Give Yourself a Slap Upside the Head Canada

UPDATED Below

In these days of action for democracy in Egypt, Canada once again finds itself on the wrong side of humanity’s hope for freedom, thanks to His Harperness’ failure to condemn the brutal totalitarian regime of Hosni Mubarak. In that context, I hope everyone watches this:

UPDATE:

And just to clarify that the bone I’m picking is with the state of Israel and not all of Israel’s people, watch this too:

Hamas Revived

Tariq Ali at The Guardian:

The assault on Gaza, planned over six months and executed with perfect timing, was designed largely, as Neve Gordon has rightly observed, to help the incumbent parties triumph in the forthcoming Israeli elections. The dead Palestinians are little more than election fodder in a cynical contest between the right and the far right in Israel. Washington and its EU allies, perfectly aware that Gaza was about to be assaulted, as in the case of Lebanon in 2006, sit back and watch.

Washington, as is its wont, blames the pro-Hamas Palestinians, with Obama and Bush singing from the same AIPAC hymn sheet. The EU politicians, having observed the build-up, the siege, the collective punishment inflicted on Gaza, the targeting of civilians etc (for all the gory detail, see Harvard scholar Sara Roy’s chilling essay in the London Review of Books) were convinced that it was the rocket attacks that had “provoked” Israel but called on both sides to end the violence, with nil effect. The moth-eaten Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt and Nato’s favourite Islamists in Ankara failed to register even a symbolic protest by recalling their ambassadors from Israel. China and Russia did not convene a meeting of the UN security council to discuss the crisis.

As result of official apathy, one outcome of this latest attack will be to inflame Muslim communities throughout the world and swell the ranks of those very organisations that the west claims it is combating in the “war against terror”.   [more]

Sara Roy at The London Review of Books:

Israel’s siege of Gaza began on 5 November, the day after an Israeli attack inside the strip, no doubt designed finally to undermine the truce between Israel and Hamas established last June. Although both sides had violated the agreement before, this incursion was on a different scale. Hamas responded by firing rockets into Israel and the violence has not abated since then. Israel’s siege has two fundamental goals. One is to ensure that the Palestinians there are seen merely as a humanitarian problem, beggars who have no political identity and therefore can have no political claims. The second is to foist Gaza onto Egypt. That is why the Israelis tolerate the hundreds of tunnels between Gaza and Egypt around which an informal but increasingly regulated commercial sector has begun to form. The overwhelming majority of Gazans are impoverished and officially 49.1 per cent are unemployed. In fact the prospect of steady employment is rapidly disappearing for the majority of the population.
[...]

How can keeping food and medicine from the people of Gaza protect the people of Israel? How can the impoverishment and suffering of Gaza’s children – more than 50 per cent of the population – benefit anyone? International law as well as human decency demands their protection. If Gaza falls, the West Bank will be next.

 

 

The whole article is here

Chris Hedges at Truthdig:

Can anyone who is following the Israeli air attacks on Gaza-the buildings blown to rubble, the children killed on their way to school, the long rows of mutilated corpses, the wailing mothers and wives, the crowds of terrified Palestinians not knowing where to flee, the hospitals so overburdened and out of supplies they cannot treat the wounded, and our studied, callous indifference to this widespread human suffering-wonder why we are hated?

Our self-righteous celebration of ourselves and our supposed virtue is as false as that of Israel. We have become monsters, militarized bullies, heartless and savage. We are a party to human slaughter, a flagrant war crime, and do nothing. We forget that the innocents who suffer and die in Gaza are a reflection of ourselves, of how we might have been should fate and time and geography have made the circumstances of our birth different. We forget that we are all absurd and vulnerable creatures. We all have the capacity to fear and hate and love. “Expose thyself to what wretches feel,” King Lear said, entering the mud and straw hovel of Poor Tom, “and show the heavens more just.”

Privilege and power, especially military power, is a dangerous narcotic. Violence destroys those who bear the brunt of its force, but also those who try to use it to become gods. Over 350 Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilians, and over 1,000 have been wounded since the air attacks began on Saturday. Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, said Israel is engaged in a “war to the bitter end” against Hamas in Gaza. A war? Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely crowded refugee camps and slums, to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command and control, no army, and calls it a war. It is not a war. It is murder.

 

It’s all here

Robert Dreyfuss at The Nation:

As Israel presses its bloody assault on Gaza, dropping broad hints that it is planning a ground attack to complement four days of bombings that have killed hundreds, it’s clear that Israel’s actions are likely to bolster, not weaken, the very enemy it is fighting.

Writing in the Washington Post, Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab points out that, before the latest crisis, Hamas was in sharp decline. The headline on his thoughtful piece is: “Has Israel Revived Hamas?” He says: “Israel appears to have given new life to the fledging Islamic movement in Palestine.”

Over the past two years, Kuttab notes, Palestinian support for Hamas — an ultrareligious, terrorist-inclined wing of the fanatical Muslim Brotherhood movement — has declined sharply, from a 30 percent in 2006 to 22 percent in August, 2007, to just 17 percent in 2008 — compared to 40 percent for Fatah, the mainstream, secular nationalist wing of the Palestinian body politic. Kuttab points out that Hamas has “turned down every legitimate offer from its nationalist PLO rivals and Egyptian mediators.” Now, he says, the attacks are a “bonanza for Hamas” and says that Israel’s assault will achieve “results exactly the opposite of its publicly proclaimed purposes.”

Read the rest here

Nowhere to Run

Well, at least the current Israeli attack on Gaza won’t create any refugees.  Gazans have nowhere to run and face the aggression of Egypt when they try:

… on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, the ground shook on Sunday afternoon. In a matter of four minutes, Israeli aircraft destroyed 40 smuggling tunnels running under the border. The tunnels are used to smuggle goods and weapons into Gaza.

Area resident Fida Kishta rushed to the border once the smoke cleared – and she wasn’t alone.

Hundreds gathered at the border wall, trying to get across. Egyptian border guards opened fire above the crowds, trying to scatter them. Instead, residents manned a bulldozer and tried to knock down the wall.

When that didn’t work, they set an explosive device beside it, knocking what Kishta said appeared to be a small hole. Dozens of defiant Gazans clambered over it, but were eventually returned to Gaza.

At times, shock turned into confusion and denial. A news photographer who found the body of a friend under the rubble drove him home, unwilling to believe he was dead.

“My children are wetting the bed, they cry when they hear planes,” said Amal Hassan, 38, a mother of three children. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Maybe the next bomb will fall here, maybe the next person killed will be one of us,” Hassan said.   [more at The Star]

Gazans are people about whom no one cares at all, apart from Hamas.  No wonder Hamas has their support.

Quote of the Day

A longish one, from Common Dreams:

One president has oral sex in a private consensual relationship and lies about it, so right-wing freaks spend $40 million to investigate this most heinous of crimes and bring impeachment charges against a president for only the second time in American history.  Meanwhile, one of their own admits to trashing the Constitution at every turn and isn’t even investigated, let alone impeached, let alone removed from office.

This same president plunges the world into war on the basis of non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but couldn’t be less concerned when North Korea actually goes nuclear on his watch.  This president goes to war to bring democracy to the Arab world, but can’t even be bothered to pressure Egypt or Saudi Arabia to move a tad in that direction.  This president uses an attack on the US to justify international belligerence and mass human rights violations, but doesn’t seem very interested in even attacking, let alone vanquishing, the supposed perpetrator.

- David Michael Green