Monday, January 26, 2009

Gaza Pogrom: Israel Required Palestinians Rockets to Inflict Pogrom + Sniegoski on the power of the Lobby

This image from Israeli sources of a Quassam rocket which apparently landed in Israel from the Gaza strip seems to have Hebrew markings. One question is how did it get such markings?
[:Note: I was later reminded by an alert reader that the Hebrew markings are most likely messages sent in Hebrew to their Jewish cousins. Thanks for the correction.}*SAM96tleUKVQoEYkzVDKGppMnQkwLWkuwx4BGWcjJXIG4Aj8uswEv21EFEMcCq81jX116h1BwqnYKX7py/qassam19.jpg

Are they of Israeli origin and if so how did they get to Gaza? If indeed the rockets were made with Israeli parts and "smuggled" to Gaza by means of the Rafah tunnels, that might be one more piece of evidence that this whole "crisis" was manufactured, just as was the 33 day Lebanon War of 2006 with the active participation of the Bush administration and Elliot Abrams, their point man on the Middle East. .

Many have noted that it was Israel who broke the cease fire on Nov 4, 2008 by killing six Hamas activists -- not to mention cutting off vital food and fuel shipments and everything else. Israeli pressure on the Palestinians was dramatically ratcheted up after the January 2006 Parliamentary elections which Hamas won. The elections themselves were insisted upon by the Bush administration, knowing that Hamas would win. (Remarkably this point was made in the US election campaign.) And once again, as in the Lebanon war, it is the US is playing a leading role preventing a cease fire. It is also clear to many that Israel is deliberately targeting civilians just as they are targeting the civil infrastructure so as to make life as difficult as possible for 1.5 million Gazans. Their long range plan is to eliminate non Jews entirely. Could any message be clearer? We don't want you here!!

I was surprised to find in the Forward, a report from a right-wing think tank, the Jerusalem based Shalem Center (not to be confused with the Leftist Philadelphia based Shalom Center) quoting senior fellow Martin Kramer acknowledging that “Israel could have ceased Hamas rocket fire by opening crossings.” Although the Forward article confusingly continues with Kramer saying that “from a political point of view, it is not about rockets but about crossings,” it’s remarkable to find a right wing or any wing Israeli or pro Zionist voice acknowledging that the rockets (and Israeli casualties) have been driven by Israeli policy. (See "What Happens to Gaza When the Fighting Stops?" )

We can see the current attack on Gaza as yet another post-November parting gift from the Bush-Cheney administration to the incoming Obama team and to the world. (The deep and ongoing CIA/ISI connection suggests that it's not unlikely that the recent terror attack in Mumbai was their first such gift.) In both cases, their actions betray, as have all their policies for the last eight years, their nihilist agenda of permanent war and limitless destruction for its own sake.

As for the wall-to- wall pro Israeli line in the media and in Congress in the face of unspeakable atrocities against a captive, helpless gentile people by Israel and the West who claim Never Again as on abiding mantra, most readers understand that the power of the Lobby, when it comes to defending the most vicious Israeli ruthlessness goes beyond even their grassroots supporters.

Nevertheless it’s worthwhile reviewing a few timely paragraphs from author and analyst Stephen Sniegoski on “Congress’ Gaza Resolution Illustrates Power of the Israel Lobby”

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Sniegoski writes:

According to the critics, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, in their “The Israel Lobby,” much exaggerated the power of the lobby. The critics claimed that congressional support for Israel simply reflected the views of the American people. Congress’ recent resolution on Gaza, however, would seem to belie this criticism and underscore the immense power of the Israel Lobby. Congress almost unanimously endorsed the Israeli mass killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip, which, of course, involves the use of American weapons. By voice vote, the Senate gave unanimous support for the resolution. The House of Representatives voted 390 for the resolution with only 5 against [Kucinich, Moore (WI), Paul, Rahall, Waters]

The view of the American public, however, was significantly different. As the following article points out, the American people “do not support this senseless slaughter in anything near overwhelming numbers.” [Quoting from a Rasmussen Poll]

“Americans, while far more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians, are closely divided over whether the Jewish state should be taking military action against militants in the Gaza Strip. Forty-four percent (44%) say Israel should have taken military action against the Palestinians, but 41% say it should have tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problems there...”

[Source: Rasmussen Reports, Dec. 31, 2008]

The author continues: “If 41% of Americans didn't support the onset of military action, surely fewer than that support the disproportionate murder of over 700 people. Yet, 89.6% of our representatives just voted to express our government's support for this crime. Less than one percent of the House voted 'no'.”

The author wonders, rather pretends to wonder, “How did we get to this point where there is such a massive distortion and disconnect between what the public thinks and how their representatives vote? That's a matter for speculation.”

Let’s engage in a little “speculation.” Despite a media which has slanted coverage of Gaza about as much as possible in favor of Israel (totally different from what the rest of the world is getting), the American public is roughly divided on the issue of the correctness of the Israeli attack. That Congress provides almost unanimous support for Israel (even when such support is contrary of American national interest since it increases world hatred of the US) would seem to indicate the power of the Israel Lobby.

Very few of those Americans who oppose the Israeli attack on Gaza base their political support and voting on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and even those few who do lack the wherewithal to make much of a political impact. In contrast, the Israel Lobby can exert considerable power (money, media) against those members of Congress who oppose it. Since members of Congress, in the main, tend to be lacking in sincere conviction and political courage, they are not willing to take the chance of opposing the Israel Lobby. Of course, the same is true in the media—bucking the lobby is simply not career enhancing. The vast majority of people simply prefer career success in the media or politics as opposed to becoming a martyr—especially a martyr who might be smeared as a devil by the pro-Israel saturated media. Average Americans don’t sacrifice much by taking a position opposed to Israel—certainly, in most cases, their jobs do not depend on their views of Israeli policy. --S.S.


The Gaza Strip Conflict Resolution

by BooMan

Fri Jan 9th, 2009

On the scale of offensive one-sidedness in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the ironically named Gaza Strip Conflict Resolution is probably about a 'five'. The actual text of the resolution has a couple of disputable facts, but its real fault lies in its arbitrary selection of facts. Yet, critiquing the factual basis for the resolution is outside the scope of this essay. It was carefully crafted to assure maximum support. And it just received maximum support in the House, where it passed by a vote of 390-5 with 22 Democrats voting 'present' and 16 representatives not voting.

The five representatives that voted against the resolution are Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Ron Paul (R-TX), Nick Rahall (D-WV), and Maxine Waters (D-CA). I believe 21 of the 22 Democratic members that voted 'present' are members of the Progressive Caucus.

The important thing is that 390 members of the House voted for a resolution that states (in part):

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