A new wave of hatred towards Palestine is sweeping through Israel from public figures to the man on the street. This hostility is in sharp contrast to efforts in Cairo, where Arab leaders and Western diplomats are trying to hammer out a peace plan.
While Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) official Nabil Sheath expressed hope Sunday night that negotiations would continue, very different noises were coming out of Israel.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Operation Pillar of Defense would continue and likely be expanded, a reference to the possibility that a ground offensive has already been given the go-ahead.
The war in Gaza “must be so painful and difficult that the terror groups will not think twice but a hundred times before they fire missiles against Israel again,” it was reported in The Israel National News.
“Destroy and damage infrastructure, public buildings and government buildings. We must make sure that Hamas will be spending many years rebuilding Gaza, and not attacking Israel,” he continued.
A few days ago he said, “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then will Israel be calm for the next 40 years.”
His words were relatively mild compared to some of the comments that have been coming out of Israel in recent days.
Journalist, Gild Sharon, the son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in an editorial in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday called for Gaza to be flattened like the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.
“We need to flatten all of Gaza. The American’s didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough – so they hit Nagasaki too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire,” ranted Sharon.
As the former Prime Minister’s son publicly urged the military to wipe Gaza off the map, a member of the Knesset and the National Unity Party, Michael Ben-Ari, called for Israeli soldiers to kill Gazans without thought or mercy.
“There are no innocents in Gaza, don’t let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives – mow them down!” it was reported on the Hakol HaYehudi website.
He also told soldiers to ignore Goldstone; in reference to the UN commissioned Goldstone report on Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza, which found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Israel Katz, the country’s transport minister, has called “for Gaza to be bombed so hard the population has to flee into Egypt.” While Avi Dichter, the minster of home front defense, has urged the IDF to “reformat” Gaza – to wipe it clean with bombs.
Even religious leaders joined the fray, with a prominent Israeli rabbi, Yaakov Yosef, the son of former chief rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, in a sermon at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron blessed IDF soldiers while urging them “to learn from the Syrians how to slaughter the enemy.”
The Syrian army has come under widespread international criticism for indiscriminately shelling and bombing whole civilian areas.
Incitement to kill by Israeli rabbis is nothing new. In 2007 Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safad, urged Israel to kill a million Palestinians to stop the rocket fire from Gaza.
Regular Israeli citizens have also taken to the streets to almost gleefully express their racist hatred of the inhabitants of Gaza and other Arab states.
A group of Israelis demonstrating in Tel Aviv on Thursday night shouted “They don’t deserve to live, they need to die”, “May your children die” and “Now we want to go back there [Gaza] and kick out all the Arabs”.
While anti-war voices exist, they are in a minority and much of the population is firmly behind it.
Journalist Patrick Cockburn observed during a visit to Israel during the 2008-2009 attack on Gaza the siege mentality of Israeli society.
“Israeli society reminds me of the Unionists in Northern Ireland in the late 1960’s or the Lebanese Christians of the 1970’s. Like Israel, both were communities with a highly developed siege mentality, which led them always to see themselves as victims even when they were killing other people.”
A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Paul Hirschon, vigorously defended Israeli’s actions to RT. When asked about the Interior Minister’s comments that “Gaza should be bombed into the middle ages” and this could mean destroying infrastructure, water supplies and therefore targeting an entire population, which amounts to a war crime, he replied, “That is absolutely not the case as to what is happening and I think you will agree with me that in 1,400 military strikes in the last week, with a tragic incident of 47 deaths, I think you’ll agree with me that the Israeli army is taking every possible step to avoid civilian casualties.”
But Hamas is undaunted by the bombs. Osama Hamden, the director of Hamas’s international affairs, told the Al-Jadeed Satellite channel, “The Palestinians are not in a rush for a truce; we are accustomed to such attacks.”
Insults and threats between the two sides are traded as freely as the bombs and missiles. After the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) twitter warning that, “No Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”
The Alqassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, hit back with, “Our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers whereever you are (you opened the gates of hell on yourselves)”
But there is a crucial difference between them. Hamas is a militant organization, which many in the world see as terrorist. Israel, however, is a civilized democracy and a rich developed nation and so the hyperbole and venom coming from the mouths of its leaders seems that much more shocking.
Over the past few weeks, a slowly growing series of rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel, and retaliatory strikes by Israeli forces, has sharply escalated into a crisis. The skies over the Gaza Strip and southern Israel have filled with hundreds of rockets, missiles, and warplanes since Wednesday, bringing varying levels of destruction to the populations below. Tensions are growing as Israel’s military has called up thousands of reservists and deployed troops along the border. At the same time, Egypt’s new Prime Minister Hisham Kandil made an official visit to Gaza today. Meanwhile rocket attacks continued, setting off air raid sirens as far north as Tel Aviv.
Read more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]
TW: graphic violence
Source: The Atlantic
The most-studied mass extinction in Earth history happened 65 million years ago and is widely thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. New University of Washington research indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.
US Death Toll Passes 2,000 in Afghanistan War
As The New York Times reports, “Nearly nine years passed before American forces reached their first 1,000 dead in the war. The second 1,000 came just 27 months later, a testament to the intensity of fighting prompted by President Obama’s decision to send 33,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in 2010, a policy known as the surge.”
Image: Aboard a medical helicopter, Cpl. Andrew Smith of the Marines was treated by Sgt. Jaime Adame, top, an Army medic, after being seriously wounded in an attack in Helmand Province on May 15, 2011. Corporal Smith ultimately recovered from his injuries. Via The New York Times.
Exclusive: Pussy Riot, the feminist Russian punk band from which three members were found guilty of hooliganism driven by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in jail, have released a new single called Putin Lights Up the Fires. The Guardian has edited the new song to a montage of Pussy Riot members and their supporters
English translation (from the Guardian website):
This state may be stronger than time in jail.
The more arrests, the happier it is.
Every arrest is carried out with love for the sexist
Who botoxed his cheeks and pumped his chest and abs.
But you can’t nail us in the coffin.
Throw off the yoke of former KGB!
Putin is lighting the fires of revolution
He’s bored and scared of sharing silence with the people
With every execution: the stench of rotten ash
With every long sentence: a wet dream
The country is going, the country is going into the streets boldly
The country is going, the country is going to bid farewell to the regime
The country is going, the country is going, like a feminist wedge
And Putin is going, Putin is going to say goodbye like a sheep
Arrest the whole city for May 6th
Seven years isn’t enough, give us 18!
Forbid us to scream, walk and curse!
Go and marry Father Lukashenko
Translation credit: @Russian_Market
“The eco-clique are lobbying for a huge injection of public funds into geoengineering research. They dominate virtually every inquiry into geoengineering. They are present in almost all of the expert deliberations. They have been the leading advisers to parliamentary and congressional inquiries and their views will, in all likelihood, dominate the deliberations of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as it grapples for the first time with the scientific and ethical tangle that is climate engineering,” said Clive Hamilton, professor of Public Ethics at the Australian National University, in a Guardian blog.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: geoengineering isn’t the solution to our climate woes, and Bill Gates (and other assorted rich people) should really quit trying to market such risky, stop-gap solutions as if they were one of his new product lines.
Yes, I know that the idea of controlling the weather/climate is sexy, but we shouldn’t continue to tamper with the planet’s atmospheric composition because we don’t know if it’ll make things worse (or if such large-scale experiments will blow up in our faces).
Ew. This is horrible, especially since a number of Angelenos depend on subsistence fishing for food.
AGU Responds to Op-Ed entitled "No Need to Panic About Global Warming", published by the WSJ, 27 January 2012 | AGU News
I read the original article, tried not to lose my cool, and failed miserably.
…really, WSJ, really?
A 21st-century land rush is on. Driven by fear and lured by promises of high profits, foreign investors are scooping up vast tracts of farmland in some of the world’s hungriest countries to grow crops for export.
As the climate changes and populations shift and grow, billions of people around the globe face shortages of land and water, rising food prices, and increasing hunger. Alarm over a future without affordable food and water is sparking unrest in a world already tinder-dried by repression and recession, corruption and mismanagement, boundary disputes and ancient feuds, ethnic tension and religious fundamentalism.
Today there are more African-Americans under correctional control, — in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. There are millions of African-Americans now cycling in and out of prisons and jails or under correctional control. In major American cities today, more than half of working-age African-American men are either under correctional control or branded felons and are thus subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives.
As a possible 2012 farm bill looms, the agriculture committee leaders and their industrial agriculture lobby remoras are sorting through the smoking ruins of the 2011 secret farm bill process. They hope to come up with a unified position from which to begin deliberations on a new farm bill. Sadly, one thing they’ve all agreed to cut is 7 million acres from the Conservation Reserve Program. The CRP is administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and pays farmers to keep highly erodible land out of production.
While many recognize that putting land into conservation programs leads to cleaner water, healthier soil and robust wildlife habitat, few realize that CRP land also plays a major role in fighting climate change. According to the USDA, one acre of protected land sequesters 1.66 metric tons of carbon every year, carbon that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere. The 7 million acres about to be cut from the Conservation Reserve Program have been putting 11.6 million metric tons of carbon into the soil every year.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that this amount of carbon is equivalent to the annual emissions of 2 million passenger vehicles. All that stored carbon will be sent back into the atmosphere if those 7 million acres are plowed under to plant more industrial-scale corn for ethanol and livestock feed.