves at the same time for training and for “ground attack missions with 500-pound drop ammunition, and precision-guided ammunitions capable of increasing the number of targets to hit at the same time “. The new version of the fighter - Leonardo Industry underlined - is particularly suitable for "missions in urban areas", where heavy fighters "are often used in low-paying missions with high operating costs". The ideal for the next Israeli bombings of Gaza, which can be carried out with "a cost per flight hour that is reduced by up to 80%", and will be very " cost-effective ", that is, they will kill many more Palestinians.

 Manlio Dinucci Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)