Claim – This is a religious thing between muslims and jews going back centuries.
Fact – Jews and muslims lived in peace together before Israel was created in 1948, Jews even left their children with their muslim neighbours on the sabbath. Religion is used as a smokescreen, there are plenty of Palestinian christians and who are also victims of Israels actions. The real issue here is colonialism and people all around the world from a huge variety of backgrounds are saying no more, in particular jewish people, as contrary to Israeli propaganda, it doesnt represent world Jewry.
Claim – It is anti-semetic to criticise Israel
Fact – Palestinians are Semite people, people would be wise to look up the meaning of ‘semite’. This is a common slur to stop people criticising Israel, many jews stand up and criticise Israel, they call these people ‘self hating jews’. In fact over 300 of them Holocaust survivors and their descendents just released an advert in the NY times, stating just how opposed they were to the genocide (their own words) being carried out against the Palestinian people. The truth is majority of people campaigning for Palestine are and the same who campaigned for an end to aparthied, an end to the Vietnam war and would be the same people who would speak out against the holocaust committed by the Nazis. Back then the Germans said they didnt know what the Nazis were doing. In an age of information technology today no one in the world can say they didnt know what Israel was doing.
Claim – Hamas kidnapped/killed 3 teenage settlers who were hitchhiking in the West Bank.
Fact – Israels own media claims Hamas had nothing to do with it, then they claim actually they did orchestrate the kidnap, however not one shred of evidence has been produced. Also more suspects in the abduction of the teenagers have had their entire family homes bulldozed or sealed with concrete, they never had a trial of any sort, either because theres no evidence or because when it coems to Palestinians the law doesnt apply. The entire family was punished which is also contrary to international law as it is a form of collective punishment. The suspects in the trial of the Palestinian boy from Jerusalem who was kidnapped and burned alive still have intact family homes and had a trial.
Claim- Hamas broke the most recent ceasefire
Fact – Israel suddenly pulled out of the Cairo talks stating rockets had been fired, theres no evidence of this and it is no surprise that as Israel resumed bombing Gaza one of its first targets was Al Deif the military commander of Hamas, only they killed his wife and 4 year old daughter instead. It is widely believed Israel saw an opportunity to target kep people they wanted dead and so derailed the peace talks which have led to tens more Palestinian deaths, 1 Israeli death and have destroyed entire apartment blocks.
Claim – Israel has to defend itself
Fact – They are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing… You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defence. Call it what you like, it’s not defence.” – Noam Chomsky. It is a state which keeps a population of 1.7 under siege, and another 4 million under brutal military occupation amidst checkpoints, watchtowers, raids, kidnappings, torture and indefinite detention. In fact Israel has broken more UN resolutions that any other in UN history. According to the Geneva convention, an occupier exercising criminal behavior does not have the legal right for self defense against an occupied state. Gaza is under occupation consequently the occupier, Israel here, does not have the legal right for self defense. Second, since Gaza is under occupation Palestinians in Gaza actually do have the legal right to defend themselves against Israeli provocation, Israeli airstrikes, Israeli bombardments, Israeli criminality. We never hear Palestine having the indisputable right to defend itself.
Claim – Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005
Fact – Does withdrawing from a territory mean that you still control its borders, sea and airspace, and impose a block on things going in and out including vital medicine and building materials, kill anyone you deem too close to the buffer zone, including farmers and children.”The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,” Dov Weisglass said in 2006. Gaza will run out of drinking water in a year. Even David Cameron stated in 2010: “Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp…People in Gaza are living under constant attacks and pressure in an open-air prison”.
Claim – This is a war and a ‘conflict’
Fact – What this does is create the false assumption that Gaza, like Israel, has an advanced military force with tanks, drones, F16’s whitewashing the reality of an occupier and occupied, the oppressor and the oppressed. Calling it a war equates that both sides have substantial strength to fight each other and declare a ‘war’ on one another — it does not. Israel is armed to the teeth, Gaza is not.
Claim – Hamas uses people as human shields
Fact – Not one journalist has ever reported this, in fact Jon Snow disputed this and Jeremy Bowen stated this was untrue recently in the New statesman, it’s only the Israeli army that states this. Amnesty International has produced a report a 117-page report charging Israeli forces with killing hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and wanton destruction of thousands of homes in 2009, finding NO evidence of Palestinian militants using human shields. On the other hand reports ‘On several occasions Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians, including children, as “human shields” during military operations, or forced them to carry out dangerous tasks’.
Claim – We were targeting militants
Fact – Did militants hide in all the hospitals, did they hide at the beach, where children played football. Did they hide in 84 schools and 23 medical facilities. Did they hide in a cafe, where Gazans were watching the World Cup, in the ambulances trying to retrieve the injured, in corpses, buried under rubble, did they hide next to patients lying in the intensive burn care unit in Al-Shifa, by the little boy whose parts were carried away by his father in a plastic shopping bag. did they hide themselves in the “incomparable chaos of bodies” arriving at Gaza hospitals.
Claim – Hamas stores weapons in schools and hospitals.
Fact – There hasn’t been any proof of any weapons being found where the airstrikes took place. Ironically the only places weapons have been found to date, are in two abandoned UNRWA schools which were not targets of bombing.
Claim – Dropping leaflets and giving a ‘knock on the roof’ (mini bomb dropped on roof of your house to warn you a bigger bomb is coming) means you have fulfilled your duty under international law to protect civilians. Hamas stops people leaving which is why so many civilians have been killed.
Fact – This is an attempt to rewrite the rules on warfare. In most instances no notice was given, or notice from 50 secs- 15 mins. That does NOT justify targeting civilian homes or killing civilians. Most homes in Israel have someone connected to the army does that mean every home in Israel is a legitimate target? Off course not. If a mass murderer came to your home and told you they were going to kill you and your family if you didnt run away quick enough does that make it okay when they kill you? Why would Hamas risk their lives to go into areas the Israelis said they’d bomb to stop people leaving knowing theyd be killed and killing their own people, when they could spend their energy fighting the occupation and bombing of their own lands. Also where are the people supposed to run to, Gaza is enclosed, densely populated and safehavens such as 3 UN schools have been hit!
Claim – Hamas are terrorists that want the destruction of Israel
Fact – Hamas were voted into Gaza as they provided the best social welfare to the residents of Gaza and Gazans were fed up with Fatah. Christians and muslims voted them in. They are not recognised the world over as a terrorist group. They are an elected government with a militant wing and so nothing like boko haram or ISIS as the Israelis seem to like comparing them to. In 2008 Hamas offered a 10 year truce to Israel and stated it would accept a Palestinian state on only part of the land it claims and Israel rejected it, as reported by Israels own media. Hamas formed a unity government with Fatah in the West Bank that would accept a state side by side with Israel. The timing of this Israeli assault is uncanny seeing as Netanyahu was bitterly against the Palestinians forming a Unity government as it would have meant he would have to negotiate seriously on a solution. There is a lot of talk of Hamas’ wanted theoretical destruction of the current Israel that steals Palestinian land but not as much to Israels actual and real destruction of Palestine. Citing an early version of a charter that has since been changed by Hamas seems to be the overriding cause of the massacre. This wont stand up in a court of law.
Israeli members of parliament and senior army figures on the other hand such as Ayelet Shaked a member of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, which is part of the ruling coalition is quoted as calling for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes, “They have to die and their houses should be demolished.” Critics are denouncing it as a call for genocide.
Journalist, Gilad 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.
Claim – Israel is targeting rockets and tunnels
Fact – If targeting rockets then why not use a straight missile to take out rockets, why use Flechette bombs and Dime bombs that spew out tiny darts and peieces of shrapnel that fly out over a massive radius designed to maim/ kill anyone within radius.
The tunnels were not cited in the original aim to bomb Gaza, yet suddenly its become an imperative part of the strategy. The Jews in the Warsaw ghetto dug tunnels too when they were blockaded by the Nazis, was this accepted as an excuse for them to be killed.
Claim – What do you expect Israel to do? No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders
Fact -Would any country on Earth tolerate the theft of their land, murder of their families, terrorism and regular ‘incursions’ (i.e. invasion) from an occupying force, their daily humiliation and brutalization from an apartheid state that controls their lives, kidnaps their children, tortures prisoners with impunity, starves and impoverishes them, destroys their olive groves and livelihoods, denies them medical treatment, restricts their movement? Builds illegal settlements on their land and carries out 3 massacres using banned and new weaponry such as white phosphorous powder. The Palestinians have had to tolerate all this. The handmade rockets are a response to Israel’s continuing oppression and 66 years of settler-colonialism. The Jews in the Warsaw ghettoes launched an attack against the Nazis but off course their few basic weapons were no match for the SS. No one called them terrorists for fighting against their oppressors.
Claim – Why did Hamas reject the first Egyptian ceasefire then? They could have ended all of this
Fact – The ceasefire deal was brokered between Egypt and Israel. The Palestinians were not part of the consultations and Hamas said it only heard the details through the media. The deal that was presented to Hamas would not lift the siege, allow the crossings to open for aid to come in. It gave the Palestinians nothing, not even a restatement of the ceasefire conditions from 2012 agreement which Israel never honoured. Israel has been the first to break every ceasefire. The rockets have been in retaliation to this. Also Egypt is now ruled after an overthrow of a democratically elected government, El Sisi is an army general and receives the second biggest amount of funding from the USA after Israel so they are hardly honest brokers.
The real question is then why Israel is occupying and bombing Gaza. According to Daniel Levy, the Middle East director of the European Council for Foreign Relations is that:
“It is the same goal as 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defence, and 2008-09′s Operation Cast Lead: to contain Hamas but not obliterate it, otherwise there will be chaos and mayhem.
Israel will push for a buffer zone around Gaza to contain it further. This will also enable it to extract the huge amount of natural gas off the Gaza coast worth $4 billion. This might provide some insight into the name of the Israeli operation. Tzuk Eitan can be translated as ‘protective edge’ but more accurately as ‘firm cliff’ perhaps indicating a buffer zone Israel seeks from the offensive that means it can move freely around Gaza to access the gas.
The rockets fired from Gaza are merely an excuse. Israel moved into Gaza to break the spirit of the people and their legitimate resistance to occupation. Israel wants to punish the people for fighting back and build a buffer between it and Gaza. Nothing less. The sickening truth is it pays for Israel to be at perpetual war as it makes so much from its weapons industry, see Naomi Kleins the ‘Shock Doctrine’, also there have been no serious attempts to discuss a two state solution as Israel keeps building on Palestinian land, the illegal settlements are expanding day by day.
Another theory is Israel are attempting to ethnically cleanse Palestinians so they give up their right of return to their lands in Israel.
For further references see Resources and sources page.
Some paragraphs taken word for word from Hassan Chowdhury, Gaza Q&A