Eran Efrati, Israeli Army veteran, speaks about Palestine and Israel. really worth watching.

letssharestories:

Why This 11 Year Old Got Married
Jim Zetz suffers from cancer that will limit his life, and he has only years to live. His daughter wanted her father to see her walk down the aisle before he passed, and she got her wish.

This isn’t some freaky polygamist arranged wedding, this scene is one for a dying father to see one of his final wishes fulfilled, and it’s a truly touching moment.

It is heartbreaking to see a girl who clearly adores her father knowing that her wedding day with him is only the dress rehearsal. Still, they savored the moment as best she could.

Jim Zetz has stage four pancreatic cancer, and his time on this Earth is limited. What better way to spend your final days than with your daughter and wife?

The community came together to help a family whose resources go to medical bills by providing cake, decorations, and other elements that make any wedding special.

This was a real, full-blown wedding in pretty much every respect except for an actual bride and groom. Still, the family got to forget 

This wedding was put together in 72 hours by a friend who was determined that Josie would have a video of she and her father walking down the aisle at her actual wedding, and that she does.

Being told we have months or years to live is an unimaginable experience, and taking care of the things you care about most in this life before you pass is what matters the most.

Josie and Jim are sharing a tender moment, and one of the final they will ever have together. This is one of the purest, most hearfelt moments you will ever experience between father and his daughter.

Why This 11 Year Old Got Married
Jim Zetz suffers from cancer that will limit his life, and he has only years to live. His daughter wanted her father to see her walk down the aisle before he passed, and she got her wish.

This isn’t some freaky polygamist arranged wedding, this scene is one for a dying father to see one of his final wishes fulfilled, and it’s a truly touching moment.

It is heartbreaking to see a girl who clearly adores her father knowing that her wedding day with him is only the dress rehearsal. Still, they savored the moment as best she could.

Jim Zetz has stage four pancreatic cancer, and his time on this Earth is limited. What better way to spend your final days than with your daughter and wife?

The community came together to help a family whose resources go to medical bills by providing cake, decorations, and other elements that make any wedding special.

This was a real, full-blown wedding in pretty much every respect except for an actual bride and groom. Still, the family got to forget 

This wedding was put together in 72 hours by a friend who was determined that Josie would have a video of she and her father walking down the aisle at her actual wedding, and that she does.

Being told we have months or years to live is an unimaginable experience, and taking care of the things you care about most in this life before you pass is what matters the most.

Josie and Jim are sharing a tender moment, and one of the final they will ever have together. This is one of the purest, most hearfelt moments you will ever experience between father and his daughter.

letssharestories:

A Palestinian man carries the lifeless body of a child to an emergency room at Shifa hospital in Gaza City last week.(Credit: AP/Khalil Hamra)

Palestinians just endured an exceptionally brutal weekend: In Gaza, the death toll crossedthe appalling benchmark of 1,000, overwhelmingly civilians. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers and settlers alsokilled at least nine Palestinians amid protests against the devastation of Gaza.

I recentlydebunked Israel’s misleading “human shields” argument attempting to deflect responsibility for the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians; but more important to expose is the false narrative of how we found ourselves in this crisis and who is responsible for its perpetuation.

Invisible Bias

For most media outlets, the current crisis began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. This is, of course, an arbitrary starting point. Just one day before the kidnappings, a Palestinian man and a 10-year-old child werekilled in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike. Why wasn’t that the starting point of the violence? Has the media internalized Israel’s narrative to such an extent that they only see Israel as “responding” to violence rather than initiating it?

Israel initially blamed Hamas for the teens’ kidnapping, and “responded” by going on aviolent rampage in the West Bank, invading homes, killing demonstrators, and arresting hundreds of Palestinians, including 60 Hamas members who had been freed in an earlier prisoner swap. Imagine the opposite scenario for a moment:  When Israeli troops were caught on tape killing unarmed Palestinian teens just a few weeks before the kidnapping of the Israeli teens, imagine if Hamas responded by invading Israeli homes, shooting Israeli demonstrators and kidnapping hundreds of Israeli troops. Would media outlets cover such actions with the same sympathy and understanding afforded to Israel’s actions?

Read More 

Omar Baddar is a Middle East political analyst based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @OmarBaddar

MORE OMAR BADDAR.

letssharestories:

MOST Dɪsˈgʌstɪŋ PEOPLE ON EARTH 

"Consider this: If a woman is being raped, things would be a lot more ‘peaceful’ if she didn’t resist. But, asking her not to resist—just because her attacker is physically stronger—is asking her to accept her own abuse and oppression for the sake of ‘peace’. This is what the world is asking Palestinians to do."
Yasmin Mogahed (via sarajevomoja)
A message from Anonymous
is there any way my story can be anonymous?

Yes

niqabisinparis:

maghrabiyya:

az-zawraq:

fotojournalismus:

Israelis watch the latest military activity towards Gaza on August 2, 2014. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters)

'military activity' more like murder & destruction that they are gleefully cheering on

the fact that they fucking got their shitty little couches out to watch this unfold for their own entertainment makes me lose all faith in humanity there is no humanity in this at all, only monsters would do shit like this.

They say that the rockets being fired at them are so dangerous and that they can’t live in these conditions yet they can set up couch camp right at the border. They’re lower than scum, I swear.

MOST Dɪsˈgʌstɪŋ PEOPLE ON EARTH 

We hear a lot about how many rockets Hamas fired, but rarely in a proper timeline. Hamas had been strictly observing a cease-fire agreement since it was brokered in 2012, and was even arresting Palestinian militants from rival factions who fired rockets at Israel as recently as last month. Hamas ultimately did resume firing rockets into Israel, but only after the massive crackdown Israel initiated against Hamas in the West Bank (and by some accounts, even after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza).
And it turns out the initial crackdown against Hamas was also without basis. Israeli officials now acknowledge, in direct contradiction tostatements by Israel’s prime minister, that Hamas was actually not responsible for the kidnappings of the three Israeli teens after all. And this is not just a realization Israel made over the weekend: Israeli intelligence officers reportedlynoted as early as June 30 that there was no evidence implicating Hamas as an organization.
Why Now?
Since Hamas did not initiate this confrontation, the question remains: Why did Israel pick this fight with them now? The answer requires a bit of context: For more than two decades, Palestinians and Israelis have been engaged in a so-called peace process, which aims to establish a Palestinian state on the occupied territories, the small areas from which Israel is legally required to withdraw. But that peace process failed time and again because Israel was never serious about allowing a viable Palestinian state to exist, and insisted on swallowing up more and more Palestinian land through relentlesssettlement expansion, in directviolation of international law. More recently, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahucandidly (though only in Hebrew) ruled out the possibility of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state to exist.
But because global perceptions are important, Israel is always looking for a way to deflect responsibility for the failure of the peace process onto the Palestinians. One of the talking points used to that end is theclaim that there is “no partner for peace” on the Palestinian side because the leadership was divided. So when Hamas and the Palestinian Authority agreed to end their division in recent months, Netanyahu’s government freaked out and demanded Western governments boycott the new united Palestinian leadership. When, to Netanyahu’s bitter disappointment, the U.S. insisted on dealing with the new Palestinian government anyway, Israel seems to have opted for a direct confrontation with Hamas to break up the unity government. One can see the cynical exploitation of the teens’ kidnapping to this end simply by looking at theJerusalem Post headline, which reads: “Netanyahu to Kerry: PA’s Hamas-backed unity government to blame for missing teens.” Evidence for this sort of nonsense, of course, is nowhere to be seen.
Occupation and Self-Defense
Beyond the tit-for-tat of “who started it” many are busy debating, it is crucial to emphasize that Israel has illegally occupied the Palestinian territories for many decades, is actively engaging in land theft through illegal settlement expansion, and is imposing a system ofapartheid. Under those circumstances, Israel’s very posture is offensive, and it cannot claim to be engaging in “self-defense” against the very people whose land it has illegally usurped.
To personalize this for a moment, imagine a bully sitting on a smaller child, and every time someone objects to the fact that the bully is beating the smaller child with an iron rod, the bully exclaims, “Well, he tried to slap me, so I was forced to defend myself.” No, you can’t claim that you’re beating the smaller child with an iron rod in self-defense, especially when you can end the entire confrontation simply by getting off him. Back to the political reality, Norman Finkelstein put it best: “The refrain that Israel has the right to self-defense is a red herring: the real question is, does Israel have the right to use force to maintain an illegal occupation? The answer is no.”
Israel’s Message to Palestinians
When you take into account everything I mentioned so far, you begin to realize that the ubiquitous talking point “Israel was forced to defend itself from Hamas rockets” is wrong on three counts: 1) This round of violence did not start with Hamas rockets; 2) Israel was not “forced” into this confrontation; and 3) Israel as the occupying power is certainly not “defending” itself.
Under these circumstances, the atrocious bombing of Gaza and the killing of hundreds of civilians makes clear that Israel’s message to Palestinians is this: You will live under our boot, occupied, besieged, dispossessed and humiliated without any semblance of freedom. On occasion, we may even go on a violent rampage against you, but you better not respond. Because if any of you ever dare respond to our violence with violence, we will be forced to “defend ourselves” by using our overwhelming military might to beat your entire society into submission.
Ending the Violence
By now, you’ve probably heard news outlets accuse both Israel and Hamas, on alternating occasions, of rejecting cease-fire proposals. The accusations against both are true, and this merely has to do with the terms of each proposal: Israel wants a cease-fire that effectively ends the fighting while allowing Israel to keep its boot on Gaza’s neck. Hamas, on the other hand, insists on some humanitarian conditions, including ending the siege and economic suffocation of Gaza, the introduction of international peacekeeping forces at Gaza’s borders, and the freeing of prisoners rounded up in recent weeks, many held without charge or trial.
Whatever cease-fire terms end up being accepted by both sides will only matter in the short term. In the long term, only true justice (an end to Israel’s occupation and apartheid) can end this conflict. Here, the responsibility of American citizens is paramount: If we can end our government’s unconditional military and diplomatic support for Israel’s most destructive policies, or condition such support on Israel abiding by its legal and moral obligations, we can begin to work toward that real justice all Israelis and Palestinians deserve.
Read Part 1Omar Baddar is a Middle East political analyst based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @OmarBaddar
MORE OMAR BADDAR.
We hear a lot about how many rockets Hamas fired, but rarely in a proper timeline. Hamas had been strictly observing a cease-fire agreement since it was brokered in 2012, and was even arresting Palestinian militants from rival factions who fired rockets at Israel as recently as last month. Hamas ultimately did resume firing rockets into Israel, but only after the massive crackdown Israel initiated against Hamas in the West Bank (and by some accounts, even after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza).
And it turns out the initial crackdown against Hamas was also without basis. Israeli officials now acknowledge, in direct contradiction tostatements by Israel’s prime minister, that Hamas was actually not responsible for the kidnappings of the three Israeli teens after all. And this is not just a realization Israel made over the weekend: Israeli intelligence officers reportedlynoted as early as June 30 that there was no evidence implicating Hamas as an organization.
Why Now?
Since Hamas did not initiate this confrontation, the question remains: Why did Israel pick this fight with them now? The answer requires a bit of context: For more than two decades, Palestinians and Israelis have been engaged in a so-called peace process, which aims to establish a Palestinian state on the occupied territories, the small areas from which Israel is legally required to withdraw. But that peace process failed time and again because Israel was never serious about allowing a viable Palestinian state to exist, and insisted on swallowing up more and more Palestinian land through relentlesssettlement expansion, in directviolation of international law. More recently, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahucandidly (though only in Hebrew) ruled out the possibility of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state to exist.
But because global perceptions are important, Israel is always looking for a way to deflect responsibility for the failure of the peace process onto the Palestinians. One of the talking points used to that end is theclaim that there is “no partner for peace” on the Palestinian side because the leadership was divided. So when Hamas and the Palestinian Authority agreed to end their division in recent months, Netanyahu’s government freaked out and demanded Western governments boycott the new united Palestinian leadership. When, to Netanyahu’s bitter disappointment, the U.S. insisted on dealing with the new Palestinian government anyway, Israel seems to have opted for a direct confrontation with Hamas to break up the unity government. One can see the cynical exploitation of the teens’ kidnapping to this end simply by looking at theJerusalem Post headline, which reads: “Netanyahu to Kerry: PA’s Hamas-backed unity government to blame for missing teens.” Evidence for this sort of nonsense, of course, is nowhere to be seen.
Occupation and Self-Defense
Beyond the tit-for-tat of “who started it” many are busy debating, it is crucial to emphasize that Israel has illegally occupied the Palestinian territories for many decades, is actively engaging in land theft through illegal settlement expansion, and is imposing a system ofapartheid. Under those circumstances, Israel’s very posture is offensive, and it cannot claim to be engaging in “self-defense” against the very people whose land it has illegally usurped.
To personalize this for a moment, imagine a bully sitting on a smaller child, and every time someone objects to the fact that the bully is beating the smaller child with an iron rod, the bully exclaims, “Well, he tried to slap me, so I was forced to defend myself.” No, you can’t claim that you’re beating the smaller child with an iron rod in self-defense, especially when you can end the entire confrontation simply by getting off him. Back to the political reality, Norman Finkelstein put it best: “The refrain that Israel has the right to self-defense is a red herring: the real question is, does Israel have the right to use force to maintain an illegal occupation? The answer is no.”
Israel’s Message to Palestinians
When you take into account everything I mentioned so far, you begin to realize that the ubiquitous talking point “Israel was forced to defend itself from Hamas rockets” is wrong on three counts: 1) This round of violence did not start with Hamas rockets; 2) Israel was not “forced” into this confrontation; and 3) Israel as the occupying power is certainly not “defending” itself.
Under these circumstances, the atrocious bombing of Gaza and the killing of hundreds of civilians makes clear that Israel’s message to Palestinians is this: You will live under our boot, occupied, besieged, dispossessed and humiliated without any semblance of freedom. On occasion, we may even go on a violent rampage against you, but you better not respond. Because if any of you ever dare respond to our violence with violence, we will be forced to “defend ourselves” by using our overwhelming military might to beat your entire society into submission.
Ending the Violence
By now, you’ve probably heard news outlets accuse both Israel and Hamas, on alternating occasions, of rejecting cease-fire proposals. The accusations against both are true, and this merely has to do with the terms of each proposal: Israel wants a cease-fire that effectively ends the fighting while allowing Israel to keep its boot on Gaza’s neck. Hamas, on the other hand, insists on some humanitarian conditions, including ending the siege and economic suffocation of Gaza, the introduction of international peacekeeping forces at Gaza’s borders, and the freeing of prisoners rounded up in recent weeks, many held without charge or trial.
Whatever cease-fire terms end up being accepted by both sides will only matter in the short term. In the long term, only true justice (an end to Israel’s occupation and apartheid) can end this conflict. Here, the responsibility of American citizens is paramount: If we can end our government’s unconditional military and diplomatic support for Israel’s most destructive policies, or condition such support on Israel abiding by its legal and moral obligations, we can begin to work toward that real justice all Israelis and Palestinians deserve.
Read Part 1Omar Baddar is a Middle East political analyst based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @OmarBaddar
MORE OMAR BADDAR.
We hear a lot about how many rockets Hamas fired, but rarely in a proper timeline. Hamas had been strictly observing a cease-fire agreement since it was brokered in 2012, and was even arresting Palestinian militants from rival factions who fired rockets at Israel as recently as last month. Hamas ultimately did resume firing rockets into Israel, but only after the massive crackdown Israel initiated against Hamas in the West Bank (and by some accounts, even after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza).
And it turns out the initial crackdown against Hamas was also without basis. Israeli officials now acknowledge, in direct contradiction tostatements by Israel’s prime minister, that Hamas was actually not responsible for the kidnappings of the three Israeli teens after all. And this is not just a realization Israel made over the weekend: Israeli intelligence officers reportedlynoted as early as June 30 that there was no evidence implicating Hamas as an organization.
Why Now?
Since Hamas did not initiate this confrontation, the question remains: Why did Israel pick this fight with them now? The answer requires a bit of context: For more than two decades, Palestinians and Israelis have been engaged in a so-called peace process, which aims to establish a Palestinian state on the occupied territories, the small areas from which Israel is legally required to withdraw. But that peace process failed time and again because Israel was never serious about allowing a viable Palestinian state to exist, and insisted on swallowing up more and more Palestinian land through relentlesssettlement expansion, in directviolation of international law. More recently, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahucandidly (though only in Hebrew) ruled out the possibility of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state to exist.
But because global perceptions are important, Israel is always looking for a way to deflect responsibility for the failure of the peace process onto the Palestinians. One of the talking points used to that end is theclaim that there is “no partner for peace” on the Palestinian side because the leadership was divided. So when Hamas and the Palestinian Authority agreed to end their division in recent months, Netanyahu’s government freaked out and demanded Western governments boycott the new united Palestinian leadership. When, to Netanyahu’s bitter disappointment, the U.S. insisted on dealing with the new Palestinian government anyway, Israel seems to have opted for a direct confrontation with Hamas to break up the unity government. One can see the cynical exploitation of the teens’ kidnapping to this end simply by looking at theJerusalem Post headline, which reads: “Netanyahu to Kerry: PA’s Hamas-backed unity government to blame for missing teens.” Evidence for this sort of nonsense, of course, is nowhere to be seen.
Occupation and Self-Defense
Beyond the tit-for-tat of “who started it” many are busy debating, it is crucial to emphasize that Israel has illegally occupied the Palestinian territories for many decades, is actively engaging in land theft through illegal settlement expansion, and is imposing a system ofapartheid. Under those circumstances, Israel’s very posture is offensive, and it cannot claim to be engaging in “self-defense” against the very people whose land it has illegally usurped.
To personalize this for a moment, imagine a bully sitting on a smaller child, and every time someone objects to the fact that the bully is beating the smaller child with an iron rod, the bully exclaims, “Well, he tried to slap me, so I was forced to defend myself.” No, you can’t claim that you’re beating the smaller child with an iron rod in self-defense, especially when you can end the entire confrontation simply by getting off him. Back to the political reality, Norman Finkelstein put it best: “The refrain that Israel has the right to self-defense is a red herring: the real question is, does Israel have the right to use force to maintain an illegal occupation? The answer is no.”
Israel’s Message to Palestinians
When you take into account everything I mentioned so far, you begin to realize that the ubiquitous talking point “Israel was forced to defend itself from Hamas rockets” is wrong on three counts: 1) This round of violence did not start with Hamas rockets; 2) Israel was not “forced” into this confrontation; and 3) Israel as the occupying power is certainly not “defending” itself.
Under these circumstances, the atrocious bombing of Gaza and the killing of hundreds of civilians makes clear that Israel’s message to Palestinians is this: You will live under our boot, occupied, besieged, dispossessed and humiliated without any semblance of freedom. On occasion, we may even go on a violent rampage against you, but you better not respond. Because if any of you ever dare respond to our violence with violence, we will be forced to “defend ourselves” by using our overwhelming military might to beat your entire society into submission.
Ending the Violence
By now, you’ve probably heard news outlets accuse both Israel and Hamas, on alternating occasions, of rejecting cease-fire proposals. The accusations against both are true, and this merely has to do with the terms of each proposal: Israel wants a cease-fire that effectively ends the fighting while allowing Israel to keep its boot on Gaza’s neck. Hamas, on the other hand, insists on some humanitarian conditions, including ending the siege and economic suffocation of Gaza, the introduction of international peacekeeping forces at Gaza’s borders, and the freeing of prisoners rounded up in recent weeks, many held without charge or trial.
Whatever cease-fire terms end up being accepted by both sides will only matter in the short term. In the long term, only true justice (an end to Israel’s occupation and apartheid) can end this conflict. Here, the responsibility of American citizens is paramount: If we can end our government’s unconditional military and diplomatic support for Israel’s most destructive policies, or condition such support on Israel abiding by its legal and moral obligations, we can begin to work toward that real justice all Israelis and Palestinians deserve.
Read Part 1Omar Baddar is a Middle East political analyst based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @OmarBaddar
MORE OMAR BADDAR.
We hear a lot about how many rockets Hamas fired, but rarely in a proper timeline. Hamas had been strictly observing a cease-fire agreement since it was brokered in 2012, and was even arresting Palestinian militants from rival factions who fired rockets at Israel as recently as last month. Hamas ultimately did resume firing rockets into Israel, but only after the massive crackdown Israel initiated against Hamas in the West Bank (and by some accounts, even after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza).
And it turns out the initial crackdown against Hamas was also without basis. Israeli officials now acknowledge, in direct contradiction tostatements by Israel’s prime minister, that Hamas was actually not responsible for the kidnappings of the three Israeli teens after all. And this is not just a realization Israel made over the weekend: Israeli intelligence officers reportedlynoted as early as June 30 that there was no evidence implicating Hamas as an organization.
Why Now?
Since Hamas did not initiate this confrontation, the question remains: Why did Israel pick this fight with them now? The answer requires a bit of context: For more than two decades, Palestinians and Israelis have been engaged in a so-called peace process, which aims to establish a Palestinian state on the occupied territories, the small areas from which Israel is legally required to withdraw. But that peace process failed time and again because Israel was never serious about allowing a viable Palestinian state to exist, and insisted on swallowing up more and more Palestinian land through relentlesssettlement expansion, in directviolation of international law. More recently, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahucandidly (though only in Hebrew) ruled out the possibility of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state to exist.
But because global perceptions are important, Israel is always looking for a way to deflect responsibility for the failure of the peace process onto the Palestinians. One of the talking points used to that end is theclaim that there is “no partner for peace” on the Palestinian side because the leadership was divided. So when Hamas and the Palestinian Authority agreed to end their division in recent months, Netanyahu’s government freaked out and demanded Western governments boycott the new united Palestinian leadership. When, to Netanyahu’s bitter disappointment, the U.S. insisted on dealing with the new Palestinian government anyway, Israel seems to have opted for a direct confrontation with Hamas to break up the unity government. One can see the cynical exploitation of the teens’ kidnapping to this end simply by looking at theJerusalem Post headline, which reads: “Netanyahu to Kerry: PA’s Hamas-backed unity government to blame for missing teens.” Evidence for this sort of nonsense, of course, is nowhere to be seen.
Occupation and Self-Defense
Beyond the tit-for-tat of “who started it” many are busy debating, it is crucial to emphasize that Israel has illegally occupied the Palestinian territories for many decades, is actively engaging in land theft through illegal settlement expansion, and is imposing a system ofapartheid. Under those circumstances, Israel’s very posture is offensive, and it cannot claim to be engaging in “self-defense” against the very people whose land it has illegally usurped.
To personalize this for a moment, imagine a bully sitting on a smaller child, and every time someone objects to the fact that the bully is beating the smaller child with an iron rod, the bully exclaims, “Well, he tried to slap me, so I was forced to defend myself.” No, you can’t claim that you’re beating the smaller child with an iron rod in self-defense, especially when you can end the entire confrontation simply by getting off him. Back to the political reality, Norman Finkelstein put it best: “The refrain that Israel has the right to self-defense is a red herring: the real question is, does Israel have the right to use force to maintain an illegal occupation? The answer is no.”
Israel’s Message to Palestinians
When you take into account everything I mentioned so far, you begin to realize that the ubiquitous talking point “Israel was forced to defend itself from Hamas rockets” is wrong on three counts: 1) This round of violence did not start with Hamas rockets; 2) Israel was not “forced” into this confrontation; and 3) Israel as the occupying power is certainly not “defending” itself.
Under these circumstances, the atrocious bombing of Gaza and the killing of hundreds of civilians makes clear that Israel’s message to Palestinians is this: You will live under our boot, occupied, besieged, dispossessed and humiliated without any semblance of freedom. On occasion, we may even go on a violent rampage against you, but you better not respond. Because if any of you ever dare respond to our violence with violence, we will be forced to “defend ourselves” by using our overwhelming military might to beat your entire society into submission.
Ending the Violence
By now, you’ve probably heard news outlets accuse both Israel and Hamas, on alternating occasions, of rejecting cease-fire proposals. The accusations against both are true, and this merely has to do with the terms of each proposal: Israel wants a cease-fire that effectively ends the fighting while allowing Israel to keep its boot on Gaza’s neck. Hamas, on the other hand, insists on some humanitarian conditions, including ending the siege and economic suffocation of Gaza, the introduction of international peacekeeping forces at Gaza’s borders, and the freeing of prisoners rounded up in recent weeks, many held without charge or trial.
Whatever cease-fire terms end up being accepted by both sides will only matter in the short term. In the long term, only true justice (an end to Israel’s occupation and apartheid) can end this conflict. Here, the responsibility of American citizens is paramount: If we can end our government’s unconditional military and diplomatic support for Israel’s most destructive policies, or condition such support on Israel abiding by its legal and moral obligations, we can begin to work toward that real justice all Israelis and Palestinians deserve.
Read Part 1Omar Baddar is a Middle East political analyst based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @OmarBaddar
MORE OMAR BADDAR.

We hear a lot about how many rockets Hamas fired, but rarely in a proper timeline. Hamas had been strictly observing a cease-fire agreement since it was brokered in 2012, and was even arresting Palestinian militants from rival factions who fired rockets at Israel as recently as last month. Hamas ultimately did resume firing rockets into Israel, but only after the massive crackdown Israel initiated against Hamas in the West Bank (and by some accounts, even after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza).

And it turns out the initial crackdown against Hamas was also without basis. Israeli officials now acknowledge, in direct contradiction tostatements by Israel’s prime minister, that Hamas was actually not responsible for the kidnappings of the three Israeli teens after all. And this is not just a realization Israel made over the weekend: Israeli intelligence officers reportedlynoted as early as June 30 that there was no evidence implicating Hamas as an organization.

Why Now?

Since Hamas did not initiate this confrontation, the question remains: Why did Israel pick this fight with them now? The answer requires a bit of context: For more than two decades, Palestinians and Israelis have been engaged in a so-called peace process, which aims to establish a Palestinian state on the occupied territories, the small areas from which Israel is legally required to withdraw. But that peace process failed time and again because Israel was never serious about allowing a viable Palestinian state to exist, and insisted on swallowing up more and more Palestinian land through relentlesssettlement expansion, in directviolation of international law. More recently, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahucandidly (though only in Hebrew) ruled out the possibility of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state to exist.

But because global perceptions are important, Israel is always looking for a way to deflect responsibility for the failure of the peace process onto the Palestinians. One of the talking points used to that end is theclaim that there is “no partner for peace” on the Palestinian side because the leadership was divided. So when Hamas and the Palestinian Authority agreed to end their division in recent months, Netanyahu’s government freaked out and demanded Western governments boycott the new united Palestinian leadership. When, to Netanyahu’s bitter disappointment, the U.S. insisted on dealing with the new Palestinian government anyway, Israel seems to have opted for a direct confrontation with Hamas to break up the unity government. One can see the cynical exploitation of the teens’ kidnapping to this end simply by looking at theJerusalem Post headline, which reads: “Netanyahu to Kerry: PA’s Hamas-backed unity government to blame for missing teens.” Evidence for this sort of nonsense, of course, is nowhere to be seen.

Occupation and Self-Defense

Beyond the tit-for-tat of “who started it” many are busy debating, it is crucial to emphasize that Israel has illegally occupied the Palestinian territories for many decades, is actively engaging in land theft through illegal settlement expansion, and is imposing a system ofapartheid. Under those circumstances, Israel’s very posture is offensive, and it cannot claim to be engaging in “self-defense” against the very people whose land it has illegally usurped.

To personalize this for a moment, imagine a bully sitting on a smaller child, and every time someone objects to the fact that the bully is beating the smaller child with an iron rod, the bully exclaims, “Well, he tried to slap me, so I was forced to defend myself.” No, you can’t claim that you’re beating the smaller child with an iron rod in self-defense, especially when you can end the entire confrontation simply by getting off him. Back to the political reality, Norman Finkelstein put it best: “The refrain that Israel has the right to self-defense is a red herring: the real question is, does Israel have the right to use force to maintain an illegal occupation? The answer is no.”

Israel’s Message to Palestinians

When you take into account everything I mentioned so far, you begin to realize that the ubiquitous talking point “Israel was forced to defend itself from Hamas rockets” is wrong on three counts: 1) This round of violence did not start with Hamas rockets; 2) Israel was not “forced” into this confrontation; and 3) Israel as the occupying power is certainly not “defending” itself.

Under these circumstances, the atrocious bombing of Gaza and the killing of hundreds of civilians makes clear that Israel’s message to Palestinians is this: You will live under our boot, occupied, besieged, dispossessed and humiliated without any semblance of freedom. On occasion, we may even go on a violent rampage against you, but you better not respond. Because if any of you ever dare respond to our violence with violence, we will be forced to “defend ourselves” by using our overwhelming military might to beat your entire society into submission.

Ending the Violence

By now, you’ve probably heard news outlets accuse both Israel and Hamas, on alternating occasions, of rejecting cease-fire proposals. The accusations against both are true, and this merely has to do with the terms of each proposal: Israel wants a cease-fire that effectively ends the fighting while allowing Israel to keep its boot on Gaza’s neck. Hamas, on the other hand, insists on some humanitarian conditions, including ending the siege and economic suffocation of Gaza, the introduction of international peacekeeping forces at Gaza’s borders, and the freeing of prisoners rounded up in recent weeks, many held without charge or trial.

Whatever cease-fire terms end up being accepted by both sides will only matter in the short term. In the long term, only true justice (an end to Israel’s occupation and apartheid) can end this conflict. Here, the responsibility of American citizens is paramount: If we can end our government’s unconditional military and diplomatic support for Israel’s most destructive policies, or condition such support on Israel abiding by its legal and moral obligations, we can begin to work toward that real justice all Israelis and Palestinians deserve.

Read Part 1

Omar Baddar is a Middle East political analyst based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @OmarBaddar

MORE OMAR BADDAR.

A Palestinian man carries the lifeless body of a child to an emergency room at Shifa hospital in Gaza City last week.(Credit: AP/Khalil Hamra)

Palestinians just endured an exceptionally brutal weekend: In Gaza, the death toll crossedthe appalling benchmark of 1,000, overwhelmingly civilians. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers and settlers alsokilled at least nine Palestinians amid protests against the devastation of Gaza.

I recentlydebunked Israel’s misleading “human shields” argument attempting to deflect responsibility for the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians; but more important to expose is the false narrative of how we found ourselves in this crisis and who is responsible for its perpetuation.

Invisible Bias

For most media outlets, the current crisis began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. This is, of course, an arbitrary starting point. Just one day before the kidnappings, a Palestinian man and a 10-year-old child werekilled in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike. Why wasn’t that the starting point of the violence? Has the media internalized Israel’s narrative to such an extent that they only see Israel as “responding” to violence rather than initiating it?

Israel initially blamed Hamas for the teens’ kidnapping, and “responded” by going on aviolent rampage in the West Bank, invading homes, killing demonstrators, and arresting hundreds of Palestinians, including 60 Hamas members who had been freed in an earlier prisoner swap. Imagine the opposite scenario for a moment:  When Israeli troops were caught on tape killing unarmed Palestinian teens just a few weeks before the kidnapping of the Israeli teens, imagine if Hamas responded by invading Israeli homes, shooting Israeli demonstrators and kidnapping hundreds of Israeli troops. Would media outlets cover such actions with the same sympathy and understanding afforded to Israel’s actions?

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Omar Baddar is a Middle East political analyst based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @OmarBaddar

MORE OMAR BADDAR.

tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future
tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري  انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم  شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)


They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,they are homless because of ther family members  and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future

tasneeam:

كجزء من تصويري
انا بعتبر الصور دي من احسن الصور الي صورتها فعلا وبعتز بيهم
شكرا لنعة البصر والتصوير والعيون والقوة وعدم الخوف وشكرا للعين مرة تانية الي بتعرف تلقط مشاهد زي كدا :)

They are some one mother father sister brother, „„ ,

they are homless because of ther family members and careless socity is unseeing them whom should be given more attention they build this world our future

vivapalestine:

On point.

vivapalestine:

On point.

standwithpalestine:

Video shows Israeli shelling near ambulances that kills Gaza journalist 

Note: This video depicts graphic violence that some may find disturbing.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces shelled the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, killing 17 Palestinians at a market where people had gone to shop during what they thought would be a four-hour “humanitarian truce.”

This video uploaded to YouTube shows the shelling. It is titled in Arabic “Shujaiya massacre and the targeting of a journalist and the injury of the Manara News Agency’s photographer.”

At the very beginning of the video a man can be seen wearing a flak jacket, helmet and carrying a camera, as he walks past an ambulance.

Another ambulance speeds into the frame and the man in the flak jacket can be glimpsed again.

Suddenly there is an explosion which sends up dust and smoke, followed by a second explosion. There are screams of horror, anguish and cries for help.

The videographer, whose name is not provided in the video or its description, is knocked to the ground but continues to film as the explosions continue.

The videographer gets up and films the scene around – injured people lying on the ground near the two ambulances, by walls and others hiding in an alley.

Smoke and fire can be seen in the background as shelling continues. The buzzing, likely of Israeli drones, can also be heard.

In the aftermath of the shelling, the video shows the body subsequently identified by media as that of the journalist Rami Rayan lying on the ground, wearing a flak jacket and helmet marked “TV.”

He appears to be the same person briefly glimpsed at the beginning of the video.

One of the distressed survivors, speaking to the camera, indicates to the “press sign” on Rayan’s flak jacket and says to the camera, “He was a journalist! Tell the world! Tell the United Nations! Tell the Arab collaborators!”

The video shows other distressed survivors tending to the injured and, at least in one case, collecting a body.

Since the current assault began on 7 July, Israel has killed at least seven Palestinian journalists and media workers and directly struck at least four media offices.

As of Thursday afternoon in Gaza, the death toll from the Israeli attack stood at 1,385 persons with more than 8,000 injured.

Source: The Electronic Intifada

standwithpalestine:

The world is letting fascist Israel continue its genocide of Palestinians so they’re not even hiding it any more. There’s no need to because instead of facing consequences for it they are rewarded with extra military aid from the US.
Here’s a pdf version of the article which has since been taken down.
standwithpalestine:

The world is letting fascist Israel continue its genocide of Palestinians so they’re not even hiding it any more. There’s no need to because instead of facing consequences for it they are rewarded with extra military aid from the US.
Here’s a pdf version of the article which has since been taken down.
standwithpalestine:

The world is letting fascist Israel continue its genocide of Palestinians so they’re not even hiding it any more. There’s no need to because instead of facing consequences for it they are rewarded with extra military aid from the US.
Here’s a pdf version of the article which has since been taken down.

standwithpalestine:

The world is letting fascist Israel continue its genocide of Palestinians so they’re not even hiding it any more. There’s no need to because instead of facing consequences for it they are rewarded with extra military aid from the US.

Here’s a pdf version of the article which has since been taken down.