Israelis again impose Collective punishment on Palestinians of Gaza

On finding a tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the Israeli government has again blockaded the strip from receiving shipments of basic building materials.. Half of Gaza’s 1.7 million people are children, and half the population receives food assistance. Israel invaded Gaza in 1967 and tried to plant Israeli squatters there. In 2006 Hamas, the movement of political Islam, won the Palestinian elections. Israel and the US supported a coup on the West Bank that put the PLO in charge. A coup attempt failed in Gaza, where Hamas remained in power. The Israelis punished the whole population with a crushing economic blockade. Collective punishment of populations under occupation regimes is forbidden in international law. Although Israel has made cosmetic changes to its blockade, it is still a severe interference in the lifeways of occupied local people, which the Geneva convention of 1949 forbids.

The USG Open Source Center translates an item from Gaza radio maintaining that 200 Palestinians were aboard the ship that capsized off Malta 2 days ago. 33 passengers are known dead and dozens are unaccounted for.

FYI — Ship Carrying 375 Syrian, Palestinian Migrants to Europe Sinks Near Libya, 200 People ‘Lost’
OSC Summary
Sunday, October 13, 2013

At 1521 GMT, the HAMAS-run Gaza-based Al-Aqsa TV reports the following “urgent” screen caption: “Initial reports say that a ship carrying Palestinian refugees has drowned after being fired upon opposite the shores of Libya.”

The HAMAS-run Gaza-based Safa website reported on its homepage at 1524 GMT that the ship was carrying 375 migrants and was on its way from the Libyan city of Tripoli to Europe.

At 1546 GMT, Al-Aqsa TV carries the following “urgent” screen caption: “The Palestinian survivors from the ship that sank opposite the shores of Libya say more than 200 of them are lost at sea.”

The desperation of Palestinians made stateless by Israel and now blockaded has driven some to desperate and perhaps fatal misadventures
at sea. (Palestinians in Syria are now often being chased out of their camps, too.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Responses | Print |

13 Responses

  1. There is no solution for this. Israel is the enemy their mothers warned them about!
    My suggestion is to watch the movie “Munich”.
    It’s Spielberg’s masterpiece regarding Palestine.
    It should be noted; Palestinians will NEVER give up their quest for identity and autonomy.

    • Spielberg’s “Munich” is certainly a masterpiece but it still propagates the “thinking man’s” justification for Israel: “The Palestinians are human beings but they are wrong” and “The Israeli’s are good people who are forced to do terrible things to protect themselves”. The movie is propaganda for the Left.

      The Right simply dehumanizes the Palestinians as nothing more than born terrorists who must be punished until they “understand”. The Israelis are saintly people who have done nothing wrong.

      We must reject both the soft propaganda of the Left and the hard propaganda of the Right and look at Israel itself: a country of one favored class and another brutally oppressed class. Fix that and there will be peace.

      • Yours is an interesting interpretation; one which I don’t agree.
        Spielberg was accused of being an anti-Semite for making that movie. It certainly wasn’t an apologist’s position for Israel, IMO.

  2. ” Collective punishment of populations under occupation regimes is forbidden in international law.”

    But it’s acceptable if we and our “allies” violate these laws and basic elements of a civilized society.

    Our national capacity for hypocrisy is monumental and apparently perpetual despite the injury it does to the American people, including the current debacle with a shutdown federal government.

    American and British prosecutors at Nuremberg declared an unprovoked war by one nation against another – in this case Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland – to be the greatest crime. In March 2003 American and British forces waged an unprovoked war against Iraq, but the vast majority of Americans proved to be okay with that.

  3. maybe those are 2 different ships that sunk ?

    a ship sinking near the Italian island of Lampedusa
    could possibly be considered to be
    “opposite the shores of Libya,”
    or even
    “off Malta,”
    but those are both stretches.

    But the allegation that the boat carrying Palestinians and Syrians was fired on,
    that seems to show therse are different incidents.

    This is just a guess,
    but if there are 1,000 refugees a year dying while trying to sail from Tunisia to Lampedusa,
    there might be many more who don’t drown.
    I’d guess that there are always a handful of boats on the sea attempting the crossing, and one or two more launched every day, on average.
    That’s just the traffic in the stretch between Lampedusa and Tunisia.

    If folks are embarking in Latakia for Europe, I would expect them to head for a destination closer than Lampedusa, around 1,200 miles away. Crete is only 500 miles; Rhodes only 400 miles; and the coast of Hatay only 50 miles. Cyprus is barely 100 miles.


    Now, if the implication is that Syrians are traveling by land to Tunisia, and then embarking there, that’s not clear.

  4. If by “masterpiece” you mean stilted historical commentary, I would be inclined to agree with almost everything you say.

    Now I do take exception to the notion that there is some sort of ‘identity’ crisis among the Palestinians. I believe that their crisis arises from attacks upon their self-determined identity by the capable sophists of their occupying neighbor.

    It is certainly not down to outsiders to psychoanalyze the people whose tragedy unfolds behind a wall of military industry and callous sophisticates.

  5. As Norman Finkelstein has persuasively argued, probably the best tactic for Palestinians is to engage in massive civil disobedience, and suffer significant televised abuse (similar to Blacks in the US South, to attain progress.

    It is almost universally understood that Israel is the problem. For example, a 2009 study by an official U.S. government agency concluded that “Although peaceful coexistence between Israel and Hamas is clearly not possible under the formulations that comprise Hamas’s 1988 charter, Hamas has, in practice, moved well beyond its charter. Indeed, Hamas has been carefully and consciously adjusting its political program for years and has sent repeated signals that it may be ready to begin a process of coexisting with Israel. [And,] As evidenced by numerous statements, Hamas is not hostile to Jews because of religion. Rather, Hamas’s view toward Israel is based on a fundamental belief that Israel has occupied land that is inherently Palestinian and Islamic.”
    link to

    • “It’s almost universally recognized that Israel is the problem……”

      Everywhere except the United States, where Israel enjoys a 3-1 margin in support in public opinion polls over Palestinian interests.

      I was at a lecture a few years back at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan where the Israel Lobby in the U.S. was described as “six times as large and one-hundred times as organized” than its pro-Palestinian counterpart.

      Pro-Israel interests in the U.S. believe as long as they have such an incredible degree of support from the American public, there is no need for the Israeli government leaders to modify their position on the Palestinian question and the status quo will continue indefinitely. It has already been this way since 1967 in the West Bank.

  6. I am always willing to call out the Israelis when I feel they’re wrong, and that’s often. However they have a basic responsibility to protect their people from the murderous intentions of Hamas. The main reason the lives in Gaza are so miserable is that their Hamas government devotes massive resources (like 50 tons of concrete) to trying to murder Israelis.

    • “Hamas government devotes massive resources…” Huh? Oh, I get it now, Grady. That was a bit of “heavy” irony, right?
      A bit of a dense pun?

      Not real easy to figure out pricing FOB Gaza, but concrete in the US gets delivered for a couple of hundred bucks a ton. Even if it’s US$1000, that’s $50,000. Compared to the concrete the US taxpayer pays for to build all those walls and other “exfrastructure” into the occupied territories, and even compared to the tiny national wealth of Gaza as limited by “Israeli wrongs,” it’s a drop in the bucket.

      You got any “pre-stressed” proof that that tunnel was part of some murderous plot? Other than op-eds and MSM articles here and there? Presuming “dual use” is supposed to be a no-no… Just curious, I am not an Insider.

      And of course many “terrorist organizations” morph, over time, into “legitimate” political and social participants. Take Irgun and Likud, for instance… er, maybe some other examples…? link to

    • The main reason the lives in Gaza are so miserable is that their Hamas government devotes massive resources (like 50 tons of concrete) to trying to murder Israelis.

      Well, no. Certainly, Hamas hasn’t always made the best decisions, but that is very far from the main reason for the suffering in Gaza.

      The main reason is “Land of Israel” ideology.

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