the Truth: Obama's Big Lie About Gaza
By Chris Floyd
July 27, 2014 "ICH"
is simply a lie that Israel's slaughter in Gaza is a
response to an "unprovoked attack" by Hamas. Not
only is it a lie, it is a transparent, brazen lie,
whose falsehood is glaringly apparent to anyone who
had given even a cursory look at coverage of the
Israeli government's response to the murder of three
Israeli teenagers in June.
At that time, we were told in many news reports
about an Israeli "crackdown" in Gaza, including mass
arrests, military operations and, finally, the
killing of six Hamas members. It was after
these operations and these killings -- which were
clear breaches of a ceasefire which Hamas had been
honoring for 19 months -- that Hamas began its
retaliation against Israel's unprovoked attacks.
(And no, the murder of the teenagers was not a
"provocation" by Hamas, which disclaimed all
connection to the crime. It was almost certainly
carried out a rogue clan which has often --
conveniently -- staged provocations whenever it
seems that some small movement toward peace might be
made, and has been a thorn in Hamas' side for a long
time. What's more, as Max Blumenthal reported, the
Israeli government knew the teenagers had been
murdered almost immediately, and who the likely
culprits were; but the Netanyahu regime chose to
wage a worldwide campaign of mendacity -- and
torment the boys' parents -- by claiming they might
still be alive, and launching "search" missions for
These are all undisputed facts. The narrative that
dominates the Washington media and political
discourse -- "plucky Israel attacked without motive
by demonic foes" -- is, again, an obvious lie. But
that has not stopped it from being repeated
endlessly, all across the political spectrum and in
every form of media, day after day after day.
It is impossible that Barack Obama does not know
these undisputed facts. Standing at the apex of
history's most all-pervasive intelligence system --
and receiving daily digests of news reports on
volatile areas like the Middle East -- he of all
people knows that the Hamas rocket fire was a
response to an Israeli military action, an Israeli
violation of a long ceasefire.
It is also impossible that a majority, if not all,
of the 100 U.S. Senators who voted to endorse the
Israeli slaughter in Gaza -- including stalwart
"progressives" like Al Franken and "socialist"
Bernie Sanders -- did not know the truth when they
cast their ballots. It is impossible that the
editors and reporters of the nation's leading media
organizations do not know these facts -- which they
themselves reported only a few weeks ago.
Yet day after day after day, from the commanding
heights of our "culture" (if the debased goon show
of our public discourse deserves such a word), the
Big Lie thunders forth. What's more, Obama is
putting his money (or rather, our money) where his
mendacious mouth is,
tacking $225 million for Israel's "Iron Dome"
missile defense system into a bill ostensibly meant
to deal with the influx of child immigrants. Obama
and the Senate Democrats are making political pawns
out of these children -- most of whom are fleeing
Central American hellholes created in no small part
by decades of bipartisan military and political
backing for repressive oligarchs. (Including,
of course, Obama's support for an
oligarch-militarist "regime change" coup in Honduras
early in his presidency.) With the new money for
Israel's military, the Democrats hope to sucker the
Republicans into voting for the emergency
immigration bill (from which they cut $1 billion --
hey, you don't want to coddle those kids!), or else
put them in a political bind if the immigrant-hating
GOP votes against the bill: "You aren't supporting
plucky little Israel!"
A very cynical ploy, yes, but no matter: even if it
fails and the children are left to languish, some
other way will be found to get the money to Israel
and, most importantly, show the world that America
fully supports the massacre -- more than 800
Palestinians killed so far, including whole
families, refugees at a UN shelter, patients in
hospitals and other prime military targets.
Eight hundred dead -- and Obama gives the IDF a $225
million bounty. Maybe when the death count reaches a
thousand, he'll buy Netanyahu a pony or something.
James Marc Leas lays out the timeline leading up to
in this succinct marshaling of the facts in
CounterPunch. You should read the whole thing, but
here are a few excerpts:
The July 8
ITIC report also divulged why Hamas launched its
first rocket fire at Israel in more than 19 months
on July 7: On that night Israeli forces had bombed
and killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. The ITIC report
includes a picture of the six Hamas members. Thus, a
report from an authoritative Israeli source
described the provocation for the resumption of
rocket fire: Hamas rocket fire began only after
Israeli forces had engaged in nearly a month of
military operations in violation of the ceasefire
agreement and had killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza.
The facts show that Israeli forces had to work quite
hard to get Hamas to end its cease-fire. The killing
of the six Hamas members was not an isolated event.
Israeli forces and settlers had gone wild on the
West Bank starting on June 12 after the kidnaping of
three Israeli teens. Israeli forces had also
attacked 60 targets in Gaza during those three weeks
of June. Then, on the night of July 7, 2014, the
Israeli Air Force had attacked approximately 50 more
“terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip, as described
in the ITIC report.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on July 3:
military operations in the West Bank following the
abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers
have amounted to collective punishment. The military
operations included unlawful use of force, arbitrary
arrests, and illegal home demolitions. ... Giving
more details, several of the weekly reports from the
Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) indicate
that Israeli forces and settlers killed 11
Palestinians and wounded 51 during 369 incursions
into the West Bank between June 12 and July 2 and
that Israeli forces raided hundreds of houses on the
West Bank each week.
raids, a military incursion, 17 killings, mass
arrests -- all before Hamas fired a single rocket.
This is what Obama -- and every single member of the
United States Senate -- call an "unprovoked attack."
They say it with a straight face -- nay, with long,
somber, pious faces -- but they know it's a lie.
But let us imagine, just for a moment, that their
deceitful narrative was true. What if Hamas just
woke up one fine, clear peaceful morning and said,
"Hey, let's start firing missiles at Israel, fellas!
Won't that be a hoot?" The fact is that even in that
scenario, it would not be an "unprovoked attack,"
but a legitimate act of self-defense.
How do we know this? Because one of Israel's most
honored statesmen told us so.
As Jonathan Schwarz notes, Abba Eban, one of the
founding fathers of Israel, used his renowned
eloquence to defend Israel in the UN from charges of
aggression for striking first in the 1967 Six-Day
War. Rising to address the global body -- where he
had once served as vice-president of the General
Assembly -- Eban put forth his case. The surprise
attack was justified, he said, because Egypt had
blockaded an Israeli port:
is by definition an act of war, imposed and enforced
through armed violence. Never in history have
blockade and peace existed side by side. From May 24
onward, the question who started the war or who
fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant.
There is no difference in civil law between
murdering a man by slow strangulation or killing him
by a shot in the bead. From the moment at which the
blockade was imposed, active hostilities had
commenced and Israel owed Egypt nothing of her
Charter rights. If a foreign power sought to close
Odessa or Copenhagen or Marseilles or New York
harbour by the use of force, what would happen?
Would there be any discussion about who had fired
the first shot? Would anyone ask whether aggression
points out -- and which the entirety of the American
political-media establishment perpetually fails
to point out -- Gaza has been subject to a
stringent and ruinous blockade by Israel since 2007.
As noted here the other day:
imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo
while carefully controlling almost every aspect of
their lives, including what medicines they can have,
what manufacturing and building materials they are
allowed and even, at times, how much food they are
allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but
just above malnutrition levels. This brutal regimen
in daily life is of course punctuated with regular
night raids, bombings, kidnappings, “disappearings”
and almost weekly civilians deaths at the hands of
Israeli overseers. This has gone on year after year.
Israel was justified in retaliating with military
force when Egypt had blockaded a port for a few
weeks. How much more justified would the
Palestinians be in retaliating against a total
blockade -- by land, sea and air -- that has lasted
almost eight years?
I don't agree with lobbing missiles into cities. I
believe it's wrong. But I also realize that I have
the great luxury of pondering these moral and legal
and philosophical questions at my leisure, in
comfort and safety. I haven't seen my family
half-starved, my children's growth stunted, my
friends and relatives blown to bits. I haven't been
trapped in stateless limbo, with no passport, no
freedom, no opportunity, under threat of violent
death or arbitrary arrest every moment of my life. I
don't know what I would do if that was my reality. I
don't know what I'd do if I saw my loved ones suffer
that way, year after year. I might somehow hold on
to the ideal of non-violent resistance -- or I very
well might not.
But I do know that by the terms of the world's great
and good -- who speak portentously of the "laws of
war" and analyze in great detail the
"justifications" for violent conflict -- the
Palestinians have a right to resist the "slow
strangulation" of the blockade ... and the "shot in
the head" (and the missile in the crib) that they
are now being subjected to. By Abba Eban's own
reasoning, from the very first day of the Israeli
blockade of Gaza, "the question who started the war
or who fired the first shot became momentously
Hamas not complicit in teens’
kidnap: Israeli police:
The Israeli Police Foreign Press Spokesman, Micky
Rosenfeld, appears to have falsified the Israeli
government’s claim that Hamas was responsible for
the killing of three Israeli settler teens in June
Five Israeli Talking Points
Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right
to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied.
Here’s what you need to know about these talking
points and more.