In Israel, dissent against the war in Gaza is bitterly quashed. The few who speak out complain of being harassed, intimidated or even sacked. The once mighty left has disappeared.
It has been Israel’s deadliest conflict in years. More than 1,960 Palestinians were killed and 64 Israeli soldiers died fighting what some see as an unwinnable war.
And yet the only significant protest in Israel so far saw thousands late Thursday demand an end to Hamas rocket attacks, dissatisfied with the status quo after ground troops pulled out and a ceasefire was extended.
Liberal newspaper Haaretz decried Friday what it called a “witch hunt” against leftists and civil rights organisations after the director of the national service administration, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, told rights group B’Tselem it was being blacklisted as an employer.
“I feel obligated to exercise my power and stop the state assistance provided to an organisation that works against the state and against soldiers who are heroically giving their very lives to protect the safety and well-being of all citizens,” Jerbi wrote in a letter.
He accused B’Tselem of disseminating lies and slander, endangering the state and publishing information that encourages Israel’s enemies and leads to violent anti-Semitic acts against Jews around the world.
The rights group denounced the move as an attack on Israeli democracy, and asked supporters to sign an online petition to support freedom of expression and democracy.
Yizhar Beer of the Keshev Centre for the Protection of Democracy in Israel says it has never been more difficult to voice dissent in a country which prides itself on being the only democracy in the Middle East.
Israeli public opinion has overwhelmingly supported the war. A poll carried out by The Israel Democracy Institute last month said 95 percent of Israeli Jews believed the offensive was just.
In a country with compulsory national conscription, almost everybody has a friend or relative in the army.
Hamas rocket attacks have tormented millions of Israelis, inflicting fear and panic in border communities, regardless of the fact that hundreds are shot down and just three civilians have been killed since July.
In Israel, as in most countries during time of war, the local media have been patriotic champions of the offensive, uniting behind their boys on the frontline, sending them presents, highlighting the suffering of Israeli citizens and downplaying suffering on the other side.
The few who have spoken out of line have been threatened or denounced as traitors.
After Haaretz commentator Gideon Levy accused air force pilots of perpetrating “the cruelest (and) most despicable deeds” against Gaza’s weakest and most helpless,” his employer hired him bodyguards.
Readers cancelled their subscriptions, people stopped in the street to insult him and government whip Yariv Levin denounced him as a liar, a “mouthpiece of the enemy” who should be put on trial for treason.
“I have never faced such aggressive reaction, never,” Levy told AFP in his cramped office at Haaretz in Tel Aviv, away from the coffee shops where he fears being insulted.
“Nobody cares here about the suffering of Gaza. More than this, if you dare to express empathy you are a traitor,” he said.
Some Israelis who criticised the offensive, even on private Facebook pages, complained of being ostracised.
An Arab Israeli nurse was briefly suspended then reinstated. Other Arab Israelis also complained of being sacked.
“There’s a whole level of intimidation that’s kept a lot of people away,” said Steven Beck of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel when asked why there had not been more protests.
He likened the atmosphere to the period directly preceding the assassination of prime minister and Nobel peace laureate Yitzhak Rabin, shot dead by a Jewish extremist in 1995.
“Things that were shocking back then, really, really shocking, have become common place… now the needle is moving to a whole new level to the extreme,” Beck said.
“The question is, is it going to boil over into something or will it dissipate.”
Explanations are complex.
For Beer, it is rooted in the growth of the religious right and ultra-Orthodox communities, the powerful Jewish settler movement and the ongoing occupation of the West Bank.
“The extremist section of Israeli society has kidnapped the state of Israel,” he said.
But even Israelis who back peace talks feel helpless.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, does not officially recognise the Jewish state’s right to exist, and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is considered too weak to cut a settlement.
“Pressure from the inside and pressure from the outside makes our society very broken,” said Beer.
Brazilian stocks and the real whipsawed higher and lower after a plane used by opposition presidential candidate Eduardo Campos crashed in Sao Paulo state.
Campos’s campaign confirmed it couldn’t reach him after a small plane went down in the port city of Santos, while Globo News and Folha de S. Paulo reported that the candidate had died. Campos, who was polling in third place ahead of the October elections, was flying to an event in the city of Guaruja at the time, according to O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper.
Stocks and the real plunged initially before paring losses as investors sought to quickly analyze the impact the crash would have onBrazil’s presidential vote. The stock gauge had rallied 26 percent from this year’s low March 14 on speculation that President Dilma Rousseff would be defeated and the new government would reduce intervention in state-owned companies.
“Elections are the main driver for the market now, but without Campos, uncertainty increases,” Rogerio Freitas, a partner at hedge fund Teorica Investimentos, said by phone from Rio de Janeiro. “And the market will only find a direction once new polls become available.”
Campos, 49, the former governor of Pernambuco state, was traveling from Rio de Janeiro when the crash occurred at about 10 a.m. local time. Nine people were killed, Brazil’s Military Police said, without identifying the victims. Television images showed overcast and rainy weather in Santos.
A poll by public opinion research company Ibope, released Aug. 7, showed support for Rousseff before the Oct. 5 election unchanged at 38 percent. Campos would win 9 percent of votes in the first round of elections, the poll showed.
State-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, sank 1 percent to 19.48 reais. The real gained 0.2 percent to 2.2722 per dollar, after earlier losing as much as 0.7 percent.
Yields on Brazil’s benchmark fixed-rate local bond due in 2017 edged up 0.01 percentage point to 11.7 percent.
“The market is reacting amid a mix of cautiousness and nervousness,” Silvio Campos Neto, an economist at Tendencias Consultoria Integrada, said in a telephone interview.
Campos made his debut in politics at age 21, when he campaigned for Miguel Arraes, his grandfather and former Pernambuco governor. As a legislator in Congress he successfully pushed a bill that cut pension benefits and, as President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s science minister, a measure that allowed stem cell research.
Campos quit Rousseff’s governing coalition in September in the aftermath of street protests that pushed the government’s popularity to record lows. He surprised political leaders and analysts by announcing an alliance with former Environment Minister Marina Silva, who placed third in the 2010 presidential race and has strong support among young, urban voters. Silva received 19 percent of the votes in the first round that year, and didn’t support anyone in the runoff.
“I think Marina will be the candidate now, and she’s a strong candidate, stronger even than Campos was because she’s more well known,” Luiz Carvalho, a managing partner at New York-based Tree Capital LLC, said by phone. “I think she’ll have a large appeal with the lower classes, and her voting intentions will be considerable. Dilma’s situation for a second round is now worse.”
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish pro-Palestinian group plans to send aid ships to Gaza to challenge the Israeli blockade, it said on Monday, four years after Israeli commandos stormed its flotilla bound for the territory, killing 10 Turks.
The plan may hinder efforts to rebuild shattered diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel, just as Ankara launched an “air corridor” carrying wounded Palestinians to Turkey and aid to Gaza.
The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) announced that activists from 12 countries had decided to launch a convoy of boats to Gaza “in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression.
“The Freedom Flotilla Coalition affirmed that, as most governments are complicit, the responsibility falls on civil society to challenge the Israeli blockade on Gaza,” it said in a statement after the group met in Istanbul at the weekend.
An IHH spokeswoman did not elaborate but said the group would hold a news conference on Tuesday. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials had no immediate comment.
Nine Turks were killed in May 2010 in international waters when Israeli soldiers raided their vessel, the Mavi Marmara, leading a flotilla to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. A 10th Turkish activist died in May from wounds suffered in the attack.
Turkey’s relationship with its former ally Israel had been tense since late 2008 over a previous Israeli military operation in Gaza.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who was elected president on Sunday, has been among the most vocal critics of Israel’s conflict with the Islamist Hamas movement that rules Gaza.
In his election campaigning, Erdogan likened Israel’s actions to those of Adolf Hitler and warned it would “drown in the blood it sheds”.
Hamas spokesman Ehab al-Ghsain said: “We hope that now with the presence of Mr. Erdogan as the president, chosen by the majority of the Turkish people, the support of Turkey and their defense of our people will increase.”
Israel, which denounced Erdogan’s comments, says its offensive is intended to stop rocket fire from Gaza and to destroy tunnels used by gunmen to infiltrate Israel.
Pro-Palestinian sentiment runs high in mostly Muslim Turkey, and protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in recent weeks to demonstrate against Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
Three Palestinian women and a male youth were flown from Tel Aviv to Ankara overnight for medical treatment after Turkey held talks on the matter with Israel, the first step of Ankara’s bid to evacuate possibly thousands from the Gaza Strip.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu revealed details of the aid initiative last week after a month of bloodshed that has killed 1,910 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.
Osama Al-Najar, spokesman of the health ministry in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said 60 more wounded people would be flown to Turkey on Monday. He said the Palestinian Authority had helped organize their transfer from Gaza to Israel.
Davutoglu said Turkey planned to bring in some 200 wounded in the first stage. Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said Ankara was ready to send a 60-strong medical team to establish a field hospital in the region if permission is granted.
Turkey’s state disaster and emergency authority was to send an initial aid cargo of 3,500 food parcels by plane from Ankara to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on Monday evening as part of the air corridor.
It has been our analysis that the “Ebola” scare is either a weapon of mass distraction, a vaccine commercial, or a stage 3 Beta test… But just in case, we have two items that seem suspicious pointing to a Bio Weapon. * Ebola is not generally contagious from human to human unless blood enters the picture.
Start at 1:30 –
Taken RIGHT out of the US State Department Press Briefing … Marie Harf specifically uses the phrase “EBOLA ATTACK” while reading off a printed talking-point bulletin! Entire Press Conf HERE
“The ability to use deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever as a dangerous biological weapon exists.”
This statement was made by the head of the Department for Infectious Diseases’ Institute for Advanced Studies of the Russian Federal Medical-Biology Agency, Professor Vladimir Nikiforov, during a press conference in MIA “Russia Today” on Friday, August 8th.
On the eve of Thursday, August 7, former Chief Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko said that he did not exclude the possibility that the current spread of Ebola is caused by someone’s artificial intervention.
Original Source in Russian:
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/russian-health-official-the-current-epidemic-of-ebola-may-be-due-to-the-use-of-biological-weapons/#hShtVlvoCYabO1ce.99
UK protest group ‘shuts down’ factory for supplying Israel arms 5 Aug 2014 A group of pro-Palestine activists have allegedly shut down operations in a Staffordshire factory that they say supplies arms to Israel…Around 10 activists from the London Palestine Action Group have taken to the roof of Elbit systems, an Israeli company with a subsidiary based in Shenstone, near Birmingham…According to the LPAG, Elbit systems is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of unmanned aerial drones, which many suspect the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have used in their ongoing offensive in Gaza.
‘ Help Israel avoid war crimes charges,’ Netanyahu urges US lawmakers 7 Aug 2014 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appealed to American legislators to help Israel stave off what is likely to be a concerted global push to haul the country’s military and political leaders to international courts for alleged [actual] war crimes committed in Gaza, The New York Post is reporting on Thursday.
Lest we forget (historical): UN: Palestinian children tortured, used as human shields by Israel 20 June 2013 New UN human rights agency report claims Israeli forces arbitrarily arrest Palestinian children in Gaza and West Bank, subject them to degrading treatment, exploit them to scope out potentially dangerous buildings and use them as shields to deter stone throwers.
Google Play’s ‘Bomb Gaza’ Game Lets You Kill Palestinian Women and Children 4 Aug 2014 As the death toll continues to rise in Gaza on the heels of an expired cease-fire, Android’s official app store, Google Play is currently offering a game called “Bomb Gaza,” where users are encouraged to drop missiles on the region to destroy “terrorists.” Bomb Gaza is just another one of numerous insensitive games available on Android’s official app store, including “Gaza Assault” and “Whack the Hamas”. Since when has celebrating one of the most tragic conflicts become the perfect theme for a video game? [Update: Responding to public outrage, the 'app' was removed. Too bad the *actual* bombing of Gaza isn't 'removed.' --LRP]
Official: Israel to allow Gaza rebuilding in exchange for disarmament 5 Aug 2014 Israel is willing to agree to the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip in exchange for the disarmament of militant groups there, an official said Tuesday…Ofer Gendelman told Ma’an that the Israeli government linked the rebuilding of Gaza with disarming factions in the coastal enclave.
7 Aug 2014 Airstrikes on towns in northern Iraq seized by Islamist militants began late Thursday in what Kurdish and Iraqi officials called the first stage of an American-led intervention to blunt the militants’ advance and provide emergency aid to tens of thousands of refugees. The Pentagon firmly denied that American forces had begun a bombing campaign. But Pentagon officials said it was possible that allies of the United States, either the Iraqi or Turkish militaries, had conducted the bombing. Kurdish and Iraqi officials attributed the bombing campaign to American forces.
Hit Team? P2OG?
5 Aug 2014 An Afghan solider opened fire at a British-run military academy outside Kabul on Tuesday, killing a US major general and wounding at least 15 other troops including a German brigadier general. The US two-star general, whose identity was not immediately released, became the highest-ranking American officer killed in nearly 13 years of war in Afghanistan. A terse and initially inaccurate statement from Nato’s command in Afghanistan, known as the International Security Assistance Force or Isaf [aka lying sacks of propagandizers ], said that an “incident” at the Qargha academy, also known the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, killed an Isaf service member. A US official told the Associated Press that “about a dozen” American troops were wounded.
href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/05/uk-afghanistan-attacks-idUKKBN0G515A20140805" target="_blank">U.S. general killed, German general wounded in Afghan attack – officials
5 Aug 2014 A U.S. general was killed and more than a dozen people were wounded, including a German general, in the latest insider attack by a man believed to be an Afghan soldier, U.S., German and Afghan officials said on Tuesday. The slain general, whose identity was not immediately released by the Pentagon, was believed to be the most senior U.S. military official killed in action in Afghanistan since the war there began in 2001. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters that “many were seriously wounded” and the gunman was killed in the attack, which took place on Tuesday at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, a training centre in Kabul.
More WAR propaganda decoded….
2 Aug 2014 Israel has said they have scientific evidence that Hadar Goldin, the soldier ‘feared abducted by Hamas’ on Friday in an ambush that shattered a humanitarian ceasefire, was killed in action during the attack. The announcement, by Israel’s chief military rabbi, came just hours after prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated that Israel’s military operation was coming to an end…Earlier, Netanyahu said that, once demolition of Hamas’s tunnels into Israel was complete, “the military will prepare for continuing action according to our security needs and only according to our security needs”.
2 Aug 2014 Israeli airstrikes destroyed mosques, residential and government buildings, and part of Gaza’s Islamic University Saturday as ground forces continued to search for a missing infantry officer who was believed captured by militants [although he wasn't. It's a lie].
2 Aug 2014 After missiles hit the Islamic University on Friday night, the Al Shefayee mosque, Gaza’s largest, was reduced to a rubble when Israeli F-16s repeatedly bombarded the building. However, no casualty was reported as the mosque was unoccupied at that time. The attack came in the wake of Israeli military’s allegations that Hamas was using the mosque to build tunnels and to store ammunitions – a charge denied by the angry Gazans. They claim the mosque had religious as well as educational significance and was attended by almost a thousand people everyday.
href="http://telesurtv.net/english/news/Israel-Destroys-Islamic-University-in-Gaza-20140802-0005.html" target="_blank">Israel Destroys Islamic University in Gaza
2 Aug 2014 Missiles have been fired into the building over the last 20 minutes…The Israeli army has bombed the Islamic University of Gaza to the ground, according to Reuters. People were inside the university campus as the bombing began. University staff are trying to evacuate the people trapped under the rubble. The airstrike also hit ambulances which were trying to access the site. Hospitals are overwhelmed and they have warned the international community that they cannot continue dealing with the [mounting] cases.
href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/07/31/un-official-chris-gunness-breaks-down-sobs-uncontrollably-israeli-shelling-gaza-school-video_n_5636731.html" target="_blank">UN Official Breaks Down and Sobs Uncontrollably Over Israeli Shelling of Gaza School
31 July 2014 A United Nations official has broken down live on air as he talked about a deadly attack on a school in Gaza. Chris Gunness wept uncontrollably as he discussed the Israeli shelling during an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic on Wednesday. According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, at least 17 people were killed and 90 wounded in the shelling of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School early on Wednesday morning. (Video)
EBOLA IS A BLOOD BORN VIRUS! IE: It cannot reach “pandemic” status unless its been re-engineered in a lab. We are NOT falling for it….
31 July 2014 One fascinating development worth investigating further is that TEKMIRA Pharmaceuticals, a company working on an anti-Ebola drug, just received a 1.5 million cash infusion from none other than Monsanto. Thepress release , which states “Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing novel RNAi therapeutics and providing its leading lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology to pharmaceutical partners.” Another press release about Tekmira reveals a 140 million contract with the U.S. military for Ebola treatment drugs.
href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/01/health/ebola-emory-hospital-prepares/" target="_blank">‘Training for this:’ Atlanta hospital ready for opportunity to treat Ebola patients
1 Aug 2014 Faced with the prospect of coming face-to-face with Ebola at their Atlanta hospital, where its first documented Ebola cases ever are soon set to arrive, what did two nurses do? They canceled their vacation. “They said, ‘We have been training for this,’” Dr. Bruce Ribner, who heads the Emory University Hospital unit where the two Americans with Ebola will be treated, told CNN. Online and on street corners, in homes and in businesses, the idea of purposefully bringing Ebola into the United States has rattled the nerves of many. “Why willingly bring infected ebola [sic] victims to this country?” wrote one woman. “Why purposely spread the infection?” [*Well.* Since you asked: See item, above.]
href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/04/health/experimental-ebola-serum/index.html">Ebola drug likely saved American patients
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolinas Medical Center’s (CMC) main emergency room will return to normal operations after a recent scare at the hospital.
CMC says a patient arrived at the hospital Tuesday night after recently traveling to a country known forinfectious diseases, officials say.
Caution tape blocked the outside door it to the emergency room. The hospital says it took all appropriate measures to protect patients, staff and visitors. This includes consulting the CDC and North Carolina Department of Health.
Both organizations have determined the risk for communicable disease is low. The patient will be sent home and no further testing is necessary.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a statement Wednesday:
Since we were first informed of this situation early this morning, DHHS’ Division of Public Health has been in close contact with Carolinas Healthcare System, the Local Health Department and the CDC.
The clinical care team and public health officials have reviewed the case in great detail and have determined that the patient’s illness and epidemiologic information are NOT consistent with Ebola infection. Therefore, Ebola testing will not be performed. The patient is currently receiving treatment for another unrelated condition and does NOT represent a public health threat.
Oops…. Of course we said this from the beginning. Israel no going with plan B … blame someone else.
Via NY Mag
When the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the region.
But now, Israeli officials admit the kidnappings were not Hamas’s handiworkafter all. (Update: The comments from the Israeli spokesperson in question indicate that the group thought to be responsible, a “lone cell,” may not have been under direct orders from Hamas’s leadership, but was loosely affiliated with the group. The headline of this post has been changed to reflect that discrepancy. See below for more.)
BuzzFeed reporter Sheera Frenkel was among the first to suggest that it was unlikely that Hamas was behind the deaths of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. Citing Palestinian sources and experts in the field, Frenkel reported that kidnapping three Israeli teens would be afoolish move for Hamas. International experts told her it was likely the work of a local group, acting without concern for the repercussions:
[Gershon Baskin] pointed out that Hamas has earlier this month signed an agreement to form a unity government with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, bridging, for the first time in seven years, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza.
“They will lose their reconciliation agreement with Abbas if they do take responsibility for [the kidnappings],” Baskin added.
Today, she may have been proven right:
Repeated inconsistencies in Israeli descriptions of the situation have sparked debate over whether Israel wanted to provoke Hamas into a confrontation. Israeli intelligence is also said to have known that the boys were dead shortly after they disappeared, but to have maintained public optimism about their safe return to beef up support from the Jewish diaspora. Writing for Al Jazeera, Musa al-Gharbi argued that Israel wasdeliberately provoking Hamas:
All the illegal and immoral actions related to Operation Brother’s Keeper were justified under the premise of finding and saving the missing teens whom the Israeli government knew to be dead — cynically exploiting the tragedy to whip up public outcry in order to provoke and then confront Hamas. This pattern of deception continues under the ongoing military offensive in Gaza. For example, last week in collaboration with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Abbas, in its efforts to alienate Hamas, Israel announced a bad-faith cease-fire proposal, which Hamas was not consulted on and never agreed to but whose violation supposedly justified Israel’s expansion and intensification of the military campaign into Gaza.
Despite continued negotiations, the violence shows no signs of letting up, and after Thursday night’s massive protests in the West Bank, there is still no ceasefire agreement. On Friday, it became clear that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts to broker a seven-day truce were rejected by Israeli officials. Instead, Israel will apparently widen its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, despite international outcry about the civilian death toll. According to unnamed officials, the proposed truce was too generous to Hamas’s demands.
Hamas, meanwhile, still hasn’t weighed in on the agreement, whose details are being kept secret, but continued to launch rockets into Israel. International peace talks are set to resume in France this weekend, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Updated, July 26, 11:44 a.m.: This claim was also reported by BBC’s Jon Donnison, who spoked to Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld:
Update, July 28, 9:21 a.m.: Rosenfeld, the Israeli spokesperson, is seeking to clarify that while the lone cell did not receive direct orders from Hamas, it was still affiliated. “The kidnapping and murder of the teens was carried out by Hamas terrorists from the Hebron area,” he claimed in comments to The Daily Beast. “The security organizations are continuing to search for the murderers.”
But Donnison, the BBC journalist, is not backtracking from his earlier reporting
Read more At NY MAG