Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gaza - Rabbis Speak Out 7-31-14

31, July 2014      Gaza - Rabbis speak out

Ignoring the carnage in Gaza, the U.S. military announced that it was resupplying the Israeli army to ensure the mass murder of civilians continues. Local reporters describe horrific scenes of distraught families witnessing their loved ones being blown to pieces before their very eyes. Hospitals are on the verge of collapse following the destruction of local power plants. There is no safe place in Gaza. Its 1.8 million residents are trapped, unable to leave Gaza by land or sea.  Many are fleeing their homes which are being targeted but alas there is no place to run. Unable to refrigerate their food because of the lack of electricity, the people of Gaza are starving to death. No one is spared; reporters, medical personnel and many UN officials have been killed. Several Rabbis have voiced their vigorous opposition to the ongoing assault on Gaza. Rabbi Jill Jacobs of New York stated that in “human rights law and Jewish law – it is mandatory for the occupying force to protect the lives of civilians”. Rabbi Siegman formerly the executive director of the American Jewish Congress and head of the Synagogue Council of America, has expressed outrage of Israel’s polices in the Occupied Terrorties. He stated that ”there was a very simple remedy to prevent the attack on Gaza, namely to end the occupation which is the root cause of Palestinian outrage”. In a recent article in  Politico Rabbi Siegman laid the blame on Israel for provoking the war.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gaza 7-29-14

29, July 2014          GAZA

Prime Minister Netanyahu continues his non-stop diatribe of the Palestinians unleashing his arsenal of weapons of mass destructive on innocent civilians boasting of their pinpoint accuracy. One can only assume that innocent men, women and children are his intended targets. To intensify the misery and pain the IDF have deliberately destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure including schools, hospitals, mosques, water treatment and sewage plants and its main source of electricity. Many UN refugee shelters have also been deliberately bombed in-spite of the fact the precise GPS coordinates of the buildings were well known to the IDF. The trigger that unleashed the current violence was the death of 3 Israeli teenagers; Netanyahu accused Hamas of the murders but offered no proof. The accusation was a desperate attempt by Netanyahu to decouple the unity government of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. It has proved to be a total failure. The ongoing genocide has served to unify Palestinians against Israel’s decades old occupation and siege of Gaza. What has infuriated Americans is the derision heaped on John Kerry effort’s to broker a ceasefire. I urge concerned readers to contact the White House and their lawmakers and demand an immediate halt to military aid to Israel which has become an increasing liability (see

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gaza - Media Gate 7-27-14

27, July 2014   Gaza - Media Gate

The pressure is mounting to hold Israel accountable for committing the war crimes. Speaking at the U.N. Human Rights Council, Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said there is a "strong possibility" Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza. Pillay cited Israel’s deadly attack on residential homes in the Shejaiya neighborhood and the shelling of the al-Aqsa Hospital. Her comments followed   Amnesty International demand that Israel be investigated for war crimes. What is extremely disturbing is the skewed media coverage of Gaza. There appears to be a self-imposed media censorship – with the exception of few courageous newspapers - of any criticism of Israel’s actions. Some have dubbed this as “media gate”. A week after public outrage helped force NBC’s reversal of a decision to pull veteran reporter Ayman Mohyeldin out of Gaza, the sole Palestinian contributor to sister network MSNBC, Rula Jebreal, has protested that "We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue," on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily, citing a disproportionate amount of Palestinian voices and a preponderance of Israeli government officials and supporters. She complained that Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials and diehard Israeli supporters – Andrea Mitchell, Wolf Blitzer – appear to have a complete monopoly of air time. The American people are thus denied the opportunity to hear opposing voices. Finally, the complex relationship between Israel and the US was the subject of a recent National Summit meeting; see for details. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gaza 7-22-14

22, July 2014    GAZA

It is appalling that President Obama, buckling under political pressure, makes public statements goading and encouraging Israel to continue their slaughter of innocent defenseless Palestinian civilians. This is incremental genocide not legitimate defense. He repeats the mantra that “Israel has every right to defend itself” but remains totally silent on the right of Palestinians to defend themselves.  Israel has often boasted that they possess intelligence of every occupant and building in Gaza but the slaughter and mayhem would suggest the IDF is deliberately targeting civilians. 
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees says the number of people seeking refuge at its sites in Gaza has soared to more than 100,000. One of the shelters, a girls’ school in central Gaza, was hit Monday by an Israeli shell. So far today, Israel has struck more than 70 sites inside Gaza, including five mosques and a football stadium, water treatment and sewage plants. On Monday, at least 103 Palestinians died when Israel bombed a residential tower block in Gaza City. Five children died in that attack. In the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, five people died and 70 were wounded when Israel shelled the al-Aqsa Hospital. It became the third medical facility to be struck by Israel in the past two weeks. The injured included about 30 medics. Israel, in complete violation of international law, is using  flechette shells that spray out thousands of tiny and potentially lethal darts. Is this legitimate defense or deliberate mayhem? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gaza 7-15-2014

15, July 2014

Dear Editor,     Gaza
The assault on the Gaza Strip and rocket responses were supposedly triggered by the death of 3 Israeli teenagers. PM Netanyahu claims Hamas was responsible but offered no proof. Netanyahu’s wild accusations enraged Israelis who went on a rampage assaulting Palestinians and demolishing several several of their homes. I posed the question of the teenagers deaths to several experts at NPR’s Forum this morning but did not receive a definitive explanation. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and even the US State Department were unable to assign the guilt of the teenagers tragic death. We often hear the mantra that Israel has every right to defend itself but what is missing in this one-sided narrative is the Palestinians right to defend themselves from the Israeli military and settler terrorism. Israel boasts that it has launched targeted strikes on Gaza but when you see the death tolls, then the numbers actually speak volumes; 80 percent of those killed are civilians. Furthermore, with the wonton destruction of the infrastructure (hospitals, mosques, . .) one can only reasonably conclude the purpose of the horrific bombing is to inflict as much misery and terror on a defenseless population. The Obama administration which enabled the horrific massacres to take place is complicit in the human tragedy that is unfolding. Israel has never been accountable for its actions – meanwhile our tax dollars keep flowing into the Israeli war machine.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Israel – escalating violence 7-10-14

10 July 2014   

Israel – escalating violence

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It is unconscionable that Prime Minister Netanyahu should blame Hamas with the vile killings of three Israeli teenagers without offering any proof of their guilt. His wild accusations were largely responsible for the tragic death of 8 Palestinians and hundreds more arrested without charge.  Netanyahu should present his evidence and those responsible must be fully punished. Likewise, those responsible for the deaths of 8 Palestinians should be held fully accountable.  The arbitary  arrest of hundreds of Palestinians without charge is a clear violation of international law. People in Ramallah are experiencing Israeli raids for the first time. There is almost a complete lockdown in Hebron. To subject over two million Palestinians in the West Bank to collective punishment - that have nothing to do with the death of the 3 Israel teenagers, is outrageous. If Israel claims it has a right to defend itself how can Palestinians be denied the same right?  If lobbing rockets from Gaza is regarded as an act of terrorism then surely dropping bombs from high altitude must also be regarded as an act of terrorism. Thus far Israel has killed over 80 Palestinians, including 18 children and 10 women. Israeli settlers have engaged in appalling acts of terrorism – all with complete impunity. It is time to call for a halt to US aid to Israel which has been grossly misused to build more and more illegal settlements which is the root cause of the spiraling violence.