Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Upcoming Australian rallies against Israel's Massacre in Gaza - 26 & 27 July, 2014




Reporting from Gaza: Gaza in the aftermath of the Shejaiya Massacre


Dear friends,
the death toll from Israel's massacre in Shejaiya in Gaza City and its indiscriminate assault on Gaza has continued to rise. There are now more than 580 Palestinians dead, the majority of whom are civilians - mainly women and children.  As I noted in my previous post about the situation on the ground in Gaza,  there is nothing nuanced or complex about what is happening. It's mass murder and ethnic cleansing by an apartheid genocidal state against an oppressed and occupied people, who have no where to run or hide. 

As the governments of the world bury their heads in the sand, it is up to us to make our voices heard. Once again this coming week and weekend, there are protests around the world in support of Gaza (for details of Australian rallies, please click here).

Please join them and bring your family and friends. Please also think about how you can raise public awareness about what is happening in Gaza and Palestine: Write letters, hold stalls, organise solidarity films, get your community groups, church groups and unions to move motions condemning Israel's mass murder and take a stand in support of humanity and the Palestinian people.


Once again, here is a selection of tweets from both both international journalists and Palestinian citizen journalists who are reporting from on the ground in Gaza, as well as aid workers.

The tweets included in this post are from the following journalists, photographers and bloggers: (click on their names to go directly to their twitter account):


Ayman Mohyeldin - Egyptian reporter, reporting for NBC
Maram Humaid - Gaza blogger 
Peter Beaumont - Guardian journalist in Gaza
Gregg Carlstrom - Al Jazeera English
Sharif Kouddous - Independent journalist in Gaza, reporting for Democracy Now
UNRWA - UN Relief and Works Agency

In solidarity, Kim 












 


 











Monday, July 21, 2014

Perugini & Gordan: On "human shielding" in Gaza: debunking Israel's propaganda


Dear friends, 
overall this is an excellent article by Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon, which debunks Israel's propaganda and justification for the indiscriminate massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza.  The only problem with Perugini and Gordon's article is that it fails to recognise Israel is a settler colonial state - so rather than arguing as it has done that Israel's legitimisation for it indiscriminate bombing is "not unlike colonial as well as other vastly asymmetrical wars", it would have been better to say "Like colonial, as well as other vastly asymmetrical wars, Israel's legitimisation for its indiscriminate bombing is premised upon ...."

As Perugini and Gordon note in the article, "Israel's warfare is, however, not only about the re-signification of architectural structures, but also about the transformation of human beings into collateral damage, subjects who can be killed without violating international law."

As Israel continues its massacre in Gaza, once again please join the rallies in your city and make your voices heard.  Please also support the Palestinian BDS campaign and take a stand in support of Palestine.

In solidarity, Kim
**


On 'human shielding' in Gaza

by Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon, Al Jazeera: 18 July 2014

The Israeli army has tried to justify striking civilian areas.






Israeli propaganda aims at transforming the presence of civilians as suspect in areas of bombardment, write Perugini and Gordon [EPA]

All fighting within cities and all bombardments of urban spaces, even the most "precise and surgical", is a potential death trap for civilians. Consequently, the permeation of war into cities inevitably transforms their inhabitants into potential human shields.

For Palestinians living in Gaza today, simply spending time in their own homes, frequenting a mosque, going to a hospital or to school has become a dangerous enterprise since any one of these architectural edifices can become at any moment a target. One can no longer safely assume that the existence of masses of human bodies - even the bodies of children - in civilian spaces can serve as defence of the weak against the lethal capacity of the hi-tech states.

"Where do Gaza terrorists hide their weapons?
But since hi-tech states can and do kill hundreds or thousands of civilians, they have to provide moral justification for their action in order to preserve their standing in the international arena; they have to demonstrate that they are protecting the principles of liberal democracy. It is precisely within this context that we should understand the series of posters recently disseminated by the Israeli military through its Twitter account, Facebook and blogs.

The poster "Where do Gaza Terrorists Hide Their Weapons" is a paradigmatic example, where the subtext does the speaking: Houses, mosques, schools, and hospitals are legitimate targets because they are presumed to be weapon depositories. 

 "When is a house a home?"
This is also the message in "When Is A House a Home?" which simply zooms in on one of the images in the previous poster, showing how Palestinians presumably hide rockets in civilian homes.
The logic is straightforward: insofar as Hamas hides weapons in houses (illegitimate), Israel can bomb them as if they were military targets (legitimate). Within this framework, a single function (hiding weapons) out of many existing functions (home, shelter, intimacy, etc) determines the status of an urban site (in our case the house), so that the edifice's form loses its traditional signification. 

The question "when does it become a legitimate military target?" is merely rhetorical. Its real meaning is: "All houses in Gaza are legitimate targets" since all houses are potentially non-homes.

"Isreal uses weapons to protect its civilians
Not unlike colonial as well as other vastly asymmetrical wars, Israel's legitimisation for its indiscriminate bombing is premised upon a profound moral disjuncture between Israelis and Palestinians. In the poster "Israel uses weapon to protect its civilians. Hamas uses civilians to protect its weapons", Palestinians are depicted as barbarians who ignore the elementary grammar of international law.  

Israel's warfare is, however, not only about the re-signification of architectural structures, but also about the transformation of human beings into collateral damage, subjects who can be killed without violating international law. This is the subtext of the poster featuring Israel's Chief of Staff saying: "Even as we carry out strikes, we remember that there are civilians in Gaza. Hamas has turned them into hostages."

"We remember that there are civilians in Gaza
Again, the logic is clear. All civilians in Gaza are being held hostage by Hamas, which is considered a war crime and a gross violation of international law governing armed conflict. This, then, provides legal and moral justification against the accusation that Israel is the one killing civilians. Presumed human rights violations carried out by Palestinians against Palestinians - taking hostages and human shielding - thus become the legitimisation of lethal and indiscriminate violence on the part of the occupying force.

Hence, the use of human shields is not only a violation. In contemporary asymmetric urban wars, accusing the enemy of using human shields helps validate the claim that the death of "untargeted civilians" is merely collateral damage. When all civilians are potential human shields, when each and every civilian can become a hostage of the enemy, then all enemy civilians become killable.

"Some bomb shelters shelter people...
In order for all this to be convincing, the Israeli military depicts the asymmetric context in which it unleashes its violence against a whole population as symmetric. This is carried out, for instance, through the poster "Some bomb shelters shelter people, some shelter bombs". Here a radically disproportionate situation is presented as if it were balanced. 

The residents of Gaza are bombed by cutting edge F-16 fighter jets and drones, yet they do not have bomb shelters, and they have nowhere to flee. Israel's residents are bombed mostly by makeshift rockets, many of which have been intercepted by Iron Dome missiles. The majority of the population in Israel has access to shelters and can flee out of the rocket's range.
These powerful images, spread by the Israeli military through social media, attempt to transform the very presence of civilians as suspect in the areas it bombards, regardless of the fact that the areas it bombs are urban centres.

The crux of the matter is that in the context of contemporary asymmetric warfare, the weak do not have many options. When there are no bomb shelters, people remain at home during extensive bombardment. And if, like in the case of the Palestinians in Gaza, fleeing is not an option - because all exits from the strip have been closed, or because the neighbour's house is under the exact same threat as one's own, or because one is already a refugee and does not want to become a refugee anew - staying put, which the high-tech states term "illegal human shields," constitutes a form of resistance. 

Neve Gordon is the author of Israel's Occupation. 
Nicola Perugini is Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Italian Studies and Middle East Studies at Brown University. His forthcoming book is entitled The Human Right to Dominate. 
Follow Nicola on Twitter: @PeruginiNic

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Reporting from Gaza: The Shejaiya Massacre

Dear friends,
Israel has carried out a brutal and cold blooded massacre in Gaza City over the last 24 hours, murdering more than 100 Palestinians in Shejaiya. The death toll is now in excess of 440 people. More than 135,000 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes and hundreds of homes completely destroyed.

There is nothing nuanced or complex about what is happening. It's mass murder and ethnic cleansing by an apartheid genocidal state against an oppressed and occupied people, who have no where to run or hide.

Our governments continue to turn a blind eye, so it is up to us to take a stand and make our voices heard. Join the rallies in your city, but also join the Palestinian BDS campaign. Write letters, hold stalls, organise solidarity films, get your community groups, church groups and unions to move motions condemning Israel's mass murder and take a stand in support of humanity and the Palestinian people.


I don't even know how to describe this post, except that it is an attempt to bear witness to Israel's murderous genocidal actions against the Palestinian people, to recognise the humanity of the Palestinian people and to say that you are not alone and you are not forgotten. 

The tweets included in this post are from the following journalists, photographers and bloggers: (click on their names to go directly to their twitter account):


Sherine Tadros - Sky News journalist in Gaza 
Zein Ja'far - Sky News Producer 
Gaza Writes Back - blogger/writer
Gaza Youth Break Out - Palestinian youth group based in Gaza.
Mohammed Suliman - Gazan blogger (see also his article on Gaza in Alkhabar)
Jon Jensen - CNN Producer
Lazar Simeonov - freelance photographer
Peter Beaumont - Guardian journalist in Gaza
Emilie Baujard - French independent journalist 
Noah Browning - Reuters journalist
Stephen Hird - Cameraman, Channel 4
AJELive - Al Jazeera English Live
Anne Paq - French independent journalist & photographer, who also part of the works Israeli based anti-occupation activist photography collective, ActiveStills 
  
I have posted three earlier posts in this "Reporting from Gaza" series, which include a selection of tweets from international journalists/photographers and Palestinian citizen journalists, photographers and bloggers in Gaza. 
in solidarity, 
Kim

 








 
















 
 





 




 

 


 
 





Reporting from Gaza: Day 2 of Israel's Ground Invasion

Dear friends,
the following are a selection of tweets from both international journalists and Palestinian citizen journalists who are reporting from on the ground in Gaza. 

These tweets document both the second day of Israel's ground invasion.

As already mentioned, this post is part of a series of posts under the title"Reporting from Gaza" which seeks to give an over view of the situation of the ground in Gaza.


The two post in the "Reporting from Gaza" series can be read here:


The tweets included in this post are from the following journalists and bloggers: (click on their names to go directly to their twitter account):


Sherine Tadros - Sky News journalist in Gaza 
Gaza Youth Break Out - Palestinian youth group based in Gaza.
Mohammed Suliman - Gazan blogger (see also his article on Gaza in Alkhabar)
Lara Aburamada - Palestinian journalist in Gaza

Jehad Saftawi - Palestinian photographer in Gaza
 
In solidarity, 
Kim