The Israel Hot Wire: Do not touch!

Philip Girardi

Indeed, anyone who wants to be a player in Washington DC has to avoid the Israel hot wire. That it should be so is a tribute to the power of the Jewish lobby coupled with the bulk support and Bible-belt votes of its brain-dead Christian Zionist spear carriers. Congress, once described by Pat Buchanan as “Israeli-occupied territory,” likewise knows whom not to offend lest one be unemployed in the next electoral cycle. That is why criminalizing criticism of Israel or support of a non-violent boycott of the country are regularly introduced in Congress and find themselves with more than one hundred sponsors and co-sponsors. Nearly two dozen such pro-Israel bills are currently at certain points in the legislative process, including one that will enable aggrieved Israelis to sue the Palestinian Authority (PA) in sympathetic U.S. courts for damages, a move that will potentially bankrupt the PA.

And the colleges and universities have not been immune from pressure to conform to the pro-Israel narrative. The White House acting through the Department of Education is functioning as thought police on behalf of the Jewish state. It is currently planning on withholding some federal funding of the University of North Carolina and Duke because their joint Middle Eastern studies program does not meet alleged government standards. The standards involved relate to the fact that the program has had speakers and course content that can be construed as critical of Israel and friendly to Muslims. The message clearly being sent to the schools by the Trump Administration is that if you criticize the Jewish state you will be punished.

The drive to eliminate any pushback against Israeli actions at colleges has been spearheaded by leading Zionist Kenneth L. Marcus, who was appointed the Education Department’s Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights. Marcus, who has worked as a paid pro-Israel activist, has been urging the government to define the BDS movement as anti-Semitic and has used his office to designate any Palestinian advocacy as a violation of Jewish students’ civil rights.

Fordham’s Shame

The federal action to enforce educational conformity on Israel is not exactly new as universities have long since been self-censoring, just like Bacevich, normally in response to complaints by Jewish groups. To cite only one example, in 2013, at nominally Catholic Fordham University in New York City, a student group sought to form a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) club. Their paperwork advised that their goal was to “build support in the Fordham community among people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds for the promotion of justice, human rights, liberation and self-determination for the indigenous Palestinian people.” The applicants also revealed that they would support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Three years later, Fordham’s Dean of Education denied the application because of the support for BDS. The students took Fordham to court and in August of this year, three years later, a New York judge finally struck down the decision as “arbitrary and capricious.”

So it took six years and a lawsuit to enable a group of students to form a club that was admittedly political in nature but non-violent and welcoming of everyone. So much for freedom of speech and association at America’s colleges and universities when they run up against the Israel wall.

What is less observed is how Israel’s message is promoted at the state and local levels. At the state level, anti-BDS legislation is now the rule in 26 states, with some requiring government employees to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. And the same thing is happening among Boards of Education. Fourteen states now require holocaust education, where students are compelled to read fiction like Eli Wiesel’s “Night” while also consuming the established and standard, largely fabricated, account of what the so-called holocaust was all about. In Virginia, for example, a shadowy group called the Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS), which is actually a “partisan group with backing by state and local Israel advocacy organizations,” is seeking to change the information conveyed by the history and social studies textbooks used in K-12 classrooms across the state. ICS recommended changes include: “1. Emphasizing Arab culpability for crisis initiation leading to military action and failure of peace efforts—and never Israeli culpability, even when it is undisputed historic fact. 2. Replacing the commonly used words of “settlers” with “communities,” “occupation” with “control of,” “wall” with “security fence,” and “militant” with “terrorist.” 3. Referencing Israeli claims such as “Israel annexed East Jerusalem” and the Golan Heights as accepted facts without referencing lack of official recognition by the United Nations and most member nation states.”

The ICS is only one example of the persistent Israel Lobby brainwashing of the American public on behalf of the Jewish state to completely alter the narrative about what is going on in the Middle East. Taken all together, the self-censorship of groups and individuals that wish to remain viable by ignoring the Israel problem, the criminalization of non-violent movements like BDS, and the pressure on universities and schools to conform with positive narratives about Israel means that any genuine understanding of that nation’s war crimes and crimes against humanity will, unfortunately, remain on the margins.

Philip Giraldi is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.  

Swords into ploughshares Liz McAlister pt 1

Seven Catholic peace activists are going on trial in Georgia today for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base on April 4, 2018. The activists, who are known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. The activists entered the base armed with just hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood and an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace. 

Over the past four decades activists in the Plowshares movement have taken part in about 100 similar actions at nuclear arms facilities, beginning in 1980 at the General Electric nuclear missile plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

That action was led by the legendary peace activists Father Daniel Berrigan and his brother Philip Berrigan, a former Catholic priest. Philip Berrigan’s widow, Liz McAlister, took part in the Kings Bay Plowshares action.

 McAlister, goes on trial today with her co-defendants Father Stephen Kelly, Mark Colville, Patrick O’Neill, Carmen Trotta, Clare Grady and Martha Hennessy, who is the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. They all have been charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor.

I sat down with Liz McAlister recently to talk about the Kings Bay Plowshares action and her lifelong commitment to peace and resistance. she was held in pretrial confinement from April 2018, the date of the action, until last month — almost a year and a half behind bars. I began by asking her why she decided to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia.

LIZ McALISTER: I have participated in a Plowshares witness some years ago. it was time again for me. I figured I had at least one more opportunity to do this. I’m looking at turning 80 next month, or November. So, as that began to develop, I found in myself that I had to say yes to participating in that.

And that we chose the Trident submarine was an added call to my heart and spirit, because they are so bloody dangerous. And the Trident submarines that we have — and I thought we were up to eight, as of people. If the munitions on those Trident submarines are ever used, that’s the end of life on Earth. That’s the end of life on Earth. I have to say no to that. We don’t have that right to destroy God’s creation. So, as the group developed and as we began moving toward the action, I felt more and more deeply committed to being part of that, being part of that witness, being part of that statement that we do not have the right to destroy the Earth. And these machines can do that.

Goodman asked Liz how she began her life in resistance

LIZ McALISTER: Teacher

It wsasd the mid 60 I was teaching  history of art at Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, for a number of years and loved it. What was happening with me at that point was that my students had boyfriends, fiancés being drafted into the war in Vietnam and going, and they were breaking down. And what do you say to these young people who have their lives ahead of them and everything that they are planning in those lives is now up for grabs, you know, in this war that makes no sense at all? 

So, it was a call to me to become active on their behalf. I can’t teach them history of art as if that were really important, if they’re not looking at some kind of future. But their future was being robbed from them. And that called very, very deeply to me. I couldn’t love these kids , first-, second-, third-year college students — and not try to speak out for their right to life, their right to a future, their fiancés’ lives, right to a future.

And Vietnam was the focus at that time. And as that began to — as we got thrown out of Vietnam, the focus then became these weapons of mass destruction and the building of them and the research on more and more deadly weapons of mass destruction and the multiplication of that. So, how do we find a way to resist nuclear weapons became our focus. And we had found ways to resist the war by destroying draft files. What can we do to resist these weapons? Obviously, you can’t dismantle them. But you can get near them. You can put blood on them. You can say no to them in that fashion. And we began looking for ways to do that, if that makes any sense.

Our ambassador adores the state of Israel

Is Canada’s Ambassador To Israel An Anti-Palestinian Racist?

Yves Engler

The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is one of Canada’s most active and influential lobby groups.

As part of an investigation into CIJA’s reach and influence, I recently sent an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request to Global Affairs Canada (GAC). In that request, I sought production of all GAC briefing products and memos for the use of Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs or Ambassador to Israel that relate to CIJA and that were generated from December 1, 2015 to the time of my request.

In Part I of my analysis of the documents I received in response to that request, I focused on dealings between CIJA and Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland.

In this part, I focus on CIJA’s dealings with Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Deborah Lyons.

with Israeli president Reuven rRvlin

Is Deborah Lyons ‘Balanced’ on Israel/Palestine?

Lyons is a career diplomat. After serving as the Deputy Head of Mission at Canada’s embassy in Washington, D.C., Lyons served as Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan. In July 2016, shortly after assuming power, the Trudeau government appointed Lyons as ambassador to Israel.

Lyons replaced Vivian Bercovici, a fanatical Zionist whose fawning attitude toward the Netanyahu government complemented the fanatical Zionism of Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister under whom Bercovici served.

According to Ferry De Kerckhove, a former Canadian envoy to Indonesia and Egypt, the Trudeau Government’s appointment of Lyons to the post of ambassador to Israel signalled “a return to normal diplomacy.” De Kerckhove told the Globe and Mail that Global Affairs would be feeling “total, total elation” to see Bercovici ‘yanked out of Israel’ before her normal three-to-four-year term was up. “In a way, she became the mouthpiece of Netanyahu” he said. “She showed no balance at all.”

For some time, I have followed closely Lyons’ public commentary on Israel/Palestine. Having done so, the last word I would use to describe her behaviour as Canada’s ambassador to Israel is “balance.”

Indeed, Lyons’ extensive Twitter commentary leaves no doubt where her sympathies lie.

So far this year, Lyons has issued 423 tweets and retweets. In those tweets:

Lyons has disseminated fifteen condemnations of attacks by Palestinians on Israelis, but not once has she condemned or expressed a modicum of concern about an attack by Israelis on Palestinians;

• On only one occasion did Lyons tweet or retweet a comment that was remotely critical of Israel;

• On September 19, Lyons praised Israel’s former President Shimon Peres – a war criminal– as a “great man;”

Lyons tweeted or retweeted 24 tweets by or about CIJA and/or the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC), whose core function is to promote the Israeli government’s agenda in Canada;

By contrast, Lyons has tweeted or retweeted only one tweet from a pro-Palestinian organization; that tweet was issued by Jewish Voice for Peace, but it related to a terrorist attack in New Zealand and had nothing to do with Israel’s relentless abuse of Palestinian human rights; and

• Lyons retweeted a tweet praising Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, a racist ideology.

For decades, the Canadian government has acknowledged that Israel’s West Bank settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are a “serious obstacle” to peace. Despite near-universal condemnation of Israeli settlements, the Netanyahu government continued in 2019 to expand Jewish-only settlements and vowed to annex large portions of the West Bank where Israeli settlements are situated. Annexation would constitute a flagrant violation of international law.

Yet Lyons’ one tweet that was modestly critical of Israel’s government did not relate to the settlements, annexation or Israel’s wanton murder and maiming of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. Rather, that tweet was an expression of the Canadian government’s purported ‘regret’ that Israel had unilaterally terminated the mandate of a temporary observer force in the Palestinian city of Hebron, where Israel is brazenly committing the crime of apartheid.

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs, in 2019, ninety-one Palestinians have lost their lives in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while five Israelis have lost their lives. During that same period, 13,138 Palestinians have been wounded compared to sixty-five Israelis. Thus, Palestinian casualties in 2019 have been 189 times greater than Israeli casualties. The Palestinian casualties include journalists, children (including a nine-year old Palestinian boy shot in the head with live fire) and medical personnel (including a 17-year old Palestinian medic shot dead in the West Bank.)

Yet Lyons’ tweets are utterly bereft of concern for Israeli violence against Palestinians.

Moreover, six of her fifteen condemnations of Palestinian attacks related to attacks on Israeli settlers by occupied Palestinians (see here, here, here, here, here and here). Israel’s West Bank settlements constitute a war crime. Thus, the targets of these attacks were complicit in war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Evidently, Lyons believes that an attack by oppressed Palestinians on their oppressors merits strong condemnation, but that the far more devastating attacks by Israeli oppressors on oppressed Palestinians do not merit so much as a peep of her concern.

Within days of those shootings – which also constituted war crimes – Lyons travelled to Toronto to tell an audience of Israel supporters how much she adores the state of Israel:

for full article   

Klobuchar out of touch on Israel

Phil Weiss https://mondoweiss.net  on Dem hopeful Amy Klobuchar.Embarrassing!

There have been four Democratic debates. In the last three, amazingly, Israel and Palestine never came up (see postscript). Then in last night’s debate in Ohio, a candidate finally brought up this important subject. Senator Amy Klobuchar called Israel a “beacon of democracy” in the context of Trump’s Syria pullout.

Klobuchar’s salute was glancing, but it is a measure of how negative Israel’s reputation is on the left that she was was soon hit emphatically on social media by a large number of progressive voices citing the country’s human rights violations. We often say that the Israel brand is tanking on the left, and Nancy Pelosi and J Street and new Israel lobby organizations (and the Forward and Bari Weiss, too) are determined to fight that shift. But the response to Klobuchar suggests that for progressives, the die is cast.

Arab American Institute:

Klobuchar just claimed that Israel is a “beacon of democracy” in the region. Millions of Palestinians who live under Israeli control without any political rights would disagree. There is a word for Israel’s rule over Palestinians: #Apartheid.

Daniel Denvir of Jacobin:

Israel is a beacon of democracy, says Klobuchar. What a gross thing to say about an eliminationist settler-colonial apartheid state.

A Bernie Sanders supporter:

Any Klobuchar just called Israel a “beacon of democracy”. Just let that sink in.

Mehdi Hasan of the Intercept:

Klobuchar – surprise! – calls Israel a “beacon of democracy in the Middle East”. Sigh. How about a segment in a presidential debate on Israel/Palestine and an examination of outdated, lazy, liberal talking points on it?

Howie Hawkins, presidential candidate of the Green Party:

Amy Klobuchar calling Israel a “beacon of democracy” is a cruel joke to the Palestinian people.

Kumar Rao, a former public defender in New York:

Occupation and apartheid not so consistent with democracy.

Current Affairs expressed shock over the pronouncement and featured a shot of accusations of Israel for war crimes over its Gaza live-fire policy.

AMY KLOBUCHAR JUST CALLED ISRAEL A BEACON OF DEMOCRACY

Omar Baddar of AAI:

This is (a) silly pandering, & (b) completely false. Israel is an apartheid state, maintaining total control over the lives of millions of Palestinians w/out granting them a vote or a voice.

Many are pointing out the racist insensitivity of the comment. Medea Benjamin of CodePink:

Does she even talk to Palestinians???

Bundist Samantha Cohen:

soooo i guess the only discussion about palestine will come from amy klobuchar falsely calling israel a democracy

Ali Abunimah touched on Klobuchar’s verb choice, “How do they [Israel] feel?” with an emoticon of vomiting:

Wow Klobuchar giving a shoutout to Israel’s feelings

The anti-occupation Jewish group IfNotNow also hopped on the comment:

Klobuchar is the first candidate to mention Israel at a debate in 2019. She called it a “beacon of democracy.” But Israel has maintained a military occupation for decades & the Palestinians living under that system can’t vote in its elections. That’s a beacon of democracy?

Though Haaretz says Trump has brought Dems and Israel closer together at last: “Amy Klobuchar’s depiction of Israel in Democratic debate as ‘beacon of democracy’ is sweet music to the ears of worried supporters.”

RESPONSES

JWalters 

Exactly! As usual, the pervasive, hidden hand of Israel goes mainly unmentioned, with a deft little bit of favorable PR occasionally tucked in. I’m guessing Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Harris, and Booker drew straws to see who would have to stroke Israel.

eljay 

Well, sure, Israel is a “beacon of democracy”: It’s a “Jewish anddemocratic state” and it’s not quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African”hellholes”, etc.
’nuff said, right?
And, anyway, it’s not like you can blame it for the decades’ worth (and counting) of “necessary evil” it has committed (and continues to commit) deliberately and with impunity in order to secure Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism in as much as possible of geographic Palestine.
Right?
. CHUCKMAN 

Beacon of democracy?
George Orwell would certainly understand the meaning of Klobuchar’s strange words.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

. davisherb 

An embarrassment to Minnesotans that support Palestinian rights. It is probably “all about the benjamins”.

. Misterioso 
Senator Amy Klobuchar is out of touch with the real world. It’s only a matter of time before America will have no choice other than to end its “special relationship” with the Zionist created monster and set it adrift.

. Vera Gottlieb 

That “beacon”s light has been broken for quite some time already

Hilary and Haim an ardent Zionist love affair

Haim Saban is the Egyptian born Israeli American media mogul  who is a huge supporter of Israel and often stated that he had one issue: Israel and boy did Hilary Clinton deliver. In the 2015 letter  recently released online again  Clinton went full bore against BDS.

Ali Abunumah  of the Electronic Intifada tweeted “Remember when Hillary promised Israeli billionaire Haim Saban that as president she’d work to shut down the BDS movement for Palestinian rights? So much for free speech.”

In the cringee inducing suck up letter Clinton expresses “alarm” about the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement and calls it “a global effort to isolate the State of Israel.”

 She claims that “BDS seeks to punish Israel” and dictate terms to Israelis and Palestinians, and that there should be two states (Palestinian and Israeli) but it must happen through direct negotiations, not imposed unilaterally or “from the outside.”

As if israel has been serious about negotiations which have lasted 40 years and now 600,00 Israelis illegally squat on Palestinian land making two states impossible.

Clinton also claims that BDS is not only an attempt to “single out Israel on the world stage” but that it follows previous “attacks” on Israel. 

Clinton points her bona fides as an Israel-firster 

As Secretary of state, she mentioned she had opposed “dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, the Human Rights Council, and other organizations,…time after time,I have made it clear that America will always stand up for Israel – and that’s what I’ll always do as President.”

Cue the trumpets! Go girl go!

Ending on a personal note Clinton recalled her first visit to Israel and her emotional attachment to the country: “The Jewish state is a modern day miracle – a vibrant bloom in the middle of the desert. We must nurture and protect it.”

But never nurture international law and Palestinian human rights.

At  the bottom she scribbled to her great donor, “Look forward to working with you on this, Hilary/”

Saban in March 2017  received his Hollywood Walk of Fame and there were Bill and Hilary

Congratulations on receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

This well-deserved honor is not only a testament to your decades of groundbreaking contributions in the entertainment industry, but to your enduring generosity and efforts to advance good causes across American and around the world. You have dedicated yourself to giving others the chance to build a life as fascinating and rewarding as your own, and we are profoundly grateful to count you and Cheryl among our closest friends. Thank you for all that you continue to do to make our world a better place.

Congratulations again, and all our best wishes, as always.

British Unions Vote to Boycott Israel

“At the moment we’re looking at a people lacking the control that allows them to function as a society – water, the freedom to travel, the basic right to safety,” said Martin Sundram, delegate for the Artists’ Union of England (AUE) at the annual congress of the British trade union movement.

The AUE tabled Motion 75, titled “

to the conference, stating unequivocally that “Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ is an attempt to destroy core Palestinian rights.” The AUE’s Palestine motion was passed unanimously on September 11, according to the TUC’s report.

The motion affirmed the collective rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to return to their homes, called for a stop to the British arms trade with Israel, and reaffirmed the union movement’s call to boycott companies complicit with the Israeli settlement industry.

Unions and Palestine Solidarity

Philippa Marsden, executive council member of Unite, Britain’s second-largest union, said: “Increasing numbers of has built a string of mini-Gazas across the country. All of us here must redouble our efforts to build solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

Palestine has long been on the campaign platform of many trade unions around the world. However, it was the shocking mass destruction of the Gaza Strip in the 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead Israeli military offensive that galvanised many in the union movement.

The TUC’s 2009 Congress did not mince words in condemning Israel’s attacks on Gaza, even going so far as to call out Israeli union federation, the Histadrut: “Congress condemns the Histadrut statement of 13 January 2009 in which it backed the attacks on Gaza and calls on the General Council to carry out a review of the TUC’s relationship with Histadrut.”

The TUC also called for an end to the British arms trade with Israel, the suspension of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement and, for the first time, a boycott of Israeli settlement products and divestment from companies association with the Israeli occupation.

The following year, after the international outcry over Israel’s naval attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in which 10 Turkish activists were killed, the TUC condemned Israel’s “deadly assault on activists on the Mavi Marmara” and its ongoing blockade of Gaza.

The TUC again excoriated the Israeli Histadrut federation for its May 2010 statement “which sought to justify the Israeli action” and encouraged its member unions, employers and pension funds to boycott and divest from companies involved in the Israeli settlement industry and occupation.

Over the following decade, the British union movement built its Palestine solidarity campaign around calls to end Britain’s arms trade with Israel and support for the non-violent Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

Support for the Boycott Call Grows

The grossly disproportionate Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2009 and on the Freedom Flotilla in 2010, the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza, the ever-expanding Israeli settlement drive and a moribund peace process, were among many factors that spurred international trade unions into action on Palestine.

In 2009, dockworkers from the Maritime Union Western Australia branch and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union called for a boycott on the servicing of Israeli-registered ships at their ports.

Following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident and the 2014 Operation Protective Edge Israeli military offensive against Gaza, many unions and communities established picket lines at ports around the world to protest the docking of Israeli ships.

A broad coalition of Palestinian unions issued a statement in 2011 calling on unions around the world to support the call for BDS against Israel until it complies with international law.

Trade unions in Brazil urged a military embargo and succeeded in cancelling a state contract with Israeli arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems.

In Norway, unions supported consumer boycotts of Israeli settlement products and urged their government pension fund to divest from companies operating in the Israeli settlements.

An innovative initiative of establishing “apartheid-free zones” was mounted in Spain. A network of 34 European unions pledged to “take effective action … for holding our governments and the EU as a representative body accountable.”

The New Zealand peak union body endorsed the BDS campaign in late 2009.

The Response in Australia

In Australia, the ACTU issued condemnations of Israeli attacks, as did dozens of individual Australian unions. The outrage was enough to see about 27 Australian unions join the Palestinian BDS call, endorsing boycotts of the Israeli settlement industry, arms embargoes or super fund divestment.

At its 2018 triennial congress, the ACTU called for Palestinian self-determination within a two-state solution. However, the “two-state solution” mantra has virtually disappeared as Israel lurches further to becoming “a right-wing society that has no problem with apartheid.”

At the TUC Congress, Ben Jamal, director of the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign said:

“The message from every major union was clear.

We understand the seriousness of the assault on the collective rights of the Palestinian people being mounted by Israel with the support of Trump and far-right allies.

“We will ramp up our collective response and reaffirm our support for a policy of boycott and divestment.”

There is power in the union saying “an injustice to one is an injustice to all.” The time is now for Australian unions to step up for Palestine. •

Canadian media see no evil

USA and Canadian media terrified of the Zionist thought police’s threat to boycott refuse to report Israeli barbarism. A report by Juan Cole

Americans were horrified to hear that Trump wanted to have US forces at the US-Mexico border to charge migrants with bayonets or shoot them in the legs. Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis at the New York Times reported that Trump wanted US forces to fire on migrants as they sought to come into the country, aiming for their legs so as to injure but not kill them. Trump has denied that he urged these courses of action, but the Washington Post was able to confirm the conversation with staffers (who objected that these steps would be illegal and who simply disregarded Trump’s instructions. 

The Jupiter-sized blind spot of US media, however, managed to report on all this with horror without mentioning that this procedure, of shooting people massing on the border in the legs has over the past 18 months become the routine Israeli policy, so routine that the deaths and injuries inflicted by Israeli army snipers on largely peaceful Gaza Palestinian protesters no longer make the news for the most part in the United States.

Oh, you can find the carefully, clinically worded wire service reports on the Internet if you look for them, but they seem never to come on US cable “news” and if they appear in newspapers at all they are buried in back pages. Reuters reported on September 6, for instance,

“Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers including a 14-year-old during protests along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, Palestinian health officials said. They named the dead as Khaled Al-Rabai, 14, and Ali Al-Ashqar, 17. Seventy protesters were wounded, 38 of them by live fire, medical officials said.”

But here is the long version of the past two weeks of Israeli mayhem against the protesters, via the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

And, note these absolutely horrific numbers from Electronic Intifada:

“More than 210 Palestinians, including 46 children, have been killed during Great March of Return protests since their launch in early 2018. Some 9,200 others have been wounded by live fire, including 1,900 children. 

At least 1,200 of those injured will require limb reconstruction, according to the World Health Organization.”

Israeli military PR people say that in the course of the past 18 months, some molotov cocktails, grenades and improvised explosive devices were lobbed at Israeli troops massed at the border from the direction of the protesters. There have also been occasional rockets fired from Gaza at Israel, but not by the protesters, and most of those rockets land harmlessly in the desert (they are more or less 8th grade chemistry experiments, lacking any sophistication or range, though they do occasionally manage to cause damage and have over two decades killed a handful of Israelis, which is also a war crime). The rockets are not connected to the Great March of Return protests, with the latter being mostly peaceful.

The fact is, then, that almost all those nearly 10,000 persons shot by live fire by Israeli professional snipers have been unarmed civilians posing no threat to anyone. This includes the 46 children killed and the 1,900 children carefully targeted by the snipers. They have high-powered scopes and the pattern of injuries proves that they are deliberately hitting those children, and targeting their legs.

The Israeli military doctrine is now that Palestinians can be shot like dogs whether they pose an immediate danger or not, if they simply stand near the Israeli barbed wire that herds Palestinians in Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison. Some 70% of Gaza’s families were kicked out of their homes by militant Zionist militias in 1948, and many of the Palestinians there could walk home to their former houses (now occupied by settler colonialists who never paid a dime in reparations) in an hour or two.

In February of this year, an independent Commission of Inquiry established by by the United Nations Human Rights Council, pointed out that shooting protesters who pose no danger is a war crime.

A systematic pattern of war crimes amountr, according to the 2002 Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court, ratified by most of the countries in the world.

The Statue says, “For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack…” It goes on to mention murder, “Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.”

The notorious thug Binyamin Netanyahu, now on trial for corruption, implicitly threatened reprisals against the International Criminal Court if it ever took up Israeli actions. Given the rah-rah attitude of the US Congress toward far right wing Israeli governments, and given that the US provides substantial funding to the United Nations Organization, Netanyahu’s threat was anything but idle. The US senate also threatened the ICC over this issue, at the urging of the Israel lobbies.

So the ICC may be intimidated, focusing instead on seedy deposed African dictators, but if an objective court of law were to take up Israel’s policy of sniping at will at innocent harmless civilians in Gaza, the country’s officials who ordered the sniping would certainly be convicted of crimes against humanity.

The Israeli army and government are now officially worse that the worst elements of the Trump administration, who told our president “no” when he wanted to do to Central American migrants what Israel is doing to the people they turned into homeless refugees.

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan.