Thursday, July 31, 2014

Amira Hass: "Israel's moral defeat will haunt us for years"



Amira Hass, a great Israeli reporter who lives in the Occupied Territories, is often a voice of conscience. She speaks rightly of Israel's moral defeat in its current slaughters of civilians in Gaza (the UN suggests that some 30% of the total casualties are Hamas, but what even this quite limited and probably inflated figure means - for instance, someone who went to Hamas meetings and was present and killed when their family was killed - is not clear).

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It is the casualness of the slaughter of children, the attacks on hospitals and UN schools and electrical plants and water supplies (stark war crimes), the denial of escape, for millions of onlookers, which will mark what the state of Israel is - and those who arm it - for a long time to come. See also here.

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What would Jews say if some other power - say, a tsar - shelled hospitals, murdered large numbers of children, treated Jews like this?

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So far, the Israeli military has killed over a 1,300. These are mostly families - Amira names several - civilians, women, children. In contrast, Hamas rocked have killed 3 civilians (they have also killed some 57 Israeli soldiers who are attacking Gaza - that is, against international law for an Occupying power - and of course, Occupy it - also illegal).

One does not have to have a deep sense of morality or proportion, those under the spell of Israeli and American propaganda notwithstanding, to see that a 360 to 1 ratio (or many lesser ratios) in killing civilians or 242 children to 0 (with some two thousand more severely injured)... - is a sign of crime.

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Further, the crime is against people who are imprisoned and starved (the Israeli government speaks of keeping the Gazans on a "diet"), who cannot flee the small area of Gaza because Israel and Egypt block the borders.

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Amira cites a Western diplomat who sees clearly the rationalization about how it all right to murder civilians - supporters of American drones, listen, too - if there is a "terrorist" present (i.e. a family of 14 including a suspect):

“If it is legal according to international law,” a Western diplomat told me, shocked by his own state’s position in support of Israel, “it is a sign that something stinks in international law.”

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The "if" is important here. An occupying power cannot, under humanitarian law, use military as opposed to police force. The conquest is illegal (and immoral) and the Israeli practice of rule, if anything, more so. See here.

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One defines dishonorable policy lawyers - see the Obama's administration's belatedly released attempts to legitimize murder even of American civilians by drones - by their evasion of the clearest and most important moral standards, their substitution of pettifoggery (I am not speaking here of those who get individual clients off by whatever means available - a common practice - but of those who speak in bad faith for evil policies such as this one). In this case, Israel strives to change international law for the worse by force...

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Israel has long occupied and since a show of withdrawing troops and settlements, starved Gaza. Here is a recent comment from an editor of Huffington Post which reveals the limitations of the supposed Israeli "withdrawal":

"Boston Globe: 'Israeli-imposed buffer zones...now absorb nearly 14 percent of Gaza's total land and at least 48 percent of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85 percent of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three.' Human Rights Watch: 'Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there.' B'Tselem, 2013: 'Israel continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza's airspace and the territorial waters, just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967.'

See also Henry Siegman here.
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Supposedly the blockade is because the people there elected Hamas, an organization dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel and whose 1988 charter displays considerable racism (the French and Russian Revolutions, disliked by Hamas, are supposedly due to Jews, the spurious "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are touted...). But there is an important factual distinction here. The state of Israel occupies and encroaches steadily through settlements on the West Bank. It forces out - ethnically cleanses - the Palestinians. It is starving the people of Gaza and imposing vast unemployment...

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Further, Israel resisted Hamas subordinating itself to the PLO in the new government in the West Bank which could have negotiated a two state agreement. It seeks to destroy this hopeful possibility.

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In addition, Israel is increasingly and explicitly - through the words of ministers in the Government including Likud - determined, precisely comparable to Hamas' Charter against Israel, to exclude any Palestinian state. It actually directs an Occupation/blockade and slaughter - a racist apartheid state. See here.

Note: no US commercial media cover the racism of the governing parties or the routine segregation in Israel.

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Hamas is a movement that seeks to defend an oppressed people (not a good movement, one which also murders civilians - though a small number - with its "homemade" rockets and also thus "legitimizes" reaction, but one which has just now been brought back into the moral/political leadership of Gaza and perhaps the West Bank by this unbelievable, unconscionable slaughter, the act of an Israeli state that does not want "peace" with the Palestinians except expulsion from the Occupied Territories...).

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Hamas has recently made clear its willingness to accept the will of the Palestinian people with regard to a two state settlement. Its demand for a cease fire has been only that Israel lift its blockade.

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That this slaughter also (and very secondarily) harms ordinary Israelis who have no security and face increasing and justified contempt in the world is also clear. Even in America, the facts of Israeli slaughter and segregation in ordinary life have begun to be noticed especially among young people.

In addition, Israeli politics has veered sharply to the Right, even including physical assaults on demonstrators inside Israel. See here. So much for freedom of expression or the right to protest there. Still, 3,000 in Tel Aviv, 700 in Haifa marched against the Occupation last Saturday. See here.

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Supporters of Greater Israel like to emphasize the words of Hamas. But if they want to see ethnic cleansing, they have but to listen to their own words, look in the mirror.

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"Israel's moral defeat will haunt us for years
We have passed 1,000 dead Palestinians. How many more?
By Amira Hass | Jul. 28, 2014 | 2:31 PM | 1

Palestinian rescue officers removing a body on Saturday from the rubble of a building Palestinian rescue officers removing a body on Saturday from the rubble of a building where at least 20 members of the Al-Najjar extended family were killed in Khan Yunis.

For the photograph, see here.

If victory is measured in the number of dead, then Israel and its army are big winners. From the time I wrote these words on Saturday, and by the time you read them on Sunday, the number will no longer be 1,000 (70-80 percent civilians) but even more.

How many more? Ten bodies, 18? Three more pregnant women? Five dead children, their eyes half-open, their mouths gaping, their baby teeth poking out, their shirts covered with blood and they are being carried on a single stretcher? If victory means causing the enemy to pile up a number of slaughtered children on one stretcher, since there are not enough stretchers, then you have won, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – you and the nation that admires you.

And the trophy also goes to the Startup Nation, this time to the startup renowned for knowing and reporting as little as possible with as many international media and available websites as possible. “Good morning, it was a quiet night,” the Army Radio host announced cheerfully on Thursday morning. In the day preceding the happy announcement, the Israel Defense Forces killed 80 Palestinians, 64 of whom were civilians, including 15 children and 5 women. At least 30 of them were killed during the same quiet night, from overwhelming shelling, bombing and firing from Israeli artillery, and this is without counting the number of injured or the number of houses blown up.)

If victory is measured in the number of families wiped out within two weeks – parents and children, one parent and a few children, a grandmother and daughters in law and grandchildren and son, brothers and their children, in all the variations you might choose – then we also have the upper hand. Here, names from memory: Al-Najjar, Karaw’a, Abu-Jam’e, Ghannem, Qannan, Hamad, A-Salim, Al Astal, Al Hallaq, Sheikh Khalil, Al Kilani. In these families, the few members who survived the Israeli bombings in the past two weeks are now jealous of their dead.

And let’s not forget the laurel wreaths for our legal experts, those without whom the IDF does not make a move. Due to them, blowing up an entire house – whether empty or filled with residents – is easily justified if Israel characterizes one of the family members as an appropriate target (be he senior or junior Hamas member, military or political, brother or family guest).

“If it is legal according to international law,” a Western diplomat told me, shocked by his own state’s position in support of Israel, “it is a sign that something stinks in international law.”

And another bouquet of flowers for our advisers, the graduates of the exclusive law schools in Israel and the United States, and maybe also in England: They are certainly the ones advising the IDF why it is permissible to fire at Palestinian rescue teams and prevent them from getting to the wounded. Seven members of medical teams on their way to rescue the injured were shot to death by the IDF during two weeks, the last two only last Friday. Another 16 have been wounded. This doesn’t include the cases is which IDF firing prevented crews from driving to the disaster scene.
You will surely recite what the army says: “Terrorists are hiding in the ambulances” – since Palestinians do not really want to save their wounded, they don’t really want to prevent them from bleeding to death under the ruins, isn’t this what you are thinking? Does our acclaimed intelligence, which did not discover during all these years the network of tunnels, know in real time that in every ambulance that was hit directly with IDF fire, or whose trip to save an injured person was blocked, there are really armed Palestinians inside? And why is it permissible to save a wounded soldier at the cost of shelling an entire neighborhood, but it is not allowed to save an elderly Palestinian buried under the rubble? Why is it forbidden to save an armed man, or more correctly a Palestinian fighter, who was wounded while repulsing a foreign army that invaded his neighborhood?

If victory is measured by the success at causing lifelong trauma to 1.8 million people (and not for the first time) waiting to be executed any moment – then the victory is yours.

These victories add up to our moral implosion, the ethical defeat of a society that now engages in no self-inspection, that wallows in self pity over postponed airline flights and burnishes itself with the pride of the enlightened.This is a society that mourns, naturally, its more than 40 soldiers who were killed, but at the same time hardens its heart and mind in the face of all the suffering and moral courage and heroism of the people we are attacking. A society that does not understand the extent to which the balance of forces is against it.

“In all the suffering and death,” wrote a friend from Gaza, “there are so many expressions of tenderness and kindness. People are taking care of one another, comforting one another. Especially children who are searching for the best way to support their parents. I saw many children no older than 10 years old who are hugging, comforting their younger siblings, trying to distract them from the horror. So young and already the caretakers of someone else. I did not meet a single child who did not lose someone – a parent, grandmother, friend, aunt or neighbor. And I thought: If Hamas grew out of the generation of the first intifada, when the young people who threw stones were met with bullets, who will grow out of the generation that experienced the repeated massacres of the last seven years?”

Our moral defeat will haunt us for many years to come."

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"Andrew Sullivan
The Lie Behind The War
Jul 27 2014 @ 9:15pm
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/07/27/the-lie-behind-the-war/


Christian woman killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza

Katie Zavadski, fresh from a Dishternship, nails down a critical fact in the latest Israel-Hamas death-match. As the Dish has noted before, the Israeli government knew from the get-go that the murderers of three Israeli teens – the incident that set off this bloody chain of events – were not doing official Hamas’ bidding even in the West Bank, let alone Gaza:

This was confirmed by Mickey Rosenfeld, the police spokesman:

So the entire swoop on the West Bank against Hamas, which soon escalated into all-out war, was based on a a false premise, uttered by Bibi Netanyahu thus: “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” It’s worth recalling in that context that Hamas had recently been very quiet on the rockets front:

Fewer rockets were fired from Gaza in 2013 than in any year since 2001, and nearly all those that were fired between the November 2012 ceasefire and the current crisis were launched by groups other than Hamas; the Israeli security establishment testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force Hamas established specifically for that purpose.

Netanyahu saw an opportunity to hammer Hamas and punish the PA for cooperating with them. He took it. It disempowers both and makes an even more radical successor more likely. But if you assume that Netanyahu has no intention of ever coming to a peace agreement, a more radical Palestinian population helps justify that. Meanwhile, the core project of a permanent Greater Israel is advanced.

After watching this situation for too many years now, I have developed one key measurement: follow the settlements. Everything that happens is designed for their benefit. And that goes for the current ghastly carnage. It’s staggering what the Israeli government will sacrifice to advance the settlements.
(Photo: The dead body of Jalila Ayad, a Christian woman killed in an Israeli airstrike on her house in Gaza City, is carried to the Al-Shifa hospital morgue on July 27, 2014. By Mohammed Talatene/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.)"

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"Mehdi Hasan
Political director of The Huffington Post UK
Debunking Israel's 11 Main Myths About Gaza, Hamas and War Crimes
Posted: 28/07/2014 11:55 BST Updated: 28/07/2014 18:59 BST Print Article

Israel Believes These 11 Things About Gaza And Hamas
00:00/03:29


You've got to hand it to Israeli spinners like Mark Regev. They are masters of PR. In fact, as the Independent's Patrick Cockburn revealed over the weekend, "the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe".

Let's be clear: I'm no fan of Hamas, a brutal and anti-Semitic group which has been accused by Amnesty International and other NGOs of human rights abuses against the people of Gaza and of war crimes against the people of Israel. Firing rockets into civilian areas isn't justified under international law, even if it is framed as part of a (legitimate) struggle against foreign military occupation.

Having said that, however, in recent days I've been debating supporters of Israel's latest assault on Gaza on radio and on Twitter and I've been astonished not just by the sheer number of fact-free claims made by those supporters, but also by their confidence, slickness and sheer message discipline. According to the pro-Israel, pro-IDF crowd, Hamas is to blame for everything.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. To quote the late US senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."

So, in a Moynihanian spirit, here are fact-filled, evidence-based rebuttals to the 11 main myths, half-truths and self-serving 'talking points' that are repeatedly pushed by various Israeli spokespersons, both on the airwaves and on social media:

1) The Gaza Strip isn't occupied by Israel

Boston Globe: "Israeli-imposed buffer zones.. now absorb nearly 14 percent of Gaza's total land and at least 48 percent of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85 percent of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three." Human Rights Watch: "Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there." B'Tselem, 2013: "Israel continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza's airspace and the territorial waters, just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967."

2) Israel wants a ceasefire but Hamas doesn't

Al Jazeera: "Meshaal said Hamas wants the 'aggression to stop tomorrow, today, or even this minute. But [Israel must] lift the blockade with guarantees and not as a promise for future negotiations'. He added 'we will not shut the door in the face of any humanitarian ceasefire backed by a real aid programme'." Jerusalem Post: "One day after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire accepted by Israel, but rejected by Hamas, fell through, the terrorist organization proposed a 10-year end to hostilities in return for its conditions being met by Israel, Channel 2 reported Wednesday.. Hamas's conditions were the release of re-arrested Palestinian prisoners who were let go in the Schalit deal, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings in order to allow citizens and goods to pass through, and international supervision of the Gazan seaport in place of the current Israeli blockade." BBC: "Israel's security cabinet has rejected a week-long Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by US Secretary of State John Kerry 'as it stands'."

3) Israel, unlike Hamas, doesn't deliberately target civilians

The Guardian: "It was there that the second [Israeli] shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: 'They are only children.'" UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay: "A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belies the [Israeli] claim that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect civilian lives." United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009: "The tactics used by the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006. A concept known as the Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations. The Mission concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it.. appears to have been precisely what was put into practice."

4) Only Hamas is guilty of war crimes, not Israel

Human Rights Watch: "Israeli forces may also have knowingly or recklessly attacked people who were clearly civilians, such as young boys, and civilian structures, including a hospital - laws-of-war violations that are indicative of war crimes." Amnesty International: "Deliberately attacking a civilian home is a war crime, and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian homes, in some cases with entire families inside them, points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war."

5) Hamas use the civilians of Gaza as 'human shields'

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor: "I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel's accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields." The Guardian: "In the past week, the Guardian has seen large numbers of people fleeing different neighbourhoods.. and no evidence that Hamas had compelled them to stay." The Independent: "Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organisation to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields." Reuters, 2013: "A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields."

6) This current Gaza conflict began with Hamas rocket fire on 30 June 2014

Times of Israel: "Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.. The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.. Hamas hasn't fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012." The Nation: "During ten days of Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank [before the start of the Gaza conflict], Israel arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011."

7) Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel

Jewish Daily Forward: "Hamas hadn't fired a single rocket since [2012 Gaza conflict], and had largely suppressed fire by smaller jihadi groups. Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to five per month in 2013." International Crisis Group: "Fewer rockets were fired from Gaza in 2013 than in any year since 2001, and nearly all those that were fired between the November 2012 ceasefire and the current crisis were launched by groups other than Hamas; the Israeli security establishment testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force Hamas established specifically for that purpose.. As Israel (and Egypt) rolled back the 2012 understandings - some of which were implemented spottily at best - so too did Hamas roll back its anti rocket efforts."

8) Hamas provoked Israel by kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers

Jewish Daily Forward: "The [Israeli] government had known almost from the beginning that the boys were dead. It maintained the fiction that it hoped to find them alive as a pretext to dismantle Hamas' West Bank operations.. Nor was that the only fib. It was clear from the beginning that the kidnappers weren't acting on orders from Hamas leadership in Gaza or Damascus. Hamas' Hebron branch -- more a crime family than a clandestine organization -- had a history of acting without the leaders' knowledge, sometimes against their interests." BBC correspondent Jon Donnison: "Israeli police Mickey Rosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens def lone cell, hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership.. Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government."

9) Hamas rule, not Israel's blockade, is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip

US State Department cable: "Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.. Israeli officials have confirmed.. on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge." The Guardian: "The Israeli military made precise calculations of Gaza's daily calorie needs to avoid malnutrition during a blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory between 2007 and mid-2010, according to files the defence ministry released on Wednesday under a court order.. The Israeli advocacy group Gisha.. waged a long court battle to release the document. Its members say Israel calculated the calorie needs for Gaza's population so as to restrict the quantity of food it allowed in."

10) The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solution

Times of Israel: "[Netanyahu] made explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.. Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, 'I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.'"

11) All serious analysts agree it was Hamas, and not Israel, that started this current conflict

Nathan Thrall, senior Mid East analyst at the International Crisis Group, writing in the New York Times: "The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement." Henry Siegman, former national director, American Jewish Congress, writing for Politico: "Israel's assault on Gaza.. was not triggered by Hamas' rockets directed at Israel but by Israel's determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June, even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy."

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"The // Intercept
Terrorism in the Israeli Attack on Gaza
By Glenn Greenwald [ https://firstlook.org/theintercept/staff/glenn-greenwald/ ] 29 Jul 2014, 8:17 AM EDT

Palestinian relatives mourn for victims of the Duheir family, near the rubble of their home, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Rafah on July 29, 2014, in the southern of Gaza strip. Photo Credit: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

As I've written [ http://www.salon.com/2010/02/19/terrorism_19/ ] many [ http://www.salon.com/2011/12/10/the_real_definition_of_terrorism/ ] times [ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/16/court-terrorism-morales-gangs-meaningless/print ] before [ http://www.salon.com/2010/03/14/terrorism_20/ ], "terrorism" is, and from the start was designed to be [ http://www.salon.com/2010/03/14/brulin/ ], almost entirely devoid of discernible meaning. It's a fear-mongering slogan, lacking any consistent application, intended to end rational debate and justify virtually any conduct by those who apply the term. But to the extent it means anything beyond that, it typically refers to the killing of civilians as a means of furthering political or military goals.

Below are two charts reflecting the deaths of civilians, soldiers and "militants" in both Gaza and Israel since the July 8 Israeli attack began. The statistics used are unduly generous toward Israel, since "militants" in Gaza are often nothing more than residents who take up arms to defend their homes against an invading and occupying army. Even with that generous interpretation, these numbers, standing alone, tell a powerful story:



If you landed on earth from another planet this week, knowing nothing other than the most common use of the word "terrorism," which side do you think would most frequently be referred to as "terrorists"?

Often, the most vivid illustration of the criminality of this attack comes not from data but from isolated stories. Yesterday, for instance [ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/world/middleeast/gaza-israel-violence.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region®ion=photo-spot&WT.nav=photo-spot&_r=0 ], "in Khan Younis, five members of the Najjar family, which lost 21 people in a previous strike, were killed." Meanwhile, "in the Al Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, an airstrike from an F-16 killed the mayor, Anis Abu Shamala, and four others in his home, some of whom had taken refuge there from intense artillery shelling nearby."

At the same time, the Israeli government's messaging machine quickly switched from hyping rocket attacks, which were causing relatively little damage, to featuring what it began calling "terror tunnels". The U.S. media dutifully followed suit [ https://twitter.com/CNNSitRoom/status/493791212223352832 ], with CNN anchor (and former AIPAC employee) Wolf Blitzer touring a "terror tunnel" led around by the IDF and his flashlight [ https://twitter.com/CNNSitRoom/status/493791212223352832 ], while the New York Times' Jodi Rudoren did the same in an article headlined [ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/world/middleeast/tunnels-lead-right-to-heart-of-israeli-fear.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=LargeMediaHeadlineSum&module=photo-spot-region®ion=photo-spot&WT.nav=photo-spot ] "Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear," quoting "Israeli military officials", "an Israeli military spokesman", and "Israeli experts". But a separate article in the NYT [ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/world/middleeast/gaza-israel-violence.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region®ion=photo-spot&WT.nav=photo-spot&_r=0 ] highlighted how these "terror tunnels" are actually used:

The strikes during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr came after the latest humanitarian halt to hostilities was punctured by attacks on both sides, culminating in the most deadly incursion yet by Palestinian militants through an underground tunnel from Gaza into Israel.

Colonel Lerner said Tuesday that between four and eight gunmen had burst from the tunnel near a military watchtower near the border and killed five soldiers in an adjacent building with antitank missiles.

In American media discourse, when Palestinians overwhelmingly kill soldiers (95% of the Israeli death toll) who are part of an army that is blockading, occupying, invading, and indiscriminately bombing them and killing their children by the hundreds, that is "terrorism"; when Israelis use massive, brutal force against a trapped civilian population, overwhelmingly killing innocent men, women and children (at least 75% of the Palestinian death toll), with clear intentions to kill civilians (see point 3 [ https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/07/21/netanyahus-telegenically-dead-comment-original/ ]), that is noble "self-defense." That demonstrates how skewed U.S. discourse is in favor of Israel, as well as the purely manipulative, propagandistic nature of the term "terrorists."

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