Murdoch’s Australian newspaper hilariously publishes an article about Australian Jews now working in Israel to sell its war against Palestinians civilians. Says Captain Rutland, head of the European and Pacific desks at the IDF:
I know that the vast majority of them [soldiers] are quite simply very good people who do the maximum to minimise injuries to civilians and I’m convinced that the IDF is a moral and just body which makes it easy for me to sell it.
The murder of civilians is labelled by the paper as a “blunder.”
The shamelessness of the “journalism” should be treated with the contempt it deserves. How this publication regards such articles as anything other than Israeli Foreign Ministry spin is beyond me.
A colleague and friend, Jennifer Loewenstein (no relation) just emailed me a release from the Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza outlining the real situation in the Strip:
1. Israel has begun a new policy in Gaza in the past two days called the “roof knock”. This is when a “small” rocket is fired from Israeli military aircraft that is strong enough to blast open the roof of a targeted building. It is sent as a “warning message” to the building’s inhabitants giving them between 2 and 3 minutes to evacuate before the building is completely destroyed. A number of cases of this new technique have been reported recently.
2. While the UN continues to claim that “only” 25% of the casualties from the attacks on Gaza are civilian, the Mezan Center for Human Rights (known for the care it takes not to overstate the numbers and for its strict verification policies) estimates that the number of civilian casualties is approximately 85%. In particular, the number of children has increased to over 200, and the number of women has surpassed 75. One reason for the lower civilian casualty figures used by the UN has to do with the reluctance to consider men -other than the elderly and sick- as non-combatants. In fact the overwhelming majority of men killed in “Operation Cast Lead” up to now have been non-combatants, including fathers, teachers, shopkeepers, construction workers, laborers, students, as well as the civil policemen. The vast majority are not “Hamas militants.” Note that the civil police are considered ‘non-combatants’ under international law and are therefore not ‘legitimate’ targets in any military confrontation any more than traffic cops or firemen.
3. The UN announced this evening that “almost everyone in the Gaza Strip” is now in need of humanitarian aid. Indeed, even those with adequate food supplies are a) handing out what they have to people in “shelters” (which have been targeted consistently by Israeli war machines in the past); Even those with adequate food supplies are b) unable to obtain bread anywhere. Many are using rice or spaghetti to substitute for carbohydrates — when these are availabe and when there is water and electricity to allow for cooking these items.
4. There are widespread reports now of forced evacuations of entire neighborhoods of people who go mainly to nearby schools or other public buildings not yet destroyed. These are considered no more secure than their homes but remain the only other places to go (other than to move into crowded dwellings with relatives; or places no more secure than their own homes). The congregation of so many people in these enclosed spaces increases the likelihood of major civilian casualties when airstrikes target the area.
Israeli policies in this war and the West Bank are deliberately designed to maximise Palestinian trauma and a number of Americans this week have spoken out forcefully against Israel’s bombardment (including a Marine who just served in Iraq.)
Israeli actions are trying to arrest the inevitable; a majority Arab population in the Jewish state and global sanctions.
That time is sooner than Zionists think.