18 May, 2009

Medialens Gaza Atrocities - Israel is antisemitic!

Spinelessness and hypocrisy

Any colonial or imperial project requires ample doses of hypocrisy, cynicism and sadism. In times of on-going wars and dispossession these ingredients are in ample supply. Media Lens, a great media analysis project, specializes in highlighting the media’s role in peddling the hypocrisy and hiding the cynicism or sadism of the major powers and their sidekicks. The latest Media Lens release analyses the release of an abridged version of the UN Board of Inquiry report into the Israeli bombing of United Nations premises in Gaza (Dec. 2008 – Jan. 2009). The spineless Ban Ki Moon was party to the suppression of most of the report and blocking further investigations. Media Lens analyzes the way this event was spun or ignored.

Beholden to the big powers: Israel, Gaza and the UN

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive assault on Gaza. 22 days later, around 1,400 Palestinians, including over 300 children, and 13 Israelis were dead; about 5,000 Palestinians were wounded. Israeli forces bombed and shelled schools, medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, United Nations buildings (including UN schools), power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes. This was described in much of the press as hitting “Hamas targets” (e.g. David Gardner, ‘U.S. accused of white phosphorus against Taliban’, Daily Mail, May 11, 2009).

Earlier this month, the UN announced the results of an inquiry into attacks on its buildings and personnel in Gaza. It concluded that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were:

“involved in varying degrees of negligence or recklessness with regard to United Nations premises and to the safety of United Nations staff and other civilians within those premises, with consequent deaths, injuries, and extensive physical damage and loss of property.” (Donald Macintyre, ‘UN retreats after Israel hits out at Gaza report’, Independent, May 6, 2009)

Incidents for which Israel was held responsible by the UN inquiry included:

  • The deaths of three young men killed by a single IDF missile strike at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Asma school in Gaza City.
  • The firing of heavy mortar rounds into the UNRWA Jabalia school, injuring seven people sheltering in the school, killing up to 40 people in the immediate vicinity and injuring a further 50.
  • Aerial bombing of the UNRWA Bureij health centre on the same day, causing the death of a patient, serious injuries to two other patients and injuries to nine of the health centre’s employees.
  • Artillery firing by the IDF into the UNRWA field office compound in Gaza city, combined with the use of white phosphorus, causing injuries and considerable damage to it and the surrounding buildings, and leading to the disruption of the UN’s humanitarian operations in Gaza.
  • Artillery firing by the IDF into the UNRWA Beit Lahia school, again with the use of white phosphorus, causing the deaths of two children, aged 5 and 7, and injuries to 13 others.

Contrary to Israeli claims, the UN inquiry found no evidence that “Hamas militants” had used UN property to attack Israel or Israeli forces. Indeed, the report demanded that the UN urge Israel to retract its allegations to that effect.

The inquiry’s narrow remit was restricted to UN property and personnel; a key recommendation was that $11m compensation should be sought from Israel for damage to UN property in Gaza. But the final recommendation was that +all+ killings, injuries and damages in Gaza “should be investigated as part of an impartial inquiry mandated, and adequately resourced, to investigate allegations of violations of international humanitarian law.” (Julian Borger, ‘UN chief rejects further inquiry’, Guardian, May 6, 2009)

Shamefully, however, when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented the inquiry results, he rejected its authors’ call for such an investigation. He even decided not to release the full 184-page report. According to a brief item on the BBC Arabic news website, the BBC was informed by “a diplomatic source” that the United States “informed Ban’s office that the report should not be published in full due to the damage that that could cause to the Middle East peace talks.” (Cited in Hasan Abu Nimah, Ban Ki-moon’s moral failure, The Electronic Intifada, May 6, 2009)

The sophistry of these words – “the damage that that could cause to the Middle East peace talks” – is newspeak for “dangerous truths that would further damage the reputations of Israel and the United States.”

Ban, no doubt aware of these dangers, conveniently produced his own 27-page summary. Inter Press Service reported that the original report was thus “meticulously stripped down … mostly due to [alleged] political sensitivities and on security grounds.” (Thalif Deen, UN chief defends “watered down” Gaza report, Inter Press Service, May 5, 2009) The report supposedly contained “secret information supplied by Israel” about its attacks on Gaza. (Abu Nimah, ‘Ban Ki-moon’s moral failure’, op. cit.)

Ban then issued this summary together with a covering letter to the UN Security Council. In the letter, Ban said he was “carefully considering” what actions, “if any”, to take on the 11 recommendations by his own inquiry team. But he had already appeased both Israel and its powerful backers in the UN Security Council, notably the United States, by stating that he “did not plan any further inquiry.”

True to form, the Israelis had called the report “tendentious, patently biased” even before the summary was published. (UN rejects UN probe under Israeli pressure, Palestine Chronicle, May 6, 2009) Ban took his cue adroitly. While noting the Israeli government’s “significant reservations and objections”, he bent over backwards to praise them for their cooperation. He also spoke out, reportedly urged by Israeli ministers and officials, against “continued and indiscriminate” attacks by Hamas.

Of Circus Dogs And Whips

In effect, then, the UN Secretary General rejected his own inquiry which had been lead by Ian Martin, a former head of Amnesty International. Moreover, Ban’s effective suppression of the full report was doubtless an attempt to draw a line under the inquiry, minimising damage to Israel and the United States.

Noam Chomsky commented on the possible role of US-Israeli “diplomacy” in the Secretary-General’s decision not to publish the full report or to proceed with a wide-ranging inquiry:

“as far as I know there’s no direct evidence about what happened [behind the scenes], though it’s not hard to guess. Ban knows as well as any other Sec’y-General that criticism of the US (hence its offshoots [such as Israel]) will undermine what little there is of a UN.” (Email to Media Lens, May 13, 2009)

In other words, direct pressure is not always required. Indeed, it is often more efficient to have an amenable person in place who will do the master’s bidding without being told what to do. As George Orwell once observed:

“Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip. But the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.” (Orwell, ‘As I Please’, Tribune, 1944)

Ban Ki-moon has already demonstrated his gymnastic prowess. When he visited Gaza in January 2009, he was justifiably “appalled” at Israel’s “outrageous and totally unacceptable attack.” But his critical remarks were restricted to the attack on UN installations and personnel; not Gaza as a whole.

Hasan Abu Nimah, Jordan’s former UN ambassador, noted astutely that Ban’s “courage only went so far”:

[His] flash of anger was limited however only to UN facilities. He spoke as if the rest of Gaza — where more than 7,000 people lay dead or injured, and thousands of homes, schools, mosques, universities, police stations and government buildings were destroyed — did not exist, or were not of UN concern. (Abu Nimah, ‘Ban Ki-moon’s moral failure’, op. cit.)

He continued:

Whisked around in his convoy, he did not bother to stop and talk to any of Israel’s victims — the families who had just dug the remains of their loved ones from the rubble or those with horrific injuries in Gaza’s overstretched hospitals. These are the very people, the Palestinian refugees, that the UN is in Gaza to help, but there was it seems no time for them.

Ban did condemn “the excessive use of force” by the Israelis in its massive assault on Gaza. As Abu Nimah noted, presumably the UN Secretary-General “found Israel’s attack on Gaza perfectly acceptable, but he disagreed only with the tonnage of high explosives that should be dropped by Israeli planes.” While correctly condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israel as “violations of basic humanitarian law”, Ban neglected to say the same of Israel’s ongoing massive violations.

Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said Ban’s response to the new UN report was “disappointing”. He was clear that the inquiry had produced a “very serious and very scrupulously argued report that’s based on very careful analysis of the available evidence.” (Al Jazeera, May 5, 2009)

Yvonne Terlingen, Amnesty International representative at the United Nations, also expressed her concern at Ban Ki-moon’s stance. She told Inter Press Service [IPS]: “We are very disappointed with the Secretary-General’s reaction to what we have come to know [from the report].”

Terlingen called for a broader inquiry into the Israeli attacks by the 15-member UN Security Council. But one unnamed Arab diplomat told IPS he did not expect any investigation by the Security Council because three of the permanent members, the US, Britain and France, are “far too protective” of Israel. The secretary-general, he said, “will not pursue a broader inquiry because he is under pressure and beholden to the big powers in the Security Council.”

“It’s a lost cause,” he added, pointing out that “Israel knows that it can get away with murder.” (Deen, ‘UN chief defends “watered down” Gaza report’, op. cit.)

Although the UN Secretary General refused to launch a full, wide-ranging investigation under his direct mandate, Israel’s leaders have not entirely evaded scrutiny. A four-person team lead by Justice Richard Goldstone has already been appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate alleged breaches of international law, and possible war crimes, in Gaza. But this will not have the same stamp of authority as a full-ranging, impartial investigation carried out by direct authority of the UN Secretary-General himself.

Moreover, the Goldstone investigation is likely to be severely hobbled by Israel’s refusal to cooperate and the time that has already elapsed since the assault on Gaza. Falk believes Israel is taking an obstructive stance “because it knows deep down that it made serious human rights violations.” He refutes Israel’s assertions that efforts to establish the truth are “one-sided attempts to demonize Israel” and “tarnish its reputation”:

“The real reason [for Israel's non-cooperation] is that the facts overwhelmingly support allegations that Israel is understandably concerned that any objective inquiry would indeed confirm the allegations and create a situation in which the international community would be obliged to seek some kind of procedure for accountability.” (Press TV, Falk tells why Israel stonewalls Gaza probe, April 30, 2009)

The Media’s Shrug Of Indifference

While some elements of the above account could be pieced together from a handful of media reports in the corporate press, the coverage was largely fragmented, often confusing and the tone muted. Significantly, we could not find a single editorial in the British press expressing outrage, or even discomfort, at the subversion of the UN, and the evident contempt for the organisation, by Israel and the US.

The most extensive coverage was in the Guardian with two articles totalling under 1200 words. (Rory McCarthy and Ed Pilkington, ‘UN report accuses Israel military of negligence and urges reparations for Gaza deaths’; Julian Borger, ‘UN chief rejects further inquiry’, both on May 6, 2009)

An Independent article devoted just 654 words to the report and Ban Ki-moon’s rejection of it. (Donald Macintyre, ‘UN retreats after Israel hits out at Gaza report’, Independent, May 6, 2009)

Meanwhile, the Times exerted itself by expending all of 99 words on the story. (James Bone, ‘UN condemns Israel over phosphorus’, Times, May 6, 2009)

And nobody could accuse the Daily Telegraph of avoiding the matter. It granted the story two lines; a total of 47 words. (Alex Spillius, Daily Telegraph, ‘You must accept the goal of a Palestinian state, Biden tells Israel’, May 6, 2009)

In the days since Ban Ki-moon came to the defence of Israel and its powerful backers in the UN Security Council, the British news media has shrugged off any disquiet it might have had.

While there have been UN investigations of war crimes committed in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, somehow war crimes committed in Gaza do not deserve the same scrutiny and accountability. The omission is not unique, of course. There has never been a UN inquiry into war crimes committed by the United States in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The UN would surely be destroyed if such a move were ever seriously contemplated.

For the corporate media, then, there is no need for forensic analysis of this latest cynical sidelining of the UN, a body set up to promote world peace after all. There has been no rottweiler unearthing of this UN capitulation which, once again, effectively covers up major atrocities committed by Israel with heavy backing from its allies in the UN Security Council. But then, they are ‘our’ allies and, by definition, ‘the good guys’. The media instinctively know this is the script they must follow.

The orginal article can be found here. This version contains links to the journalists and editors and recommendations for action.




arabs are semites (and israel's crimes are the enemy of jewish culture, it transforms jewish culture into military fascism)


Israel's new advanced weapons

Textron Systems/U.S. Air Force. Here's how it works. There are these new types of mini-bomb-lets that are similar to cluster bombs, but the difference lies in that they way they operate is by exploding and converting a mas off copper into molten copper that jets towards the victims at over 2800 feet/second. These weapons can shred cars and limbs. Without leaving shrapnel and at the same time they are armour piercing. With such a lethal momentum, even the air around the trajectory of the molten copper is so hot that it would damage living tissue in such deep burns and wounds in the flesh that the doctors are describing.

Memories Documented
August 10, 2006

Rami is wondering about new weapons being used against civilians. I saw a documentary about such a weapon. Here's how it works

There are these new types of mini-bomb-lets that are similar to cluster bombs, but the difference lies in that they way they operate is by exploding and converting a mas off copper into molten copper that jets towards the victims at over 2800 feet/second.

These weapons can shred cars and limbs. Without leaving shrapnel and at the same time they are armour piercing.

With such a lethal momentum, even the air around the trajectory of the molten copper is so hot that it would damage living tissue in such deep burns and wounds in the flesh that the doctors are describing.

These weapons are relatively cheap to manufacture and ware designed to attack ground troops. Sadly they're currently being used against civilians in their homes.

This is a very advanced weapon. It was used only once in the gulf war (the high yield version of it) and one bomb was attributed for liquidating a full Iraqi battalion entrenched in the Palm fields!


Sensor Fuzed Weapon (Episode: The Power of Fear)
A much improved version of the standard cluster bomb, the sensor fuzed weapon (formally the CBU-97) uses "smart" bomblets to spread destruction across battlefields with precise strikes on multiple enemy targets. The CBU-97 is actually a bomb-like canister (above, inset) containing 10 cylindrical canisters (called "submunitions") that each hold four "smart" hockey puck-shaped "skeet" bomblets, giving a total of 40 bomblets per weapon.

As shown in the diagram above, just after the main canister is released, its skin opens ("A" on the diagram), deploying the 10 submunitions each with its own parachute. At a preset altitude, the parachutes are jettisoned (B) and rockets in the submunition canisters (C) lift them up and then spin to disperse the skeet bomblets (D). Infrared sensors in the bomblets then search for targets that are taken out with small powerful warheads (E).

--Discovery:Future weapons


CIA Boss Panetta to Israel: Don't Attack Iran!

Friday, May 15, 2009 1:49 PM

By: David A. Patten

A secret mission to Israel two weeks ago by CIA Director Leon Panetta has led to a grand bargain of sorts: Israel promises not to attack Iran's nuclear facilities without first consulting the United States, but wants a time limit on the Obama administration's diplomatic overtures to Tehran, various published sources report.

It's not the first time U.S. officials have grown nervous over Israel's response to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

In the final year of the Bush administration, Israeli officials tripped alarms in Washington by asking the Pentagon to supply additional bunker-busting munitions whose only likely use would be to attack Iran's enrichment installations.

The Bush administration was so taken aback by the request that it dispatched Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to insist that Israel not unilaterally attack the Iranians.

During his election campaign, Netanyahu made the ominous remark: "If elected I pledge that Iran will not attain nuclear arms, and that includes whatever is necessary for this statement to be carried out."

Panetta's visit was timed to remove a thorny issue prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington next week.

Panetta's message to Israel: Washington will not accept the threat of imminent Israeli military action hanging over its efforts to bring Iran to the negotiating table. The Israelis reportedly agreed they will inform U.S. officials before hitting Iran, London Times reports.

That agreement may not have come without conditions, however. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that while Netanyahu supports the diplomatic efforts, he wants U.S. authorities to give Iran a limited window to respond.

According to The New York Times, Israeli officials asked the United States to provide benchmarks that could be used to determine whether the diplomatic offensive with Tehran is on track and actually working.

The Times reports Israeli officials indicated that they will only wait about "a year or so" to show that efforts to reach a compromise with Iranian officials are working.

The Israelis are concerned that Iran's leaders are just stalling for time to develop their nuclear-weapons capability.

"They are making it too early to react until it is too late to react," a senior Israeli official told The New York Times.

During the Bush administration, Israel, which counts on the United States for billions in aid, consulted with U.S. officials before launching its 2007 strike against a Syrian nuclear reactor.


Doctors said that, unlike traditional combat injuries, there was no large shrapnel found in the bodies and there appeared to be a "dusting" on damaged internal organs. (Palestine Chronicle/Mail & Guardian, South Africa)

Gaza: Inexplicable wounds and New Weapons (GlobalResearch)

Doctors found entery wounds on the bodies of wounded and dead (AlJazeera)

Israel accused of using 'Dime' bombs: A child in a Gaza hospital is still too ill to return home (AlJazeera)

USA fighter aircraft - a gift to the colonial oppressor in the Middle East.

A wounded child in an Israeli attack.

Palestinian's legs following attack by unidentified Israeli weapon (The WE/www.kawther.info)

The head of this victim was "melted" by an unidentified weapon used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip (The WE/www.kawther.info)

Palestinian boy killed as he lay sleeping by an unidentified weapon used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip (The WE/www.kawther.info)

Isayeret.com -- Mossad CIA MI6 -- 911 inside job, London 77 Madrid Bali
(read about GLADIO in wikipedia, Bologna bomb, Ergenekon)

A child seriously injured by an unidentifed Israeli weapon.

"Is Israel using a lethal new weapon?" - A Palestinian boy wounded during an Israeli army operation in the Mughazi refugee camp is treated at a hospital in Deir Al Balah, Gaza Strip. (Photo: AP/Mail & Guardian)

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Monday, May 18, 2009


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites