Matching Grant Challenge
BruceMatch
We’re slowly making headway in our annual fund drive, but not nearly fast enough to meet our make-or-break goal.  On the bright side, a generous CounterPuncher has stepped forward with a pledge to match every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, he will give CounterPunch a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate.
 unnamed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)

pp1

or
cp-store

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Firepower Power and Propaganda

Israel and Gaza, Again

by SAUL LANDAU

Again Israel used its superior military force and technology to kill residents of Gaza, and destroy their homes and property while revving up its media war to justify its barbarous behavior. This assault on Gaza follow an old Zionist strategy, outlined by Zionist ideologue Ze’ev Jabotinsky. In 1923 he worte “The Iron Wall” in which he advised the use of force —“an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.” Israel has used force to strip Palestinians of their land and drive them out of the country. But not all, not enough of them to make the rest accept the colonization of their country.

In November, Israel failed again to achieve this result in Gaza, but it will apparently pay no immediate price – other than hearing cries of condemnation from throughout the world and not gaining its objective in smashing Hamas — for having slaughtered Palestinians and destroyed their homes. Indeed, Israel will probably receive increased US military aid as a reward for signing the ceasefire agreement. Hamas, however, gained international recognition and weakened its rival, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

So, writes Middlle East expert Alan Hart, “Israel did not get what it wanted and was demanding – an unconditional and unilateral ceasefire by Hamas.” Although “the Obama administration and European governments may still refuse to recognize Hamas and talk directly and openly to it, they are as good as doing so when they engage with Egypt’s President Morsi.” Hamas’s isolation is over.”

Israel’s motive in the war were stated by Eli Yishai, Israeli Interior Minister, of the ultra orthodox Shas Party. He said candidly that “the goal of the operation was to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”

Such language and Israel’s behavior around Gaza prompted NATO member Turkey’s Prime Minister  to call Israel “a terrorist state.”

He mighthave added the adjective “duplicitous since Israel had apparently submitted a peace proposal to Hamas, which was in the hands of its moderate Defense Minister Jabari, when Israeli government assassins rocketed his car and blew him away. Just another “Arab terrorist” for the media to headline.

Israel used air strikes to render Gaza – what remains of its civilian infrastructure and even UN properties – into a functionally unusable space. The budding construction industry in Gaza and its foreign suppliers will rebuild and earn many millions of dollars from the infrastructural destruction caused by Israeli bombs. The US government can send their wares to Israel; so US and European arms manufacturers will sell more of their lethality to the Jewish state, paid for by US taxpayers.

Israel and Hamas signed a ceasefire agreement.

Who won? The Israeli bombings did not force Gazans into submission. Rather, the residents seem to have used the attacks to refurbish their spirits of resilience.

In Israel, after the signing of the ceasefire agreement, few people and no serious political group demanded those who ordered the bombings to stand before a court of law or even explain their military orders to destroy people and property to the public. Instead, a wave of anti-Palestinian racism seems to have spread through the Israeli population, and even fortified Bibi Netanyahu’s January 2013 election chances. Jewish Israelis slashed the tires of cars belonging to Palestinians in Jerusalem, with slogans saying “the price for Gaza.” Sacha Dratwa, a high profile Israeli military spokesman posed for a photo he posted on his Facebook page captioned “Obama style” in which his face is smeared with mud.

No US politician responded to the racist portrait, much less demanded that Israel pay reparations to rebuild Gaza. No major nation has demanded sanctions against Israel for bombing civilians. Moralists of the world, however, will see Israel as ethically damaged, and will ask President Obama why he continues to back that criminal state in the Middle East.

Recall how Benjamin Netanyahu, America’s supposed “friend, ” supported Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy. He offered blatant partisanship without a dash of diplomatic protocol or respect for the President who swore he had Israel’s “back.” Obama then justified Israeli bombings by stating that “There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.“ Did Obama forget he routinely orders drone strikes (rockets) against “targets” in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Netanyahu remembered that Romney traveled to Israel with Sheldon Adelson, who threw multi millions of his gambling casino gelt into Romney’s campaign to benefit Israel. Adelson spent some $50 million in support of the loser and other Republicans in congressional races.

The facts of the bombings, however, conflicted with Israel’s suave “We are defending our people,” line, repeated by Israeli government spokespeople, in unaccented English for the English-language media. On the other side, ‘ Hamas, Gaza’s ruling Party spokespeople offered heavily accented English, as they denounced “Izz –rrrayelli aggg –ressshon.”

As a result, audio messages and myths posing as information got  turned into stereotypes. Few reporters discussed the widespread theft of Palestinians land by so-called Israeli “settlers.”

Much of the media propagated the Israeli lie that wicked Hamas started the current fighting by firing missiles, which forced innocent Israel to defend its people and territory.

President Barack Obama and the US and Israeli mainstream media blamed Hamas. Yes, Palestinians fired rockets into Israel, and Israel claimed its only reason for bombing Gaza was to stop the rocket fire. However, Israel has consistently launched violent attacks into Gaza with far more fire-power and accuracy than that available to the Gazans.

The war has ended, temporarily. One hopes Obama fashions the courage to tell Netanyahu and company to stop its brutality and withhold aid until Israel starts moving toward making real peace, recognizing that Palestinians merit a larger and contiguous piece of their rightful (by the 1967 accords) land, as a state.

Saul Landau’s FIDEL and WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP are available as dvds from cinemalibrestudio.co