Operation Pillar of Cloud (aka Cloud Column/Pillar of Defense) is Israel’s latest naked aggression.
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire; to give them the light; to go by day and night:” Exodus 13.21.
Israel apparently believes Almighty God sanctifies cold-blooded murder. Self-defense claims don’t wash. They never do.
Killing Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Ja’abari in cold blood intensified Israeli attacks. They began Saturday. They replicate what Israel did so often before.
Israel bombs, shells, ravages, and murders civilian men, women and children with impunity. A special place in hell awaits responsible rogues in charge. Palestinian supporters worldwide condemn them.
Cast Lead 2.0 looms. The lives of 1.7 innocent people are at risk. They are trapped inside the world’s largest open-air prison. They are sitting ducks. There is no place to hide. Israel takes full advantage.
Mondoweiss published a list of scheduled Emergency Global Actions for Gaza. Silence and inaction are not options. Accountability time is long overdue.
Evening November 14:
– Jerusalem – Damascus Gate, 7:00PM
– Ramallah – al Manara Square, 7:00PM
– Bethlehem – Manger Square, 7:30PM
– Tel Aviv – Ehud Barak’s doorstep, 8:00PM
– Istanbul – al Fateh Mosque, 9:00PM
– London – Israeli Embassy
– Quebec – Hall Building, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, 6:00PM
– George Mason Univesity – Free Speech Square, 1:30PM
– Nashville – Centennial Park, 3:00PM
– Washington DC – Israeli Embassy, 3:30PM
– San Francisco – Israeli Consulate, 5:15PM
– New York – Israeli Consulate, 42nd Street & 2nd Ave, 5:00PM
– Boston – Copley Square, 4:30PM
– Chicago – Outside Obama HQ, 130 E Randolph Street, 4:00PM
– Montreal – Hall Building, Concordia University, 5:00PM
– Vancouver – The Art Gallery, 5:00PM
– Toronto – Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street (east of St. George TTC), 6:00PM
– London – Israeli Embassy, 5:30PM
– Brighton (UK) – Outside EcoStream HQ, 12:00PM
– Brighton (UK) – Victoria Gardens, 5:30PM
– Bradford (UK) – 4.30PM
– Oxford (UK) – Cornmarket Street, 4:00PM
– Dublin – Israeli Embassy, 5:30PM
– Belfast – City Hall, 7:00PM
– Paris – Ministry of Justice, 6PM
– Jerusalem – Outside Hebrew University, 12:00PM
– Beirut – Cola, 10:00AM
– Sydney – Parmatta Town Hall, 6PM
– Cairo – Tahrir Square
– Washington DC – March from State Department, 6:00PM
– San Francisco – Israeli Consulate, 4:00PM
– Manchester (UK) – Picadilly Gardens, 5:00PM
Saturday, November 17
– Stockholm – 3PM
– Oslo – 3PM
Mondoweiss co-editor Philip Weiss is in Bethlehem. He called the West Bank mood “resigned” and “edgy.” Demonstrations were urged.
Scattered ones occurred in Nablus, Jenin, Qalqilia, Hebron, Bethlehem, and near Ofer military base. Israel responded violently. Protesters were attacked with rubber bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas. Injuries were reported.
Gaza’s Health Minister Mofeed al-Mkhallalaty said what is happening is “a comprehensive war launched by Israel against the civilian population of Gaza killing the elderly, children and infants.”
He called for international action to stop it. Gaza’s main Al-Shifa Hospital and other medical facilities cannot handle the severe casualties needing urgent treatment. At least 13 Palestinians were killed. Over 100 were injured. Expect casualty totals to rise. Israel shows no mercy.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the Israeli military is using white phosphorous and other illegal weapons. It is likely. Israel uses them in all its wars. New ones are tested in real time. Doctors report injuries never seen before.
Mondoweiss contributor Waleed al-Meadana headlined “Almost Dead: An eyewitness report from Gaza,” saying:
“Death smells! Blood stains the walls. Pieces of grained human flesh spread everywhere, and broken glass is scattered. I can recognize a hand, and some parts of the head.”
“Trees are torn apart some steps away. They are laying dead. And a car is still firing. Or what is left of it. Appalled faces. Shaking voices.”
“The sky is weird. Gloomy clouds, bleak scenes, some kind of strange feeling alongside the smell of human blood, and children. Children are gathering up the remnants of the fragmented body.”
He lives in Gaza. He has never been this close to Israeli crimes, he added. He is witnessing Israeli barbarity firsthand. Before it ends, he may be lucky to survive in one piece. “Israeli arrogance… showers us with bombs and hate.”
Israel said a ground invasion “is only a matter of time.” An emergency November 14 Security Council meeting was held. Ban Ki-moon made his usual dismissive comment. He urged both sides to exercise “maximum restraint and to respect international law.”
Washington blocked possible condemnation of Israel. Ambassador Susan Rice is an unprincipled defender of naked aggression and mass murder.
She ignored Israel’s premeditated war on Gaza. She condemned the victims.
“There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel,” she said. “We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately.”
“Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause.”
“Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination and independence.”
Comments like these do not rise to the level of bad fiction. What is happening in Gaza is very real. Since December 27, 2008, Israel murdered well over 1,500 Gazans, injured around 6,000, and caused widespread destruction of non-military related sites.
PA UN ambassador Riyad Mansour said:
“Once again the international community is witness to Israel’s malicious onslaught, using the most lethal military means and illegal measures against the defenseless Palestinian civilian population.”
“A direct firm message must be sent to Israel to cease immediately its military campaign against the Palestinian people and to abide… by its obligations under international law.”
“The Israeli occupying forces are now mobilizing on the ground as we speak. Fear and panic are spreading among the Palestinian civilian population.”
Israel perhaps is readying a large-scale invasion. The Palestine News Network (PNN) reported Israeli paratroopers and Givati Brigade members heading for Gaza’s border. Military officials said Israel “will do whatever is needed to restore calm to Israeli towns in the south.”
PNN said Israeli forces held training exercises in recent weeks. They are preparing for a possible Gaza offensive. Increasingly it looks likely. Military commanders said its scale will exceed Cast Lead.
Netanyahu addressed Israelis on nationwide TV. He said Israel is prepared and ready for a large-scale offensive.
In his November 14 press conference, Obama said nothing about Israeli aggression. He told Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi by phone that Israel has the “right to self-defense.”
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the following:
“We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence.”
“There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately.”
“We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast strongly condemned Israeli attacks and atrocities, saying:
“We believe one of the objectives of these crimes is covering up the domestic problems of the Zionist regime.”
Syria also denounced what it called “barbaric Israeli crimes.” It called on the international community to condemn them. Condolences were extended to the families of victims. Arab solidarity is needed. So is worldwide support for a people victimized by Israeli savagery.
US television so far ignored it. Print media reports one-sidedly support Israel. Naked aggression is called self-defense. On November 14, the New York Timesheadlined “Another Israel-Gaza War?” saying:
“No country should have to endure the rocket attacks that Israel has endured from militants in Gaza, most recently over the past four days. The question is how to stop them permanently.”
Blaming Israel’s victims is official editorial policy. Hamas and other resistance groups are condemned for defending themselves against savage Israeli attacks.
At the same time, the Times called another full-scale ground war “especially risky.” Concern is not about mass killing and destruction. Cast Lead did not “solve the problem,” it said.
The unexplained problem is millions of Palestinians wanting to live free in their own country, on their own land. They want occupation harshness ended. They want Israeli aggression condemned and punished. They want long denied equity, justice and freedom.
Hamas is Palestine’s legitimate government. The Times calls it “a dangerous adversary that may never accept Israel’s right to exist.”
It will not ever accept Israeli belligerence and oppression. Nor do millions of Palestinians and worldwide supporters. TheTimes and other media scoundrels will not explain.
Haaretz did no better. It editorialized irresponsibly. “Calm things down,” it said. Assassinated Hamas leader Ahmed al-Ja’abari “dedicated his life to war against Israel.” Killing him tells Hamas to choose “more moderate” officials.
Southern Israeli security “became impossible in recent days.” Gaza rocket attacks threaten residents, said Haaretz. Calming things down depends on pointing fingers the right way.
Hamas, other resistance groups, and all Gazans are victims. Israel provocatively committed aggression. Days of bombing, shelling, and killing were premeditated. Self-defense is inviolable.
Responsible journalists should explain it. Running cover for lawlessness is unconscionable. So is global community silence.
International law obligates world leaders to condemn crimes of war and against humanity. It is long past time Israel was held fully accountable.