Let me explain the title to this blog post…..

A Non-member Observer State does not have voting power, but can join ‘committees’.

If youve attended college, the comparison can be made between auditing a class in college, in which you show up, participate, but not get credit and this Non-Member Observer State.

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First, a word from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

“Sixty-five years ago on this day, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181, which partitioned the land of historic Palestine into two states and became the birth certificate for Israel,” Mr Abbas told the assembly. “The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine,” he said.

A little bit of ‘pomp and circumstance’

Palestine’s UN Membership Chair being carried in to the General Assembly.

chairofpalestineun

Random ‘odd’ fact:

Palestines newly granted status of Non-member Observer State is the same one previously, and exclusively, held by the Vatican.

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Before I go on about the United Nations vote, let me remind you just what is at stake. Journalist Harry Fear uploaded this video, that names the names of those killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza: 

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Quick Links: 

Palestine becomes non-member UN state with observer status

UN general assembly makes resounding vote in favour of Palestinian statehood

QUOTE

The 193-member assembly voted 138 in favour of the plan, with only nine against and 41 abstentions. The scale of the defeat represented a strong and public repudiation for Israel and the US, who find themselves out of step with the rest of the world.

Thursday’s resolution raises Palestine from being a “non-member observer entity” to a “non-member observer state”. The key is the final word, which confers UN legitimacy on Palestinian statehood and, while it cannot vote at the general assembly, it will enjoy other benefits, such as the chance to join international bodies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).

END QUOTE

Comment: The chance to join the ICC worries the United States because that would mean that Palestine could potentially have Israel charged with war crimes. And as much as understand politics, I do not understand why the world isnt ‘up in arms’ regarding the atrocities perpetuated against the Palestinian people.

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What Statehood is:

Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States

QUOTE

The Convention codified the declarative theory of statehood as accepted as part of customary international law.

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

END QUOTE

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The Vote: 

Who voted against?

Just nine nations voted against the Palestinian Authority’s upgrade to nonvoting observer state status, which passed the General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions.

Voting “no” Thursday were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.

On a slight side-note, Nobody Knows Where Countries That Voted Against Palestine Are

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Reaction from Israel:

Yea, no one expected Israel to be pleased with the results…..but who would have thought that Netanyahu would say it was meaningless? (Netanyahu: Palestine Vote at UN ‘Meaningless’ )

QUOTE:  The upgraded status could make it easier for the Palestinians to bring Israel to trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Court. END QUOTE

Once again, the biggest complain is in regards to the ICC and bringing Israel to trial for war crimes.

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And then on top of that:

Israel hits back with 3,000 new settler homes after Palestine wins U.N. vote

Israel revealed plans on Friday to build 3,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to the Palestinians’ historic success in being recognized as a non-member state at the United Nations.

Palestinians bitterly oppose the E1 project, as it effectively cuts the occupied West Bank in two north to south and makes the creation of a viable Palestinian state highly problematic.

Israel has long feared that if the Palestinians won the rank of a U.N. non-member state, they could pursue the Jewish state for war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague — particularly over its settlement building.

Friday’s decision to build more settler homes was roundly denounced by Peace Now, Israel’s settlement watchdog.

Israel ‘to expand settlements’ over UN’s Palestine vote

Israel plans to build 3,000 new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in defiance of a UN vote implicitly recognizing Palestinian statehood there, Israeli media reported Friday.

Under international law, transferring populations into an occupied territory is considered a war crime.

Israel approves new homes in West Bank

The Obama administration has tried to discourage construction in E-1, which would cut off East Jerusalem from surrounding Arab towns and further carve up the West Bank, already riven by Israeli settlements and military checkpoints.

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United States reaction:

JOHN BOLTON: OBAMA DROPPED BALL ON U.N. PALESTINE VOTE

(Beware of the auto-play video, but please watch)

QUOTE: Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton says Obama could have stopped the U.N. vote to grant statehood to Palestine, but he didn’t take it seriously. QUOTE

Again, we hear people talking about Palestine being involved in the ICC and the language used is ‘lawfare’ against Israel.

For crying out loud, what Israel has done in Gaza CAN be considered crimes against humanity. What is the problem? Why the cover-up?

It irks me to no end that THIS is why legislators are being said that they will enact legislation to cut off funding to the UN itself.

John Bolton needs to get a grip. Yea, 20 years ago you cut off Palestine and ‘defeated’ them….but lets get real, your complete lack of empathy for HUMAN BEINGS makes me ill.

Lets not forget tho, that John Bolton knows all too well how to lie to us. All you have to do is recall 2001-02 and George W Bush.

(Okay, my rant against Bolton is done…..for now)

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This afternoon I watched Breaking the Set with host Abby Martin, who recently traveled to Haiti with former President Jimmy Carter.

Former President Carter gets a lot of flack in the press (even now, people I know claim he was the worst president ever). This interview tho, has made me realize that some of what Ive read, cannot be based on facts.

President Carter has personally been involved with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He sees that prior to Netanyahu, a two state solution was what the region was working towards.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu violated all that by taking over, confiscating homes, and claiming that the Jordan River Valley all the way to the Mediterranean Sea should be Jewish land. He also would like to ordain Israel as a completely Jewish state, when in fact, 20% of the population of Israel are non-Jewish.

He has completely prevented any reconciliation with the participation of the United States. He wont even stop building settlements long enough to have any type of peace talks with the Palestinians.

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Oh Canada!

Canada temporarily recalls Palestinian, UN envoys, but says it isn’t breaking off relations

Mr. Baird announced Friday morning that he is temporarily recalling Canadian ambassadors to the UN and the Middle East to consult them on their next steps, and reviewing Canada’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority. But in an interview with CBC News, Mr. Baird said the Canadian reaction “will be responsible and will be deliberate.”

Before the vote, Canada had warned of potential retaliatory steps against the Palestinians – including private warnings to Palestinian representatives that it might close their delegation in Ottawa.

On Friday, however, Mr. Baird ruled out that step: “We’re not, obviously, looking at breaking off relations with the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

and later in the article:

However, Mr. Baird’s warning of retaliation has already provoked a stark response from the Palestinian Authority, whose chief negotiator said Canada has “disqualified” itself from any future role in the Middle East peace process with its vitriolic opposition to upgraded UN status for Palestinians.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Canadian threats of reprisals and Mr. Baird’s decision to personally campaign against the Palestinian resolution at the UN have ruled Ottawa out of a future role.

“I believe this government is more Israeli than the Israelis, more settler than the settlers,” he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “I think they have disqualified themselves from playing any role in the Middle East peace process.”

In particular, he said, Canada is no longer fit for its long-standing role as the so-called “gavel-holder” of the Refugee Working Group – a post that makes Canada the chair of international discussions on Palestinian refugee issues.

 

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Mondoweiss calls for a military embargo on Israel after decades of human rights violations: BDS movement grows as leading figures call for military embargo on Israel following Gaza assault

QUOTE:  Israel’s unchecked belligerence and persistent denial of basic human rights and self-determination to the Palestinian people call for a concerted effort by international civil society to force world governments to end the links of complicity. This impunity has allowed Israel to continue its occupation, colonization and denial of Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned rights. END QUOTE

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Last but not least, I came across a very interesting blog post today and wanted to share it with you. Its about how a martian would see in Gaza: Why Americans Don’t Understand Palestine

QUOTE:  But our man from Mars is certainly not an American. And while empathy for the underdog is said to be an American trait, this is not true if the underdog is Palestinian. END QUOTE

 

I was just sent this video and wanted to share

Take 10 minutes out and watch Gerald Celente (from 11/20/12)

 

And before some of you get yourself all in a huff, this man has MANY valid points.

 

 

I woke up this morning hearing that Israel broke the truce by shooting at a Palestinian near a border fence. This shooting killed one Palestinian (Anwar Qudaih, 20). and injured about a dozen others.

Testing truce, Gaza crowds surge toward Israel border fence; 1 killed but cease-fire intact

Truce Intact but Terms Still Unclear After Killing in Gaza

Thankfully, Gaza has not retaliated. (Im writing this post at 7:30 pm 11/23/12)

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Earlier this afternoon, I exchanged a dialogue on a blog of someone I do not personally know.

This dialogue consisted of some back and forth discussions, in which the following statement was said:

‘There was a Palestinian near the fence holding rocks. He had thrown several at Israeli soldiers. What do you expect those soldiers to do?’

This statement was followed up with this photo:

My response was pretty simple. You do not shoot someone for throwing stones.

Luckily, I was able to get the screenshot of the photo, but by the time I attempted to screenshot the conversation, the blog had been deleted.

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Most of the arguments Ive had with people regarding this conflict have centered around how Gaza shoots rockets and Israel is just defending itself.

And, on the surface, that argument may hold water. But when you take into account that those rockets do almost no harm, and land in empty fields, and the numbers of Palestinians dead vs the numbers of Israelis dead, that argument just simply does not work.

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Just last night I was discussing this with my boyfriend.

The over-reaction of Israel can be equated to: If I pinch you, I deserve to die.

First, my apologies. Due to some weird wordpress snafu, this post was not published yesterday as intended. It has been updated to reflect information seen today. Also, Please do not respond with information regarding the cease fire, as I have already posted a blog on that topic.

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Most of us are aware that journalists have protections put into place during times of war. Journalists were not always protected, which is why we have specifics regarding them today.

Linkage to Sources for the Protection of Journalists

Protection of journalists during war

Adoption of the 1977 Additional Protocols

Protocol I

Articles 76 and 77, 15 and 79 provide special protections for women, children, and civilian medical personnel, and provide measures of protection for journalists.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) (2nd part)

Article 79.–Measures of protection for journalists
1. Journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians within the meaning of Article 50, para-graph 1.
2. They shall be protected as such under the Conventions and this Protocol, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians, and without prejudice to the right of war correspondents accredited to the armed forces to the status provided for in Article 4 A (4) of the Third Convention.
3. They may obtain an identity card similar to the model in Annex II of this Protocol. This card, which shall be issued by the government of the State of which the journalist is a national or in whose territory he resides or in which the news medium employing him is located, shall attest to his status as a journalist.

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It is those facts, and those facts alone, that reports coming back from Gaza show me that Israel is committing something horrifying in Gaza.

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Im going to be jumping around a little between Monday and Tuesdays events, but I hope in the end, it will make sense to you.

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On the 19th, Al Jazeera English interviewed Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev about air strikes that hit a building in Gaza where local and foreign journalists were staying.

So what you are saying is that a local Arab journalists life is less than an international journalist?

“We hit the targets we want and we are not targeting the media,” Regev said. 

He said journalists affiliated with Hamas are “not legitimate.”

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Also on the 19th, Electronic Intifada posted that When Israel says it doesn’t target journalists, it is lying

Israeli army spokesperson admitted clearly and candidly that the army obviously knows there are journalists in the building.

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On Tuesday, November 20th, Sherine Tadros posted the following article on the Huffington Post: Covering This Gaza War

There is a general problem with media when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The need to sanitize events so as not to be controversial and upset the wrong people, the lack of humanizing the conflict for fear that it will make you look sympathetic or worse empathetic to the Palestinians, which could be career suicide. But not being bold and telling it how it is ultimately is a disservice to the truth and to journalism.

But the thing journalists seem to be struggling most with right now is what constitutes a legitimate target.

Journalists in Gaza who are covering this conflict have no idea where a safe building would be. Potentially, (at least according to Israel) any building isnt safe. And Israel isnt telling international reporters which buildings are safe either.

However, reporters utilizing a building already ‘hooked up’ for media coverage is a smart idea. In other conflicts in other countries, this strategy is used. And, funny thing is, when strikes get close, the whole world cries out for the media to remain safe.

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The Huffington Post also posted the following: Israel Hits Agence France-Presse Building In Gaza Airstrike

Israel said that it was targeting a Hamas operations center in the building. It added that Hamas members “weren’t in the media building to be interviewed,” and told journalists to “stay away” from them, as they were being used by Hamas as human shields.

(Funny how I saw NO reports from any media outlet making the claim that they were being used as human shields)

Abigail Hauslohner, the Cairo bureau chief for the Washington Post who is reporting from Gaza, had a tart response to the tweets. “Nothing like a good threat before bed,” she wrote, before tweeting at the Israeli Defense Forces account, “Seriously, if Hamas is in room 208 (I’m in 209), tell me now.”

And this, (which is mentioned in the post I linked to in the Guardian below)

Israel has also controversially said that it does not consider anybody working for Hamas-affiliated organizations to be legitimate journalists.

Video: 

Yesterday (the 21st) The Guardian posted about the Three journalists killed in Gaza

I know many Americans wont care that Palestinian journalists were killed and I know that the fact that they worked for Hamas run tv wont score them any sympathy points.

And, I have no way of knowing if the Israeli military is telling the truth when they claim these journalists were Hamas operatives (as stated within this article).

But, just because they work for a Hamas run news organization, does NOT make them operatives.

Asked whether Israel had widened its range of targets to include journalists working for media run by Hamas or other militant groups, Leibovich said: “The targets are people who have relevance to terror activity.”

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The Committee to Protect Journalists also covered these deaths

Three journalists killed in airstrikes in Gaza

The Ma’an news agency also took notice of the killing of Gaza journalists, going as far as calling Israel’s bombing of Gaza journalists ‘heinous crime’

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Journalists In Gaza Shaken As Blasts Go Off All Around Them

Reports mostly stated how windows were blown out and how the buildings shook. And contained within this article is a video CBS posted showing the hotel they were staying at.

Correspondent’s close encounter with an air strike

Note that the reporter calls the attacks relentless as well as talks about the civilian casualties in the context of Israel is supposedly targeting Hamas.

Reporters Without Borders condemns Gaza strikes

“Even though the outlets targeted are linked to Hamas, it does not legitimize the attacks,” he said. “Attacks against civilian targets constitute war crimes.”

Later within this same article:

Sky News Arabia issued a statement condemning the attacks and saying they caused extensive damage to its property and “considerable and unacceptable distress to our staff.” 

The statement claimed the Israeli attacks “targeted journalists covering the current military operations in Gaza” and demanded “that Israeli authorities respect and abide by the international conventions not to target media and to ensure the safety of journalists covering conflict zones.”

Hmmmm

Today (the 22nd) Business Insider talks about The Killing Of Two Gaza Cameramen Raises Questions About Israel’s Choice Of Targets

The unprecedented killing of two cameramen for Gaza’s Hamas TV station in a missile strike raised questions about whom Israel considers to be militant operatives, and thus legitimate targets.

Yes, unprecedented because despite the fact that is IS a Hamas TV station, and clearly work for Hamas, and are clearly not objective, they are quite clearly reporting on what is going on in Gaza.

A supporting article posted on the Huffington Post also goes even further stating that even after the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters without Borders contacted Israel regarding attacks on the press, attacks on Gazas media center continued.

Gaza’s Dirty Little Secret Finally Revealed By Reporters

The timing of these attacks on journalists is also significant.

Several reporters were tweeting reports of what was occurring in Gaza, as they were happening, including a report that a cameraman was injured and had to have part of his leg amputated – [ Gaza journalists defiant after Israeli attack on media center )  ]

But Netanyahu spokesman Marc Regev appeared on Al Jazeera this week and tried to blame the journalists themselves for their deaths, questioning whether Palestinian and local journalists should be considered journalists and insisting that the strikes on the building only hit and affected the roof.

(This appeared on the prior video posted near the beginning of this blog post)

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Lets all get real now

Journalists, no matter which network they work for, have opinions. And even though we all know that journalists arent supposed to voice those opinions, sometimes you can tell which view they are espousing. Here, in America, most of those journalistic views are associated with whatever network they are seen on. (re: FoxNews, MSNBC etc) And…..for the most part, our journalists work hard to at least bring us the basic facts.

For the most part, most reports Ive seen here on our mainstream media, has been supporting the views of Israel and their right to defend themselves, and not the other way around.

You would think that Israel would not be giving our media any reason to believe otherwise. These blatant attacks on journalists, no matter where they come from to report on the Israel-Gaza war, definitely bring new light as to just how lopsided the coverage has been.

At the time I was writing this post, an NBC News Reporter Blames U.S. For Not Recognizing Hamas And Not ‘Reining In’ Israel

Granted, this reporter seems pretty alone in his sentiment, and Im sure he will be lambasted by the American people for this line of reasoning (as have many others who want to see Palestinians be treated as human beings).

But the difference between the Americans and Israelis are that, even despite this lone reporters words, we wont consider him a terrorist or any less of a journalist for vocalizing those thoughts.

With words of ground offensive looming on the horizon for the past few days, we hear that there is a cease fire agreement. If history is any indication, this agreement will be short lived.

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I apologize in advance for the amount of quotes, but there were so many points contained in some of the links I sourced and I know some of you wont even look at those articles, but I wanted them ‘out there’.

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Wait til something better comes along

We heard on the 20th that Netanyahu opposed a prior cease fire agreement, hoping to hold out for one that was better in his eyes.
Barak Favors Gaza Ceasefire Terms, Netanyahu Opposes

Granted, alot of this made the rounds via social media prior to the establishment of any type of agreement. I do not know if there was any worry about Israeli soldiers refusing to fight, or even if the numbers who refuse would have mattered, but its worth including on the discussion.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, We have a Cease Fire Agreement

Ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas

QUOTE —
The IDF issued a statement saying that it accomplished its “pre-determined objectives” for the eight-days-long Operation Pillar of Defense, inflicting severe damage to Hamas and its military capabilities.

Over the week of Israel’s offensive, some 160 people were killed and 941 wounded in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Almost 100 of those killed were civilians, including 28 children, 13 women and several journalists. Almost every wounded person was a civilian as well.

On the Israeli side, five people were killed and 240 injured according to the IDF, which counted over 1,500 rockets fired from Gaza during the conflict. Only 421 of those rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

The Israeli military announced that it hit over 1,500 “terror sites” and killed 30 senior operatives during the operation. “I would say that most of the people that were hit in Gaza deserved it, as they were just armed terrorists,” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Public Radio International, despite the large majority of Palestinians killed being unarmed civilians.

—  ENDQUOTE

Its really worth noting just how lop-sided this fighting is. Yea, both sides are shooting at the other, and that is wrong. But just look at those facts.

The good news is that Palestinians seek unity as Gaza-Israel cease-fire appears to hold

QUOTE – If the ceasefire lasts until 9 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) Thursday, the next stage of the agreement would be to consider opening the border crossings to facilitate movements of people and goods. The truce took effect at that same hour Wednesday after eight days of intense fighting. – END QUOTE

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Top Ten Steps that are Necessary for Lasting Gaza-Israel Peace

I can pretty much agree to all these steps, but number 2 stands out. For those who are okay with the State of Israel, why not a state for Palestine (to which Israel used to be known as)

QUOTE – Stateless people have no real rights, since rights are enforced by a state. Gaza is lawless because it lacks a state, and Mr. Netanyahu won’t let one be formed. Among the rights that stateless people lack is the right to security of property. Palestinian property is being daily stolen from Palestinians by Israelis, who use Israeli law, administration and the courts to deprive stateless Palestinians of their rights. – END QUOTE

I also agree with number 4, because both sides of these warring people need to stop shooting missiles, rockets or whatever. If peace is to be TRULY acheived, then no weapons should be even pointed at each other.

And, the other side of the coin is this – Three Reasons Why the Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Won’t Last

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Egypt takes on being a facilitator for peace

Egyptian President and Obama Forge Link in Gaza Deal

As much as I dont agree with President Obama obtaining the Nobel Peace Prize, and as much as I disagree with the Presidents ‘undying’ support of Israel, I am glad Obama was part of the process for peace between Israel and Gaza.

And while those of us who keep track of what really goes on in politics are aware that both Morsi and Obama are taking huge political risks, the greater good is being done here……

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However, with all things, Americans will foot the bill.

Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Comes with Pledge from Obama to Seek More Defense Aid for Israel

QUOTE

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report released in March of this year detailed, “The Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency’s FY2013 request for joint U.S.-Israeli co-development is $99.8 million which is $6 million below the President’s FY2012 request. However, according to one source, ‘Though the administration’s request for missile defense monies has dropped somewhat in recent years—from $121.7m. in 2011 to $106.1m. in 2012 to 2013’s $99.8m.—during each of those cycles, Congress has consistently increased the final allocation.” In July, Obama approved $70 million more in aid for Iron Dome.

Essentially, the Obama administration is providing Israel with an incentive to restore nothing more than the status quo. The status quo is what is fueling the cycles of violence. The blockade, arbitrary detention and the policies of apartheid, including issues over water and food distribution, freedom of movement, etc, should be understood as part of what creates an environment where Palestinians are moved to respond to Israel with violence.

END QUOTE

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Egypt played big role in cease fire agreement

Gaza crisis: will Egypt come to regret its role as peacemaker?

QUOTE
In the immediate aftermath of the truce announcement on Wednesday, Morsi was lauded by Clinton. “I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence,” she said. “This is a critical moment for the region. Egypt’s new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.”

The irony is that asking Egypt to take greater responsibility for Gaza, which it administered until 1967, is precisely what some Israeli politicians have long desired: to hive off the problem of Gaza to Cairo, which would further stifle any possibility of a two-state solution.

“Egypt has huge problems of its own,” said one diplomat last week. “It needs stability and it needed the prospect of war to recede. There is a question too of its military capacity to deal with issues like Sinai.”

Given all these simmering tensions, Gaza and the truce matters in terms of Egypt’s domestic politics because it is an issue on which most Egyptians, from secular liberals to Islamist, agree. Should the truce agreement backfire badly it would have profound implications not only for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood but for Israel: any alternative Egyptian government would likely be hostile to the deal.

“Morsi’s popularity can’t go on eroding like this for ever,” rights activist Mohsen Kamal told Reuters. “He is vulnerable to dramatic, and maybe even violent, changes if he ignores what is happening.”

END QUOTE

How the Gaza Truce Makes Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood a Peace Player

As many Americans who regard the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization all on its own, it is because of their cooperation that there is now a cease fire agreement.

And even though there are concessions on both sides, Morsi has never wavered in his support for the rights of the Palestinians.

QUOTE – “We also support the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and are determined to pursue all efforts side by side with them until they regain their rights.” – END QUOTE

QUOTE  – If things are normalized in Gaza with Hamas in charge, Hamas effectively becomes a second Palestinian mini-statelet. Some Israelis believe that would be a very good idea. – END QUOTE

Gaza deal seals major role for Egypt’s president

QUOTE – He won the trust of the United States and Israel, which once worried over the rise of an Islamist leader in Egypt but throughout the week-long Gaza crisis saw him as the figure most able to deliver a deal with Gaza’s Hamas rulers. – END QUOTE

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Palestinians are rightfully celebrating on the streets of Gaza. But several seem mis-trustful of the promises of Israel to keep their side of the agreement.

Even Reuters takes note of the mistrust of the Palestinian people.

Gaza ceasefire holds but mistrust runs deep

QUOTE

The truce brokered by Egypt’s new Islamist government, working with the United States, prevented – at least for now – an Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Egypt, an important U.S. ally now under Islamist leadership, took centre stage in diplomacy to halt the bloodshed. Cairo has walked a fine line between sympathies for Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that produced President Mohamed Mursi and much of his government, and preserving its 1979 peace treaty with Israel and its ties with Washington, its main aid donor.

END QUOTE

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Implications that the real target is Iran?

Ever since the talk of a ground invasion started being shared via social media, so has the discussion regarding how the Gaza invasion was ‘practice’ for an invasion of Iran.

Ill help you out now, but yall gotta help us when we target Iran??

In fact, Shepard Smith also pointed this out earlier in the week – much to the chagrin of the American political right – Shepard Smith Suggests Netanyahu Started the Gaza Crisis for Political Gain

Only time will tell.

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And, only time will tell if this agreement is different from any of the others that preceded it.

 

Again, this post has grown to include many supporting links and videos. Please read to the end and check out what I have posted. Thanks!

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The more I discuss the ongoing situation regarding Palestinians and Israelis, the more I have to scratch my head. I am perplexed as to how some of my friends can be so blind to the human rights violations that have been occurring by the hands of the state of Israel.

I can understand some of the confusion, but once you are faced with what the Palestinian people go thru on a day to day basis, how can you still idly sit by and defend this behavior?

Even this afternoon, I have people posting comments stating they have no sympathy for the Palestinian people. I just dont understand the lack of empathy or the lack of humanitarianism.

Those who ‘agree’ with my view, cannot understand why survivors and descendants of the Holocaust try and put others people in the same position they were in and have been in many of times throughout history.

I have touched on this subject in my last two posts (Israel – Gaza, Its Complicated & Gaza – As it pertains to Palestinians and Israelis)

But some of these atrocities need to be addressed once again.

And, let me straight up say this, since obviously it needs saying….I am not anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic, or pro-Palestinian. I am FOR human rights. I do not think that ANY of these people, whether Jew or Arab should die just because they are different religions.

And, as Ive said multiple times via social media, for as many people like to point out that Arabs call for the extinction of the Jews, there is just as many instances where the Jews have proven they want to exterminate the Arabs.

There are extremists in all branches of faith, including Christianity. I am talking about a complete lack of empathy for Palestinians due to that type of extremism that is occurring by the hands of the state of Israel. Lets get real now, Palestinians live separated from any way of supporting themselves, they live separated from their own culture in the West Bank, and Israel has been clearly been the aggressor in this, even breaking their own cease fire agreements on many cases. Where are the cries for the innocent Palestinians who are being malnourished? Where are the cries after groups like World Vision actually SHOW what is going on in Gaza?

Both sides have done wrong. But it takes TWO sides to even ATTEMPT to make things right.

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Settlements, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights Violations

As I said in my last post, at one time the Jews flourished amongst the Arabs. It wasnt until 1915 that Jewish ‘citizens’ began settlements, and the situation was again aggravated in 1922 when land was stripped from the Palestinians. Ethnic cleansing began in the  The Deir Yassin Massacre of 1948 .

In case you want a short list of some of the direct Israeli Violations of U.N. Security Council Resolutions – This list is dated from 1948-2009.

In 2009, Human Rights Watch reported Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza. Even the United Nations warned Israel against shooting this substance into densely populated areas. Israel attempted to claim that Hamas was using Palestinians as human shields but a further investigation into this claim, could not be proven.

And, in a case reported on just this past May, an Israeli settler shoots Palestinian in West Bank. There are too many cases of settlers shooting Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank to share all those links.

When Hamas was elected six years ago, Israel said they wanted to starve Palestinian residents of Gaza. Israels starvation diet for Gaza The fact that a blockade was built blocking Palestinians from their farmland and Israel controls the border shows that Israel shows no regard for the innocent Palestinians that reside in Gaza.

We also know that Israels water supply is controlled by Israel and that the World Health Organization and UNEP was warning that diseases like hepatitis could be on the rise. Gazas water supply near collapse (This article is dated 2009) At the time, only 5-10% of the water supply was fit for human consumption.

A post from haaretz states that Israel aimed at keeping Gaza on the brink of collapse – QUOTE: “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge,” one of the cables read.” ENDQUOTE

A more recent post (Nov 2012) states that Israel is cutting Gaza off from food, water and electricity: Inciting war crimes: Israel minister says force Gaza population into Egypt, cut off water, electricity

History is repeated as the international community turns its back on Gaza QUOTE – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), and other organisations, prepared countless well-documented cases containing concrete allegations of widespread war crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces. END QUOTE

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Why Should the United States Even Care?

The American media and the United States government are all complicit in what happens in Gaza. (See: U.S. Military Aid and the Israel/Palestine Conflict for a general graph and make sure to read the whole page and check out the links provided)

In an article I came across this morning via the Daily Beast entitled Netanyahu: No Current Plans for Gaza Ground War there is a startling discovery: QUOTE- The most effective missile-defense system appears to be Iron Dome, for which the U.S. granted $205 million in Fiscal Year 2011, which ended on Sept. 30. -END QUOTE

As much as I find regarding United States taxpayer dollars supporting Israeli military, I am always surprised at just how much of our dollars have been sent to Israel.

Im not the only one noticing the fact that when Israel is attacking Palestinians in Gaza, it is our tax dollars paying for part of it. The Guardian in the UK posted  Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault on Gaza – And for those of you who claim President Obama has shunned Israel when he visited the Middle East??? Just read this article.

QUOTE – Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. END QUOTE

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Hey Israel….what the what?

Israel killed its own subcontactor when it killed Jabari

QUOTE: “Ahmed Jabari was a subcontractor, in charge of maintaining Israel’s security in Gaza… Israel demanded of Hamas that it observe the truce in the south and enforce it on the multiplicity of armed organizations in the Gaza Strip. The man responsible for carrying out this policy was Ahmed Jabari… Jabari was also Israel’s partner in the negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit; it was he who ensured the captive soldier’s welfare and safety, and it was he who saw to Shalit’s return home last fall.” END QUOTE

Other reports shown that Jabari WAS indeed working on negotiations for a permenent truce with Israel when he was assassinated: A Permanent Truce with Israel was Being Negotiated as Assassination of Hamas Leader Occurred

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As much as I know Ill get heat by sharing Noam Chomsky (because people say hes only visited Gaza once, therefore he shouldnt get notice?) I will share it anyway – Noam Chomsky: My Visit to Gaza, the World’s Largest Open-Air Prison

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I ran across a video of Netanyahu totally unaware of a camera filming. I dont know if the translation is correct, but if it is, Israel just expects us to keep defending them, even if Netanyahu knows hes wrong.

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Alot of my friends like to point out instances in which Hamas has sent rockets into Israel, and calls those ‘war crimes’ like in the post seen on the National Review –   Maintaining Clarity in the Debate over Gaza Tactics – but let me remind you of the landscape of Gaza. It is 4 miles wide and 25 miles long, most of this area is densely populated.

Let me also remind you that BOTH sides of this argument has every right to defend itself. And let me remind you that this launching of rockets, missiles and bombs has been a tit for tat. Both sides have continually responded to the other side.

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While I was editing this post, two friends sent me the following link: Op-Ed: Spare Us the Pieties on Gaza — My comment on this link can be explained by the other blogs Ive posted on this topic. And, not that I would expect anything else from an op-ed piece, but its very one sided.

QUOTE- As for those “refugee camps” – why are they “refugee camps” when Israel handed over all that territory for a nation to be built in peace and security alongside Israel? Why are all Palestinians automatically refugees even after they’ve been given a home? The only true refugees are the thousands of Israelis who were driven from Gaza and still live in trailer parks. No tears for them in this world that still dreams of Auschwitz. END QUOTE

I have already shown in prior posts how this is entirely untrue. Israel has handed over nothing. (Gaza – As it pertains to Palestinians and Israelis) Settlers have encroached Palestinian territories time after time.  And the Palestinian Right of Return has been refused by Israel, as well as the fact that most of the property owned by Palestinians have been leveled.

See: Topic-Ethnic Cleansing

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Here is a fabulous post by a Rabbi Outrage in Gaza Redux who, in his own words feels enraged by what is occurring in Gaza.

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Here is a powerful excerpt of a speech made in 2010:

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Documentaries Worth a Watch

And for those of you still with me here, I ask that you watch the film, Tears of Gaza, embedded below: 

If, for some reason the video is removed, you can watch it here: Tears of Gaza

Or, watch this documentary made by Harry Fear, Martyred in Gaza: Martyred in Gaza

Occupation 101 – the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: 

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Now, Im aware that some of you will not watch these.

Some of you will NEVER see the mistreatment of Palestinians as inhumane, and some of you who wont see this as inhumane will bring up Israel as being the ones treated inhumanely. But ask yourself this: Who in Israel is being kept from the necessities of life (food, water, electricity)?

After some heavy discussions on this latest Israeli-Palestinian war, I decided to do some research that wasnt buried in pro-con sources. I wanted to know when the Israeli Occupation began in Gaza and why.

And, I didnt want to use biblical-literalists opinions.

After my last blog post on this topic, (Israel – Gaza, Its Complicated) I planned on doing a post strictly pertaining the United Nations violations going on in this area, but a facebook friend of mine posted a graphic that led me to do this post.

Heres the image: 

Biblical Context: Israel believes that God told them this land belonged to them and no one else. I found a page on wikipedia that strictly pertains to the lands of Israel based on biblical scripture: Lands of Israel

However, there is the simple fact that Christianity began in Palestine, and that Palestinians were among the first converts to Christianity. (See –Aint Nobody Gonna Like This / The Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-428) / The Rise And Triumph Of Christianity / Palestinian People / Acculturation)

Those biblical representations aside, there are some facts about Palestinians and Jews that need to be discussed when the subject of Gaza and the Israeli occupation is brought up.

There is no truth to the centuries old adage that the war between the Palestinians and Israelis has been ongoing since the beginning of time. (I just found out this fact today, and Im pretty shocked) In fact, prior to the Zionist Jew conflict, Jews actually flourished amongst the Arab world.

From what I could find regarding this conflict, (not on a wikipedia page) most of the problems arose around 1915 when the Jews began to start settlement areas. This situation was further aggravated in 1922 when land was stripped from the Palestinians by the Jews. (Mandates for Palestine)

During the time of World War 2, over 150,000 Jews fled to Palestine, as refugees. (What happened in Palestine during World War II?) This migration would in fact, assist the Jews in the ‘conquering’ of Palestine.

In 1947, Britain requested that a permanent solution be addressed by the United Nations. (I admit, I do not fully understand this situation due to the oddly worded 2 state solution [Arab/Jew] or Independent solution. And I still do not fully understand which one they went with) (Israel Statehood)

Either way, Israel was granted statehood and became a member of the United Nations shortly thereafter and the destruction of Palestine truly began.

Alot of people have stated the similarities between the American Indians and the Palestinian people due to the way the land was ‘divided’ up. Jews were given the fertile land while Palestinians were (in my words) screwed.

It was around this time that Palestinians were forced off their property. Many fled during the Deir Yassin massacre (The Deir Yassin Massacre of 1948) In watching several documentaries, the Palestinians were clearly a victim of ethnic cleansing.

Once the Palestinians fled these areas (some estimates say 700,000 Palestinians fled), the Israelis took over that land. It was also around this time that we know that the West Bank was controlled by Jordan and Gaza controlled by Egypt.

After the United Nations enacted a resolution in 1948 that would allow Palestinians a right to return (forgive the use of wikipedia, but its the most comprehensive on this subject Palestinian Right of Return) However, Israeli leaders would not allow that to occur.

Unfortunately, even though Palestinians still held deeds to properties, they were turned into Jewish settlements. And lets be clear about what that means.  The land owned by Palestinians who fled was managed by the Israeli government and it was leveled.

In 1967, another war broke out and another exodus of Palestinians took place. (Some of these Palestinians were expelled) These refugees fled to the West Bank and Gaza.

Even after the United Nations passed resolution after resolution, they failed to take action.

Ill skip ahead a bit to the late 1980s when the first intifada occured. Palestinians demonstrated/protested in a non-violent manner against the Israelis. (Most of these demonstrations were kids throwing rocks at tanks) Yitsak Rabin decided to respond with the brutality that we now know to be called ‘break the bones’. (I will not link to those videos but they are easily found)

During the 7 years of peace after the Oslo Process was began (1993) the Palestinians plight actually got worse. Israeli settlements expanded and any demonstration/protest against Oslo labeled you as a terrorist.

Over 740 homes were demolished during the Oslo Process.

In 2006, the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) was seen as a failure and Hamas was voted in.

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Jewish settlers gain the benefit because Israel controls the power, the water, trash removal, and the roads, while Palestinians suffer from a lack of those services.

Most Jewish settlers on the always changing borders of Gaza/West Bank, have been offered ‘low’ costs for housing. They get a loan to relocate and if they are still there in 10 years, it does not need to be paid back.

In 2000, the Second Intifada began. The Palestinians mobilized against the oppression. It should be noted that Israelis used live ammunition against unarmed protesters.

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Palestinians have lived in an oppressive environment for years. They have to go thru various checkpoints just to go down the street. This is also a clear violation of international law.

The saddest thing is that United Nations havent been allowed into Gaza to see these violations because Israel wont let them in. (Am I the only one who finds this odd?)

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In August 2005, after 35+ years of occupation, Israeli forces began dismantling settlements in Gaza.

This was seen as a sacrifice.

Over $227,000 was offered to those settlers who offered to relocate. Israel asked the United States to pay twenty-two BILLION in aid to cover this cost. (I can find no sources as to when this money was allocated)

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And while Israels presence is no longer ‘visible’ they still control the air space, water, and the border.

Speaking of border – there was a separation wall built. Its said to be twice the height of the Berlin wall. Its used to separate Palestinians in Gaza from land, family, schools and medical treatment.

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There is now an entire generation of Palestinian children who have watched as their families have been treated in an inhumane manner.

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Human rights activists who have been allowed into Gaza (i.e. World Vision) have been reporting these living conditions to no avail.

In fact, when activist Rachel Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer at the age of 23, the United States Congress refused to investigate.

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Israel has the largest military presence in the world (behind the United States) and is the 5th largest nuclear power in the world.

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It is also worth noting that the United States is seen as the sole supporter of Israel. Most of this support comes from two areas: The US lobbying organization known as AIPAC or from the fundamental religious groups, who believe that a strong Israel is ‘Gods plan’.

These organizations/groups would like us to view this as a good vs. evil situation, and would like us to have blind support of Israel.

Im sorry, but those of us who look beyond the deceit that our American media presents to us cannot do this. Our media has a total bias regarding the plight of the Palestinian people.

It is clear that Israel does not abide by the rules and regulations set forth at the 4th Geneva Convention – (i.e. settlements, control of travel etc)

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American tax payers support this. Israel receives the most aid of any other country that the United States supports. (Israel gets 1/3 of the total aid by the US each year) In 2003, TEN BILLION dollars in aid went to Israel.

This money could be spent domestically in many areas. (But thats an entirely different blog)