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Smoke from the abattoir… 29 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Egypt, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, WAR!.


— RAFAH, Dec. 28, 2008 (Xinhua) — Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish flames at a medicine storehouse after Israeli airstrike targeted at a fuel tank nearby in southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah Dec. 28, 2008. (Xinhua Photo  081228)

What’s a little war making from our friends… ?

Gwen Ifill is quoting Obama’s words (daughters -sleeping -Sderot -rockets -I would do the same!, etcetera) to the Palestinian Observer to the UN, and noted that Ehud Barak  quoted him in the Knesset today.  Way to go Barack!  Well cemented in…silent in Hawai’i but well and properly used.    This is so like his tactical words that became enmeshed in the Prop 8 battle out here.  “God is in the mix“, meaning in marriage, said on MTV 3 days before election … and “sex is sacred“, that one, he says often!… The right LOVED it.  Yes on 8 used tapes of his voice.  Oh it all worked out so well.

catch a clue, they are flying in the air….

From Democracy NOW!

JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Dr. Moussa El-Haddad, I’d like to ask you also about the—there have been reports that the Israelis were trying to block television signals. What’s the situation with the electricity, the ability of the people to at least get some information and communicate with each other?

DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Well, as I speak to you know, I have no electricity in my house. I have a generator that I can open or let work for like two or three hours every now and then to let the internet work and watch TV. We have electricity like three or four hours a day. We have no cooking gas. I mean, I’m talking about the people. Maybe I have a little left in my house. But people don’t have electricity about 75 percent of the time, no cooking gas, no gas for the cars. So fuel is also lacking. And the only source of, like, food and fuel lately was through Egypt, through those tunnels, and these were attacked last night. At least forty tunnels were demolished last night.

I don’t know. This is—can you tell me if any of this is against Hamas? There’s nothing against Hamas.

This is a clear-cut genocide and holocaust against civilians, civilians who are helpless. They don’t have warplanes. They don’t have warships. They don’t—even the rockets that they talk about are homemade. And I just—I cannot—and I really lost the words, because the situation is so bad. And we are in the twenty-first century. We are not in tenth or fifteenth century. Everybody in the world can see and hear. But who acts? Who is doing anything? Now, they say the killer and the killed are the same. They are putting Israel, with all its military power, [inaudible] level like Hamas and people of Gaza.

And the smoke rises higher:

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: … Also, I want to clarify that Gaza Strip is the highest densely populated area in the world, with almost 4,150 people in each square kilometer. When you start bombing the place with bombs that are one to two tons heavy, then you’re determined to kill people and kill civilians and innocent people.

I’ve just heard Tzipi Livni, the Foreign Minister of Israel, saying that Palestinians should go away from Hamas and Gaza. Where should they go away? In which place? Where? Which place they can go to, when Israel is putting Gaza for two years under total blockade, by sea, by air, by land. Israel has been claiming that it has withdrawn from Gaza. Israel never ended its occupation of Gaza. It maintains the occupying of the airspace, the sea around Gaza and the land around Gaza.

And it was preventing people from getting medical aid and equipment and fuel and electricity. I was just talking to our people in Gaza and asked them, “What is your situation?” They told me they don’t have bread. Even bread is unavailable in Gaza. And now Israel is bombarding it in this horrible and unacceptable way.

I think the world community must see the reality. This is an unprecedented bloodbath that the Israeli generals are using—and politicians are using for their political campaigning in their elections. For one more time, they’re using Palestinian blood for their election campaigns.

I’m so sorry that even some left parties in Israel are supporting such an aggression.

They all claim that this is about missiles. But let me ask a very simple question: How many Israelis were killed during the last six months by missiles? Almost none. The only two Israelis that were killed so far were killed after this operation.

… and what does smoke rise from… burning flesh.

ALI ABUNIMAH: Isn’t it convenient that we only have one president at a time, when it suits Barack Obama to stay silent on something that is enflaming the whole world? Apparently, we don’t have one president at a time when it comes to the economy or Iraq or Afghanistan or other issues. But on this, Barack Obama is content to remain silent and, in fact, to give, through the statements of David Axelrod, his more or less open support for what Israel is doing, which fits with the policies that he has enunciated consistently of supporting Israel’s attacks on Gaza, supporting the blockade of Gaza, supporting the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006.

And this is why Israel feels so comfortable carrying out these sorts of atrocities, which cross every red line of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, of the Nuremberg Principles, of all of the laws of war that were developed in the twentieth century.

Israel feels totally comfortable crossing them, because it knows that it will have full support from any US administration, no matter what political shade it is.

And this is why it’s crucially important that people don’t sit by waiting ’til January 20th. January 20th, the calendar flipping is not going to change anything. What’s going to change things is boycott, divestment and sanctions, people rising up and demanding an end to impunity, demanding, for example, that Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni be brought to account before an international war crimes court for the orders that they have given for these massacres of the civilian population of Gaza. That’s what’s going to bring change, and that’s what people must call and organize for.

Well… we won’t see Ehud or Tzipi before any war crimes court, nor will we  see BushCheney.



1. marisacat - 29 December 2008

oh FFS… they could not even take the fucking envelope and some DVDs:

From The Page

Five people approach a security checkpoint near the Obama compound Monday carrying a gift of informational DVDs about the conflict, asking to deliver it to the president-elect.

The Secret Service declines to let them give Obama the box wrapped in gold ribbon and a letter they wrote him.

One tells a reporter: “I don’t think he’s taking a vacation, he’s preparing to be the next President. I’m deathly afraid he’ll continue the failed policies of the Bush administration.”

Link to the pool report … btw, he is on vaca… he’s golfing and got in the daily gym stop this am. So relieved, I am. Needs his rest, poor baby.

2. diane - 29 December 2008

….hula hoop……..

3. diane - 29 December 2008

ah well Marisa let earth play out her tune…and wait til Obama gets that “Blackberry” brain tumor …ooooh I feel so giddy now that technology is our new savior……….who needs those profound feelings one intuits without being plugged in when technology can do all that…and more for us….I mean look at those healthy, puffy cheeks on AL, once tobaccco king,…NOW MR BIKE RIDER……sport……

I mean once ther was HUMMER cologne……..and we were almost there, but GIFT OF GIFTS!………now,…… there is true green, don’t need to pretend anything, ewww doo $$$$$$$$$$$cent

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Israeli Consulate to host Twitter Press Conference on Gaza

Earlier today, however, I discovered that the Israeli Consulate in New York City had launched two Twitter accounts @israelconsulate and @DavidSaranga … And I immediately started following them. David Saranga is the Consul of Media and Public Affairs — essentially the public diplomacy person at the consulate. Notably, he is the person behind the so-called “beer n’ babes” campaign of 2007 that ran in Maxim Magazine in which Maxim sent photographers to Israel for an Israeli women photo shoot.

After following them on Twitter, I discovered this: Tomorrow, Tuesday December 30 from 1-3pm Eastern, the Consulate General of Israel in New York will be hosting a ‘Citizens “Press” Conference’ to discuss the conflict in Gaza IN TWITTER! (On January 30 we are planning to do a Twitter press conference for the Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds project following our formal event on January 29.)

The Israeli Consulate’s effort is an excellent study in Public Diplomacy 2.0 and an even more interesting use of tactical and nimble public affairs using our ever evolving social networking ecosystem. I’ve been consistently impressed with the Israeli government’s agility and ease of using newer technology tools to communicate their message. And this effort is one that I am looking forward to participating in with great interest.

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008
6. diane - 29 December 2008

mmmmm must say..bizarre….I posted on dial-up and the second I posted…and the screen renewed, Madman’s comment followed my post….well..at the very least …some interesting timing goin on ……

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

from one of the links at Global Voices:

Palestine: Bloggers in Gaza describe the fear

Translation of the arabic post:

I am still alive, but not OK.
And at any moment I may be within sight of death, and will be OK.
Only the dead are safe in Gaza.
I left my flat and my wife and I went to the family home, but not searching for a safe place from the bombing.
I want to be next to my mother in such circumstances.
I am not a hero; like my young nephew I am trembling from the explosive metal sound in the air nearby.
But I hold back my trembling in embarrassment; I am not a hero.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

first response to that post:

One Response to
“Palestine: Bloggers in Gaza describe the fear”
December 29th, 2008 at 23:14 pm
from israel:

“Against all odds, there are still blog posts coming out of Gaza”…
That’s bacause Israel’s not targeting civilians. No one’s denying the damage is extensive but this is war, not massacre as some of you are trying to describe.
I know that you’ll probably won’t post this comment, but I DO believe we should have an open discussion over the net for this issues.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008
10. marisacat - 29 December 2008


When he Israeli government was bombing every police station in the densely populated strip, some of those attacks were coming by way of US-supplied GBU-39 smart bombs. It is unclear how many of the hundreds of people killed in the Gaza Strip in the past 48 hours died at the hands of American munitions, but to the extent that the carnage has gotten some television coverage in the United States, direct American involvement is likely to be unpopular with a war-weary nation…..snip….

An embedded link leads to this from JPost:

[I]srael received approval from Congress to purchase 1,000 units in September and defense officials said on Sunday that the first shipment had arrived earlier this month and was used successfully in penetrating underground Kassam launchers in the Gaza Strip during the heavy aerial bombardment of Hamas infrastructure on Saturday. It was also used in Sunday’s bombing of tunnels in Rafah. ….snip…

NOT TO WORRY, they are said to be precision bombs… so bomb bomb bomb Palestine..

It’s like those energy saver bulbs that Ob always goes on about.

The GPS-guided GBU-39 is said to be one of the most accurate bombs in the world. The 113-kg. bomb has the same penetration capabilities as a normal 900-kg. bomb, although it has only 22.7 kg. of explosives. At just 1.75 meters long, its small size increases the number of bombs an aircraft can carry and the number of targets it can attack in a sortie….snip…

Nifty and small… you can pack in more ordnance… See? Like an energy saver bulb. I love it that we are “greening” Palestine. Ob should thank Bush.

Think they are test firing for us? New bomb and all, you sell more if you have field data. The Pals are just helping us amass data materiel. There you go.

Tests conducted in the US have proven that the bomb is capable of penetrating at least 90 cm. of steel-reinforced concrete. The GBU-39 can be used in adverse weather conditions and has a standoff range of more than 110 km. due to pop-out wings. …snip

Wings… it’s an angel of god. Seems clear to me.

11. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Silent vigil tonight in SF, outside the Israeli consulate…

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Skaters Jump In as Foreclosures Drain the Pool

On a recent morning, a 27-year-old skateboarder who goes by the name Josh Peacock peered into a swimming pool in Fresno, Calif., emptied by his own hands — and the foreclosure crisis — and flashed a smile as wide as a half-pipe.

“We have more pools than we know what to do with,” said Mr. Peacock, who lives in Fresno, the Central Valley city where thousands of homes, many with pools behind them, are in foreclosure. “I can’t even keep track of them all anymore.”

Across the nation, the ultimate symbol of suburban success has become one more reminder of the economic meltdown, with builders going under, pools going to seed and skaters finding a surplus of deserted pools in which to perfect their acrobatic aerials.

In these boom times for skaters, Mr. Peacock travels with a gas-powered pump, five-gallon buckets, shovels and a push broom, risking trespassing charges in the pursuit of emptying forlorn pools and turning them into de facto skate parks.

“We can just hit them back to back,” said Mr. Peacock, who preferred to give his skateboarding name because of the illegality of his activities.

Skaters are coming to places like Fresno from as far as Germany and Australia. Mr. Peacock said his floor and couch were covered by sleeping bags of visiting skateboarders each weekend.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008
14. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

This reads almost like a threat:

EL PASO — A U.S. Army War College report warns an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Nathan Freir wrote the report “Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development,” which the Army think tank in Carlisle, Pa., recently released.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities … to defend basic domestic order and human security,” the report said, in case of “unforeseen economic collapse,” “pervasive public health emergencies,” and “catastrophic natural and human disasters,” among other possible crises.

The report also suggests the new (Barack Obama) administration could face a “strategic shock” within the first eight months in office.

Fort Bliss spokeswoman Jean Offutt said the Army post is not involved in any recent talks about a potential military response to civil unrest.

The report become a hot Internet item after Phoenix police told the Phoenix Business Journal they’re prepared to deal with such an event, and the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Dominique Strauss-Khan, said social unrest could spread to advanced countries if the global economic crisis worsens.

Javier Sambrano, spokesman for the El Paso Police Department, said city police have trained for years so they can address any contingency, but not with the military.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Gaza Morgue Runs Out of Room


The refrigerated compartments at Shifa Hospital’s morgue in Gaza City were filled three bodies to a drawer.

Dozens more corpses wrapped in sheets lay on stretchers in the white-walled morgue [Sunday] as grieving parents identified sons who were killed in Israel’s most punishing aerial assault on the Gaza Strip in more than 40 years. Hospital corridors were jammed with wounded, many screaming as they waited for a doctor.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008
17. marisacat - 29 December 2008


I read Strauss-Khan when he was first quoted in the European press… I thnk a lot of the ”unrest” will target the S border and the inward bound routes that Mexican and South of the border immigration has traced. Increasing ramp up in stories that drug wars imperil the US, that it comes across the borders, that “those people” have dangerous caches of weapons… etc.. EVERYONE IS SUSPECT, Everyone put their hands up!

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Why I Am a Socialist By Chris Hedges

The corporate forces that are looting the Treasury and have plunged us into a depression will not be contained by the two main political parties. The Democratic and Republican parties have become little more than squalid clubs of privilege and wealth, whores to money and corporate interests, hostage to a massive arms industry, and so adept at deception and self-delusion they no longer know truth from lies. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism—one that will insist on massive government relief and work programs, the nationalization of electricity and gas companies, a universal, not-for-profit government health care program, the outlawing of hedge funds, a radical reduction of our bloated military budget and an end to imperial wars—or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite and shackled and chained by our surveillance state.

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. But this does not mean our corporate masters will disappear. Totalitarianism, as George Orwell pointed out, is not so much an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial,” Orwell wrote, “that is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” Force and fraud are all they have left. They will use both.

There is a political shift in Europe toward an open confrontation with the corporate state. Germany has seen a surge of support for Die Linke (The Left), a political grouping formed 18 months ago. It is co-led by the veteran socialist “Red” Oskar Lafontaine, who has built his career on attacking big business. Two-thirds of Germans in public opinion polls say they agree with all or some of Die Linke’s platform. The Socialist Party of the Netherlands is on the verge of overtaking the Labor Party as the main opposition party on the left. Greece, beset with street protests and violence by disaffected youths, has seen the rapid rise of the Coalition of the Radical Left. In Spain and Norway socialists are in power. Resurgence is not universal, especially in France and Britain, but the shifts toward socialism are significant.

Corporations have intruded into every facet of life. We eat corporate food. We buy corporate clothes. We drive corporate cars. We buy our vehicular fuel and our heating oil from corporations. We borrow from corporate banks. We invest our retirement savings with corporations. We are entertained, informed and branded by corporations. We work for corporations. The creation of a mercenary army, the privatization of public utilities and our disgusting for-profit health care system are all legacies of the corporate state. These corporations have no loyalty to America or the American worker. They are not tied to nation states. They are vampires.

19. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

Skip James, Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

Hard time here and everywhere you go
Times is harder than ever been before

And the people are driftin’ from door to door
Can’t find no heaven, I don’t care where they go

Hear me tell you people, just before I go
These hard times will kill you just dry long so

Well, you hear me singin’ my lonesome song
These hard times can last us so very long

If I ever get off this killin’ floor
I’ll never get down this low no more
No-no, no-no, I’ll never get down this low no more

And you say you had money, you better be sure
‘Cause these hard times will drive you from door to door

Sing this song and I ain’t gonna sing no more
Sing this song and I ain’t gonna sing no more
These hard times will drive you from door to door

20. mattes - 29 December 2008

From last thread…I think kyl is jewish.

I can’t stand it anymore. Zionists rule.

21. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Arne Duncan is my favorite cabinet pick to rag on, for one he is a visibly abysmal pick. No equivocation. Obama shat on education. but he gained a basketball buddie, so we understand!

Over the past seven years, Duncan helped the city of Chicago open over 100 new schools (at least 84 charters run by Renaissance 2010 with 31 more planned), including the city’s second Disney-run elementary school, 5 military academies with more in planning stages, for-profit schools, non-profit organizations receiving financial backing from “educational venture funds,” and charter schools funded by big business (Boeing, Citigroup, Bank of America, Washington Mutual, and the Gates Foundation among others – all given corporate tax breaks, buyouts, and tax deductions that take money from our public schools). There are, undoubtedly, a number of remarkable charter schools in Chicago offering a high-quality education, but they are a small minority. However, since the beginning of his tenure in 2001, Chicago schools have become more segregated (in fact, America’s schools are more segregated now than during 1954’s landmark Brown vs. Board legislation) in part because of expanded charter schools.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

I swear on Lincoln’s Bible, a new civil war’s a-comin’

The most popular academic pundit in Russia (their Doris Kearns Goodwin?) is predicting the sagging United States will be torn asunder by civil war in about….well, according to my watch, 13 months from now?

He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

California will form the nucleus of what he calls “The Californian Republic,” and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of “The Texas Republic,” a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an “Atlantic America” that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls “The Central North American Republic.” Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Also, I Hear A Lehman Brothers Executive Chipped a Tooth On a Silver Spoon

ATTN: CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and the rest of the MSM

I simply can not take one more puff piece on the sad times falling on the wizards of Wall Street. CNN just ran another piece about the closing of a restaurant (Maggie’s, I think) that catered to the Wall Street crowd, complete with crying customers and accompanying funeral dirge-like music, and I almost barfed. Making it even more ridiculous, it followed a five minute piece in which we learned that the banking/financial sector is now switching to white shirts from multi-colored shirts- complete with interviews of owners of up-scale British boutiques.

24. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

Iraqis Demand a Response to Attacks in Gaza

BAGHDAD — Pro-Gaza demonstrations in Iraq are giving Shiite and Sunni sects a common target for their anger and adding to the rising fears of instability in the Middle East. It’s a sharp turnaround from the aftermath of the U.S. invasion when Palestinians were the focus of Shiite death squads here.

Palestinians, many of whom are Sunnis, were once protected in Iraq by Saddam Hussein. Going back to 1948, Iraqis have provided shelter for Palestinians fleeing conflicts. Once Shiites came to power the Palestinian enclaves were heavily targeted. Many were killed and many more attempted to flee the country.

About 1,000 Iraqis protested in Baghdad’s Mustansariya Square today. On Sunday, 1,300 protesters gathered in the center of the northern city of Mosul in a protest organized by the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party. A suicide bomber on a bicycle wounded 16 people, the Associated Press reported. Several hundred people also gathered in Falluja, another city with a majority Sunni population.

The protests began in response to Israeli air strikes in Gaza that have killed more than 300 people. Israel said the strikes were a response to continued mortar fire coming from within Gaza.

Throughout the day we’ll be publishing reaction from around Iraq.

25. mattes - 29 December 2008

The one thing able to unite Shiite and Sunni!

26. marisacat - 29 December 2008


Oh that is funny… so Palin will b CLOSER to Rushha?

I learned something interesting the other day… we, California, USED to be a welfare state… until about 15 years ago when we started paying MORE to the feds than we get back. LOL I amguessing we will soon be a welfare state again

27. marisacat - 29 December 2008

California will form the nucleus of what he calls “The Californian Republic,” and will be part of China or under Chinese influence.

well to some degree we are, or parts of CA… I’ve said for a while now, we, SF, should break away, be an aligned City State with ShangHai or Hong Kong. LOL Seems a natural.

28. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

I think New York, Vermont, and Quebec should work out a deal. See if Massachusetts is interested, too.

Anybody familiar with Atlantic Philanthropies?

I’m not, but I just got a Mooooooo-Vonn e-mail soliciting donations to 4 Madoff-hit orgs – The Brennan Center for Justice, Human Rights Watch, Advancement Project, and the Center for Constitutional Rights – saying that Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Institute will match contributions dollar for dollar until January 1.

29. marisacat - 29 December 2008

LOL I’d go on the theory that “Atlantic Philanthropies” is a WASP ponzi scheme.


30. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

From Wikipedia on Atlantic Philanthropies:

Charles F. Feeney (also known as Chuck Feeney), founder of Duty Free Shoppers Group, founded AP in 1982.

In 2002, AP decided to spend down their entire endowment over the following ten to fifteen years.

By late 2007, AP had given away around 4 billion USD, and had a similar amount still to give away.


For most of its history, AP operated deliberately incognito. Staff were not allowed to tell their families where they worked, and beneficiaries, few of whose staff would know the origin of their gifts, were required to sign agreements acknowledging that funding would be stopped if its source were revealed. Feeney has said that aside from his own wish for anonymity, this was in part to leave “space” for other philanthropists who would want naming rights in return for their gifts, something which notably arose with both USA and Irish universities. AP and Feeney still do not accept naming rights, plaques or formal “thank-you” events.

31. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Well now I hear 364 dead in GAZA… from the local news.

32. marisacat - 29 December 2008

hmm think I remember a few less than benign things about “Duty Free Shoppers Group”…

they have a camera down at the peace vigil and some poor loon woman thinks that “people like Dianne Feinstein and Barack Obama can stop this, can stand up to the Jewish Lobby”.

Get the women a safety net. or a butterfly net.

33. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

29 – Yeah, that was my first thought. Then I wondered if it might be part of the way-beyond-nation-state war machine’s PR 2.0. Given the timing and all.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

ugh, even Rachel Maddow is getting in on the “Hamas = evil” routine. The anti-Hamas agitprop is repeated, the counter anti-Israel is presented as “some critics of Israel say …”

35. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

Google gives a 1989 article from Fortune:

The world’s largest retailer is Duty Free Shoppers Group Ltd., a secretive partnership based in San Francisco that took in an estimated $2 billion in 1988 from 160 stores scattered around the Pacific Basin. It is owned by two hugely successful entrepreneurs, Robert W. Miller and Charles F. Feeney, who were Cornell University classmates back in the mid-1950s.

The champion at separating the Japanese from their yen is the industry leader, Duty Free Shoppers. In 1987 the average duty-free sale per international passenger was $9.13. But Duty Free Shoppers took in $182.93 per passenger in Guam, $182.86 in Saipan, and $168.26 in Honolulu — all three ! destinations popular with Japanese honeymooners. The concession in Anchorage, Alaska, a major refueling stop for flights between Europe or the eastern U.S. and Japan, hauled in $112.14. The company isn’t giving away any sales tips, but two years ago a news program on KRON-TV in San Francisco revealed a few of them. Duty Free Shoppers pays Japanese tour operators and guides to hustle customers to its stores, where most of the salesclerks speak Japanese. The company guarantees to repair or replace any defective merchandise at its office in Tokyo, and it willingly extends credit to Japanese citizens — but not to anyone else. Perfumes and other high-ticket gifts that Japanese customers prefer — leather goods, ties, jewelry — are gaining market share at the expense of liquor and cigarettes. These shoppers want designer names — Cartier, Fendi, Lanvin, Gucci — on the grand luxe baubles they buy for reciprocal giving.

Atlantic Philanthropies site indicates quite a bit of activity in Northern
Ireland, Ireland, South Africa, and Vietnam, as well as the U.S. List of grantees is here.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Not that I’m surprised that she’s another “liberal” who doesn’t get it …

Perrin has a couple of posts on Gaza:

Killing Floor Expands

Friend Richard Seymour does some heavy lifting in a thankless area, namely, setting the record straight regarding Hamas. Or about as straight as one can get amid the slanders and lies. Like another heavy lifter, Chris Floyd, I too have no love for Hamas’ religious views and practices. But then, I live inside an imperial state, not under its boot, so I cannot say how I would act or think were I languishing in Gaza-like conditions. It’s easy for Westerners to project their “elevated” values on the distant poor, the dispossessed, the murdered and maimed. It’s also obscene to do so when their taxes are literally killing those who fail to live up to such “civilized” standards. Yet, many in the West behave this way with little shame or care. Another perk of imperial existence.

It’s interesting to note how all the excuses for slaughtering Palestinians when the PLO was Hitler are now being used to tar Hamas. They reject compromise, are bottomless Jew haters, are addicted to death, want to drive Israel into the sea, etc. Naturally, being human beings, there are Palestinians who match these descriptions (just as there are Israelis who view Palestinians as dogs, pigs, insects, and cancers). But accurate labeling isn’t the goal here; finding excuses to justify attacks that were pre-planned is the overall point. Again, this goes back to the PLO period, when Fatah offers of two-state negotiation, beginning in 1976, were not only rejected by Israel, but were often answered with air strikes. When the PLO kept offering to talk, Israel found ways to undermine Palestinian moderation, from helping anti-PLO Muslims gain political/military traction (which led to Hamas), to outright attempts at physical annihilation, like the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Now that Fatah has been reduced to Israeli-client status, the same bloody playbook is being used against Hamas, and will be used against whoever succeeds them.

This has been a Zionist goal from well before the formation of Israel in 1948. As Ze’ev Jabotinsky put it in his seminal “The Iron Wall” from 1923, “Culturally [the Palestinians] are 500 years behind us, spiritually they do not have our endurance or our strength of will . . . They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie.”

Wow, so even the Zionists saw the parallel w/ the American west … I’ve never read that before or seen it expressed so blatantly (and yes, I know that is old, but I can’t frakkin read everything, and for many years I was firmly in the “pox on both their houses” camp, being an ignorant fucking white American in the Republican suburbs) …

and …

Why We Pay Taxes

At the other end of this arrangement lie those who have nothing to offer save their pitiful lives, and even those are at best negligible. What the Obamas briefly encountered is a daily reality for the Gazans, minus the plumbing, food, access to medicine and doctors. But lack of electricity is the least of Gaza’s problems at the moment. Once again, in “self defense,” Israeli F-16s are pounding the hell out of Gaza, hitting numerous civilian targets, killing and maiming hundreds, while the IDF prepares for a ground invasion. These war crimes, so routine by this point that raised eyebrows are the strongest reaction you’ll see among cultivated Westerners, are supposedly in reaction to the Qassam rockets fired on nearby towns by Hamas. That this barrage did little damage is beside the point. The Palestinians cannot show any sign of resistance, no matter how tactically effective or advisable it may be. They are an inferior race, cockroaches, malignant tumors, and the slightest hint of pushing back will provoke a massive response by the superior race, whose commitment to democracy and freedom glows in divine light — or the light from terror bombing, which to many is the same thing.

According to the Israeli discussion list I belong to, Israeli commentators on national TV are not only hailing this fresh round of mass murder, but are calling for much more. The Israeli right is naturally pleased. Some Israeli doves hastily demonstrated against the attacks, but it appears that they’re in the minority. The bottom line is that Israel can and will slaughter as many Gazans as it desires, and no one will stop them. A few editorialists will counsel “restraint,” which in this context is like urging an ax murderer to use a hatchet instead. But in the end, it won’t really matter. The US openly backs these atrocities, using American tax dollars to help finance the bloodshed. You, me, and every American has Palestinian blood on our hands, which are about to become a darker crimson.

37. marisacat - 29 December 2008

That sounds familiar, I probably caught some local expose of DFSG… sounds like that s the smaller version of a big big story, frankly…

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Perrin in moderation, I think.

Chris Floyd linked to this Nir Rosen:

The international community is directly guilty for this latest massacre. Will it remain immune from the wrath of a desperate people? So far, there have been large demonstrations in Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. The people of the Arab world will not forget. The Palestinians will not forget. “All that you have done to our people is registered in our notebooks,” as the poet Mahmoud Darwish said.

I have often been asked by policy analysts, policy-makers and those stuck with implementing those policies for my advice on what I think America should do to promote peace or win hearts and minds in the Muslim world. It too often feels futile, because such a revolution in American policy would be required that only a true revolution in the American government could bring about the needed changes. An American journal once asked me to contribute an essay to a discussion on whether terrorism or attacks against civilians could ever be justified. My answer was that an American journal should not be asking whether attacks on civilians can ever be justified. This is a question for the weak, for the Native Americans in the past, for the Jews in Nazi Germany, for the Palestinians today, to ask themselves.

Terrorism is a normative term and not a descriptive concept. An empty word that means everything and nothing, it is used to describe what the Other does, not what we do. The powerful – whether Israel, America, Russia or China – will always describe their victims’ struggle as terrorism, but the destruction of Chechnya, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan – with the tens of thousands of civilians it has killed … these will never earn the title of terrorism, though civilians were the target and terrorising them was the purpose.

Normative rules are determined by power relations. Those with power determine what is legal and illegal. They besiege the weak in legal prohibitions to prevent the weak from resisting. For the weak to resist is illegal by definition. Concepts like terrorism are invented and used normatively as if a neutral court had produced them, instead of the oppressors. The danger in this excessive use of legality actually undermines legality, diminishing the credibility of international institutions such as the United Nations. It becomes apparent that the powerful, those who make the rules, insist on legality merely to preserve the power relations that serve them or to maintain their occupation and colonialism.

Attacking civilians is the last, most desperate and basic method of resistance when confronting overwhelming odds and imminent eradication. The Palestinians do not attack Israeli civilians with the expectation that they will destroy Israel. The land of Palestine is being stolen day after day; the Palestinian people is being eradicated day after day. As a result, they respond in whatever way they can to apply pressure on Israel. Colonial powers use civilians strategically, settling them to claim land and dispossess the native population, be they Indians in North America or Palestinians in what is now Israel and the Occupied Territories. When the native population sees that there is an irreversible dynamic that is taking away their land and identity with the support of an overwhelming power, then they are forced to resort to whatever methods of resistance they can.

It is so basic, it amazes me that people can’t/won’t SEE it.

Just as the traditional American cowboy film presented white Americans under siege, with Indians as the aggressors, which was the opposite of reality, so, too, have Palestinians become the aggressors and not the victims. Beginning in 1948, 750,000 Palestinians were deliberately cleansed and expelled from their homes, and hundreds of their villages were destroyed, and their land was settled by colonists, who went on to deny their very existence and wage a 60-year war against the remaining natives and the national liberation movements the Palestinians established around the world. Every day, more of Palestine is stolen, more Palestinians are killed. To call oneself an Israeli Zionist is to engage in the dispossession of entire people. It is not that, qua Palestinians, they have the right to use any means necessary, it is because they are weak. The weak have much less power than the strong, and can do much less damage. The Palestinians would not have ever bombed cafes or used home-made missiles if they had tanks and airplanes. It is only in the current context that their actions are justified, and there are obvious limits.

39. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Call it Warsaw and be done with explaining what is happening.
Via Counterpunch


The bombings were timed to cause the maximum number of “enemy” casualties. They occurred at approximately 11:20am on a bustling Saturday morning, just as schools were changing shifts and many children were either leaving for home or coming to afternoon classes; when offices were filled with their employees, and streets busy with the late morning crowds out getting lunch or on quick errands of one sort or another. The day before, Israel had opened some of the crossings into Gaza to let in another trickle of humanitarian aid. ‘See how generous we are to our enemy!’ they exclaim with straight faces to the international media. Each time Gaza reaches the brink of starvation and ruin, they let in just enough food and supplies to silence potential critics. Then the next round begins. It is hardly surprising. After all, this policy was outlined publicly by Dov Weisglass not so long ago when he promised that Israel would put Gaza on a punishing “starvation diet” until it saw reason and evicted its democratically elected government. Many people, including members of the Hamas government, believed that reopening the crossings to international aid signaled another brief lull in military activity, as it usually had, while the IDF General staff prepared its next offensive. In this way were the people and government of Gaza unprepared for the next day’s slaughter.

Major General Yoav Galant of the Israeli Southern Command declared Saturday that an attack on the Hamas regime must ‘send Gaza decades into the past’ militarily and must cause the “maximum number of enemy casualties” (Haaretz, 12/28/08; by Uri Blau). By “enemy” he means “Palestinian” as the evidence overwhelmingly shows; and if Galant is to be taken seriously according to his own perceptions of the “enemy” and of the time frame within which an operation of this sort is possible, we have reached a milestone in the history of the Palestinian National Movement and in the life of Gaza that bodes ill for the dream of Palestine while sharpening the regional fault lines that have crystallized beneath the Rafah sands.

40. BooHooHooMan - 29 December 2008

marisacat, very simply – you can not do that. LOL.

You can not post things like that – that are so screamingly hillarious:.

I’ve said for a while now, we, SF, should break away, be an aligned City State with ShangHai or Hong Kong..LOL.-mcat

I read that just when I had finished pouring milk over the cereal and was chomping on that first big spoonful of Sugar Skag Loops..

41. catnip - 29 December 2008

28. I think New York, Vermont, and Quebec should work out a deal. See if Massachusetts is interested, too.

Quebec would definitely want Florida and Alberta would take Arizona. Must keep all of our snowbirds happy.

42. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

39 – I was a little worried about that. Let’s talk to Mexico.

43. Intermittent Bystander - 29 December 2008

Oops, not 39 – that was intended for the Anne Murray enabler above.

44. BooHooHooMan - 29 December 2008

35 Well I don’t know why people get so worked up.

Clearly, “Chuck Feeney” translates loosely from the ancient Gaelic to
“Shmuel Goldbergerensteinowitzenadler”.

Which the Celts, ever mindful of saving vowels –
not to mention bowels –
reduced the surname to Gldbrgrnstnwtzndlr, concocting a Patron Saint for the same, duh-, Saint Gldbrgrnstnwtzndlr. The Patron Saint of The Primary School Grammar Teachers and Church Plaque Stonecarvers Guild.

45. marisacat - 29 December 2008


Oh I have a whole routine that I do along that line.. I incorporated some of it into an email the other night to a friend… LOL will fish it up.

Here it is… the whole routine done verbally is much longer… I think at some point I usually say: check back! We will be doing reverse eye lid surgery to fit in… really, we will. We LOVE the Chinese, they have a cash culture, LOL I did not include that in the email:

One reason I laughingly said once that we should detach ourselves, declare ourselves an out post of Shang Hai (or Hong King, I would reject Taipei however!) and be a Pacific city state. We are already Primo Trading Partner.. even as much as the Pelosi class hated Commie China!

I can handle the switch to yuan. I can give up knives and forks. We all know how to eat with those little stick things… I have tons of pre communist chinese clothnig.. I can fake it!

ugh This takes my mind off KGO is doing a dirge of all the Jewish suffering thru the ages… for which all Pals are responsible… the refrain is “Do you have any idea what it is like to be Jew? Despised, hated, kicked, slaughtered?” that is verbatim.

What bullshit. what is going on today has NOTHING to do with ancient or even European German Reich suffering death and genocide.. Get a clue, people caught on.

46. lucid - 29 December 2008

I’m watching ‘Jesus Camp’ right now. I think it might be the creepiest documentary I’ve ever watched… I feel so sorry for those children.

47. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Poor Raimondo. First he endorsed him… poor sod.. then he unendorsed him… now it is all just distress and horror.

And don’t expect much better from the Obama camp. Remember how he scolded the UN for daring to even discuss the Gaza situation?:

“We have to understand why Israel is forced to do this… Israel has the right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians. The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks… If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.”

Saves me hunting for that nasty, very cold quote of Obster’s.

oops bitter little close from Raimondo.

The Israeli-Palestinian “peace process”? The Israelis, for their part, are having none of it – and neither is our future President.

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

Breaking Siege Under Israeli Fire

Monday 29th December 2008

Dignity Leaves for Gaza: Challenges World to “Stop this Madness!”

– There is a time when silence is complicity and inaction is unacceptable. On Saturday, December 27, Israel began Operation “Cast Lead,” a military onslaught against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip that has – so far – massacred more than three-hundred men, women, and children, and seriously injured over a thousand.

In response to Israeli butchery, the Free Gaza ship, the DIGNITY, will depart Larnaca Port at approximately 5pm (UTC), on Monday, December 29, bound for besieged Gaza. The ship is on an emergency mission carrying in physicians, human rights workers and over three tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus.

Coordinating with the Gaza Ministry of Health, the doctors will be immediately posted to overburdened hospitals and clinics upon their arrival.

We are not asking Israel for ‘permission’ to go, and we will not stop until the DIGNITY lands in Gaza. We are answering urgent calls from hospitals and health care workers in Gaza by taking in three physicians who will stay and work in Gaza for several weeks. We will hold Israel responsible for the safety of our passengers and our cargo of emergency medicine.

Even before the present Israeli blitzkrieg, Karen Koning Abu Zayd, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), asserted that, ‘Gaza is on the threshold of becoming the first territory to be intentionally reduced to a state of abject destitution, with the knowledge, acquiescence and – some would say – encouragement of the international community.’

Ewa Jasiewicz, a Free Gaza organizer living in Gaza, agreed with Abu Zayd, saying: ‘Where is the United Nations? Where is the Arab League? Where is the outrage against Israeli cruelty and Egyptian complicity? Every hospital in Gaza is already overwhelmed. Israel is committing war crimes here in Gaza, and words of condemnation are no longer enough. The world must act now to stop this madness.’

The Free Gaza Movement continues to do what the governments of the world will not do – take direct action to defend the health, lives, and dignity of 1.5 million Palestinians under siege in the Gaza Strip. This catastrophe is still unfolding, and humanitarian needs in Gaza are quite literally devastating. The world can no longer stay silent as the Palestinian people are deliberately massacred, starved and humiliated. We have to create a new consciousness that turns the practice of human rights from rhetoric into reality. Palestinians have an inalienable right to live, and the undeniable right to a life with dignity.

The passengers on this Free Gaza emergency delegation include:

* International humanitarian and human rights workers from Cyprus, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Tunisia, and the United States.

* Doctors going to Gaza to volunteer in local hospitals, including Dr. Elena Theoharous, surgeon and Member of Parliament from Cyprus.

* Journalists going to Gaza to report on the massacre, including Al-Jazeera reporter Sami al-Haj, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and other major US foreign press.

* The Hon. Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate.

The Free Gaza Movement, a human rights group, sent two boats to Gaza in August 2008. These were the first international boats to land in the port in 41 years. Since August, four more voyages were successful, taking Parliamentarians, human rights workers, physicians, and other dignitaries to witness the effects of Israel’s draconian policies on the civilians of Gaza. http://www.freegaza.org/

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008
50. marisacat - 29 December 2008

From the Alternet link:

The third objective involves the Israeli military. After its notable humiliation in Lebanon during the summer of 2006, the IDF has been looking for opportunities to reestablish its global standing. Last Spring it used Syria as its laboratory and now it has decided to focus on Gaza. Emphasizing the mere three minutes and forty seconds it took to bomb fifty sites is just one the ways the Israeli military aims to restore its international reputation.

Finally, Hamas and Fatah have not yet reached an agreement regarding how to proceed when Mahmoud Abbas ends his official term as President of the Palestinian National Authority on January 9th, 2009. One of the outcomes of this assault is that Abbas will remain in power for a while longer since Hamas will be unable to mobilize its supporters in order to force him to resign.

What is clearly missing from this list of Israeli objectives is the attempt to halt the firing of Qassam rockets into Israel’s southern towns. …snip….

51. mattes - 29 December 2008


Palestinians need to move on. They must leave the open air prison known as Gaza and West Bank and relocate to Jordan. There is no way Israel is going to roll back to the 1967 green-zone.

And there is no way the Jewish state is going to absorb Gaza and West Bank and all its Arab population as part of a single Israeli state. Such a scheme will be the death of the Jewish state as it will make Arabs the majority in Israel.

No Arab government is willing to take Palestinian side. Even PLO is working along with Israel and Jordan to undermine the elected Hamas government.

If one reads the report the UN Human Rights Commission report prepared by Robert Falk, one can see the logic of my suggestion. Israel is causing a slow genocide of the Palestinians in the the Gaza strip.

The world is all talk and no action when it comes to the plight of the weak, especially Palestinians. If the world was going to help the Palestinians, it would have done so by now.

It is time for Palestinians to make the practical choice and move on.

DISCLAIMER: I was raised in a biracial (Sikh father, white Jewish mother), atheist family. I grew up in Newton and Cambridge, MA, and generally identify myself as Jewish culturally. But my suggestion here is based purely on a humanitarian concern for the Palestinians.

52. mattes - 29 December 2008

U.S. Military Preparing for Domestic Disturbances

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1:14 PM

By: Jim Meyers Article Font Size

A new report from the U.S. Army War College discusses the use of American troops to quell civil unrest brought about by a worsening economic crisis.

The report from the War College’s Strategic Studies Institute warns that the U.S. military must prepare for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States” that could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.”

Entitled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development,” the report was produced by Nathan Freier, a recently retired Army lieutenant colonel who is a professor at the college — the Army’s main training institute for prospective senior officers.


Get ready.

53. mattes - 29 December 2008


Dollar rallies by 5% as BoI to buy $100m daily

In any case, the official explanation was that the central bank was increasing its foreign reserves, as it had previously announced.

The actual short, terse official announcement stated: “The Bank of Israel announced that as of today, it will increase the average daily rate of foreign currency purchases to $100 million – as part of the program announced on March 20, 2008 to increase the level of foreign exchange reserves to $35-40 billion. The Bank of Israel explained that the decision to increase the pace of purchases was taken in light of current market conditions, and the cumulative and rapid change in the exchange rate of the shekel. The Bank of Israel will continue to review the program from time to time to take into account changing market conditions.”

Fischer had spent last week overseas on vacation and only returned to Israel early yesterday morning. A few hours later, he gathered the bank’s senior management for a meeting in Tel Aviv to discuss how to halt the shekel’s continued rise, and the damage it was causing.


54. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Not sure it matters… but I switched things around over in ‘widget land’… the right side bar, the RSS feeds… I landed on Press TV a couple nights ago.. think it is a year old… and I have not wandered all over it yet.. but they pop up fast with short articles and breaking news… so their main feed is over there and the ME news feed as well.

The Reuters Politics is rahter boring so will look for a faster moving feed for that. For the two Press TV spots, I dumped McClatchy Campaign 2008 whihc is no longer active and McClatchy Headlines wihich moved too slow.

I use the right side bar, but FYI in case anyone else does.

55. marisacat - 29 December 2008

LOL Maybe the Brits can count better than we can.. they found a few more “you knows” in the Caroline transcript

Perhaps most damaging of all was her repeated use of the phrase “you know”, which she uttered 142 times and was left in the transcript when it appeared in print.

Explaining why she would be a good Senator, she said: “So I think in many ways, you know, we want to have all kinds of different voices, you know, representing us, and I think what I bring to it is, you know, my experience as a mother, as a woman, as a lawyer, you know, I’ve been an education activist for the last six years here, and, you know, I’ve written seven books – two on the Constitution, two on American politics.

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 December 2008

I want to know how many interviews there are where they edit that sort of verbal filler out …

57. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Aaronovitch n the UK TImes…

[B]ut why speak about such things when we can hold up placards equating Jews with Nazis, emote over dead babies or talk tough about defending Israeli citizens? It was Shimon Peres, the Israeli President, who said that, far from there being no light at the end of the Middle East tunnel, there was indeed light. The trouble was that there was no tunnel. Bit by bit, inducement by bribe and ceasefire by restraint, we have to construct one.

If we are to do this then the friends of the Palestinians would be best advised to put pressure on Hamas never to launch another of its bloody rockets and to stop its death-laden rhetoric, and the friends of Israel well placed to cajole it into making a settlement seem worthwhile. All else is verbiage.

Things like that just make me think, remember who killed Rabin. Now his wife Leah is gone too.. no one to say that Israel is killing him again.


they’ve been editing Obster for months.. since about last spring. When they figured out the Rightes were tracking the ”uhs” and gaps and pauses and stammers. The media began to edit his transcripts. Even CNN daily stuff. edited. I think they REALLY noticed after Mayhill Fowler, an Ob supporter but too educated to let such shit fly, reported on it at HuffPo Off the Bus.

Of course she also reported on his mess of a fundraiser here in SF in May… LOL

58. marisacat - 29 December 2008

Israel Blocks Medical Aid Shipments to Gaza

An international aid boat which was carrying a consignment of medical aid to the Gaza Strip has been rammed by an Israeli patrol vessel.

According to Israeli military radio, The Dignity was trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip, AFP said on Tuesday.

The shipment was organized by a group of international activists in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade on Gaza.

The radio station further added that the 20-metre (66-foot) Israeli vessel ordered the boat to turn around and fired warning shots across its bow.

Both the Israeli and Palestinian vessels suffered damage but the collision left no injuries.

59. marisacat - 30 December 2008


Yet the scale of the response exposes Israel to international criticism. Almost 300 Palestinians have been killed in the last two days alone. By contrast, rockets fired from Gaza have killed 17 Israeli civilians in the last seven years.

Actually it is around 370 dead, but this is a day old. Even if you break it down to the smaller number, the 62 or so that is the MSM accepted number of “innocent” dead…

First I have seen of a COMPARISON of the KIA.

60. bayprairie - 30 December 2008


haunting skip james.

and freddie hubbard died today.

But Beautiful – Freddie Hubbard

61. marisacat - 30 December 2008

Robert Fisk: Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.

But watching the news shows, you’d think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story….snip…

62. marisacat - 30 December 2008

gnu thred…


………………. 🙄 ……………..

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