Before the start of Israel’s siege of Gaza, we predicted that the government of Israel would not relent until approximately ‘1,500’ Palestinians were dead. That looks to be the case this time around, as the death toll in Gaza reaches 1,200 today. Tel Aviv made noises to the effect that they want to continue their military campaign until they feel that Gaza is ‘disarmed’, or crippled with the inability to resist, in any way, Tel Aviv’s strangulation of Gaza.
Previous over-the-top bombing campaigns and ground incursions in Gaza and Lebanon have seen those numbers reached, before Israel would back down on hostilities. If past history is any guide, the 1,500 number seems to be limit before international, and even US, public opinion kicks in and demands an end to hostilities by the IDF.
Israelis Celebrate the Massacre
As Israelis gather, appearing to celebrate (see below) this latest massacre waged in the name of ‘security’, long-term observers of Israeli military’ operations can easily see a bombastic pattern, of wanton bloodsport, becoming the new standard for Israel.
There are many other, more humane voices within Israel, who are repeatedly silenced and marginalized because of their nonviolent stance. Last night on CNN, anchor Don Lemon hosted a panel to discuss the violence in Israel: Marc Lamont-Hill (American), Peter Beinart (Israeli) and of course, Alan Dershowitz. Moderate Peter Beinart was all but ignored by Lemon, who chose to give the majority of talking time to the more militant Zionist, Dershowitz, who claimed that the entire IDF operation was only about “tunnels”. As a result of this routine marginalization of moderate, reasonable voices on the Gaza and Israel, American audiences are conditioned to believe what they hear – and on CNN, all they can hear is Dershowitz calling for more militarized violence by the IDF.
One of the most disturbing aspects of Israeli society has to be the enthusiasm with which some Israelis display for mass killing of Palestinian civilians, particularly women and children.
In the video below, dated July 26, 2014, a large crowd of young Israelis, each decked out in designer T-shirts, iPhones, back-packs, and tattoos, can be seen proudly festooning and shouting as they chant en mass, “There’s no school tomorrow, there’s no children left in Gaza! Oleh!”. From a sociological or psychological analytical perspective, this can only be described as an extremely dark, low point for humanity. Watch:
For other Israelis, the Gaza massacre is a morbid form of entertainment. A number of media reports featured people gathering on Israeli hillsides to drink, snack and pose for ‘selfies’ against a background of explosions as Palestinian death toll mounts in ongoing offensive.
“Old sofas, garden chairs, battered car seats and upturned crates provide seating for the spectators. On one hilltop, a swing has been attached to the branches of a pine tree, allowing its occupant to sway gently in the breeze. Some bring bottles of beer or soft drinks and snacks.”
“A group of men huddle around a shisha pipe. Nearly all hold up smartphones to record the explosions or to pose grinning, perhaps with thumbs up, for selfies against a backdrop of black smoke.”
IMAGE: Israelis sit on a hill to watch air strikes on Gaza, some bring drinks and snacks as they cheer the explosions a few miles away. Photograph: UPI/Landov/Barcroft Media (Photo via Guardian)
This latest Gaza siege by Israel should be disturbing, even to a hardened neocon. The Israeli army claims to have “targeted hundreds of terror sites” in Gaza, yet, they’re not required to provide any real proof, other than “we say it is” to justify their hourly massacring of civilians and destroying homes. Out of 1.7 million residents crammed into the Gaza Strip, the main UN agency in Gaza, UNRWA, has more than 167,000 displaced Palestinians, forced to take shelter in schools and buildings – before being targeted again for Israel forces.
A Culling of Palestinians
During the 2008-2009 blitzkrieg of Gaza by the IDF, called Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008–January 18, 2009), roughly 1,400 Palestinians, with an estimated 90% of those being civilians, women and children – all killed by Israel military, and only 3 Israeli noncombatants and 10 IDF soldiers losing their lives. With numbers like that, it would be disengenuos to call it a ‘war’, more like shooting fish in a barrel. In fact, throughout the years of rocket attacks into Israel, a total of 29 people have been killed altogether. On top of this, Israel routinely fudges its own data on Israel deaths, as well as rockets.
In 2012, during Israel’s vainly titled, ‘Operation Pillar of Cloud’, the Palestinian death toll was mild in comparison to today, with 171 Palestinians killed. The death toll is only part of the picture however. Over 100 of the 171 Palestinians killed were civilians, including 20 elderly people, and 35 children. 625 of the 648 wounded were civilians, including 214 children, 93 women, and 16 people with disabilities. On top of this, over 1,200 homes (property) were targeted and turned to dust by the IDF. During this latest siege in 2014, CNN proudly broadcast yesterday their time lapse video footage of the IDF completely leveling one Gaza neighborhood in a matter of a few minutes. A typically concerned looking Anderson Cooper was giving his play-by-play commentary of this grotesque pornographic scene, but as usual, he could not manage to utter even a word of criticism at Israel – not one word.
In 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon in a bloody siege which ended with 1,191 Lebanese dead in total (including combatants and foreign civilians in Lebanon) and over 4,000 injured. The IDF lost only 121 soldiers, and Israeli civilians said to have died were 43.
Israel has created, and actively maintains its own Wikipedia pages regarding events in Gaza. Their own version of history can be seen here, at the 2012 Gaza Siege page which glorifies the work of the IDF. Note that Israeli Wikipedia pages only list ‘militant killed’ and do not show total civilian deaths. One can only conclude then, that this is pure propaganda – and its authors have little, if any, visible empathy towards the overwhelming majority of dead victims who are noncombatants.
As the Israeli information machine rolls on, so too does the list of dead and maimed in Gaza.
Despite the predictable wall of denial and lack of accountability by Tel Aviv and the powerful Israeli Lobby based in the US, Israel’s biannual obsession with killing Palestinians and Arabs must end before any hope of peace can be achieved in this story.
READ MORE ISRAEL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Israel Files