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There Are Some Things About Gaza That I Still Can't Wrap My Head Around

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: U.S., Israel, Gaza, aid to Israel, ethics, dishonesty, government, politics, corruption )

- 1696 days ago -
What's the difference between 212 million in aid to rebuild a man made disaster and 3.1 billion in aid that goes annually to Israel so it can continue creating man made disasters?


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Carrie B (306)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 11:23 am
Thank you Jess for sharing this link.

David E (139)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 11:33 am
It's the Hamas who is creating man-made disasters. This is why the Egyptians today closed the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza. The reason is that the Hamas spread terror and do not care a hoot about the population in Gaza. Stop blaming everything on Israel. By the way,Israel is so bad that Ismail Haniyeh's (Hamas leader) daughter was admitted to a hospital in Tel Aviv for a week's medical treatment. One of Haniyeh's granddaughters was treated in an Israeli hospital last November, while his mother-in-law sought treatment in a Jerusalem hospital in June.

Past Member (0)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 11:50 am
If Israel hadn't blown up all the hospitals in Gaza, Haniyeh wouldn't have to send his family out of country for treatment.

Carrie B (306)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 12:38 pm
Considering all the money the U.S. is giving Israel ~ they should be giving free medical treatment to every man, woman, and child in Palestine ~ instead of using it for more weapons.

Angelika R (143)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 4:49 pm
an EXCELLENT JOB by Ms Miranda-thanks! Nothing new in it BUT THESE ILLUSTRATIONS! and the MATHS! are stunning!

fly bird (26)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 4:50 pm
Very astute, and obvious, to anyone paying attention to where the $3 billion a year to Israel is spent, to maintain it's apartheid, discriminatory policies of marginalization of Palestinians, land thefts, pay for and fund the IDF-and IOF, brutality and International Laws' violations, all the while, subsidizing the Israeli economy - at the xpense, and on the backs of Americans, millions that are struggling, themselves.

Check out facts and figure, and timelines -
Democracy Now: Noam Chomsky at United Nations: It Would Be Nice if the United States Lived up to International Law
In U.N. Speech, Noam Chomsky Blasts the United States for Supporting Israel, Blocking Palestinian State - DemocracyNow!

Thanks Carrie. Great Cartoon!

S J (124)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 5:45 pm
So the US is a big kid killer, UN and the rest of the world too since all the party are in silence then? the hamas won the last election but US nor UN accepted, what kind of DEMOCRACY they are talking about? thank you Carrie

Evelyn B (63)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 7:18 pm
Clever, Thanks Carrie

Yes - forget about all the "buzz words", self defence etc ...

Bottom line = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$ for weapon development
$$$$$ for training in weapons, urban warfare (developing adventure tourism using this, too!!)
$$$$$ for purchase, supply of (re)building materials .... (and hey, we can knock it all down & get other contracts in a couple of years' time ... another round of mowing the grass then supplying again!!!)

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday October 25, 2014, 9:09 pm
Noted. Thanks, Carrie. Woooo---Evelyn B. has it right! And, thanks to jess b. for the great links; Chomsky is brilliant.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday October 26, 2014, 1:50 am
Agree, Chomsky is brilliant and worth listening to.

Savage indictment of the human species when so much $$$$$£££££€€€€€ is wasted on war.

Rose Becke (141)
Sunday October 26, 2014, 1:55 am
Love Chomsky Thanks Jess for this forward and to Carrie

William Moorman (22)
Sunday October 26, 2014, 7:27 am
Israel is just stealing land like everyone else "Monkey See, Monkey do"

jan b (5)
Sunday October 26, 2014, 9:15 am
The Jews lived in that land since the time of Moses and despite some upsets from the Assyrians and Babylonians, remained in the land for many centuries until the Romans displaced them.

Rockets have been firing into Israel since 2005, as a gesture of thanks when Israel abandoned the Gaza strip turning it entirely over to the Palestinians. Those who feel that all hostilities will cease if Israel simply gives back “all occupied territory” should keep the example of Gaza in mind. Moreover, Israel is the only country in the world that is threatened with annihilation. This is the only time in history when people in free countries (like the USA) have sided with an Islamic police state like Hamas/Palestine against a free democratic state like the jews of Israel. .

HOWEVER IF YOU STILL WANT TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL HERE IS A LIST of MAJOR ITEMS --- ( and it also shows why the USA supports Israel)

Part One – Technology

Step 1. Remove all Intel Pentium and Celeron computer processor chips from personal computers (desktops, laptops and notebooks) as these were either developed or manufactured in Israel.

Note that the revolutionary new Ivy Bridge processor will be manufactured in Israel. Any computers running the Windows XT operating system must be turned off immediately as this was developed in Israel. All current Microsoft operating systems are not to be used as Microsoft is heavily reliant on its Israel R&D centre.

Step 2. Any computers that still work need to have their anti-virus software and personal firewalls removed as this technology originated in Israel. The organisation’s firewall will also need to be switched off. Staff should no longer open external emails as most of these will be infected with viruses. No outgoing emails can be sent. The algorithm (code) that’s used today for sending e-mails, was made by an Israeli who worked at the Ben-Gurion University in Be’er-Sheva in 1980.

Step 3. Discard all mobile phones, as this technology was developed in Israel, where the first mobile phones were manufactured. Mobile chip technology from a single Israeli company has now been installed in over 100 million devices. Only top-level staff may retain mobile phones for emergency situations. However the use of SMS (Texting) is expressly forbidden as this facility was developed in Israel. No 4G devices can be used, as the chipset is Israeli.

Step 4. Turn off your voice-mail service and delete any recorded messages. Israeli companies invented the voice-mail system. If someone you do not know answers your phone-call, then hang up. Israeli call-centres and call-centre technology is in widespread operation in the UK.

Step 5. Before accepting any printed material, check that the supplier has not used the Israeli device that might have saved up to 50% of the ink used.

Step 6. At home, do not use Facebook as many in-built and add-on applications are Israeli-developed. Do not watch videos on the Internet as the platform used to upload them may be from AOL and hence from an Israeli company. Do not use the Internet to search for answers to your questions as this may involve use of an Israeli-developed search engine. Better to remain unenlightened.

Step 7. On your TV or home entertainment centre, do not use Video On Demand (VOD) to watch movies as you may inadvertently see an advert displayed using Israeli software. Do not purchase any games devices as these are likely to use Israeli technology.

Step 8. Do not read books using an e-book as this may contain Israeli technology. Do not use data storage as it may have been developed at Israel’s storage technology R&D center.

Step 9. Do not buy an electric car as it is likely to be powered with an Israeli battery or use Israeli developed charging mats. Continue to sit in traffic knowing that you are polluting the environment and financing oil-rich despotic regimes.

Part Two – Health

Destroy all personal medication. Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest generic drugs company in the world, will have manufactured many of your medicines. Staff with the following illnesses will need to take specific precautions.

This means you’ll need to dump any and all medication or treatments for Cancer, AIDS and HIV, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Liver disease, Emphysema, and Myeloma. You shouldn’t undergo surgeries that require a surgical laser, heart stents, or use any method of treatment which utilizes Israeli patented methods. I hope you’re still able to find a hospital that doesn’t use any of those.

You’ll also need to dispose of any catheters, steroid creams and non-steroid alternatives to allergies, dyslexic reading systems, or artificial hearts. Most antibiotics will need to be removed from your cabinet as well.

Reject all products from the USA. Analysis conducted in a typical US state shows that Israeli innovations were responsible for $2.4 billion in direct revenue to that state’s economy in 2009 and generated nearly 6,000 jobs.


Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday October 26, 2014, 2:15 pm
It's weird, but the more asymmetric matters are tactically, the more Israel can afford to avoid harming civilians. Were Palestinian militias and the IDF on close to equal ground, civilian casualties among Palesitnians would be an order of magnitude or two higher.

Bruce C D (89)
Sunday October 26, 2014, 9:20 pm
It's weird, but if Palestinians and Israel were armed equally, Israel couldn't deny and trample all over Palestinian's rights like they do now. No apartheid by Israel, no brutal military occupation by Israel, no illegal settlements and land grabs by Israel, no grossly disproportionate responses by Israel, no attempts to subjugate Palestinians by Israel, no vast system of roadblocks and checkpoints by Israel, no racist, double standard Israeli justice system that privileges Jewish-Israelis and discriminates against Palestinians, no more phony peace negotiations by Israel.

Bruce C D (89)
Sunday October 26, 2014, 9:27 pm
With a die-hard Zionist, nothing is ever Israel's fault. The afflictions brought about by the constant cognitive dissonance causes convenient bouts of amnesia and selective blindness, and an inability to look beyond effect to cause. These Zionists are suffering in there own way, too, if not nearly to the extent of the suffering they continue to inflict upon Palestinians.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Monday October 27, 2014, 1:54 am
Arming each faction equally isn't going to solve the issue. . . it's just going to reinforce the need for the worldwide military budgets to go through the roof. . .

Arild Warud (174)
Monday October 27, 2014, 2:33 am
This problem have no military sloution and as long as the Zionists are against a two-state solution it's difficult to see any progress in the forseeable future.

Bruce C D (89)
Monday October 27, 2014, 11:17 pm
Darren, I don't advocate arming either side. The scenario given, while probably true, was only to point out the fallacy of another comment. Israel's intransigence and disregard for the Geneva Conventions, International Law, and U.N. resolutions owes very much to the U.S. propping it up as a regional superpower.

And who has long been the #1 arms seller around the world, profiting the most from conflicts? Why, it's the U.S., of course. Israel also does a booming business, emulating it protector and benefactor.

Bruce C D (89)
Monday October 27, 2014, 11:33 pm
To gain some idea of just how grossly disproportionate Israel's response was in their latest of many "mowing the lawn" (Israeli parlance for genocidal campaigns that terrorize an entire population and include rampant, widespread, wanton destruction) operations, Operation Protective Edge, it is useful to compare some of the figures and facts.

According to the UN, Palestinian militants fired 4,844 rockets and 1,734 mortar shells towards Israel, of which only 25% of the rockets were effective enough to reach populated areas. However, only 3% actually strike populated areas in Israel, and they typically cause little damage. Mortars, of course, have a very limited range. The vast majority of these crude rockets only carry a 10-20 pound payload, and they lack guidance systems. It should also be noted that the Iron Dome anti-missile system provided by the U.S. to Israel was purported to have a 90% success rate, and that Israel's early warning system and bomb shelters have proven effective in protecting its civilians. According to the IDF, only 224 Palestinian rockets landed in built-up areas. Often these crude rockets fail to detonate. Reportedly, 784 of those rockets fired by militant groups in the recent escalation never made it into Israel, landing instead in Gaza.

Compare that with Israel's 5,830 missiles launched in 4,028 air raids, 16,507 artillery shells and tank projectiles, and 3,494 naval shells. These Israeli armaments are vastly more lethal and massively more destructive than any Palestinian rocket or mortar. For example, the air-to-ground Delilah rockets fired by Israeli F-16s weigh 410 pounds and have an explosive payload of 110 pounds. Some of Israel's bombs are over 1,000 pounds. The explosives used in Israeli armaments are also superior to that used in militant's crude homemade rockets.

All of Israel's rockets, missiles, bombs, artillery, naval and tank shells were used within a small, heavily populated area (the Gaza Strip as a whole has about the same population density as Boston, but the population density is much greater in the areas predominately hit by Israel). Some experts have calculated that around 20,000 TONS of explosives were used against Gaza in Israel's latest brutal assault--the equivalent of six nuclear bombs. Just imagine if that amount of destructive power was unleashed against Boston.

Between 2,127 and 2,189 Gazans were killed (including 513 children, or about 25% of the total) and between 10,895 and 11,100 were wounded. 66 Israeli soldiers, 5 Israeli civilians (including one child) and one Thai civilian were killed and 469 IDF soldiers and 261 Israeli civilians were injured. One of the Israeli civilians was serving in a supportive capacity on the front line. The Gaza Health Ministry, UN and human rights groups reported that 69–75% of the Palestinian casualties were civilians. Less than 1% of Israeli casualties were civilians. Unlike in Israel, even when Palestinians are warned by Israelis to evacuate before an attack, people in Gaza have no places to hide or feel safe.

Then there is the heavily disproportionate direct material damage. As a percentage of GDP, the Bank of Israel estimated the loss at 0.5%, most of which was indirect—not direct—damage, of which the bulk resulted from the loss of tourism. Conversely, it has been estimated that direct damage alone to Gaza constituted roughly 300% of its GDP. In terms of cost, it appears direct damage to Israel is estimated somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million, although that figure appears to include lost wages. The direct cost to Gaza was estimated at $4.4 billion, with the estimated reconstruction cost at $7.8 billion. Using the lower figure, the direct damage Palestinian militants inflicted upon Israel was comparatively about 0.0113 times that of the direct damage Israel inflicted upon Gaza.

The militant rockets and mortars that do manage to strike property inflict comparatively minor damage to that resulting from Israeli heavy ordinance. I was unable to locate any summary of direct damage to Israel from Palestinian militants’ rockets and mortars. However, it is indisputable that the direct damage to Gaza by Israel was of a magnitude many times greater. Vital and priceless Gazan cultural heritage sites—some over 1000 years old—were completely destroyed and desecrated, many others were partially or severely damaged. Following is an incomplete listing.

Some 62 hospitals and clinics were damaged, including El-Wafa Rehabilitation hospital, the only one of its type in Gaza, which was demolished. With over 11,000 injuries, the patients who need rehabilitation have nowhere to go. Among the 75 kindergartens and day-care centers that suffered damages, 12 were fully destroyed and 63 partially damaged by shelling and bombing. More than 25 schools were destroyed and 232 were damaged, in an area which was already 200 schools short. Substantial direct damage to Gaza’s 17,000 hectares of croplands as well as much of its agricultural infrastructure, including greenhouses, irrigation systems, animal farms, fodder stocks and fishing boats, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Agricultural and fishing industries have seen losses of over $100 million. It is estimated that 3,670 acres of agricultural land, 316,579 livestock and 1,161 beehives were destroyed. As a result, over 8,700 farming and fishing families are now unable to support themselves. The only power-plant in Gaza was destroyed. Two sewage pumping stations in Zeitoun were damaged. The water and sewage systems, in a poor state prior to the war, have fallen into even deeper disrepair, resulting in 450,000 people being unable to access municipal water. Around 12 per cent of wells have been destroyed or damaged, as have many distribution pipes. 44,300 homes were affected by the bombardment and approximately 20,000 housing units were destroyed or severely damaged. Unlike in Israel, whole residential sections and mixed use areas in Gaza were reduced to nothing but rubble. Almost 420 businesses and workshops were damaged, and another 128 completely destroyed. Factories that produce biscuits, plastic, cardboard and aluminum, and which purchased their materials from Israeli distributors, were destroyed. The biggest private company in Gaza, the Alawda biscuit and ice cream factory, employing 400, was destroyed by a shelling barrage on 31 July, a few days after undertaking to supply its Choco Sandwich biscuits to 250,000 refugees in response to a request from the World Food Programme; other strikes targeted a plastics factory, a sponge-making plant, the offices of Gaza's main fruit distribution network, the El Majd Industrial and Trading Corporation's factory for cardboard box, carton and plastic bag production, Gaza's biggest dairy product importer and distributor, Roward International. Trond Husby, chief of the UN's Gaza development programme in Gaza, commented that the level of destruction now is worse than in Somalia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Uganda.

Many of Gaza's most ancient sites have been left in ruins by Israel's attack on the territory. Houses of worship, tombs, charity offices and cemeteries have all been damaged by the shelling, but Gaza's historic mosques have been the worst affected. 203 mosques were damaged, of which 73 were destroyed completely. Many of these sites date back to the time of the first Islamic caliphs, the Ottoman Empire and the Mamluk Sultanate. The most significant of those mosques which were destroyed was the 7th century Al-Omari Mosque in Jabaliya, Gaza's oldest and largest. Named after the second caliph Umar bin Al-Khattab, it dates back to 649 AD, making it 1,365 years old. The Great Omari Mosque tells the story of Gaza's civilization and cultural history as it is believed to stand on the site of a former Philistine temple and a later 5th Century Byzantine church. It has acted as an important landmark ever since it was built. Close by, Gaza's second oldest mosque was also reduced to ruins. Al-Sham'ah Mosque was destroyed on 23 July in Hayy Al-Najjarin in Al-Zaytun Quarter in Gaza's Old City. It was built 700 years ago, in 1315, by the Mamluk Governor. Another historic site was razed to the ground on the following day. The Mahkamah Mosque was a fine example of Mamluk architecture located off the main Baghdad Street in the Shuja'iyya neighbourhood. It featured a Mamluk minaret and florally-decorated arch at its entrance and was built in 1455. Other destroyed mosques of cultural significance include the centuries-old Al-Montar Mosque and tomb. Gaza's only 3 churches all suffered damage. The Orthodox Church of St Porphyrius is the oldest church in Gaza, dating to the 1150s, in Al-Zaytun Quarter of the Old City. The church's cemetery was damaged. Gaza Baptist Church received major damage. Gaza's Latin Church had damage to peripheral buildings owned by the parish. These sites have historical importance and provided irreplaceable material evidence of Palestinian culture and history. Attacking Gaza's rich religious heritage, destroying mosques and churches, can be seen as Israeli attempts to erase the historical proof and evidence of Palestinians presence in Palestine. The targeting of religious and cultural sites as civilian sites constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law; it is covered by Article 4 of the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property. Under this convention, all feasible precautions must be taken to avoid damage of cultural property in cases of war. It is also designated a criminal act under Article 8 of the ICC Statute which stipulates that intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion or historic monuments constitutes a war crime.

It should be noted that Hamas rockets have no real military significance. They are typically fired only after repeated Israeli provocations and in retaliation for Israeli military strikes, just as they were before and during Israel's Operation Protective Edge. They of course utterly lack the capability to vanquish Israel's vastly superior military capabilities; the primary aim is to focus world attention on the untenable situation and gross injustices Israel imposes upon Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with its cruel and brutal military occupation. It is also used as a largely symbolic display of resistance.

While there are a number of good reasons for opposing militant’s use of rockets—primarily because they do not discriminate between military and civilian—it is important that those truths be recognized, just as it is important to recognize the constant Israeli provocations which are largely responsible for launching them. It is also abundantly clear and should be recognized that Israeli missiles, rockets, bombs and shells are likewise not discriminating between military and civilian. It is equally obvious and needs to be recognized that both sides are guilty of engaging in war crimes.

There is one thing that is recognized universally by every other nation, which is that Gaza and the West Bank are militarily occupied territories administered by Israel. Under International Law and the Geneva Conventions, that involves a number of obligations by which Israel must abide. Occupied territories—Articles 47-78 impose substantial obligations on occupying powers. As well as numerous provisions for the general welfare of the inhabitants of an occupied territory, an occupier may not forcibly deport protected persons, or deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into occupied territory (Art.49). Under international law, people living under colonial rule or foreign occupation are entitled to resist occupation. Israel’s actions are those of an occupying power using force to maintain its occupation and to suppress resistance, rather than a state resorting to force in lawful self-defense. Collective punishments—Article 33. No persons may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against persons and their property are prohibited. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishment is a war crime. Israel is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions.

Both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered. But it is also indisputable that Israel has inflicted vastly greater suffering upon the Palestinian people than Palestinian militants have inflicted upon the Israeli people. Even during times when Israeli bombs, missiles, rockets and shells are no longer falling, and militants refrain from rocket and mortar attacks, Palestinians continue to suffer as they have for decades under Israel’s cruel and brutal military occupation, its illegal policies of collective punishment, settlements, land grabs, dispossession, house demolitions and more.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday October 28, 2014, 3:01 am
Irony: the World's #1 arms seller, has the biggest budget deficit on the planet. . .

David E (139)
Tuesday October 28, 2014, 12:40 pm
Bruce CD - "According to the UN, Palestinian militants fired 4,844 rockets and 1,734 mortar shells towards Israel, of which only 25% of the rockets were effective enough to reach populated areas. ...."Stop with your numbers game which mean nothing. By your logic in WWII the Allies were the "bad guys" since they carpet bombed Germany and nuked Japan. Have you ever had rockets fired at you? Even if they don't do physical damage, psychologically it can be very destructive. Just knowing that someone is trying to kill you is bad enough. If the Hamas wouldn't fire indiscriminately at Israeli civilians or build terror tunnels and use these resources for bettering there population, things would be much better for them.

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 30, 2014, 7:52 am
David, I'm sorry, but I have to play the numbers game. In all palestinian aggressions since 1948, 83% of Israel's casualities have been women, children, and the elderly.
This may be because palestinian fighters and rockets exclusively target civilians.
As to disparity of death toll, a lot has to do with the fact that Israel's exquisite health care system saves victim's lives, which by no means indicates that the palestinian attacks have not caused a large number of Israelis to be permanently crippled, blinded, and disabled.
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