More Smear Tactics From Israel Hawks

Thank God there are at least two members of Congress whose consciences are still in healthy working order:

Two members of Congress, Brian Baird (D-WA-03), and Keith Ellison, (D-MN-05), visited Gaza on Thursday to view firsthand the destruction from recent Israeli air and ground attacks and to meet with international and local relief agencies. This visit, which did not have the official sanction of the Obama Administration, is the first time anyone from the U.S. government has entered Gaza in more than three years.

Prior to Gaza, both Congressmen met with the chief negotiator of the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Saeb Erekat, as well as with Dr. Riad Malki Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority. On Friday, Baird and Ellison will tour the Israeli towns of Sderot and Ashkelon, which have been the target of numerous rockets before and throughout the recent attacks launched from within the Gaza strip.
[…]
After spending the day visiting various locations within Gaza and meeting with civilians and relief workers, Baird and Ellison were deeply affected by what they had seen and heard.

“The stories about the children affected me the most,” said Ellison. “No parent, or anyone who cares for kids, can remain unmoved by what Brian and I saw here.”

“The amount of physical destruction and the depth of human suffering here is staggering” said Baird, “Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, schools completely leveled, fundamental water, sewer, and electricity facilities hit and relief agencies heavily damaged. The personal stories of children being killed in their homes or schools, entire families wiped out, and relief workers prevented from evacuating the wounded are heart wrenching – what went on here, and what is continuing to go on, is shocking and troubling beyond words.”

Inquiring about the status of relief efforts, the Congressmen learned that some aid material has been allowed in since the intensity of the attacks lessened a month ago, but much is still being blocked by the Israeli defense forces. Examples of aid that has been banned by the Israeli Government include: lentils, macaroni, tomato paste, lentils and other food. Basic building materials, generator fuel and parts to repair damaged water treatment equipment have also been kept out.

“If this had happened in our own country, there would be national outrage and an appeal for urgent assistance. We are glad that the Obama administration acted quickly to send much needed funding for this effort but the arbitrary and unreasonable Israeli limitations on food and repair essentials is unacceptable and indefensible. People, innocent children, women and non-combatants, are going without water, food and sanitation, while the things they so desperately need are sitting in trucks at the border, being denied permission to go in” said Baird and Ellison.

The Congressmen’s concerns about treatment of Palestinians were not limited to Gaza. They also visited Palestinian hospitals that treat patients from East Jerusalem and the West Bank. There they met with doctors, nurses and hospital directors who described how official Israeli policies and restricted border checkpoints make it exceedingly difficult and expensive for patients, nurses, medical technicians, and other essential personnel to reach the hospital to receive or provide care.

“It’s hard for anyone in our country to imagine how it must feel to have a sick child who needs urgent care or is receiving chemotherapy or dialysis, then be forced to take a needlessly lengthy route, walk rather than drive, and wait in lines as long as two hours simply to get to the hospital. As a health care professional myself, I found this profoundly troubling, no, actually it’s beyond that, it is outrageous,” said Baird.

On the same subject, check out Glenn Greenwald’s take-down of Jeffrey Goldberg after Goldberg accused him of “Israel-bashing” for objecting to the cold-blooded slaughter of 1,300 defenseless Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the devastation of Gaza’s infrastructure. Among other things, Goldberg wrote that Glenn was “recruited” by “Buchananites” to “bash Israel” in the pages of The American Conservative (Pat Buchanan founded The American Conservative, but has not been associated with it in many years).

Goldberg has now responded to Glenn’s critique, and it’s just as childish and dishonest as you would expect it to be, coming from Goldberg. Apparently, because Goldberg implied some very mild criticism of Jewish settler attitudes toward Palestinians in a New Yorker article that in its totality adopts a tone of sympathetic understanding toward the settler and the settlements policy means that it’s completely outrageous for anyone to suggest that in an entirely separate post, in his blog at The Atlantic, he smeared legitimate criticism of Israeli policy as anti-semitic Israel-bashing.

6 Responses to “More Smear Tactics From Israel Hawks”

  1. joelsk44039 says:

    Each time this story gets told, the “facts” become more and more exaggerated. In this piece, the claim is that Israel committed a “cold-blooded slaughter of 1,300 defenseless Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip…”

    This is not just a complete exaggeration, but a bald-faced lie! The death toll during the Gaza war was about 650 to 700, and has been verified independently by outside reporters after extensive interviews with hospital personnel and eyewhitnesses. Over 80% of those killed were young men between the ages of 19 and 40, which is the demographic for members of Hamas’ fighters.

    Where did you come up with this 1,300 civilian deaths? Liar, liar.

  2. Kathy says:

    Where did you come up with this 1,300 civilian deaths? Liar, liar.

    New York Times, January 16, 2009

    “… Palestinian medical officials said the death toll had risen above 1,100 people, many of them civilians.”

    And at that time unknown numbers of victims were still buried underneath the rubble of bombed buildings.

    Here is a report from the United Nations dated January 20, 2009 — three days after the one linked above, and two days after the ceasefire; days during which rescue workers had been digging through the rubble to find other victims:

    The UN’s head of humanitarian affairs, John Holmes, says work has started in Gaza on marking and removing unexploded ordnance, removing the rubble and starting to repair the infrastructure.

    In the two days since the ceasefire took hold in Gaza, he says an additional one hundred and fourteen bodies have been recovered from underneath the rubble.

    “So the latest figures for casualties are: Palestinian deaths — 1,314 of whom 412 were children and a hundred were women, and then injured 5,300 — 1,855 of whom were children and 795 were women.”

    On the Israeli side, Mr. Holmes said the casualties figures were unchanged. Nine UN staff and contracted workers were killed and 11 were injured.

    There is no mystery to finding these figures. Google, as always, is your friend.

  3. joelsk44039 says:

    Any statistics “substantiated” by either the Palestinians or the UN are open to doubt, as they are both known to lie. It’s part of Arab culture and the UN will publish anything the Palestinians say.

    In any case, from your response, you’ve pretty well confirmed that the “1,300” figure isn’t all civilians and is probably inaccurate, too.

  4. Chief says:

    Joel,

    1. As it was in Viet Nam for the US and as it is in Afghanistan for the US, any time a male is killed, he ir always a VC, or al Qaeda or Taliban or whatever. If women and children are killed, then is because those dastardly Palestinians are placing their mortars in a civilian neighborhood.

    2. How do we justify attacks on the UN compound?

    3. Is any and every thing that the UN and/or the Palestinians say open to doubt but everything that the Israelis say is automatically, by definition, the truth ?

  5. joelsk44039 says:

    1. You answered this question yourself. Hamas did, in fact, place mortars and missile launchers in civilian neighborhoods. This is well-substantiated by many independent sources. In addition, after Israel dropped leaflets to warn Palestinians of an imminent bombing on a specific “civilian” target, the Hamas would force civilians to stay in or near the targeted building. (Those Hamas folks are really “civilized,” don’t you think?)

    2. The “attack”on the UN compound was in response to mortar and missile fire eminating from that location. (Those Hamas folks don’t abide much by any of the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War, do they?)

    3. Not everything the UN says is open to doubt. Once in a great while, this great anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-democracy organization does some good. But rarely so. In my previous comments, I did not state or imply that any of the information I quoted was from Israeli sources. I suspect that Israel, too, embellishes the truth at times. But the Palestinians have lied repeatedly. The Jenin “Massacre” and the death of Mohammad al-Dura are just two examples of these lies.

  6. Kathy says:

    Hamas did, in fact, place mortars and missile launchers in civilian neighborhoods.

    The above statement is meaningless, because ALL “neighborhoods” in Gaza are civilian. The Gaza Strip is a piece of land 25 miles long and 7.5 miles wide at its widest point, 4 miles at its narrowest. It’s about 140 square miles, with a population of 1.5 million. It’s one of the most densely populated places in the world, if not THE most densely populated. It’s impossible to invade Gaza as Israel did, with air strikes and heavy artillery, and NOT kill massive numbers of civilians. It’s impossible to BE in Gaza and not be in a civilian neighborhood.

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