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58 Peaceful Protesters Murdered, 2,700 Injured in Gaza as US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem (VIDEO)

World  (tags: Gaza, 14 May, death toll, IDF, Israeli military, snipers, Non-violent demonstration, resistance, US embassy move, provocation, occupation, blockade, atrocities )

- 405 days ago -
Israeli military killed at least 58 Palestinians and injured 2,700 - 1,350 of them by gunfire. This is the highest death toll yet in Gaza. The great March of Return is also protesting the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem


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Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 4:04 am
Finkelstein's fears were all to well founded :(

Norman Finkelstein: Will Gaza March End in Israel's Worst Killings Yet? (VIDEO 3/3)

Sheryl G (359)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 4:53 am
I'm so disgusted with the actions of my Nation and it's failure to be a honest broker in the ME.

This Administration does everything by the seat of its pants and what is good for the Corporatist. Only have to look at the two split photos that are being shown; the white class of privilege vs the brown class of poverty that has on purpose been inflicted upon the people.

Then when the people rise up to say enough they are shot dead - meanwhile the 1% dine, drink their wine, and pat themselves on their backs.

Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 5:43 am
The irony, to me, is that when non-violent protests are organised, the media (& hence the world) totally ignore the events ...

Until the oppressors mobilise the false narrative that paints the non-violent movement as violent & dangerous.
We saw this with Standing Rock, & now in Gaza. Granted - Standing Rock leaders were even more effective in preventing any violence, whereas in Gaza, the escalating violence (snipers, live munition, strange drone-delivered 'tear gas' that causes paralysis & serious breathing difficulties, targeting of journalists & paramedics etc) has led to outbreaks of stone-throwing and burning kites ... against heavily armed soldiers, drones, military planes ...

Animae C (509)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 6:31 am
i saw it on our local news....
while trump's daughter & snotty son-in-law were giving speeches at the embassy!!!

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 9:54 am
May 14, 2018
We are all accomplices to Israel's massacre in Gaza

There has been no outrage. We all let this happen. But it is not too late to speak out.

A wounded Palestinian is brought into al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, after being shot by Israeli snipers during a protest on the Gaza-Israel border, May 14, 2018. (Mohammed Zaanoun/

As of writing this, 52 Palestinian unarmed protesters in Gaza have been shot dead by Israeli snipers on Monday, and 2,238 have been wounded, over 1,000 by live ammunition, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Among those killed are eight children under 16 years old. The hospitals in Gaza are at breaking point, and cannot treat gunshot wounds as they pour in. The number of dead and wounded is likely to continue to rise

Since March 30, when the Gaza protests began, 101 Palestinians have been killed and well over 10,000 wounded, many maimed for life. Not a single Israeli injury and not a single rocket fired at Israel, even as Israel has bombed Gaza several times in recent weeks.

It doesn’t matter which numbers you want to believe or how many stones have been thrown (not a single injury caused by them), or even how many Hamas officials have called on Palestinians to protest. This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege. And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it.

On Monday, Israel’s top human rights organization B’Tselem issued a statement calling the shootings “an appalling indifference to human life.” It’s hard to explain it any other way.

The overwhelming majority of the Jewish Israeli population has not spoken out. According to an Israel Democracy Institute Peace Index poll from April, 83 percent of Jewish Israelis find the IDF’s open fire policy in Gaza “appropriate.” Just hours after the massacre, thousands went out into the streets to celebrate the Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai in Tel Aviv.

Only a few dozen Israelis have gone down to southern Israel where the fence separates it from Gaza to hold up signs opposing Israeli actions and calling for a lift of the siege. These are the Israelis who will go down in history as the last vestige of humanity and forward thinking in Jewish Israeli society.

Israeli demonstrators near the Gaza border call for an end to the siege of Gaza. May 11, 2018. (Oren Ziv / Activestills. org)

Everyone who participated in the formal U.S. Embassy inauguration in Jerusalem at the exact same time that just a few miles away, people were being shot down, also have blood on their hands. The participation of Christian bigots and anti-Semites Robert Jeffress and John Hagee adds insult to injury, and could not better demonstrate the current seamless alignment between the racist Israeli right in power and the racist American right in power.

A spontaneous protest in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem was called for 9 p.m. Israel time to protest the atrocities. It is not too late to speak out, to put your bodies out there and resist.

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 9:59 am
Erdogan slams international community’s apathy for Palestine.

Palestine is the centre issue in the world, Erdogan said.
May 09 2018

International community's indifference over the sufferings of Palestinians caused by Israeli attacks shows that no society has a safe future, the Turkish president said on Monday.

Speaking at the International Mount of Olives Peace Awards at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "Palestinians are the symbol of all oppressed people in the world because of the persecution, massacres and injustices they have been subjected to."

Erdogan said the Palestine cause was not an exclusive issue of a nation or a city, adding that the future of humanity would be determined according to its stance against the Palestine and Jerusalem cause.

“If the reverse happens, a dark future will be awaiting us, one in which all rights, freedoms, and moral and conscientious measures are absent or eliminated and in which tyranny prevails.”

Erdogan said what was happening in Palestine was the legitimization of tyranny, highlighting Israel’s mounting persecution against Palestinians whose sole guilt was trying to defend their own land.

"The indifference of the international community towards the Palestinians, who have had tens of martyrs and thousands of injured people during these [Israeli] attacks, is the sign of a future in which no society and individual will be safe," Erdogan said.

Erdogan accused the international institutions responsible for ensuring peace and security in Palestine, calling them “hypocrites.”

He also stressed that when it came to delivering aid, great economic powers fiercely competing with each other whenever an economic, political or military interest was at stake had fallen behind Turkey.

“And that is because humanitarian aid, totally an issue of conscience and morality, does not bring money, oil, gold, or political power," he said, adding that Turkey so far had spent $31 billion for the Syrians staying in Turkey.’s-apathy-for-palestine

Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 12:23 pm
Even worse, Israeli authorities have clearly indicated their intention to keep up the killing:

Israeli minister: ‘Palestinian killing not enough, restart leadership assassinations’

Israel officials double down on Palestinian killings as local news dominated by embassy opening

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 11:27 pm
UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on Israeli violence against Palestinians.
May 15, 2018

The United Nations Security Council has held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, a day after Israeli troops unleashed a brutal crackdown on Palestinian protesters, killing dozens of people and wounding over 2,700 others.

The meeting began with a moment of silence for dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on Monday, the bloodiest day there since a 2014 Israeli war on the Palestinian enclave.

Joanna Wronecka, Poland's ambassador, called for the gesture of remembrance in her role as current council president.

Kuwait had called for the session after Monday's killings.

From US friends to foes, most ambassadors announced their opposition to the US embassy move. But the main focus of the debate was the violence at the Gaza border.

Almost all ambassadors said Israel bears a responsibility to keep its response proportionate, and not use live ammunition on civilians.

Olof Skoog, Sweden’s representative said that lethal force should be exercised with restraint.

Francois Delattre, the French ambassador, said the violence threatens to engulf the Mideast region. “The situation in the Middle East is close to a perfect storm,”

Karen Pierce, the British ambassador, voiced support for a probe into Monday’s killing, then stated London’s position to the US embassy opening in Jerusalem al-Quds.

“Our position on the status of Jerusalem and moving the American embassy is well known,” she said. “The status of Jerusalem [al-Quds] should be determined in a negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”

Sasha Llorenty, Bolivia’s envoy said, “The unilateral decision by the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem does nothing but inflame spirits.”

“The United States, which supports the occupying power, has become an obstacle to peace. It has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

The envoys from China, Sweden and the Netherlands also went out of their way to reiterate their government’s position that Jerusalem [al-Quds]’s status should be left to negotiations, and their intention to keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Speaking at the beginning of the session, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, defended the Israeli use of force against peaceful Palestinian protesters, saying that the Tel Aviv regime had reacted with restraint in its military response to protesters at the Gaza border. She also dismissed suggestions that the violence was caused by the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds.

"No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has," Haley told the Council. "In fact the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained," she said.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at the Security Council meeting concerning the violence at the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, May 15, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The United States has already blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that called for an “independent and transparent investigation” into Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border.

The statement, drafted by Kuwait ahead of a meeting on Tuesday, expressed “outrage and sorrow" at the deaths of at least 58 people during demonstrations over the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds.

It also demanded that all countries comply with a decades-old Security Council resolution calling on them not to station diplomatic missions in the occupied holy city.

The UN Middle East peace envoy Nikolay Mladenov said Tuesday there was "no justification" for the violence in Gaza as he briefed the 15-member council.

Mladenov called Monday a "day of tragedy" and urged the international community to put their efforts toward "preventing an explosion that can drag the whole region into deadly confrontation."

Several Muslims and Western countries have denounced the violence against Palestinians.

Belgium on Tuesday demanded a UN inquiry into the violence in Gaza and summoned Israel's ambassador to the foreign ministry after she described all the Palestinian victims as "terrorists."

Belgium's Foreign Ministry said it summoned ambassador Simona Frankel over her remarks while Prime Minister Charles Michel said, "We call for an international inquiry led by the United Nations."

Germany says it supports calls for an independent investigation into the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests in Gaza.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday that the violence "concerns us greatly and it's terrible that so many people lost their lives, including minors."

PressTV- World leaders: US embassy move to ignite ME tensions

Both friends and foes of the United States voice criticism as Washington opens its embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds.

Turkey has asked Israel's ambassador to temporarily leave Turkey.

Anadolu, Turkey’s official news agency news agency said Tuesday that the Turkish foreign ministry notified Eitan Na'eh, the Israeli ambassador that "it would be appropriate for him to return to his country for some time."

The ministry summoned the ambassador to protest Israel's use of deadly force on Palestinians and the U.S. decision to relocate its embassy there to Jerusalem al-Quds.

Turkey has also called home its ambassadors to Washington and Tel Aviv for consultations.

Israeli gunfire killed 59 Palestinians and wounded over 2,700 in the Monday clashes, the highest toll in a single day since a series of protests demanding the right to return to ancestral homes began on March 30.

The embassy inauguration also coincides with the climax of a six-week demonstration on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), May 15, when Israel was created.

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017 announced US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said Washington would move US embassy to the city.

The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 3:23 am
U.S. Media Whitewashes Gaza Massacre
May 14, 2018

As Israel killed more than 50 Palestinians in cold blood protesting the American embassy move on Monday, U.S. corporate media failed to accurately report what happened in Gaza, once again meekly protecting the government line, argues Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria Special to Consortium News

Typical of the mindset of corporate media reporting on what happened in Gaza on Monday as Israeli soldiers killed more than 50 protesting Palestinians, is this tweet from CNN. It says: “Death toll rises to at least 52 people during clashes along the border fence between Israel and Gaza, Palestinian officials say. More than 2,400 people have been injured.” CNN’s new slogan is “#FactsFirst.”

Adam Johnson, who writes for the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, responded to CNN with a tweet of his own:

“This one’s got it all:
•‘death toll rises’ — no one was killed and no one specific party did the killing, the death toll just mysteriously ‘rises’
•‘clashes’ — launders all power asymmetry
•‘2,400 people have been injured’ — all 2,400 are Palestinian but lets go with ‘people’.”

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said on his blog that he did a Google News search for the word “massacre” and found not one reference to Gaza.

A New York Times headline on Monday said: “Dozens of Palestinians have died in protests as the U.S. prepares to open its Jerusalem Embassy.” Journalist Glenn Greenwald responded: “Most western media outlets have become quite skilled – through years of practice – at writing headlines and describing Israeli massacres using the passive tense so as to hide the culprit. But the all-time champion has long been, and remains, the New York Times.#HaveDied.”

[Perhaps because of pressure from Greenwald and others, the Times on Monday night changed its headline to “Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem.”]

Yet another CNN headline simply read: “Dozens die in Gaza.” Journalist Max Blumenthal responded: “Maybe they were old. Perhaps they were very sick. They just up and died! Who will solve the mystery behind these deaths?”

Blumenthal later offered a possible solution to the mystery: “According to the White House, Khhamas launched 41 protesters into unsuspecting Israeli bullets.”


Deflecting blame from Israel is one thing. But projecting it onto the victim is quite another. Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon on Monday called for the U.N. Security Council to, “Condemn Hamas for their war crimes,” because “every casualty on the border is a direct victim of Hamas.”

He said in a statement released by Israel’s U.N. mission:

“Condemn Hamas for the war crimes they commit. Not only does Hamas incite tens of thousands of Palestinians to breach the border and hurt Israeli civilians, but Hamas also deliberately endangers Palestinian civilians. The murder of Israeli civilians or deaths of the people of Gaza – each one of them is a desirable outcome for Hamas. Every casualty on the border is a victim of Hamas’ war crimes, every death is a result of Hamas’ terror activity, and these casualties are solely Hamas’ responsibility.”

That’s one way to wash the Israeli government’s (blood-soaked) hands of the matter. Especially if you fear Israel will be accused of war crimes itself for its actions on Monday. Danon mentioned “breaching the border.” But it is virtually impossible to get in or out of Gaza without Israeli permission. Burning kites lofted over the barrier that pens in nearly two million Gazans subject to an internationally unrecognized economic blockade, supposedly constitutes “breaching,” in Danon’s mind.

He would do well to consider the words of Moshe Dayan, one of the Israel’s Founding Fathers, who said in 1956:

“What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.” He went on: “We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.”

So on the day, 61 years later, when the United States declared Jerusalem/Al Quds as the capital of Israel by moving its embassy there, rather than leaving its status to negotiation, people still trapped in Gaza protested at the gate fencing them in while Israeli military snipers picked off more than 50 of them and wounded thousands more for protesting their entrapment.

U.S. Parrots Israel, Media Parrots U.S.

Danon’s position was callously promoted by the White House on Monday. Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah was asked several times to condemn Israel’s military response. “We believe Hamas is responsible for these tragic deaths,” he said. “Their rather cynical exploitation of the situation is what’s leading to these deaths and we want it stopped.” He later blamed Hamas for a “gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt.”

Unsurprisingly, Congress also lined up behind the Jewish State, mostly ignoring what went on in Gaza.

At the ceremony opening the embassy, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, called Monday “a monumental day in United States-Israel relations.” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who was among four senators and 10 members of the House of Representatives present, incredulously said moving the embassy “furthers the chances of peace in the Middle East by demonstrating that America’s support for Israel is unconditional and will not be bullied by global media opinion.”

Back in Washington, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, proclaimed: “Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party vice presidential candidate in 2016, tweeted: “Where are the democrats condemning the slaughter in Gaza? If this was Assad they would be joining the republicans calling for military action pretending like they cared for Arab life.”

Handful of Democrats Speak Out

Bernie Sanders of Vermont mildly criticized Israel’s murderous response. “Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters,” he said. “The United States must play an aggressive role in bringing Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the international community together to address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and stop this escalating violence.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, was more critical: “It’s just heartbreaking. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is desperate. Instead of cutting aid, the Trump administration must restore our leadership role and do what it can to alleviate the Palestinians’ suffering. The location of the embassy is a final-status issue that should have been resolved as part of peace negotiations where both sides benefit, not just one side. Israel will only know true security when it is at peace with its neighbors.”

Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, tweeted: “Today’s @USEmbassyIsrael opening in Jerusalem & killing of dozens of Gaza protesters advances @netanyahu agenda of occupation & oppression of Palestinians. @realDonaldTrump policies are fueling conflict, abandoning diplomatic efforts to achieve peace.”

Pressure to support Israel on The Hill is infamously intense. But what is the media’s excuse for being afraid to simply report facts, such as that Israeli soldiers “killed” Palestinians on Monday. They didn’t just simply die.

Just because U.S. government figures are apologists for Israel, does not mean the media must be too. But that would require the U.S. having an independent mainstream media.

When control of powerful mainstream communications breeds self-aggrandizement and adherence to a line pushed for so long because it got you where you are in the pecking order of media culture, it seems virtually impossible to shift gears and take another look at what you are reporting.

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 10:55 am
UK: Jews deliver message of condemnation to Israel.

In a message to world leaders, international organization of Orthodox Jews against Zionism reiterates support for Palestine.

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 11:47 am
No More U.S. Weapons to Israel.

Sign this petition to the U.S. government:

End the provision of free weapons to the government of Israel.

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 10:23 pm
Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

The Killing Fields of Gaza.

Israeli activists speak out on the occupation of Gaza.

S J (124)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 4:46 am
Monsters are at it again and again, I am so sorry to hear such terrible things there in Gaza and I do hope I can do more. Peace seems too much expensive than war. fly's petition signed. Sadly meow

fly bird (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 7:49 am
Adalah, Al Mezan demand urgent Israeli Supreme Court ruling on petition against Israeli army’s use of live fire on civilian protesters in Gaza.
May 17, 2018

Since petition filed, Israeli troops have continued to kill Palestinians with live ammunition, including 59 people – seven of whom were children – on 14 May alone.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights submitted yesterday, 16 May 2018, a motion to the Israeli Supreme Court demanding that it issue an immediate final decision on the organizations’ joint petition against the Israeli military’s use of live ammunition and sniper fire on unarmed civilian protesters in Gaza.

In addition, Adalah and Al Mezan are releasing today a briefing paper that takes an in-depth look at the petition challenging the Israeli military’s use of lethal force against Gaza protesters, as well as the State of Israel’s response, and our critique and arguments against the State’s positions.

Adalah and Al Mezan argued in the motion that, since filing the petition, an excessive amount of time has passed, during which a large number of Palestinian unarmed protesters have been killed and wounded in Gaza demonstrations.

Every week, the Israeli military has responded to the protests near the Gaza fence with lethal and other excessive force, which has resulted to date in the killing of 86 protesters, including 12 children, two journalists, and the injury of approximately 11,000.

In the single bloodiest day of the seven weeks, 14 May 2018, the Israeli military killed 59 Palestinians, including 43 protesters during demonstrations, of whom seven were children and one a person with disability. At least another 2,771 persons were injured, including 225 children, 12 journalists, and 17 paramedics—1,359 of whom by live ammunition.

The Israeli military’s open-fire policy is illegal. The military informed the Supreme Court that it shoots people in Gaza who are allegedly “leading inciters or breachers of order”; they did not claim that the people shot were armed or that they posed an immediate threat to the lives of others.

This is a violation of international law, amounting to willful killing and injury, and constituting war crimes under Article 8 of the Rome Statute.

Adalah and Al Mezan demand the Israeli Supreme Court issue an immediate ruling that the Israeli military’s open-fire policy in Gaza is illegal.

CLICK HERE to read the briefing paper [English]

CLICK HERE to read the Supreme Court motion [Hebrew]

fly bird (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 8:45 am
Events for 17 May 2018

Pensacola: Pensacola Stands for Palestine!
May 17 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Plaza, N Palafox St
Pensacola, FL United States

Regina: Emergency Rally for Gaza
May 17 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Victoria Park, Victoria Park
Regina, Canada

Milan: Protest for Palestine outside the RAI
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
RAI office, Corso Sempione
Milan, Italy

Siena: Rally in Solidarity with the Palestinian People
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Piazza del Duomo, Piazza del Duomo
Siena, Italy

Cologne: 70 Years of Nakba – Solidarity with the Palestinian people
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Hauptbahnhof – Köln, Hauptbahnhof
Cologne, Germany

Saint-Etienne: Rally in support of the Palestinian People
May 17 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Place d’Hotel de Ville, place d'Hotel de Ville
Saint-Etienne, France

Events for 18 May 2018

Toronto: Emergency Action for Palestine at Chrystia Freeland’s Office
May 18 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Chrystia Freeland’s Office, 344 Bloor St W
Toronto, Canada

Venice: Mobilization Against the Giro d’Italia
May 18 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Via Brigata Aosta and Via Zateri, Via Brigata Aosta and Via Zateri
Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

Chicago: Jan Schakowsky – Justice for Palestinian Protesters
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jan Schakowsky’s Office, 5533 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL United States

Rome: Rally for Palestine at the US Embassy
May 18 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Piazza Barberini, Piazza Barberini
Rome, Italy

Nottingham: Gaza – Stop the Massacre
May 18 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Brian Clough Statue, King Street
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Tampa: Emergency Rally to Reject US Embassy Move and Israeli Massacres
May 18 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
N 56th St and East Fowler Ave, N 56th St and East Fowler Ave
Temple Terrace, FL United States

Events for 18 May 2018

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

Events for 19 May 2018

Glasgow: End Israel’s Bloody Massacre in Gaza
May 19 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Buchanan Steps, Buchanan Steps
Glasgow, United Kingdom

London: End British Support for Israel! Solidarity with Gaza!
May 19 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Barclays Bank London, Tottenham Court Road 190
London, United Kingdom

Cardiff: Gaza – Stop the Massacre
May 19 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Nye Bevan Statue, Queen Street
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Bonn: 70 years of expulsion and occupation are enough!
May 19 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Münsterplatz, Münsterplatz
Bonn, Germany

Clermont-Farrand: Nakba – Gaza – BDS Demonstration
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place de Jaude, Place de Jaude
Clermont-Farrand, France

Montpellier: Stand with Gaza – Protest the Massacre
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place de la Comedie, Place de la Comedie
Lyon, France

Florence: Protest to support Palestine and its resistance
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Piazza di San Marco, Piazza di San Marco
Florence, Italy

Hamburg: Freedom for Palestine – Stop the Massacre in Gaza!
May 19 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, Hachmannplatz
Hamburg, Germany

Milan: March in support of Palestinian Resistance
May 19 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Piazza San Babila, Piazza San Babila
Milan, Italy

Events for 20 May 2018

Anaheim: Nakba 70 and the Great March of Return
May 20 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
611 S Brookhurst St, 611 S Brookhurst St
Anaheim, CA United States

Boston: Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Palestine
May 20 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
City School, 614 Columbia Road
Dorchester, MA United States

Anne K (139)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 5:33 pm
Thanks, Evelyn.

fly bird (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 6:43 pm
Norman Finkelstein on the Latest Massacre in Gaza and the History of U.S. Support for Israel’s War Crimes
Intercepted podcast
May 16 2018

JS: One of Norman Finkelstein first books was “The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years,” and he describes his trips to the West Bank, beginning in 1988, at the start of the first intifada.

Norman would go back every summer and stay with Palestinian families, and this was the start of a long career and life dedicated to the liberation of Palestinian people and to a disciplined, scholarly multi-decade examination of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The story of Norman’s family is a harrowing one: His father was a Jewish resistor to the Nazis and survived both the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. His mother also survived the Warsaw ghetto and she was put in the Majdanek concentration camp; she also was sent to slave labor sites.

Norman grew up in Brooklyn. His father was a factory worker and his mother stayed home with the kids.

Maryla Husyt Finkelstein: I remember that my biggest desire and dream was if I ever survived, I would stay tall and tell people the story. I now am strictly a pacifist, and I believe that if you kill, you don’t achieve. With the first killing, you already lost.

JS: Norman’s life story is told in the documentary, “American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein.” His first involvement publicly and politically with the Israel-Palestine issue was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June of 1982. Norman started to demonstrate outside of the Israeli consulate just off 42nd Street here in New York City. And from his first protest, Norman didn’t shy away from using language that described the situation exactly as he saw it. The sign that he carried read: “This son of survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Auschwitz, and Majdanek will not be silent. Israeli Nazis, stop the Holocaust in Lebanon.”

Norman Finkelstein: So now I have both a political commitment and a scholarly commitment, and then obviously I’m Jewish, so I have a personal commitment.

JS: Norman Finkelstein became a serious and principled academic on Palestine and Israel, and he soon gained attention from Noam Chomsky. Norman was working on his doctorate at Princeton University, and for it, he carefully evaluated the claims made in a very popular book at the time by Joan Peters. It was called “From Time Immemorial” and it was on the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Norman wrote a long, detailed critique of her work and sent out his findings on that book to about 25 people. Noam Chomsky soon gave him a call and provided a warning.

Noam Chomsky: I answered him, and he told me later that I was the only person that answered him, and his question, “Does it look as if this is a good topic, a serious topic to study?” I said, you know, “I read it, it’s very solid. It’s a very good topic to study. But if you go into it, do it with eyes open. You are not only going to undermine this book, and show that it’s a fraud, but you’re going to undermine the whole U.S. intellectual community.”

JS: With each new book he’s written, Norman has found himself being chased out of the academy, usually under the guise of budget cuts or other technical issues. After teaching for nine years at Hunter College in New York, where Norman published “The Holocaust Industry” in 2001, the school claimed they had a shortage of funds and offered him less courses. That book was a searing indictment of the money made by using the stories of Holocaust victims.

Norman Finkelstein: I am not happy with what happened. I didn’t ask for a lot. I was earning $18,000 a year at Hunter. Nothing. And they kicked me out in the street after nine years.

JS: Eventually, Norman landed at DePaul University in Chicago. But then, during a televised debate hosted by “Democracy Now!,” Norman accused the famed lawyer and major Israel supporter Alan Dershowitz of plagiarism and he attacked what Norman viewed as his flimsy evidence to back up his positions on Israel and Palestine.

NF: If we’re going to have a civil debate, you’re going to have to remain —

Alan Dershowitz: It’s not going to be a debate about me, let me be very clear about that.

NF: I’m not debating you. I have no interest in you, Mr. Dershowitz. None at all. I’m interested in the scholarship and I’m interested in the facts and I’m interested in your book.

Now, in 1984, one Joan Peters published a book called “From Time Immemorial.” The book was universally recognized by serious scholars to be a fraud. Without wanting to toot my own horn, I’m widely recognized as the person who exposed the fraud. I know that book inside out. I read it at least four times, and I went through all 1,854 footnotes.

I started to read your book, Mr. Dershowitz. I then came to chapter one, footnotes 10, footnote 11, footnote 12, footnote 13, footnote 14, footnote 15, footnote 16. All of the quotes are from Joan Peters.

JS: Once again, Norman’s academic career came to a halt as he was attacked in the media.

Sean Hannity: That was Dr. Finkelstein, he’s a professor at DePaul University who might get his tenure on Tuesday if the university allows it, but how can people like this be teaching our children in the classroom.

JS: There was a battle at DePaul University over Norman’s tenure, and it was shut down after a public campaign against him. Norman says that he has not been offered an academic teaching position for more than a decade.

All in all, Norman Finkelstein has authored eleven books, including “The Holocaust Industry,” “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.” Norman’s latest book, which was published in January, is called “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom.” The book is Norman’s opus on Gaza. It’s a meticulous, 440-page study of international law, of Israel’s sustained attacks against Gaza, its people and the book offers what may well be the definitive history of one of the most horrifying and sustained campaigns in modern world history. Not a single major publication has reviewed Norman’s new book. You won’t see him on cable news. He is, it seems, completely blacklisted. But he joins us now here on Intercepted.

Norman, welcome to the show.

NF: Well, thank you for having me.

JS: First, just your response to what’s happening right now on the ground in Palestine.

NF: Well it was eminently predictable. In fact, it was predicted. The Great March of Return, as it’s been called, and even if you looked at the Israeli papers, they were speculating about how many they would kill and it’s still unclear how many at the end of the day will be killed.

JS: When you say that it was entirely predictable, what do you mean?

NF: Well the Israelis said they were going to kill the people if they attempted to breach the prison gate. The people inside the prison said they’re going to try to break out of the prison. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out what’s going to happen in that scenario.

JS: When you say prison, what are you referring to?

NF: I don’t want to get too pedantic about this, but Confucius once said, “The beginning of all wisdom is to call things by their proper names.” I know that might sound like a fortune cookie entry, but in fact, it’s a pretty profound idea.

So, in the case at hand, if you look at the mainstream publications which echo Israeli propaganda, or if you just look at the Times, they keep referring to a “border fence.” A border fence is if two sovereign states stand on each side of that fence.

But then let’s look at the facts: The Hebrew University sociologist Baruch Kimmerling, who’s a distinguished sociologist, and he described Gaza, and now I’m quoting him, “the world’s largest concentration camp ever.”

The respected Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, they refer to the Gaza Ghetto, with the obvious resonances for Jews, the Warsaw Ghetto.

And then if you take the conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron, he referred to Gaza as an open-air prison.

So, is it accurate, is it calling things by their proper names to say that the Palestinians in Gaza are trying to breach a border fence? No. Palestinians in Gaza are trying to breach a concentration camp fence. They’re trying to breach a ghetto fence. They’re trying to breach a prison gate.

But that’s only half the story. Because it’s not even a prison.

Number one, beginning in 2012, United Nations began issuing reports. It said, “Will Gaza be livable in 2020?”

Then, in 2015, another report was issued by UNCTAD, one of the premier U.N. agencies. It said, “Gaza, on its current trajectory, will not be livable in 2020.”

Then, in 2017, a senior U.N. official said, “It seems like our forecasts have been optimistic.” Sanguine. He said, “Gaza has crossed the threshold of unlivability a long time ago.”

We’re not talking about poetry. We’re not talking about hyperbole. We’re talking about the assessment, the verdict of very conservative but professional and competent U.N. bureaucrats. Gaza is an unlivable space. 97 percent of Gaza’s water is contaminated. It’s unfit for human consumption.

Well what does that mean? Well, let’s take the opinion of Sara Roy, who is the world’s leading authority on Gaza’s economy. Both of her parents were in Auschwitz concentration camp. So, consider her language. She said: “Innocent people, most of them children, (because Gaza is overwhelmingly, majority children, 51 percent children) are daily being poisoned.”

And that’s a fact. And people don’t want to hear it, they get all squeamish. Why are you talking about concentration camps? Why are you talking about poisoning? Well, hey, don’t blame the messenger for the bad news. Israel is poisoning one million children.

Are the people of Gaza trying to breach a border fence? No. The people of Gaza are trying to breach an unlivable space in which the population is daily being poisoned. Those are the facts. But there’s something here that’s profoundly wrong.

I was profoundly wrong in my opinion. I like Bernie Sanders, and I worked very hard for Bernie during the campaign.

JS: So Sanders tweeted this on Monday when this was still very, very much in its early stages. “Over 50 killed in Gaza today and 2,000 wounded, on top of the 41 killed and more than 9,000 wounded over the past weeks. This is a staggering toll. Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters.” “The United States must play an aggressive role in bringing Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and the international community together to address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and stop this escalating violence.” Your response, Norman.

NF: There was no Hamas violence. I’m not a defender of Hamas. I’m not an apologist for Hamas, but I do care about facts and I do care about truth.

The fact of the matter is, for anybody who is in the least bit familiar with the situation, Hamas has given very strict orders: No violence, no guns, no weapons, no provocations.

For the past two weeks, Hamas has been absorbing one provocation after another by the Israelis, because the Israelis are desperate, they are desperate, as they said in that famous WikiLeak, “we don’t do Gandhi well,” which means they don’t know how to cope with nonviolence because it looks bad when they start using their brutal force against nonviolent protestors.

So, they’re praying, they’re doing everything to provoke Hamas into resorting to some sort of violence so then they have their pretext to come in, and, as they call it, mow the lawn.

Well, Hamas has resisted the provocations and there are 10,000 things to criticize them for and I’ll be the first one to do it. But to their eternal credit, they’re exercising Herculean restraint in the face of the Israeli systematic methodical desperate provocations. It’s gotten so preposterous, so ridiculous that they need a pretext.

And now for Bernie to weigh in and talk about Hamas violence, first of all, let’s be clear: They have the right to use violence. They have that right under international law. As a general proposition, they have that right. That’s the law. A people fighting for self-determination or under alien occupation, they have the right to use violence in order to free themselves.

On the other hand, the law is very clear: An occupying power or a power denying people the right to self-determination, they have no right whatsoever to use violence.

So as a general principle, the people of Gaza, Hamas they have the right to use violence. But they’re not. And now for Bernie to do that. No — it’s unacceptable. That’s not calling things by their proper name. That’s being opportunist. It’s being cowardly. I know Bernie doesn’t believe it, but he has to protect his flank, pretend to be even-handed. No, this is not the time to be even-handed. It’s not the time to be even-handed. Those people have been suffering for 11 years under that brutal, inhuman, illegal, and immoral blockade.

I’ll quote now the New York state judge Mary McGowan Davis: “The blockade of Gaza has to be lifted immediately and unconditionally.”

Now, I want the listeners to hear that word. It’s unconditionally. It doesn’t say Hamas has to disarm. It doesn’t say Hamas has to stop constructing tunnels. That blockade is illegal under international law. It’s a flagrant violation of international law. It has to be lifted immediately and unconditionally. It doesn’t depend on Egypt, it doesn’t depend on the United States, it doesn’t depend on the Palestinian Authority — all of whom want to destroy Gaza.

No, the law is “immediately and unconditionally.” That merciless, cruel, brutal blockade of Gaza has to be lifted.

JS: We hear Raj Shah and others that are speaking on behalf of the Trump administration placing the blame entirely on Hamas, even when confronted with the number of civilians that have been killed —

Raj Shah: Well, as I said earlier, we believe Hamas bears the responsibility. This is a propaganda attempt. I mean, this is a gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt —

JS: As though Hamas is launching Palestinian civilians at Israel to be killed. How different, though, is that response that the Trump White House is offering versus previous assaults, onslaughts on Gaza when Democrats are in power?

NF: Well, it was the same. I’ll just give you two examples of the exemplary figure, namely Barack Obama. Operation Cast Lead began December 26, 2008, it ended January 17, 2009; what Amnesty International called 22 days of death and destruction.

And up until that point, it was the most murderous of the Israeli periodic operations against the people of Gaza.

Barack Obama had already been elected president in November. Now, Operation Cast Lead ends January 17. Why does it end January 17? Because Obama’s going to be inaugurated on January 20, and that stupefying narcissist didn’t want any distractions, any diversions from his inauguration. So, he passes the word to Israel: Stop Operation Cast Lead. That’s the only reason.

Now turn to Operation Protective Edge, which unfolds during Barack Obama’s term of office. Operation Protective Edge began July 7, 2014. It ends August 26, 2014.

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross is a fellow named Peter Maurer. And you go to your Google and your Google “Peter Maurer Afghanistan.” He’s been there. Syria, Yemen, Central African Republic, Iraq — he’s been there. His job description is to bear witness at war zones.

In 2014, after Operation Protective Edge, Peter Maurer went to Gaza. He came out of Gaza and he said, “I’ve never seen such massive destruction ever before.”

Peter Maurer: I have seen a lot of children here suffering, a lot of serious injuries and you can only be shocked and shaken by what you see as a consequence of the war here.

NF: Bear in mind, that is the eighth Israeli murderous operation in Gaza in the last 15 years. Operation Days of Penitence, 2004. Operation Rainbow, 2004. Operation Autumn Clouds, 2006. Operation Hot Winter, 2008. It begins to sound like an Irving Berlin production. Operation Cast Lead, 2008-9, Operation Pillar of Defense, 2012. And then Operation Protective Edge. And now we have to add the new massacre the past few days.

What did Barack Obama do? He kept going out and kept saying, “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

President Barack Obama: I reaffirm my strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

President Barack Obama: We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes.

President Barack Obama: As I’ve said repeatedly, Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks that terrorize the Israeli people.

NF: You know when he finally criticized it? It’s an interesting story. Israel was systematically targeting the U.N. shelters. These were U.N. schools which had been converted into civilian shelters.

JS: This is 2014, you’re talking about.

NF: Yes. He bombed one shelter, a second shelter, a third shelter, a fourth shelter, a fifth shelter and then the pressure begins to build in the U.N. system. Ban Ki-moon, he finally had to say something and he condemned the bombing on August 3 of the U.S. shelter.

Now, the United States no longer even had the fig leaf of Ban Ki-moon. So finally, in the afternoon of August 3, the United States says.

Josh Earnest: The shelling of a U.N. facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible.

NF: And lo and behold, the night of August 3rd, Prime Minister Netanyahu announces Israel’s withdrawing from Gaza.

Only thing you needed to end that operation was one word from the United States. They could have stopped it. Barack Obama did nothing. Israel had the right to protect itself? Let’s just take some basic numbers: 550 Gazan children were killed. You know how many Israeli children were killed? One. 18,000 — 18,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed. You know how many Israeli homes were destroyed? One. 550 to 1. 18,000 to 1. And the only thing Barack Obama could see was Israel has the right to defend itself.

And not Israeli, not just today, but in the last six weeks, not a single Israeli, forget about killed, forget about wounded, not even a scratch. And you invoke Hamas violence? That’s way off base. It’s unacceptable.

JS: Has there been any significant change from Obama to Trump as regards Gaza?

NF: I would not say as regards Gaza. I would say it is probably true: The United States was putting some restraint on Netanyahu in previous administrations — I can’t document it but I think it’s reasonable to assume. You remember, for example, at that famous news conference where Israel demolished Shujaiya

— that’s another story. And it bears repeating.

Shujaiya is a civilian neighborhood in Gaza. It’s among the most densely populated civilian neighborhoods in Gaza, which is among the most densely populated places in the world. There had been a firefight outside Shujaiya and several Israeli soldiers were killed. So Israel went mad. Israel dropped more than 100 one-ton bombs on Shujaiya and fired thousands — thousands — of indiscriminate high explosive artillery shells into Gaza. And that was at that point, you might recall, in the news conference this is, they called it, a pinpoint operation — which in fact was true. They pinpointed Shujaiya and they proceeded to decimate it and Kerry was kind of infuriated and he uttered, I guess his mic was open and he wasn’t aware of it, he said:

John Kerry: That’s a hell of a pinpoint operation. It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.

NF: So there had to be some constraints that were work. With this guy Trump, and that Pence guy, there are no restraints. Netanyahu said, “Don’t worry, all will be forgotten in two days.” All will be remembered is the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. And he’s right!

JS: So, this week, Israel is not only celebrating the founding of the state of Israel, but also it’s the date of the creation of the Israeli Defense Forces, the combined defense forces, and I want to read a quote to you that I know you’re familiar with from a lecturer at the IDF National Defense College, Arnon Soffer, he said this in 2004: “When 2.5 million people lived in a closed-off Gaza it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today. With the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam, the pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war, so if we want to remain alive we will have to kill and kill and kill, all day every day.”

NF: Now let’s just stop for a moment, go to my website, it’s going to be a little ways down, it’s going to be Netanyahu’s speech before the Jewish nation. Read what he says:

JS: “It’s easy to declare the people of Gaza must be exterminated, but it’s not an easy task to accomplish. Most of you will know what it’s like when 100 bodies lie together, when 500 are there or when there are 1,000. To have executed this ghastly charge and to have remained decent, it has earned us a glorious page in the annals of history. We have the moral right, we have the duty to our people to kill this people who would kill us. We have carried out this most difficult task out of love of our people and we have suffered no defect within us, in our soul or in our character.”

NF: Yeah. We’re killing this people who want to kill us. It’s a terrible task. We all shoot and cry, but that’s what we have to do.

JS: So, whose words did I just read there?

NF: If you substitute “Gaza” for “Jews,” that was Heinrich Himmler. It’s a very famous speech of his, where the Nazis, like some others who came later, they derived this kind of sick pleasure in pitying themselves.

JS: The notion that is put forth consistently by Israeli political figures, or, I just mentioned this geographer who is an instructor at the IDF University, that Israel has a right to kill these people because it’s in their defense, and that is sort of how it’s framed. If you say anything about Gaza on social media, you get hounded immediately by people saying, “Are you saying Israel doesn’t have a right to defend itself?”

NF: It doesn’t have the right to defend itself. You have the right to defend your border from attack. You have no right to cage in a people in unlivable space who are slowly being poisoned. You regain, you reclaim your right when you do three things. One, you end the illegal blockade of Gaza. Two, you end the illegal occupation of alien territory. And three, you give the people in Gaza and the West Bank the right to self-determination and statehood. The denial of all of those three rights means you lose any right to quote-unquote “defend yourself.”

Until and unless you end those three consecutive compounded illegal situations, you don’t have a right to self-defense. You lost that right because you do not have the right if you are inflicting a wrong.

Yes, Israel has the right to defend itself but not until and unless it stops tormenting and torturing the people of Palestine, and, in particular, the people of Gaza, until and unless: They have no right except to pack up and leave.

JS: What is Israel’s ultimate end goal in Gaza, particularly with Netanyahu in power?

NF: Netanyahu is a very narrow politician. He looks for quick victories. If you ask: What’s the long-term vision? There isn’t a long-term vision.

You have to understand, the whole Zionist movement, its history and then the state of Israel, they have holding actions. They wait. They wait. If you were to ask me now, what’s the holding action, what are they waiting for? Probably they’re waiting for a cataclysm of such dimensions that they can carry out another, you know, “miraculous clearing of the land.” That would be the ideal situation.

Until they reach the ideal situation, they’ll just wait. You know, people say: How much longer can it last, it’s gone — ? No, it doesn’t have to end. For Christ’s sake, the occupation has already lasted a half-century. They could keep it going.

As for Gaza, they’ll just let it vegetate and die.

JS: What is your analysis of Trump quote-unquote “ripping up” the Iran deal?

NF: It’s hard to gauge, first of all, whether there’s any foresight or far sight involved in what he’s doing. Now, I don’t believe that Netanyahu wants a war with Iran. However, it is quite possible that they have crossed the Rubicon, and Nasrallah, his speech he gave about a month ago, he’s not a fear monger and he’s not a scaremonger. He said: “I’m not saying it’s probable. I won’t even say it’s possible.” But he said: “We might be heading towards a regional war.” And if he says it, I think we need to pause and we need to really worry.

You know, people like Trump and Netanyahu who don’t look past the next day, Iran is a 5,000-year-old civilization. It’s very patient. You could see over the long term how slowly but surely, it’s building up a pretty impressive, what they call resistance front in the Middle East, and so they’re patient. And they may patiently wait for the right moment. And then we’re going to have a very — it’s not a mess, it’ll be a nightmare. It will be a nightmare.

JS: On that uplifting note, I want to thank you. No, I know, you always are — you take your work and the work of those around you very seriously, and I appreciate that stance. And thank you so much for all of your work Norman.

NF: Thank you.

JS: Norman Finkelstein is the author of “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom.” That book may not be getting reviews in the most prestigious publications — or, really, any publications, except The Intercept — of our time, as, well, journalists are writing endless copy about Donald Trump’s tweets and other issues, but I do encourage our readers to pick up Norman’s book and make your own decision.

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