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Protest for Gaza – Sydney 18th Jan

Here is a clip I just made from the protest this afternoon in Gaza.

John Pilger says that we have a responsibility to “get angry and informed” as to what has gone on in Gaza. And I think he is right. 

I wonder how much good the money that Israel has spent in the last three weeks could have done in Gaza to stop the hatred and distrust that Palestinians have against them. Instead, they seem to have just wanted to continue the cycle of violence into a new generation.


129 Responses

  1. A good post Joni. Congratulations! I note that Lowenstein made reference to Pilger saying that (some) Jews around the world are voicing protest. Is there any reason why you didn’t have or use footage of Pilger actually using those words.

    I think that’s important.

    Seems like a large crowd.

  2. N5. I did have footage but people around me were talking, and my image was out of focus (bloody amateur!).

  3. Joni, tell me that wasn’t a safari-suit Lowenstein had on.

  4. ToSY,

    Nah – it’s just a shirt. I had to look at the original clip to confirm.

  5. Your point about the proliferation of generational hatred, & an axe to grind, with Israel is key joni.

    Despite the demonisation it is important to recognise that Israel is not attacked & “hated” because it is a Jewish State, it is primarily due to the over-reach & callous actions of said state.

  6. Joni, I’m not angry as per Mr Pilger’s urgings but this might help to inform the debate:

    A volley of rockets has been fired into southern Israel from Gaza, hours after a unilateral Israeli ceasefire began.

    At least four out of six rockets landed near the town of Sderot, with no reports of injuries. Israel launched an air strike on Gaza in response.

    It does seem that Hamas doesn’t seek peace at all.

  7. It is not Hamas that called the peace, that’s why it’s called a unilateral peace treaty, as it is only Israel that has made the conditions, completely ignoring what the Palestinians wanted.

    The Israelis are going to keep a large occupation force in place indefinitely (which is obviously why they destroyed the Palestinian police force as their first recourse), as now the Israelis set the rules, laws and are the police (let the subjugation begin). Secondly they will not remove the blockade or embargo, in fact they are going to tighten them and screw down even more. Third they will not open any crossing to allow the Palestinians in Gaza to conduct business and bring in food and medicines.

    Yeah what a great truce the Israelis unilaterally called Stephan.

    And just what has Israel achieved? Not their stated aim, which was to stop the rockets and secondly to completely get rid of Hamas or at the least to weaken it. Hamas is now stronger and Israel has achieved another generation of people to passionately hate it.

    What a farce.

  8. A repeat of the Children’s Crusade is now being shown on SBS. A little off topic but related through history, it shows the depths Christianity also went to in sacrificing children for their ideology.

    I have read the entire story on this evil, shocking stuff.

    I raise this here to show that religious evil is not just the domain of one side.

  9. Stephen notes “It does seem that Hamas doesn’t seek peace at all…”

    No, they don’t.

    That’s the whole point of firing those pissant cherry-bomb home-made rockets over the broder: To provoke the sort of response that the Israelis have just provided. That sort of ham-fisted response makes great copy in the World Press and provides Hamas with a whole new generation of supporters amongst the survivors.

    And the the Israelis, for their part, fell for the bait like real Wallys. You don’t win wars against opponents like Hamas with bombing and armour-in-the-streets. That just pisses people-off and makes them more likely to support the bastards.

    They’d have been better-off bombing the place with US $100 bills and sending-in convoys of food and supplies, rather than starving people and bombing their homes. Maybe then the civvies in Gaza would have seen that Israelis are not just enemies out to kill them.

  10. Prescient last paragraph Evan.

    The volley of rockets as a reply is little more than a middle finger salute to what is being portrayed (by Stephan & others) as a legitimate Israeli OCCUPATION.
    Who among us would not instinctively flex against occupation? Not to mention the hardening of the blockade & almost total destruction of infrastructure.

    Why would you be surprised to back a dog into a corner, starve it, humiliate it & then watch it lash out in desperation? Of course Hamas is also trying to play the global media for sympathy, but given the gross economic & military imbalance they have little choice but to draw attention & throw twigs at the giant…or perhaps capitulate, which isn’t generally a trait of humans cornered.

  11. Stephan, Great link. Particularly if you read it!

    From your link we find that:

    ‘There are no reports of injuries’

    At least on the Isreali side! As for deaths and injuries in Gaza from the Israeli response we are noyt told because there Isreal won’t allow the press to enter.

    “Nearly 1,200 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive against Hamas on 27 December.”

    A proportionate response? Which is demanded by international law.

    “Hours earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the nation that Israel was halting its offensive whose goals “have been more than fully achieved”.

    Fully achieved? Then why are they sataying? Why haven’t the rockets stopped? Will the borders be re-opened?

    And let’s not forget Obama’s inauguration is imminent. Israel doesn’t want to crap in its nest and spoil the day.

  12. “And let’s not forget Obama’s inauguration is imminent. Israel doesn’t want to crap in its nest and spoil the day”N5

    Methinks that the unilateral declaration of peace has much more to do with this than any padded concerns for the inhabitants of the warzone…admittedly very few concerns have been expressed by the primary aggressor.

  13. Yes, the Israelis want to start-off playing real nice with Obama. He mightn’t be as compliant as GW and his lot were.

  14. The world can only hope so, but I doubt that the Israeli’s will be let down.

  15. Efan, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Israel would have swapped its arsenal for public relations kits if Hamas could be reasoned with.

    Nature 5, are you saying it would be OK for Israel to fire 20 or so rockets into Gaza each day? Of course the rockets wouldn’t be intended to hit anybody and if they did there would be no comment from Israel.

  16. Stephan sees enemies rather than people, there is a fundamental difference & the former requires suspension of objectivity.

  17. Stephan,

    You seem to have no regard for ‘proportionality’ and no regard for the stats re ceasefire breaking. I will repeat same:

    “Thus, a systematic pattern does exist: it is overwhelmingly Israel, not Palestine, that kills first following a lull. Indeed, it is virtually always Israel that kills first after a lull lasting more than a week. ”


    Stephan, I have no brief for Hamas as you seem to have for Israel. But I do have brief for humanity. Want to join in?

  18. I have a brief for humanity too Nature 5. Is it ‘humane’ for a leadership group, with the backing of its supporters, to codify the destruction of its neighbour? What sort of humanity endorses such a proposal?

  19. Stephan – clearly you are on a mission. I can say with some degree of certainity that you didn’t read the link. You don’t seriously respect the ‘evidence’.

    It’s not just about words. At one level, it’s about people whose lives have been lost and that’s important. But at a deeper and more significant level it’s about the future and the number of lives that will be lost because of the disproportionate response. Apparently you can’t see that. Disproportionate responses beget disproportionate responses.

    Now who is committed to fighting the war on terrorism with policies that actually have a chance of working?

  20. Let’s put some perspective on this Stephan.

    First Hamas were an Israeli tool who gave them power so as to divide the Palestinians.

    Then Hamas was fairly and democratically voted in with a majority in an election that had a large contingent of foreign observers, who to a tee stated it was an open and honest election. Hamas were overwhelmingly elected because the party they ran against were deeply corrupt and were badly screwing the Palestinian people.

    Hamas was the wrong party to elect according to the West, so throwing democratic principals out the door the West along with Israel conspired to throw Hamas out of power to be replaced with an unelected and very corrupt government.

    Hamas was forced into Gaza, which is the only place they still had power. Just as they had done in the West Bank when in power, Hamas began building infrastructure like schools and hospitals. Of course this was intolerable to the Israelis who had blockaded Gaza for nearly two years and embargoed it for six years. They couldn’t have the Palestinians getting ahead and actually having some sort of normality now could they?

    A ceasefire was achieved and was mostly successful yet the Israelis decided to conduct an incursion into Gaza during the ceasefire killing six Palestinians. This was a deliberate provocation because two other major events were coming into line that the Israelis wanted to take full advantage of. One was their upcoming elections where the incumbent party in power was polling very poorly. Secondly the ousting of the Republicans and inauguration of Barack Obama.

    The rest unfolded daily on our evening news and morning newspapers, and the incumbent party numbers in the polls doubled on the back of them killing 1200 Palestinians, 400+ of which were children and 100+ women.

  21. But, but, but…13 Israeli’s have been killed! Proportion is a leftist diversionary tactic trying to draw attention away from the lack of abject defeat on the part of teh terrorists.

  22. http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/jewhis.htm

    A History lesson for you. Suggest you read in depth, to gain knowledge of the hatred Zionists have for Palestinians. Don’t say he did this first or they did that. READ IT. Gain knowledge before you spout off.

    Perhaps the most shocking example of this type is the delight with which some Zionist leaders in Germany welcomed Hitler’s rise to power, because they shared his belief in the primacy of ‘race’ and his hostility to the assimilation of Jews among ‘Aryans’. They congratulated Hitler on his triumph over the common enemy – the forces of liberalism. Dr Joachim Prinz, a Zionist rabbi who subsequently emigrated to the USA, where he rose to be vice-chairman of the World Jewish Congress and a leading light in the World Zionist Organization (as well as a great friend of Golda Meir), published in 1934 a special book, Wir Juden (We, Jews), to celebrate Hitler’s so- called German Revolution and the defeat of liberalism:

    Influential rabbis, who have a considerable following among Israeli army officers, identify the Palestinians (or even all Arabs) with those ancient nations, so that commands like ‘thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth’56 acquire a topical meaning. In fact, it is not uncommon for reserve soldiers called up to do a tour of duty in the Gaza Strip to be given an ‘educational lecture’ in which they are told that the Palestinians of Gaza are ‘like the Amalekites’. Biblical verses exhorting to genocide of the Midianite57 were solemnly quoted by an important Israeli rabbi in justification of the Qibbiya massacre,58 and this pronouncement has gained wide circulation in the Israeli army. There are many similar examples of bloodthirsty rabbinical pronouncements against the Palestinians, based on these laws.

  23. ‘Israel would have swapped its arsenal for public relations kits if Hamas could be reasoned with’ – Stephan

    Serious? How does anyone reasonably convince Israel to leave occupied (Palestinian) territory?
    Especially as the US is the faithful servant of Israel.

    The Israeli spin doctor was at his dishonest and arrogant best this evening on SBS World News. Callous doublespeak at its best:

    ‘Israel is not responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza; Hamas is responsible’ – Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli PM.

  24. Angel,

    There is no ‘absolute’ right and wrong when it comes to this conflict. The best, humanity can hope for, is a ‘pragmatic’ solution that stops the current Gaza Slaughter.

    There is ‘fault’ on all sides if one wants to find it but going down the track of who is supposedly ‘right’ is not useful at this stage. Indeed it’s a luxury that humanity can ill afford.

    Yes the Jews hate the Arabs (with justification) and the Arabs hate the Jews (with justification).

    Now where does that line of argument take us?

  25. Yes, I know there is no right or wrong, but a long history on both sides. Hamas smuggles rockets, it’s the only thing they can do, after being under seige and cut off for such a long time. Not that I support them, by the way, but I can understand they are war torn and ravaged, and at their wits end, with no let up from Israel at all, who is back by the US who both ignore the UN.

    How do you explain the bombing of the hospital, or the UN compound for that matter? As an “oops”?

  26. Thanks Angel but to complete your bookends you need to include the Qur’an. I don’t need any of those books because I have ample toilet paper, thank you very much.

    Adrian, thanks for getting my name right. This is Mr Meshaal’s version of the creation of Hamas:

    The argument is, the Israelis helped to create Hamas in order to divide the Palestinian resistance and weaken the Fatah movement.

    Indeed, during the seventies the main Palestinian force that was combating Israel was the Fatah-movement. Consequently Israel concentrated its fighting against Fatah und the other, smaller groups of Palestinian resistance, which existed in this period. At that time, however, Hamas was not yet properly established. We were only starting to build our social base in Palestinian society, by focussing entirely on social affairs, organizing help, building hospitals and schools, looking after the sick and deprived. In that era we were only involved in peaceful actions. This is why Israel did not do anything against us.

    Because they did not know at the time, what was going on in our minds. But, while we were focussing outwardly only on social and educational work, at the same time we were secretly already training and preparing for our future resistance projects. Because the Israelis did not see this danger they concentrated their actions against other brigades, not against us. And it is this Israeli inaction against us, which some Palestinian Arab elements unfriendly towards Hamas present as “proof”, that Israel was supporting the creation of Hamas.

    RR= Rainer Rupp, German Journalist and Economist
    KM= Khaled Meshaal, head sherang of Hamas


    Israel did not create Hamas as the above link indicates but it has certainly used Hamas to undermine Fatah. Yes, Hamas was elected by a majority however the West is not obligated to recognize Hamas. I would say any group that sought the destruction of its neighbour would be hard pressed to gain recognition. Would you be happy if Wollongong Council wanted to destroy Nowra?

    Hamas hasn’t done a brilliant job with the foreign aid it has received so how is it better than the corrupt Fatah group? Oh sure, Hamas has been tunneling but not to build bomb shelters for civilians but rather to provide a means to smuggle weapons.

    Maybe the blockade was put in place because qassam rockets were discovered among the bags of rice and flour. It’s hard to believe a Palestinian family sitting around the dinner table and saying to its son, Abdul “pass the sugar and the qassam”. Why would any Palestinian want a stockpile of qassam rockets?

    The June/July cease-fire was broken when qassam rockets lobbed into Israel about 2-3 days after the official start. I didn’t fire them and I’ll be you didn’t fire them. Who do you think fired them?

    Adrian, Hamas is trying to create sympathy in the Arab street. So far the Arab street has put on its angry face and nothing else. Hezbollah is understandably reluctant to join in because it found out that Israel doesn’t hold endless committee meetings. Hamas may be worried about rumored talks between Israel and Syria which might lead to a burying of the hatchet. That would leave Iran as the only powerful friend that Hamas has. You don’t seriously think that Israel is the only group in this conflict that is aware of Mr Obama’s inauguration? Might Hamas be exploiting the situation by making sure it receives priority attention when Team Obama settles in?

  27. Before I disappear to bed. Why is it we don’t hear of Israeli kids getting killed? Because it’s extremely rare. Why is it we hear of Palestinan kids being killed by Israeli’s all the time? Because it happens all the time. Why are they fighting on 2 different fronts? Becuase we / they are all “goyim”, so it’s OK to kill. It’s only against the law for a Jew to kill a Jew. For any other killing, the bets are off.

    I think we will find that it is Israel who really does not want a ceasefire, they just want to wipe the Palestinians off the map. Totally. It’s their master plan. AND I bet that the US backs them, Bush or Obama, it doesn’t matter. Back them 100%

  28. Stephan, I’m glad you have plenty of toilet paper, you can lend me a couple of packets while I read your posts.

  29. Just read the blog, good to see you are around Joni, sorry for the overreaction on the other site.

    Angel, even if i didnt know you one line struck me down as explaining it.

    A war on two fronts.
    Is this a war? there are so many similar tactics being used and said that remind me of iraq.(a one sided show of strength)

  30. Short of ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, bullets and bombs just aren’t going to defeat a bunch of amateurs like Hamas, let alone a competent outfit like Hezbollah. (The IDF learned all about Hezbollah the hard way, in southern Lebanon a few years ago).

    The only way to beat either of them is to make them an unattractive proposition to the people who currently clearly support them. The more you blast away and the more they resist, the more popular they become amongst Palestinians for standing-up to the big bad Zionist-enemy.

    You oughta know that air power never won a war and also that military occupations don’t make people love you, either. Didn’t you guiys learn anything in Lebanon?

    And its only gonna get worse.

    Something like half the population in Gaza is under 20. And they’re seeing their homes and families bombed and starved right now. That’s gonna mean a shit-load of Israel-hating gun-toting ‘n RPG firing terrorists in a few years time. And there’s gonna be a whole lot more of ’em than you.

    Israel has just gotta cut a deal.

    It’s the only answer.

    My advice would be, in the short-term, to get the hell out of Gaza and pal-up to Hamas’ enemies, Fatah. Israel should make nice with them, sign a treaty recognising each other’s statehood and right to exist. You should then pile-on the aid. Hell, you oughta be giving a Fatah-run Palestine all the aid and support you can.

    Sure, Fatah might be run by a bunch of fat corrupt crooks, but they’re not suicide-bombing allahu-akbah crazy and you can deal with them. They wanna live. Just like you.

    And if you can ensure that the benefits of peace flow through to the guys on the street in Gaza and the West Bank in terms of jobs, health, education and the like, maybe they’ll stop hating you. Help and support always works a lot better than a knee in the nuts, in my experience.

    As things stand, all Israel has achieved is a brief respite. It’s knocked-off part of that part of Hamas leadership that was too stupid to duck (together with a shit-load of civilians) and wrecked Gaza.

    I can guarantee thay you’re not gonna like what crawls out of that wreckage in a few years time.

    It’ll be a whole-lot more worse than Hamas.

  31. Since Israel called the unilateral ceasefire it has killed 50 Palestinians, which bought a response of around eight rockets.

    Hamas has agreed to a seven day ceasefire and peace deal only if Israeli troops leave Gaza and the blockade is lifted. Absolutely no hope of that happening as the UN reports Israel is stopping food getting to the Palestinians in Gaza. The collective punishment continues.

    I said Israel gave Hamas power and legitimacy, which you confirmed Stephan. But this isn’t the first time Israel has supported one group or another to cause Palestinian infighting or to undermine Palestinian governments.

    Israel wants the destruction of the Palestinians, the difference being they are achieving it using their overwhelming military might, and their devastation of a neighbour is condoned and abetted by the only super power on the planet.

    And this is still not right Stephan. Just because a people democratically elects a party the West doesn’t like then that democracy can be undermined. And we wonder why so many look at this hypocrisy and rail against it.

    Most of the world (80%) were totally against the election of George W Bush, so the world should have not recognised his election and embargoed his government.

  32. But Adrian, Bush did not attack another country for no reason…. Oh wait, he did!

  33. Retraction. The Israelis didn’t kill 50 after they unilaterally called the ceasefire, me bad for taking something on spec.

    There are conflicting numbers but it is nowhere near as high as 50.

  34. A couple of points following on from Stephan’s comment on the rise of Hamas –

    They gained popularity with the people by providing aid to the destitute, and won politically for that. The widows and children of the dead, Hamas fighters or not, came in for special treatment. Israel has way more resources to have gained the trust of Palestinian people had they taken the same road, but they chose war instead.

    Hamas is only one of several resistance groups. What, exactly, are these groups resisting? What is being imposed on Palestinians that needs to be resisted? Occupation? How can that occupation be reasonably justified?

    If Hamas is only one of several, don’t you think the destruction of Hamas, if such a thing was possible, would only see their replacement by another resistance group?

    Hamas built schools, hospitals and so on despite the blockade, yet

    “Hamas hasn’t done a brilliant job with the foreign aid it has received so how is it better than the corrupt Fatah group?”

    What should they have done with aid other than build schools and hospitals? The corrupt use aid to feather their own nests, not build schools and hospitals.

    Others here have commented on the numbers killed in Gaza and the proportion of those who are women and children. Those numbers assume that all of the adult male dead are Hamas fighters or supporters, which is not true. Thousands more have been injured. Some of those injuries will result in death, and an awful lot in permanent disability. Who should these people turn to for help, school and hospital-building Hamas or Israel?

  35. Gee Hexx, can’t you post during normal hours? Like after dinner, or before midnight?

    Yes, it is a war. On both fronts. Palestine knows it, Lebanon knows it. Israel definitely knows it. What’s the bet they will encroach into Lebanse lterritory? That’s why the Rabbi’s teach the soldiers it’s OK to kill a man, woman or child, as long as they are not Jewish. If the person happens to be so, THEN they are charged with murder.

    What can I say? No-one has a perfect religion, I guess.

  36. Wow… Tim Blair has picked up my youtube clip.

    That’s should be a good thing, Joni. Blair’s Your link should lift your video’s view Blair’s reader numbers.


  37. # on two fronts.

    One front is the media outlet which the IDF feed information to give to the world.

    Second front is whats really happening that we dont hear much about.

    Either way the truth is nowhere to be seen. Just bits and pieces that leave one asking what the hell is going on. The same tactics used over and over when they fail to achieve anything but power for one side.

  38. I actually feel a little dirty. And it is good to see very balanced comments on Tim Blair’s blog.

    And you should see some of the really offensive comments I am having to delete from youtube.

  39. Hey Joni,

    I don’t see any comments there. Did you just delete every comment? Or did you find all comments offensive?

  40. Congrats Joni. A new job in the Media?

    Aqua. Maybe we should say 3 fronts, if you add the sanitized news releases?

    Either way, it’s bad on all fronts.

  41. I thought of more then two fronts also but i didnt what to complcate my post and confuse myself.

  42. Well, the ones threatening Jews and Palestinians, as well as myself were a bit wrong and so I have been deleting them.

  43. Probably for the best, Joni. We’ve all seen what happens when you allow comments to run their unmoderated course. 😉

  44. Joni post a live convo on your youtube, open a blog for it invite them to it and let us have fun with there threats. Then again i’m sure you would tell me it wouldnt be nice to fill the site up with so many idiots which would be fair too.

  45. Aqua and Tony

    Actually I am quite disturbed by the venom that some people write as comments – as well as their appalling grammar.

    I prefer to just let the video speak for itself.

  46. Good idea. There are sure to be some nutbags out there, on either side of the fence, many of whom haven’t been housetrained in a civilized forum like this one. (Pity you can’t just turn comments off.)

  47. Now who posted the comment??? Come on… own up!

  48. Sounds like a dividend of the human kind.

  49. Ummmmmm, perhaps ’twas I.

  50. I like being able to curse & cajole on pootoob, I try & be good here…most of the time.

  51. BTW, i haven’t beenblazin’ (today, yet).

  52. Toiletboss… I know. Thanks for the comment. I tried to explain what a “FF at rolling donut” was to no satisfactory conclusion.

  53. wasnt me !
    but i did pay someone.

  54. Toiletboss,

    F#@k man, your taste in music. OMFG!

  55. ToSY,

    What you mean… I did not see any exquisite Neil Diamond on his playlist! Me confused. 🙄

  56. Well no, Joni. His stuff won’t be on high rotation at Mardi Gras, that’s for sure.

  57. Classics all!

    Holy crap, I’m not a big user of pootoob & I didn’t realise that you’d be able to source my collection…LOL.

  58. hehe ToSY… definately not at MG.


    HD/TB: You’re a classic, my friend.

  60. Tom Morello’s version of “Union Song” is especially for Tom of Melbourne.

  61. I’ve got & given blood noses in many pits at most of those bands. I am a bad person & will burn in the abyss…

  62. Hey – make sure you say hi to Reb and myself in the abyss. I think it will be standing room only.

  63. T-boss my first encounter with a mosh pity went horribly wrong. but the second time was much better as i knew what to do and what expect .

  64. Hang on, Gaza and mosh pits.

  65. That would probably be Moshe pits.

  66. We’re gonna have a ball there!

    Even if god makes some kind of logistical error & I somehow find myself outside of the Gates of Pearl I’m gonna piss on ’em & demand a ticket to the flames. I wouldn’t know anyone in Nirvana & if I did I doubt that they’d be the types that I’d want to spend eternity with.

    See you below, or alternatively (& more likely) under the sun we will rot together in absolute biological equality.

  67. T-boss wedding vows

  68. Even I think that’s funny.

  69. Australian made…globally destructive, making ears bleed everywhere.


    Back on topic now.

  70. And how do the guys from Berzerker go with – you know – the ladies?

    (I bet the lead singer was a maths nerd or something at school.)

  71. His name is Luke & he is actually extremely articulate &, yes I’ve seen him without the mask, not a horrible looking man either.
    Horses for courses.

    I doubt that he was a maths nerd & I’m not one myself.

  72. Of course not. Just taking the piss, so to speak.

    (BTW, I don’t hate the music, but there’s plenty I’d play before putting theirs on.)

    Like you say, though, horses for courses; or as I prefer to put it: there’s no accounting for taste.

  73. The ladies in this clip seem to like him (maskless).
    I’m sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the commercial nature of their attendance.


    DISCLAIMER: NOT FOR THE EASILY DISTURBED, but not particularly bad IMHO due to the fantastical nature of the subject matter.

    Slaughtering Gazan civilians is FAR WORSE…

  74. They are from Melbourne, like your good self. Very good for an OZ act.

    I enjoy the pisstakes BTW.

  75. A bit of a tidy up.

    A report I read when Israel said it was nearing the end of its actions stated that Israel would leave contingents of troops in Gaza until they were absolutely certain there were no more rockets left. I used this report to state Israel would occupy Gaza.

    Seems under the peace guidelines worked out in Egypt (not bilateral as both Israel and Hamas have instigated unilateral ceasefires) all Israeli troops would leave Gaza.

    It appears that is the case and Israel is currently withdrawing all of its troops from Gaza whilst not having achieved two of its main stated goals.

  76. It is becoming clear – to me, anyway – that the people of Gaza are being terrorised by Hamas, and are too frightened to speak openly about it, for fear of their lives.

    This from Speigel Online:

    “I’ve changed my mind about Hamas,” Abu Abed says. “I can’t support any party that wages a war that destroys our lives.” He is particularly pained by the fact that Hamas is still selling the cease-fire as a victory.

    “Who has won here?” he asks and points to the debris that was once his home.

    One of his neighbors weighs in: “Many people are now against Hamas but that won’t change anything,” he says. “Because anyone who stands up to them is killed.” Since they took power Hamas has used brutal force against any dissenters in the Gaza Strip. There were news agency reports that during the war they allegedly executed suspected collaborators with Israel. The reign of terror will go on for some time, says the neighbor who doesn’t want to give his name. “There will never be a rebellion against Hamas. It would be suicide.”

    And from the SMH:

    Getting out of the ambulance and entering the house, he saw there were three Hamas fighters taking cover inside. One half of the building had already been destroyed.

    “They were very scared, and very nervous … They dropped their weapons and ordered me to get them out, to put them in the ambulance and take them away. I refused, because if the IDF sees me doing this I am finished, I cannot pick up any more wounded people.

    And then one of the fighters picked up a gun and held it to my head, to force me. I still refused, and then they allowed me to leave.”

  77. How about the stories of the IDF using civilians as human shields Tony?

    Or the stories of Israeli soldiers bursting into houses terrorising families and often shooting dead male members, then trashing the place and leaving behind racist graffiti?

    And on ABC Breakfast this morning the pictures of every single crop and greenhouse in Gaza deliberately bulldozed to dust so that it will take five years before they can grow food again. This was no act of war where the crops were destroyed by bombs or shells but a deliberate and systematic destruction of every bit of self subsistence for the people, in other words a collective punishment.

    And as to admit guilt Olmert has said that every Israeli troop will be protected by the State from prosecution for war crimes, thus admitting they committed war crimes.

    Then there is this perspective:

    In Gaza there are Australian and British war graves. The Palestinians in Gaza have a long history of meticulously looking after and respecting these graves, often more so than their own cemeteries. The Israelis didn’t only shell and bomb Palestinian cemeteries in Gaza (again as collective punishment) but also British and Australian war graves.

    Israel shelled UK war graves in Gaza

    These terrible Western hating Arabs hey Tony, they hate us that much that they go out of their way to meticulously look after the graves of Western soldiers, yet it is Israel that destroys that.

  78. An interesting triangle you cite, Tony…

    Because of the urgency of the call, Mr Shriteh said there was no time to arrange his movements with the IDF.

    I knew the Israelis were watching me because I could see the red laser beam in the ambulance and on me, on my body,” he said.

    Getting out of the ambulance and entering the house, he saw there were three Hamas fighters taking cover inside. One half of the building had already been destroyed.

    “They were very scared, and very nervous … They dropped their weapons and ordered me to get them out, to put them in the ambulance and take them away. I refused, because if the IDF sees me doing this I am finished, I cannot pick up any more wounded people.

    And then one of the fighters picked up a gun and held it to my head, to force me. I still refused, and then they allowed me to leave.”

  79. Yes Legion it seems he was more scared of the IDF than Hamas, and yet more first hand evidence from a witness that the IDF targets ambulances and stops wounded people from being treated.

  80. Adrian,

    After all of that, I’m still not clear whether you addressed the point I was making: you know, Hamas terrorising the civilians in Gaza. (It seems like you were just intent on changing the subject.)

    Just to be sure, I just checked again. The word Hamas doesn’t appear in your comment – once!

  81. and yet more first hand evidence from a witness that the IDF targets ambulances and stops wounded people from being treated.

    Go back and read the report again Adrian. The Israelis were watching him. They didn’t fire on him. My guess is they knew of Hamas’s tactics of calling ambulances to use as getaway vehicles – a practice which puts civilians in real need of care at risk.

  82. Tony of South Yarra, on January 26th, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Perhaps it’s the explicit ‘framing’…I can see alternate frames…one example…governmental entity challenged by rolling military coups suppresses treason and threats to law and order (N.B. I don’t have a ‘myside’ in the thing, so I’m not beholden to stitch together a patchwork of ‘”executing suspected collaborators with Israel” with “dissent” with “rebellion” with “is suicide” with “I changed my mind” when “he points to the debris” into a narrative of ‘terrorisation by Hamas. Did Hamas blow up his home?)

  83. I just answered Tony and part of your link actually shows the opposite, that it was Israelis that were terrorising civilians, and yet again targeting ambulances that are attempting to help the wounded.

    As to killing collaborators, that goes on by all sides. The French, Dutch, Poles etc. killed without trial or mercy any German collaborators, as did the South Koreans in the 50’s and the South Vietnamese in the Vietnam war.

    So I don’t know what point you are making. You demand I acknowledge Hamas wrongness, which I have done several times in the pass, but you never ever acknowledge Israeli wrongness or atrocities in this. You blame shift completely onto the Palestinians and absolve Israel, scouting the internet for links that demonise the Arabs and that put Israel in a good light.

    Hamas was wrong for firing rockets, as were those Palestinians who made their own, I’ve said that. Israel is also wrong for oppressing, repressing and collectively punishing a whole people for daring to democratically elect the party Israel didn’t want elected.

    So can we see you admit Israel is also at fault here for taking Palestinian land and continuing to take their land, then meting out collective punishments because the Palestinians get upset that their land and livelihoods are being systematically being taken away from them?

  84. Oh you now watch by putting a laser rifle sight on a person?

  85. It’s OK Adrian. I’m prepared to let objective readers decide who’s being careless with the facts.

  86. Legion, sorry for not addressing your comment, but I don’t understand thepoint you are making.

  87. It’s OK Adrian. I’m prepared to let objective readers decide who’s being careless with the facts.

    You keep claiming that point across many of my posts and I’m getting absolutely jack of it. Either call me a liar outright and show exactly where I’m lying, then if I confirm what I’ve stated with sources, apologise and acknowledge your were wrong and I was right, or just stop with that crap.

    On several occasions I could just of easily accused you of being careless with the facts, but I don’t intimate you are a liar as you often do against me.

  88. Legion,

    Did Hamas blow up his home?

    There were several people mentioned in the report, so I’m not certain who you mean, but this one seems to blame Hamas for drawing fire to his home:

    Mohammed Sadala’s rage is aimed at the man, whose remains he found in his bedroom: a Hamas fighter. He and a comrade broke into the home which had long stood empty after the Sadala family fled. The Hamas men shot at the approaching Israelis from the balcony. The soldiers fired back, killing the militants and destroying the house of the 10-strong family in the process.

  89. Adrian, I link to an article – in the SMH, so I didn’t have to go”scouting the internet for links – titled: Hamas tried to hijack ambulances during Gaza war.

    You then, despite all the evidence provided in the artcle to the contrary, claim it proves Israel was targetting ambulances and innocent civilians. I’m sorry, but that’s just utter bulls**t.

  90. But Tony that is not the same as Hamas using civilians as human shields. Hamas and in fact the IDF along with every fighter in the world throughout history use empty buildings as cover to fight from.

    So are Israeli troops to blame for damage to buildings they used as cover to fight from? And what of all the buildings and infrastructure, including every sing crop and food production facility in Gaza the Israelis destroyed outright for no military reason and with Hamas nowhere in sight?

  91. Adrian, I link to an article – in the SMH, so I didn’t have to go”scouting the internet for links – titled: Hamas tried to hijack ambulances during Gaza war.

    …but have you ever done a search for “Israelis (or IDF) targets ambulances”?

  92. Tony of South Yarra, on January 26th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    We can play out the ‘look at what Hamas made me do’ game as long as you like, Tony, but the fact remains I still don’t have to adopt someone else’s frame. The whole point of inflicting ‘deterrence’ was to create political rifts within Gaza, and give Hamas pause for reflection in settling terms for a new ceasefire: the Israelis in their official rhetoric had been discussing that for weeks. Again, did Hamas blow up that next home? Or was it a natural end to the ‘we will smash all of Hamas and its buildings’ project?

  93. …but have you ever done a search for “Israelis (or IDF) targets ambulances”?

    Again trying to change the subject. What you don’t get is I was making a point about Hamas. This thread had been idle for days, so if anyone wasgoing to respond, you’d expect that they might address that point. Would you not?

  94. Again, did Hamas blow up that next home? Or was it a natural end to the ‘we will smash all of Hamas and its buildings’ project?

    I’ll presume that’s a rhetorical question, since you seem to have provided your version of the answer.

  95. Tony of South Yarra, on January 26th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Purely rhetorical, of course, Tony. But no more or less rhetorical than suggesting Hamas are terrorists for attempting to commandeer an ambulance from Mr Shindler, who sadly had to leave them to their mortal fates of being splattered over walls, and thence villified as messy creatures.

  96. In theory…putting their guns down meant they were ‘de hors combat’, too. So it says to me that the afraid and the fearful left behind were banking on Mr Shindler being more generous with their outcomes than those with laser sights on Mr Shindler, but that’s just another ‘frame’.

  97. Fair point, and the laser was probably a warning not to pick up Hamas fighters. I think, though, that the act of the fighters downing weapons might have been in preparation for their jumping onto stretchers, and posing as injured civilians, had Mr Shriteh allowed.

  98. Tony of South Yarra, on January 26th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    More than likely true, Tony…if they’d been quicker thinkers they’d have shot each other in the foot, and been actually injured, because, of course, ambulance drivers make no necessary distinction between injured civilians and injured combatants when delivering aid to the wounded. Overall, though, my respect for Mr Shriteh is immeasurable for even being able to ‘work’ under such conditions…it can’t be easy when both sides have a gun trained on you, and all you want to do is ‘help’.

  99. Overall, though, my respect for Mr Shriteh is immeasurable for even being able to ‘work’ under such conditions…it can’t be easy when both sides have a gun trained on you, and all you want to do is ‘help’.

    Hear, hear.

  100. First a warning:

    The following link is to Andrew Bolt’s site, so anyone who doesn’t want to go there needn’t click.

    To anyone else, he has a round up of the reporting around the UNRWA school bombing. I would be interested to hear your thoughts. (Not on Bolt himself: I’ve got a fair idea what those thoughts are.)


  101. Tony

    Interesting link. I will look at it more closely later tonight.

    And I feel dirty now looking at a Bolt post.

  102. Tony, you must learn to stop with these inconvenient little truths. It doesn’t matter. It’s (the story’s) purpose has been served. People still talk of the bombing of the ambulance.

  103. That’s right…Bolt is back, think I’ll pop in tomorrow on the forum thread.

    There is some interesting people over there.

  104. Tony, i cant see how this report is more accurate then the other. No named witnesses and who made this story to report if no media is allowed into the area.

    That teacher sounds suspicious in the fact that his school got bombed and he follows the rules of being anonymous(No abuse just a calm teacher).

  105. Aqua. At least one named witness and John Ging of UNHRW.

  106. I’ll give you that one james, but how with a media block.
    How is it only stories that correct reports against isreal make it out.

  107. aquanut

    It appears the Globe and Mail artcle was written by their middle east correspondent, Patrick Martin, and the timeline says:

    January 29, 2009 at 4:00 AM EST

    While your correct that the teacher remains anonymous, another eyewitness was named: a Mr “Hazem Balousha, who runs an auto-body shop across the road from the UNRWA school.”

  108. I think, Aqua, as Bolt pointed out, that there is a pretty effective propaganda machine supported by a breathless media engaging in a running commentary on the war, supported by a breathless blogosphere (like me) who simply can’t wait to deliver their learned opinion on events as they come to pass. This is certainly not the first time that Islamic militants in the ME have pulled this kind of hoax and not the first time the media have bought it. Then sometime after the event, the truth comes out but given that the hype has died down, no-one is really looking. There is no effective media block in Gaza.

  109. # There is no effective media block in Gaza.

    If thats the case then i havnt mach to say, the teacher isnt enough for me to challenge this story.


  110. Aquanut,

    How is it only stories that correct reports against isreal make it out.

    For there to be anything for this report to correct, the other – anti-Israel – ones had to have already made it out.

  111. Tony of South Yarra, on January 30th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    You seem to have lapsed into thinking in a ‘frame’ again, Tony…why not pro-humanist, pro-places of refuge, pro-civilian or anti-war crimes pieces as the counter, unless someone has been infected with a Bolt-eye view of the world? Moving on, Bolt’s piece only works for utilitarians sliding from a ‘few’ collaterally damaged inside a building is ok, to 12 injured is ok, to 43 killed somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the the building is ok, but ignore the ‘few’ or the ’12’ who were hit by the shellfire back in the building, just as killing the 43 outside it is ‘forgivable’. The elipsis may work on a lumpenmass habitually operating in Piaget’s pre-operant stage, but Bolt’s golden pass for the IDF still has the school being hit by shellfire…43 dead in the street, 12 injured IN THE SCHOOL. And that’s pretty much just the same version of events outlined by Human Rights Watch as was agreed was a reasonably fair treatment a couple of weeks ago. So what is new, beyond there still needing to be an enquiry independent of Mr Anonymous, Mr Shopkeeper, Mr I Am An Expert In Constructing Framed Narratives, and Mr IDF Spokesperson, all of whom are operating from highly imperfect information without any of that information being collated into a full set of ‘facts’?

  112. “In briefings senior [Israel Defense Forces] officers conducted for foreign diplomats, they admitted the shelling to which IDF forces in Jabalya were responding did not originate from the school,” Gunness said. “The IDF admitted in that briefing that the attack on the UN site was unintentional.”

    Just going through the reports on this and most of the other UN stuff says shelling around the area of the school or in the vicinity of the school, so I don’t know what Bolt is going on about. They were still people seeking refuge because they were forced out of their homes by the Israelis.

    Plus that doesn’t explain the shelling and bombing of the other schools and UN facilities. I suppose Bolt has an explanation for them as well. Maybe they jumped in the way of a precision guided munition that was aimed a enemy 2000 metres away. Tricky Palestinians, they will do anything to have Israelis kill innocent civilians to make them look bad, include move schools into the path of Israeli bombs.

  113. Damn I’m stuffing up and mangling stuff, heavy day at work. You know what I mean.

  114. 7:30 Report tonight.

    Did the video cameras lie Tony.

  115. Dunno, I’m watching the cricket and the tennis.


  116. Tony,
    im late but i had to have my power nap.

    I was comletely wrong for not reading the updated events. But that dosnt help the fact that a media ban was in place not that long ago which lead me to believe what i did.

  117. Even the new, new account doesn’t necessarily add up in the Globe’s piece (and skipping over the apparent inconsistency between the school named in-text and the school named in the accompanying graphic)…but, where did the courtyards go from the IDF’s updated account in the Globe’s account per their graphic? And I assume that it was shell no.2 and its fragments which hit the school, despite the graphic which has all the blasts facing away from the school, being the shell that all parties agree hit the school; and shells 1 and 3 which were directed at the mortar party of two that the IDF is no longer certain were on premises, but were certain were inside the school building in the official IDF Spokeperson’s initial account, leaving, of course, the inflated 43 dead and dozens or so injured (12 in the explosive school building with Hamas terrorists firing out of it, apparently…dunno about others in any courtyards to UN buildings which the IDF seemed to think existed and the UN seemed to think existed until the Globe and Mail determined that schools have blast walls and no courtyards).

    Strangely, the early reports were fairly accurate…3 shells, outside school, shell fragments hit school…

    Israeli strikes have killed at least 43 people taking refuge inside a UN school in the Gaza Strip, medics say.

    The strike on Tuesday hit a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, in the northern town of Jabaliya. Medical sources at two Gaza hospitals said two tank shells exploded outside the school, where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge from the Israeli attacks. The toll quickly rose as rescuers struggled through the rubble. In addition to the dead, several dozen people were wounded, the officials said. Doctors said all the dead were either people sheltering in the school or residents of Jabaliya refugee camp, in the north of the Gaza Strip.

    John Ging, director of operations in Gaza for Unrwa, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said three artillery shells landed near the school where 350 people were taking shelter. Ging said Unrwa regularly provided the Israeli army with exact geographical co-ordinates of its facilities and the school was in a built-up area. “Of course it was entirely inevitable if artillery shells landed in that area there would be a high number of casualties,” he said.

    Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, said: “The initial findings … are that there was hostile fire at one of our units from the UN facility. “Our unit responded. Then there were explosions out of proportion to the ordnance we used,” he said.

    And back to the Globe’s piece upon which Bolt relies…

    Mr. Ging blames the Israelis for the confusion over where the victims were killed. “They even came out with a video that purported to show gunmen in the schoolyard. But we had seen it before,” he said, “in 2007.”

    The Israelis are the ones, he said, who got everyone thinking the deaths occurred inside the school.

    Indeed. But Bolt does have a point I s’pose. It’s much more “forgivable” for civilians to be fired upon by tank shells in the street than in a school, no matter how much the Hasbara brigade wanted to take credit for blowing up two or more terrorists in that school, or how much they wanted everyone to know that their GPS was off by 30 metres when firing into a civilian area containing a UN school filled with refugees, some of whom were injured by shrapnel. And on that 30 metres, one wonders where the intended targets were situated…near the shops or the auto-repair shop, if now not the school, given there are no courtyards revealed in the Globe’s graphic map of the scene of confusion and no hardcore terrorists firing rockets from the school per the recanted Israeli position, or…just generally in the direction of a street filled with people.

  118. And because I can…I’m nominating Mark Regev’s contributions as evidence of his being a robot with limited scripting:.

    Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, said: “The initial findings … are that there was hostile fire at one of our units from the UN facility. “Our unit responded. Then there were explosions out of proportion to the ordnance we used,” he said.

    Say that a few thousand times Mark until it becomes not merely automatic, but sincere.

  119. Curiouser and curiouser

    “We are still sticking by our official position that according to our initial inquiry, the whole thing started when terrorists fired mortar shells from the school compound [at soldiers],” Capt. Ishai David told The Jerusalem Post.

    “The IDF returned fire to the source, and the unfortunate result was the death of innocent civilians,” David said. He added that two terrorists, who were part of a Kassam squad, were also killed in the incident.

    Hmmm. The official IDF position was that the ‘source’ was the ‘school compound’…and the IDF were happy returning fire to the ‘source’…being the ‘school compound’…without having any regard to its being a ‘school compound’? Really? Hmmm.

    Oh, what a tangled web. T’was not enough to say oops, apparently; t’was necessary to fabricate a fictional account which legitimated an attack on a UN school compound which now seems never to have happened, or not the way the IDF reported it, and in doing so revealed that Israel would have no scruples when it comes to doing either of those things. Nearly anything could be alternately ‘unfortunate’ or ‘legitimate’ on those terms, which still don’t match Israel’s obligations strictly-speaking under the rules of war. With official pro-Israeli propaganda like that, who needs enemy propaganda?

    Arguably, there is little wonder left in the UNHRWA’s being very unhappy with Israel’s position statement at the time, and makes the UNHRWA’s continued calls for an independent inquiry to establish “[w]hat did they [the state of Israel] know and what care did they take” in relation to that incident and others somewhat more forgivable than Bolt is inclined to let on.

  120. Tony of South Yarra, on January 30th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Because of the constant racial vilification and attacks against them by Israelis, many Palestinians have taken up using video cameras to film the attacks against them by both the IDF and Israelis. Horrific is one word that describes what the videos are revealing, and the footage doesn’t lie. In many cases this is a deliberate attempt to drive Palestinians from the land and as soon as they do move (usually because one of their family is killed or severely injured) the Israelis take over the land as it is barren and not utilised, which they can do under an Israeli law bought for this exact purpose.

    So whilst you go on about one Palestinian group or another stating it wants to drive Jews out of Israel or into the sea, and condemn them for that statement, and that it excuses Israel’s abominable behaviour, the Israelis through violence and intimidation are actually driving Palestinians out of the country.

  121. Legion
    Mark Regev is an Australian born Israeli liar/propagandist.
    Mark Regev: PR Flack, Liar

  122. A letter to BBC – Air the fund-raising Gaza Appeal

    Yet another way Israel persecutes and oppresses the Palestinians, stopping or destroying anything or anyone that attempts to help the Palestinians (which is why the IDF often (accidentally) attacks UN facilities and any other NGOs that work in Palestinian territories.

  123. Turkish PM In Davos Storm Out

    Bad news for Israel as Turkey is a close friend and Israelis often go to Turkey for holidays even if they are the worst tourists in the world.

    An all out public barney between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Shimon Peres over Gaza cannot be good for Israel and already the Turkish PM is being hailed as a hero by the Palestinians and Hamas flags are flying alongside Turkish ones in Gaza.

  124. George Mitchell the US envoy for M.E. peace has announced a US$20 million increase in aid to Gaza.

    U.S. to give $20 million more in humanitarian aid to Gaza

    That was a direct authorization by Obama.

    Also aid convoys are now starting to stockpile stuff at UN warehouses in Gaza as the Israelis have allowed some border crossing to open after much condemnation of their deliberately holding up many tons of supplies and aid at Israeli ports and in Egypt. An Israeli spokesman (not Negev but just as bad) lied and said they never held up aid and it was always free to cross the border into Gaza.

    In other news the Israelis are building new barriers in the West Bank and it should come as no surprise they carve up large chunks of Palestinian prime land and destroy many livelihoods with the end result being Israel gets more land and the Palestinians are poorer.

  125. It’s all an integral part of Teh VRWC.

    Bolt’s line…

    “Yes, the 43 people are dead, and that is a tragedy, given many were undoubtedly innocent. But … ”

    …is classic understanding of his monotone version of the human condition.

    Witness how the (few) dissenting regulars over there are dealt with by the rusted-on, resident card carriers of the VRWC. The assailants sure are “interesting”.

  126. From the SMH.

    The United Nations has retracted a claim that an Israeli strike which killed more than 40 people in northern Gaza city of Jabaliya last month hit a school run by a UN agency.

    “The humanitarian coordinator would like to clarify that the shelling, and all of the fatalities, took place outside rather than inside the school,” the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its latest weekly update on the situation in Gaza.

    It stressed that its initial report of the January 6 incident correctly stated that Israeli shells hit outside the school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, but that it later referred to “the shelling of the UNRWA school in Jabaliya.”

    The Israeli military initially said its forces had responded to hostile fire from within the UN school but later reportedly retracted that statement.

    Truth in war?

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