Israelis are in a ‘moral coma’, Urgent help needed for all our sakes

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Berieved parents following attack on children at Shati camp

This is not an attack to stop rocket fire from Gaza. That may have been the pretext but what we see is a war on the Palestinian civilian population to force it to surrender. Israel has targeted civilians, especially children, homes, hospitals, universities, sewage treatment works, the only electricity generation plant, schools, TV stations,the beach and playgrounds. What it is saying to the Palestinian People is die, see loved ones die and live on the streets, be dependent on aid as quasi prisoners or surrender.

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Gaza’s only power station in flames

Despite the attack now lasting longer than Operation Cast Lead, I have not heard a single Palestinian in Gaza either blame the resistance, ask for an end to the fighting or ask to leave to some other place. They are of course beleaguered but are also resilient.

The message is consistent and clear,they will not accept a ceasefire that keeps the siege in place and they support the resistance ‘to the last child’. This is not because they love death over life, as Islamophobes would have you think or as Israel claims, but because they have had enough of the occupation, siege, humiliation, living on aid and handouts, and with no prospect of the siege being lifted without major sacrifices.

Readers maybe a little sceptical about what I say. They could argue that they have to say this because if they did not, Hamas would kill them. They simply do not understand Palestinian society. What unites Palestinians is their fight for liberation from Israeli occupation. They may support Hamas or not but they will stand behind the ‘resistance’. Israelis need to understand this or continue to believe their deluded leaders that it is all to do with Hamas and that Palestinians loathe them.

Palestinians In the West Bank were cheering the achievements of the resistance even those that disagreed with them politically. Anyone who knows the makeup of Palestinian society and saw the recent demonstrations will understand that they came from across the political and religious spectrum.

Israel knows this but has presented its attack on Gaza as an attack on Hamas (Khamas), thinking Palestinians would be less concerned. It is interesting that despite the very active engagement of Islamic Jihad, Israeli spokespersons hardly ever mention them.

As the terror campaign, and that is what it is, continues and escalates and as casualties among Israeli forces mount, Israel is acting as a depraved animal. It is simply lashing out, using a most devastating arsenal of mainly American weapons. But Israel has failed to achieve either its military target of stopping the rockets or its political objective of toppling Hamas and bringing the PAs control back over Gaza. This despite this war lasting longer than the 2008/9 ‘Operation Cast Lead’.

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Child dies terrorised in Gaza

Israel thinks that it can move Palestinians like cattle from one place to another, demolish their homes, attack their infrastructure, kill them, maim them and win. It relies on so called ‘International Community Support’. It has been nauseating to see Prime Ministers, Presidents and Foreign Ministers alike regurgitating Israeli Foreign Ministry propaganda. “Israel has a right of self defence”, “which other state would allow rockets to be fired at it”, “It is about terror tunnels”, “the only offer on the table us the Egyptian initiative” and now “Gaza must be disarmed”.

The objectives of this war appear to be ‘developing’. Today the tunnels, tomorrow, who knows. What is really worrying for the future is the edits city of the attack and the solid support, indeed joyous celebrations at the obliteration of children, it is enjoying at home. An analyst described it well, I thought when he said in Arabic, Israelis are living in a ‘moral coma’. They have lost their moral campus and allowed hatred to completely take over. Not even the images of tiny torts blown up into bits now troubles them.

Former Prime Minister, Sharon was in a coma for right years. For the sake of not only Palestinians and Israelis, But for all our sakes, I hope they wake up from their ‘moral coma’ without delay.

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British media coverage of attack on Gaza biased and a disservice to the British public

20140709-132735-48455437.jpg Alkaware family mourn victims of Israeli terror via @alrayps The coverage by the British media of the current situation in Palestine / Israel has been extremely biased. I characterise it as either a lack of a Palestinian perspective or where this is presented it is ‘controlled’. I have responded to a number of requests over the past three weeks and reproduce below a couple of examples of this bias. I was asked to appear on Sky News. I asked if there would be an Israeli speaker and was told no, because they ‘had lots of Israeli speakers’ and ‘for balance’ I would appear alone. The Israeli voices were either live in the studio or appeared via a high quality video link from Israel. You would have thought they would offer a similar arrangement but they went for interviewing me via Skype. This does not provide the same quality and in my view appears less authoritative. The start of the interview was interesting as the interviewer asked me what the kidnappers (assumed Palestinian and from Hamas) were thinking. My response was ‘ how do you expect me to know what they were thinking?’. This exchange alone illustrates either a lack of professionalism or bias. The other incident occurred when I was asked to appear on the British breakfast programme on ITV, GMTV. They wanted to record a clip from a Palestinian perspective and to play it the following morning. I asked if there would be an Israeli speaker speaking live in the morning and the answer was yes. I said that I would want to appear live too. The contact said she would check with the producer and come back to me. She did and said the time allocated to the item was short so that was not possible and that they had an Israeli in the studio because ‘they responded first’. I said I would only appear live or would decline. The contact said that it was not possible for me to appear live but that if ‘I changed my mind’ the to contact her’. Much as I wanted to take the opportunity to present a Palestinian perspective, I decided not to do this. My reason was that GMTV could produce a clip that perhaps changed the context of my views. That the Israeli spokesman would respond without challenge and would be given more time. My fears were confirmed when I watched an item on Gaza on the BBC the following morning. After a report which heavily presented an Israeli perspective -focussing only on the security concerns of Israelis- but included a very short interview with Raji Sourani from Gaza, the Israeli Ambassador to London was interviewed in the studio. He had free reign to present the Israeli view and was allowed to place the blame for the current situation on the Palestinian side. I was also asked to appear on the Jeremy Vine Show and was told that the Chair of the Zionist Federation would represent the other view point and listeners would be able to phone in. As I was about to join Jeremy I was told that I would speak at the end and that the Guardian and Jewish Chronicle journalist Jonathan Freedland would be interviewed. To their credit the show played some moving interviews with the families of the cousins Mohammed and Tariq Abu Khdair. But the time left for me to contribute was cut short. What I want is an opportunity for the British people to be presented with facts and then views from both sides. They can then make their own minds up about the situation. I am troubled that the media is failing them with poor biased journalism. I do not believe that this is just an accident but institutional bias as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has documented. Updated 9/7/2014 Owen Jones in Comment is Free <a href=”http://t.co/SSPZZkmJJx Israel under renewed Hamas attack’, says the BBC. More balance is needed Updated late on9/7/2014 Please sign this open letter from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to the BBC about its biased coverage of Israeli aggression on Palestine. Here