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Forum Post: norman finkelstein - some obvious truths about gaza

Posted 3 years ago on Aug. 6, 2014, 7:25 a.m. EST by flip (7101)
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AMY GOODMAN: Norm Finkelstein, do you think the ceasefire will hold? Do you think talks will take place?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, because at this point, basically what’s going to happen is it’s over. Obama said it’s over. The ground invasion had reached its limit. And now Netanyahu has the problem that he has to end the rocket—the projectile attacks on Israel. And the only way he can do that is he’s going to have to agree to some lifting of the blockade. So, at this point there’s nothing left that Netanyahu can do. He inflicted the death, the destruction—he mowed the lawn. And now what’s probably going to happen is they’re going to bring in the Palestinian Authority, there will be rebuilding of Gaza, they’ll attempt to disarm Hamas. And I think the finale, the last stage, the coup de grâce, is going to be that Kerry is going to dust off his peace initiative—namely, imposing on the Palestinians a surrender. With Hamas now neutered, Hamas disarmed, they’ll try to impose the Kerry peace initiative on the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority will happily agree. And then there will be, again, a September 1993, a big peace agreement signed, and all the people will celebrate peace.

AARON MATÉ: But someone could say, "Well, that’s great. The blockade’s lifted, so people in Gaza stop suffering. We have peace, and the rocket attacks from Gaza are over."

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, except for one thing: You didn’t have to kill 1,800 people. You didn’t have to level Gaza and reduce it to rubble to lift the blockade. The blockade is illegal. It’s immoral. Why did you have to wait ’til after to do what was demanded under international law before? ....................................

AMY GOODMAN: So, Norm, the ceasefire has been announced. It’s holding, well, just hours into it. And there is, if it holds, going to be negotiations taking place. Talk about what has happened.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the first thing is to have clarity about why there is a ceasefire. The last time I was on the program, I mentioned that Prime Minister Netanyahu, he basically operates under two constraints: the international constraint—namely, there are limits to the kinds of death and destruction he can inflict on Gaza—and then there’s the domestic constraint, which is Israeli society doesn’t tolerate a large number of combatant deaths.

He launched the ground invasion for reasons which—no point in going into now—and inflicted massive death and destruction on Gaza, where the main enabler was, of course, President Obama. Each day he came out, he or one of his spokespersons, and said, "Israel has the right to defend itself." Each time he said that, it was the green light to Israel that it can continue with its terror bombing of Gaza. That went on for day after day after day, schools, mosques, hospitals targeted. But then you reached a limit. The limit was when Israel started to target the U.N. shelters—targeted one shelter, there was outrage; targeted a second shelter, there was outrage. And now the pressure began to build up in the United Nations. This is a United Nations—these are U.N. shelters. And the pressure began to build up. It reached a boiling point with the third shelter. And then Ban Ki-moon, the comatose secretary-general of the United Nations and a U.S. puppet, even he was finally forced to say something, saying these are criminal acts. Obama was now cornered. He was looking ridiculous in the world. It was a scandal. Even the U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, was now calling it a criminal act. So finally Obama, the State Department said "unacceptable," "deplorable." And frankly, it’s exactly what happened in 1999 in Timor: The limits had been reached, Clinton said to the Indonesian army, "Time to end the massacre." And exactly happened now: Obama signaled to Netanyahu the terror bombing has to stop. So, Obama—excuse me, Netanyahu had reached the limit of international tolerance, which basically means the United States.

And then there was the domestic issue. Israel had launched a ground invasion ostensibly to stop the so-called rocket attacks, but then it turned into something different: the tunnels. Now, the tunnels had nothing to do with Israel. That’s totally ridiculous. Israel claims there were 12 tunnels that had passed through its border. There were many more tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. The first thing Sisi did when he came into power in Egypt was seal the tunnels. Did he have to destroy all of Gaza to seal the tunnels? Israel couldn’t have done the same thing—seal the tunnels on its side of the border, exactly what Sisi did in Egypt? What did the Hamas have? It had spoons. It had shovels. You’re telling me that Israel didn’t have the earth-moving equipment to build a wall that went deeper than the tunnels? It had nothing to do with the tunnels entering Israel.

The problem was, the tunnels in Gaza, it turned out, they had created a fairly sophisticated network of tunnels, incidentally—I know we’re not allowed to make these comparisons—not unlike the bunkers that were built in the Warsaw Ghetto—primitive, but effective—and the Hamas fighters were able to come out of the tunnels, and they inflicted a significant number of casualties on Israel. During Operation Cast Lead in 2008, '09, 10 Israeli combatants were killed, of which four were from friendly fire. This time it was about 65. Now, during the Lebanon War in 2006, about 120 Israeli combatants were killed, but that was against the Hezbollah, which is a formidable guerrilla army. So, half and more were killed in Gaza this time. So, Israel's aim was not to destroy the tunnels going into Israel. That’s ridiculous. What they wanted to do was destroy the tunnel system inside Gaza, because now an effective—not very effective, but effective—guerrilla force had been created. And Israel, every few years, has to—or less than few years, has to mow the lawn in Gaza. And so, they wanted to make sure the next time they mow the lawn—........................AARON MATÉ: So now we have these talks. The call for Israel is for Hamas to disarm. Hamas’s goal has been for a lifting of the blockade of Gaza. And, of course, they’re being held in Egypt. What do you expect to play out in these talks?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen. And as a matter of fact, already in mid-July I posted something on my website predicting what would happen, exactly what did happen. What’s going to happen now is, for domestic reasons, Netanyahu has to end the projectile attacks on Israel. Hamas says it won’t stop firing its projectiles, quote-unquote, "rockets," until and unless Israel lifts the blockade of Gaza. So what’s going to happen—and it’s exactly what I said, as I said, three weeks ago—what’s going to happen is they’re going to bring in the Palestinian Authority to control the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, lift the blockade partially because of that crossing; then, on the Israeli side, they’re already talking about huge amounts of international donor aid to rebuild Gaza. It’s really a kind of weird conflict. I mean, there are so many weirdnesses about this conflict. Israel blows everything up. Nobody even talks about Israel paying reparations. It’s just taken as a matter of fact that the international community rebuilds after Israel destroys. It’s just a schnorrer state, "schnorrer" being the Yiddish for a sponger. We destroy, they pay. Nobody even discusses the possibility maybe Israel should pay reparations for its death and destruction in Gaza. In any case—

AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, Israel would say it was the thousands of Hamas rockets that were shot into Israel that they now feel that they have succeeded in preventing.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Look, there were no Hamas rockets fired into Israel. There were Hamas primitive projectiles fired into Israel. Anybody with a moment’s common sense knows it was impossible—and it’s already been documented by people like Mark Perry. Everyone with a moment’s common sense knows they couldn’t have been firing, quote-unquote, "rockets" into Israel, for an obvious reason. After July 2013 there was a coup in Egypt. The tunnels were sealed after 2013. On the Israeli side, there was a blockade. What could get into Gaza? No military equipment can get into Gaza. No ammunition can get into Gaza. They were firing—as somebody put it in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, they had a guidance system, what they were firing, said it was the equivalent of upgraded fireworks. Now, OK, you could say upgraded—it had no guidance system, but you could say, well, they had a payload, an explosive payload on the fireworks. Where is the evidence for it? Now, I—

AMY GOODMAN: In a moment we’re going to talk with physicist Ted Postol about the Iron Dome system and the rockets.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, look, I have a high regard for Theodore Postol. However, I don’t accept part of his analysis, because he says that what protected Israel from the Hamas projectiles was not Iron Dome, but, he says, a sophisticated bunker—a sophisticated shelter system and a warning system. But that doesn’t explain another fact: Then why hasn’t there been significant damage to civilian infrastructure? How many schools were destroyed by these rockets? How many hospitals were destroyed? How many government buildings? That can’t be explained by the civilian shelter system.



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[-] 3 points by ShadzSixtySix (1936) 3 years ago

''The Root Cause of the Never-Ending Conflict in Palestine; and How to Fix It'', by Peter Cohen, a Dutch Jewish WWII Survivor :

''Zionism is a conceptual ideology in which it is assumed that part or all of the land of Palestine belongs to "the Jews." Of course, we should all be free to assume whatever we want, but where such assumptions lead to organized conquests, expulsions, land dispossession or the kind of repetitive episodes of brutal violence we have just seen in Gaza, that is quite another matter.

''Many words have been devoted to the question of how to attain "peace" between the Zionist colonists and the people who were living in Palestine prior to the Zionists' arrival. This article is not about that kind of peace. Defining grounds on which to make peace within the status quo is not my concern here. What I have in mind is something far more fundamental: the return of Palestine, through political inducements, to the people we have come to call the Palestinians.''

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 8 points by beautifulworld (22872) 3 years ago

Israel's land grab and the international response:

"Here's What The World Thinks Of Israel's Controversial Land Grab"


Ban Ki Moon: "The Secretary-General calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to refrain from settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Quartet Road Map.The Secretary-General calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to refrain from settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Quartet Road Map."

The U.S.: "The steps are contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent-status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed."

The E.U.: "We condemn the new expropriation of land in the West Bank, relating to plans for further settlement expansion, announced by the Israeli government on Sunday."

Norway: "The expropriation of land makes the work to find a lasting two-state solution for Israel and Palestine more difficult, and I strongly urge the Israeli authorities to reverse this decision."

Japan: "The Government of Japan strongly deplores that the Government of Israel has announced to expropriate nearly 4 square kilometers of land in the southern part of the West Bank."

France: "France condemns the Israeli authorities’ decision to confiscate 400 hectares of land in Bethlehem Governorate (West Bank) for the benefit of the neighbouring settlement of Gvaot. And it calls on those authorities to go back on their decision."

The oppression of the Palestinian people must end and the international community is integral to making that happen.

[-] 5 points by ShadzSixtySix (1936) 3 years ago

Famously http://www.ifamericansknew.org/images/FourMaps.jpg shows the extent of the dispossession of Palestinians and the reality of the bantustans in Israel/Palestine [+ http://www.ifamericansknew.org/ ]

Your excellent link, entitled ''Here's What The World Thinks Of Israel's Controversial Land Grab'' - gives even further insight into both Israel's actions and the level of real international opprobrium. However Israel pays no heed to this as ONLY the 'relationship' with The U$A has relevance, altho' that is a limited p-o-v as explained here ... http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39558.htm - by Lawrence Davidson.

The 'HuffPo' link concluded with the words "What we did yesterday was a display of Zionism,” Israel’s economics minister Naftali Bennet said on Monday in response to Israel's decision. “Building is our answer to murder." - stated without irony & quoted and referenced from :

Apartheid Israel is now a hyper militarised, nuclear armed rogue state these days, however consider ...

I personally think that the possibility of any ''Two State Solution'', has been utterly obviated by Israel's actions over time since 1967 and that the 'South African Paradigm' now prevails. The solutions to this situation therefore will have to be along the same lines & thus consider :

Finally, the four ''Removed'' comments at the bottom of this thread, were all from me and all essentially the same. However, our erstwhile 'moderator' and self-exposed 'DNC / Likud' shill/operative had taken it upon himself (with the help of his attack 'Dog'(s) to censor and attack such comments - so I'm going to repeat my previous reply in its entirety - as his petty tyranny no longer applies on this forum :

Didn't the Jewish people under siege in Warsaw by the Nazi Germans, dig a network of tunnels ? 

Wasn't the attempts of those Jewish people's resistance, a source of pride to Jews everywhere ?

Aren't there books like ''Mila 18'' in the US - praising Jewish ingenuity and courage in building the tunnels and defying the Gestapo, Shutzstaffel & the Whermacht's attempts at controlling them ?

How can the Uber Right Wing Nationalist Alliance Government lead by Likud and Naftali Bennet, Avigdore Lieberman and Bendyamind Nutty-Yahoo now justify such death & destruction because Palestinians have similarly dug such tunnels after they've being besieged .. for the last 7 years ?

The Blockade of Gaza is an act of War under any reading of International Law but memories are intentionally short and hypocrisies are long. Also fyi :

+ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mila_18> ;

+ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising> ;

+ <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005188> ;

+ <http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/16/newsid_3501000/3501730.stm> ;

+ <http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-ultimate-emblem-of-resistance-the-warsaw-ghetto-uprising/> &

+ <http://www.globalresearch.ca/gaza-versus-the-warsaw-ghetto-double-standards-in-assessing-crimes-against-humanity/32455> .

When memories shorten or are lost or intentionally forgotten, then the abused go on to become abusers and IF the victimised people simply lay down in front of bullies - then the bullies never stop their violence and bullying.

Finally after all that and as per your original link and comment, please also consider the following item :

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

very good

[-] 6 points by ShadzSixtySix (1936) 3 years ago

''Israel's Video Justifying Destruction of a Gaza Hospital Was From 2009'', by Gareth Porter :

''A video distributed by the Israeli military in July suggesting that Palestinian fighters had fired from the Al Wafa Rehabilitation and Geriatric Hospital in Gaza City was not shot during the recent Israeli attack on Gaza, and both audio and video clips were manipulated to cover up the fact that they were from entirely different incidents, a Truthout investigation has revealed.

''The IDF real reason for the destruction of Al Wafa hospital appears to be related to the determination to raise the cost to the civilian population of Gaza for Palestinian resistance, in line with the approach represented by its "Dahiya doctrine," named after the Beirut suburb dominated by Hezbollah, much of which the Israeli Air Force reduced to rubble in the 2006 war.

''That strategy, recognized as a violation of the international laws of war, was pursued most obviously in the complete destruction of every house in several square blocks in three separate areas of the Shujaiya district of Gaza City July 19-20. But it was also evident in IDF attacks on Al Wafa and in the series of mortar and artillery attacks on six different UN shelters from July 21 though August 3. Those attacks killed a total of 47 civilians and wounded 341, according to a survey of the incidents by The Guardian.

''In none of the six cases where UN shelters were hit by IDF mortar shells was the military able to offer a plausible explanation, and in three cases, it offered no explanation whatever.'' Finally fyi, further consider

fiat lux ; fiat justitia ; fiat pax ...

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1936) 3 years ago

Four replies referencing The Warsaw Ghetto have just been banned / 'removed' !!!

WTF is going on here now ?!! Auto-removed OR - over-zealous, partisan mods ?!

fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 3 years ago

what is warsaw ghetto

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

the jews were confined to the warsaw ghetto by the nazis - some of them fought back. google it and you will find books and maybe a couple of movies on the subject. it is a tough subject - some jews were used as overseers - a real mess

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 3 years ago

I got my fill of mass graves from a picture book in a library

what qualifies as "mass"? 2,000 ?

[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

don't know why you are asking me that - i did not use that word

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 3 years ago

I was relating it to my own life experience

[-] 0 points by ShadzSixtySix (1936) 3 years ago

Re. The Warsaw Ghetto, please use the following link Matt :

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

i think i will post one on the subject and see what happens