Thursday 25th of July 2024

a mainstream feature of israeli governance for over 70 years.......

The rather timid headline for a recent aggressive story in the New York Times (NYT) introduced a detailed investigation by that newspaper of how the governance of Israel has been captured by brutalised backers of apartheid.


The New York Times explains how gangsters now govern Israel    By Richard Cullen


Michael Edesess recently observed how headline writing is regarded a special skill in journalistic circles. The NYT, he noted, argues that compelling headlines require: “vivid wording, a conversational tone and internal tension”. Curiously, the headline for the starkly provocative story noted above – “Takeaways From the Times Investigation Into ‘The Unpunished’” – ticks none of these boxes. This is the sort of wording you might expect to introduce a story covering bad behaviour on the rink in the National Hockey League.

Once you get into the text, however, the review is withering, arguing that the lawbreakers have become the law makers:

“Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister and the official in Netanyahu’s government with oversight over the West Bank, was arrested in 2005 by the Shin Bet domestic security service for plotting road blockages to halt the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. He was released with no charges. Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s national security minister, had been convicted multiple times for supporting terrorist organisations and, in front of television cameras in 1995, vaguely threatened the life of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered weeks later by an Israeli student.”

Subsequently, the writers note that:

“Prime Minister Rabin was murdered after rabbis passed what amounted to a death sentence on him for his support of the Oslo peace process.”

The article is timely, readable and shocking. Though it does leave the impression that this level of felonious influence on Israeli governance is a product of the power wielded by extremist, ultra-nationalists. It is beneficial to recall how the distinguished commentator, Pankaj Mishra, lately argued compellingly that ruthless, divisive zealotry has, in fact, been a mainstream feature of Israeli governance for over 70 years.


slaughtering kids.....


Israel massacres children, which the Western Press says is fine    By Caitlin Johnstone


Israel has not only completely disregarded the orders of the International Court of Justice to cease its assault on Rafah as we expected it to do, but has actually ramped up its ruthlessness as though trying to make a point. There were reportedly more than 60 Israeli airstrikes on the southernmost city in the Gaza strip in the 48 hours after the ICJ ruling, including a horrifying massacre on a displacement camp full of civilians in tents.

The ABC reports:

Israeli air strikes have killed at least 35 Palestinians and wounded dozens in an area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah designated for the displaced, Palestinian health and civil emergency service officials said.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said women and children made up most of the dead and dozens of wounded.

The strike took place in Tel Al-Sultan neighbourhood in western Rafah on Sunday, local time, where thousands of people were taking shelter after many fled the eastern areas of the city where Israeli forces began a ground offensive over two weeks ago.

The video footage coming out about this massacre is extremely graphic and will stay with you for the rest of your life if you choose to watch it. It shows charred and dismembered bodies, and small children whose heads are missing and partly missing. On social media I’ve seen numerous people observing that the lies about Hamas beheading babies on October 7 have been used by Israel to justify atrocities in which actual babies are really being beheaded.

Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah notes that this was at a camp which just days ago Israel had told civilians was a safe zone that they should move to.

The Gaza media office reports that the attack took place next to an UNRWA logistics base, which is about as clear an answer to the UN court’s order to cease its genocidal massacres in Rafah as you could possibly ask for. As Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

This happens to have occurred at precisely the same time viral attention is coming to an article The Atlantic published a few days ago which includes the assertion that killing children is legally permissible under certain circumstances.

Writing that allowing journalists into Gaza would be a “risk” for Israel because “war is ugly”, The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood uses the phrase “legally killed child” to argue that journalistic footage of dead children which Israel killed lawfully would still be damaging to Israeli PR interests.

“To rebut Hamas’s allegations by letting journalists see the war up close would be a calculated risk,” Wood writes. “Even when conducted legally, war is ugly. It is possible to kill children legally, if for example one is being attacked by an enemy who hides behind them. But the sight of a legally killed child is no less disturbing than the sight of a murdered one.”

Think about the kind of worldview which could publish something like that. This made it through the entire editing process in a mainstream liberal publication.

Anyone who’s been following the Gaza genocide on social media today will be seeing this phrase “legally killed child” alongside footage of children ripped apart by Israeli military explosives in a civilian displacement camp — a pairing which, if you have a beating heart in your chest and a functioning empathy centre in your brain, will spark a very special kind of rage inside you.

The way these two points dance together just says so much about what we’re dealing with here, when you take a step back and really look at it. It says so much about Israel. It says so much about western civilisation. It says so much about the western press in general and liberal war propaganda rags like The Atlantic in particular. It says so much about the kind of mainstream political worldview which could allow for such a thing to exist. And it says we live in a civilisation that has gone completely, utterly insane.


Republished from Caitlin Johnstone from Caitlin’s Newsletter, May 27, 2024


BREAKING: Horrendous images of burnt children after Israel bombs Rafah refugee camp [Graphic content]    By Mary Kostakidis 

Hours ago Israel bombed a refugee camp in Rafah, an area Israel designated as safe four days ago, setting it ablaze – tents housing families and including the UNRWA office.

You won’t see images of the horror visited on scores of people who have been killed though we can’t know exactly how many yet. The anodyne images of a fire in the mainstream media belie its consequences.

The video material and images below have been captured by refugees on their mobile phones and uploaded on platforms X, Tik Tok and others. They are of the charred bodies of children and a child whose head has been blown off. They are graphic but it is important to see the actual consequences of Israel’s continued assault on Rafah, in defiance of ICJ rulings and likely ICC arrest warrants. This massacre will add to the substantial evidence already presented.

It is also important we see the full horror because our leadership needs to be held to account for their silence – there has been no condemnation of Israel’s genocidal acts, and a failure to take strong measures well within our means as we are compelled to do as signatories to the Genocide Convention.

Will this massacre be a turning point as Sharpeville was in 1960?






smaller bombs...

Israel has launched an investigation after at least 45 Palestinian refugees were killed in a Sunday IDF strike on the overcrowded southern Gazan city of Rafah.

According to ABC News, shrapnel from the strike had ignited a fuel tank 100 meters away from the intended target, creating a large fire at an encampment housing displaced people. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the civilian deaths in a speech to Israel’s parliament on Monday. “Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night there was a tragic mistake,” he said, as quoted by the Associated Press. “We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion because this is our policy.”

The IDF previously said that the strike in the Tel Sultan area had killed two senior Hamas officials, including the commander of the Palestinian militant group’s West Bank headquarters. 

In a separate statement, the Israeli army insisted that it had taken “many steps to reduce the chance of harming uninvolved [civilians], including aerial surveillance, the use of precision munitions, and additional intelligence information.” It added that “no harm was expected to uninvolved civilians.” 

The Times of Israel cited an IDF source as saying that two missiles with a “reduced in size”warhead were used in the strike. 

The incident adds to international pressure on Israel for a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza or to at least scale down operations in the densely populated Palestinian enclave. French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he was “outraged” by the deaths of refugees. A spokesperson for the US National Security Council called the images emerging from Rafah “heartbreaking” and urged West Jerusalem to “take every precaution possible to protect civilians.”

While the IDF denies targeting civilians of purpose, it acknowledged lapses in its targeting process in the past, including an attack on an aid convoy last month that left seven foreign nationals dead.

In his speech on Monday, Netanyahu vowed to continue the fight against Hamas. “If we surrender, we will deliver a great victory to terrorism, to Iran, and to the entire axis of evil — those who wish us dead,” he said. 

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in more than seven months of fighting, according to local Hamas-run authorities. Israel declared war on Hamas after the militants raided southern Israeli cities on October 7, leaving some 1,200 people dead and taking more than 200 hostages. Dozens of captives were subsequently released as part of prisoner exchanges during a weeklong truce in November.








no accident.....


American-Israeli bombs incinerate women and children in Gaza’s ‘safe zone’    By Helen McCue  

In a calculated and vicious attack Israel bombed an area in Rafah, Gaza designated as a “safe zone’ by the Israeli military, incinerating women and children and leaving flimsy plastic tents burning in a horrifying conflagration.

This inferno was fuelled by the plastic and blanket tents, the only shelter available. The attack took place in the Tal as-Sultan area in Rafah, designated a ‘safe zone’ by the Israeli Defence Force, killing at least 45 or more people, burning and injuring many more. “Our children were asleep … suddenly we heard a loud sound and there was fire all around us. The children were screaming … the sound was terrifying,” a distraught woman reported. The fuel shortage, caused by border closures, as well as the many destroyed roads, often by Israeli tanks, hindered civil defence vehicles reaching the area. There was also a shortage of water to extinguish the fires. Israel controls how much water can enter Gaza and much of the water infrastructure has been destroyed.

Other bomb attacks that took place in the Jabalia, Nuseirat and Gaza City areas have killed up to 160 people in the past 24 hours. These attacks are the most damaging since the IDF invaded Rafah on May 7 according to Gaza officials.

As Israel invaded the eastern area of Rafah over 800,000 displaced Palestinians fled to the western and northern areas under IDF orders, to areas already very crowded, living in makeshift tents mostly made of plastic and cloth so that the bombs dropped directly on this area caused an immediate incineration. Rescue workers were delayed by up to 40 minutes as they desperately sought fuel, in chronic short supply under Israeli failure to open border crossings. The response situation was further hampered by the lack of fully functioning hospitals in Rafah where there is only a critical medical centre with 8 beds incapable of treating severe injuries. The last of these hospitals in Rafah was closed on Monday after a further attack killed two medical personnel standing at the entrance to the hospital. All patients, many of them from the previous day’s incineration, had to be transferred to the ICRC and another field hospital, both of which have limited facilities. This situation will directly affect those who have been severely burned in the attack on Sunday with their situation made more critical with the Rafah border crossing closed.

This vicious deliberate bombing of designated ‘safe zones’ came just hours after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Ruling ordered Israel to cease its invasion of Rafah city, to open the Rafah border crossing and to facilitate the movement of people and humanitarian aid. The Israeli extremist and nationalist Knesset members, including a number of messianic settlers have completely rejected the ICJ’s rulings and according to Israeli Channel 12:

‘Netanyahu stated that “occupying Rafah and increasing military pressure on Hamas” is the proper response to the Court’s decision, which he called “antisemitic”. While the Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir responded, “Our future does not depend on what the gentiles say, but rather on what we Jews do.”’

These and all previous bombings where civilians are killed and maimed are violations of international humanitarian law and are classified as war crimes under the Rome Statute. Israel completely ignored the Court ruling, intensifying its bombing campaign, pushing into the central and western parts of Rafah, and taking most of the city along the border strip, the Philadelphi Corridor – long being a target of the Netanyahu government. When this is completed the IDF will have encircled the Gaza Strip and will also be able to ensure that no tunnels or border routes, not in their control, exist for the people of Gaza. The tension along this corridor resulted in military clashes Monday (27-5-2024) between the IDF and Egyptian forces resulting in the killing of one Egyptian soldier, further complicating the opening of the Rafah crossing. These actions by Israel are a clear violation of the Peace Treaty with Egypt in September 1978 and the later Philadelphi Accord when Israel left Gaza in 2005. It threatens both the Treaty and Accord.

The response of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the horrific massacre on Sunday was to say that this was a ‘tragic mistake’, that will be ‘investigated’ while the US, wringing its hands as usual and doing nothing to stop these massacres, commented that it was ‘devastating and heartbreaking’. No doubt the response from Australian politicians will be along the same pathetic lines when so many across Australia and across the world are calling out for action from ours and word leaders to stop this ongoing genocide of Palestinians.

The military action in Rafah so far has resulted in over 170 housing units destroyed, with entire neighbourhoods destroyed and reduced to rubble. Also, both the World Food Program warehouse and the UNRWA distribution centre in Rafah are inaccessible due to military action in those areas. In addition, the closure of the Rafah crossing means that sick and injured people seeking to receive medical treatment abroad cannot travel. Israel’s program of starvation of the civilian population continues as it deliberately denies food entry into Gaza. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), during the period between May 20 to 22 only 39 trucks entered the Strip via the Israeli Kerem Shalom and Rafah land crossings. Only 143 trucks have entered the Gaza strip via the Karem Abu Salem crossing since 6–20 May, after the Rafah invasion, denying people of essential water, food and fuel. Prior to the invasion on October 8th over 500 trucks entered Gaza per day.

A further complication is the attacks by Israeli settlers supported by the IDF on food and other aid trucks coming into Gaza via the Jordanian corridor that passes near Hebron. There have been several incidences where settlers have stopped trucks, looted and destroyed them and attacked and injured drivers all under the watchful eyes of the IDF.

The large movement of people from Rafah fleeing the fighting, as well as from the north as Israel continues its attacks on the Jabalia camp, has resulted in people being displaced for the fourth or fifth time. Each of these movements is made extremely difficult with lack of fuel and transport needed to carry tents and other necessary items. In addition, both the lack of space available to build their flimsy shelters inside Gaza makes such movement all the more fraught.

OCHA continues to report on the lack of fuel necessary for water production, treatment, distribution, and solid waste management resulting in massive mounds of waste in temporary dumping sites. These sites with flies and mosquitoes are causing significant health problems including a surge of communicable diseases, such as skin rashes, diarrhoea, and hepatitis A. A further complication in undertaking any assistance programs in Gaza is the network outages of both the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The military operations also prevent repairs being undertaken to enable the network to function. Networks are now operating only at 40-50 per cent of available capacity. The border closures also impact on this life saving communication network with 20 satellite phones, four VHF repeaters, four solar powered solutions and 50 VHF handheld radios having been approved by the Israeli authorities since 7 October 2023.

As Israel continues to ignore the ICJ’s orders and progresses with its plan to completely obliterate all of Gaza, killing, massacring and incinerating its population, we are yet to hear, apart from the courageous words of Western Australian Senator Fatima Payman, a strong condemnation from the Australian government, other then saying Israel must obey international rules of war which it clearly has not done these past eight months. Have we all missed something? Is the government so busy wedging the opposition that it has lost its moral compass? When will Australia join South Africa’s application to the ICJ, or say that it will implement the ICCs rulings on the named Israeli leaders as we are obliged to do under the Convention? When will we see action on what the ACTU and the Jewish Council of Australia and others are calling the government to do. To clearly and strongly call for a permanent ceasefire; to end all Australian military trade with Israel; to implement targeted sanctions on Israeli officials, military and civil servants who have denied aid and contributed to starvation in Gaza.

Perhaps the government needs to be reminded of the words of the late Archbishop Tutu

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.



hitler's mistake......




TID: It is required by American law that Netanyahu be subject to full military action including tactical nuclear weapons as were used against Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan (Truth Bomb)

“This was intentional,” said U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “You don’t accidentally kill massive amounts of children and their families over and over again and get to say, ‘It was a mistake.'”



May 27, 2024


Palestine defenders on Monday blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for claiming the previous day’s bombing of a refugee camp in Gaza that killed at least 50 people and injured dozens more—many of them women and children—was a “tragic mistake.”

The attack on the tent encampment in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood—an Israeli-designated “safe zone” in the southern city of Rafah—ignited an inferno that burned people alive inside the tents in which they were sheltering. Graphic images showed charred and melted tents and bodies, including a small child whose head was missing.

Israeli officials—who habitually deny Israel Defense Forces (IDF) massacres—admitted to carrying out the strike, which they said killed two top Hamas members.

“Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night, there was a tragic mistake,” Netanyahu told members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Monday. “We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion because this is our policy.”

However, critics were quick to refute the “mistake” narrative.

“This was intentional. You don’t accidentally kill massive amounts of children and their families over and over again and get to say, ‘It was a mistake,'” U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said in a social media post to President Joe Biden. “Genocidal maniac Netanyahu told us he wants to ethically cleanse Palestinians. When are you going to believe him, POTUS?”

Progressive U.S. lawmakers, human rights campaigners, and parties to the South Africa-led genocide case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are among those who have flagged what they call statements of genocidal intent by Israeli government and military officials. Netanyahu has likened Palestinians to the Amalekites, an ancient mythical foe of the Jews whom the God of the Hebrew Bible commanded the Israelites to exterminate. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called Palestinians “human animals” while announcing the “complete siege” of Gaza.

Former Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth said: “It stops being a ‘tragic mistake’ when the Israeli government keeps killing large numbers of Palestinian civilians. The problem is the rules of engagement that permit attacks with little regard for Palestinian civilians. Are they mere ‘human animals’?”

Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nationsaid on social media that “it wasn’t a ‘tragic mistake.’ It was genocidal policy.”

Last week, the ICJ ordered Israel to “immediately” halt its Rafah offensive. Israel ignored the order and kept attacking the city.

Also last week, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan said he is formally seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, and three Hamas leaders for alleged crimes against humanity including extermination committed on and after the October 7 attacks that left more than 1,100 Israelis and foreign nationals dead and over 240 others taken hostage. At least some of the victims were killed by so-called “friendly fire.”

More than 128,000 Palestinians have been killed or injured by Israeli bombs and bullets since October 7, according to Gaza officials, who count at least 11,000 missing people—who are presumed dead and buried beneath the rubble of hundreds of thousands of bombed-out buildings—among that grim toll.

Despite these staggering casualties—and Israel’s forced displacement, starvation, and deprivation of millions of Gazans—the United States continues to support its top Middle Eastern ally with billions of dollars in arms and with diplomatic and political support including United Nations Security Council vetoes and genocide denial.

“How many times are we going to hear, it was a ‘mistake’ before we take serious action against Netanyahu?” U.S. Congresswoman Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) asked. “How does anyone justify his administration? Every single moment that we supply arms, send money, and make excuses makes us absolutely complicit in his barbaric war of death against Palestinians. Enough!”

Democratic strategist Waleed Shahid contended that “Biden supplying Netanyahu with weapons while issuing his hundredth call for restraint is like a bartender serving drinks to an alcoholic while urging sobriety.”

“Biden’s backing of Netanyahu’s war is rooted in a hierarchy of human value, an empathy gap that perpetuates suffering, violence, and distrust,” he added. “Cutting off American weapons is the only way to isolate Netanyahu to prevent further killing of women and children in what has become the largest slaughter of Palestinian civilians since Israel’s founding in 1948.”

Some critics said this would be a good time to follow through on his threats to cut off U.S. arms shipments to Israel if it invaded Rafah.

“The mass killing of civilians seeking refuge, whether by mistake or otherwise, is exactly what President Biden said would be unacceptable about an Israeli offensive in Rafah,” Center for International Policy vice president for government affairs Dylan Williams said in a statement. “Biden shouldn’t wait for a pro forma Israeli investigation—he should stand by his word and halt arms right now.”







another "mistake"....

The French edition of Vanity Fair has photoshopped the image of actor Guy Pearce, removing a Palestinian pin he wore at the Cannes Film Festival. The magazine was then forced to apologize after accusations of censorship. 

The ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Prometheus’ star walked the red carpet with a visible Palestinian flag pin on his jacket. The same pin was absent on the portrait photo of the actor made by Vanity Fair France and published on its website.

The edit was first reported by journalist Ahmed Hathout over the weekend. “So Guy Pearce showed solidarity with Palestine at Cannes by wearing a pin and Vanity Fair decided to photoshop it out,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter), noting that the actor also wore a bracelet in the colors of the Palestinians flag. 

The magazine was quickly blasted online, with commenters accusing it of censorship. Many pointed out that Pearce is a vocal supporter of the Palestinians and has labeled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu “a vengeful tyrant” for the IDF’s conduct in Gaza. “Palestinians are being murdered as we speak. Displaced, traumatized, ruined,” the actor wrote on social media on Tuesday. “This MUST stop. SHAME on you Netanyahu.”







hannibal directive....

Reporting in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz offers the most significant evidence to date that Israel killed its own citizens in an effort to prevent Hamas fighters from returning to Gaza after the Palestinian group’s armed operation.

A report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has claimed the IDF invoked the controversial Hannibal directive during Hamas’ October 7 attack last year, deliberately killing Israelis to prevent them from being taken hostage by Palestinian fighters.

“Documents and testimonies obtained by Haaretz reveal the Hannibal operational order, which directs the use of force to prevent soldiers being taken into captivity, was employed at three army facilities infiltrated by Hamas, potentially endangering civilians as well,” read an article in the liberal paper’s Sunday edition. 

“‘Not a single vehicle can return to Gaza’ was the order,” writes journalist Yaniv Kubovich. “At this point, the IDF was not aware of the extent of kidnapping along the Gaza border, but it did know that many people were involved. Thus, it was entirely clear what that message meant, and what the fate of some of the kidnapped people would be.”


The newspaper notes the exact number of Israelis killed by IDF fire is unknown. The report cites testimony from servicemembers up and down the IDF chain of command, including soldiers and mid- and senior-level officers.

An IDF spokesperson said internal investigations into the incident were ongoing.