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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Israeli alibi for school attack: a lie you weren't supposed to believe

By Richard Seymour

Let's be clear about this. On 6 January, three UN-run schools in Gaza were attacked by Israeli forces, not just one. What is more, the previous day an Israeli bombing of a UN school had killed three members of the same family. This sort of killing can usually be dealth with in a perfunctory fashion ('we regret all loss of innocent life, but the responsibility belongs to those who use terror and hide among civilians...'). However, the massacre of 43 people in a UN school bearing flags and insignia and housing some 350 refugees from the fighting (many of whom had fled on orders from IDF leaflets dropped on the towns and cities), demanded a more considered explanation and justification. I just want to take a quick look at the explanations offered by Israeli spokespeople and its military.

The IDF's initial justification for the attack on the Al-Fakhura school was that Hamas had used the building to fire mortars from, and its tanks had responded. Implicit in this was an admission that they had targeted the school on purpose. The tank shells, presumably shot from quite nearby, were fired by soldiers operating under orders from command centres equipped with detailed targeting intelligence. As is now known, the Israeli military had the GPS coordinates not only of this UN school but of the other UN schools that it attacked. And the first thing the IDF let us know is that it was done on purpose. Their excuse was barbaric, of course. The idea that an invading force may attack a building filled with hundreds of terrorised civilians just in order to kill two of those resisting the invasion is nothing short of grotesque. 

But the fact that it was barbaric was part of the point: rather than bluntly condemning a war crime, you were invited to focus on whether Hamas would be so evil as to attack Israel's brave boys from within a civilian building. Because it is so frequently repeated you might be predisposed to assume that Hamas did indeed position its 'infrastructure of terror' among unsuspecting citizens but, whether you are so predisposed or not, you are already drawn into the macabre calculus of the murderer if you even get involved in that argument. You have tacitly accepted the logic in which war crimes are not merely acceptable, but actually appropriate, if the enemy really is as evil as Israel says. 

The usual suspects, of course, immediately embraced Israel's excuse: Israel's killing, they expostulated, merely demonstrates the ruthless, diabolical genius of Hamas. If anything, they added, the IDF was admirably restrained in its action. But it is doubtful that many others were taken in.

The second thing that the IDF claimed was that there were Hamas troops hiding inside the building, nestling among the refugees, thereby forcing the Israelis to slaughter the innocent. This is quite a different claim, and the first thing that would occur to any reasonable observer would be that the sudden embellishment reflected some sort of dishonesty ('the elaborations of a bad liar', as Hannibal Lecter would put it). Or perhaps there had been a failure by everyone to get their stories straight and stick to them. At any rate, the logic of the astounding claim that Israel acted in self-defense remained as tortuous as it had been. But Israel claimed to have identified the bodies of Hamas members, and even fed two names to the media, (so once again you were invited to get bogged down in the merits of Israel's claim rather than decide on an appropriate response to the slaughter).

The next part of the story is the most interesting. In order to get around the absurd idea that Hamas military operatives had sneaked into the building and launched mortars without anyone in the school noticing, Israel's spokespeople claimed that Hamas gunmen had taken over the UN building, taken the civilians hostage and used the base to fire mortars at Israeli soldiers. Mark Regev said it was a "very extreme example of how Hamas operates". Such a claim was obviously checkable in a matter of minutes. Any UN personnel present in the school at the time could easily say whether in fact they had all been suffering under Hamas captivity until Israel 'liberated' the building. 

The UN produced an emphatic denial, based on its own investigations, that there was ever any Hamas fighter in the building. By now, the fact that Israel has never provided any real evidence for its claims, which continue to shapeshift, comes into sharp focus. Moreover, since Israeli troops didn't visit the building or have access to the records of the deceased, it would be highly improbable that they would be able to not only name two of the dead, but also gather intelligence that proved they were members of Hamas' military wing, within such a short space of time.

So, the Israeli government topped that brazenness with a stroke of effrontery that is somehow not adequately captured by the word 'chutzpah'. Israel announced that as it was lodging a complaint with the UN for allowing the building to be secretly used by Hamas. Now it appears that Israeli diplomats admit that no rockets were fired from the school. They are now briefing that there was some mortar fire, but that it came from outside the school. Now, there is no evidence that there was any mortar fire at all, but perhaps you aren't really supposed to believe it. Actually, you were never supposed to believe any of it. There was no way that you were ever expected to be taken in by this pitiful subterfuge. They didn't even present a very convincing lie, or a very good case. 

What they did was tell you up front that they attacked a clearly marked UN school building filled with civilians on purpose, and then follow it up with a flimsy cover-story followed by an even more flimsy revised cover story and an outlandish allegation against the UN that they have dropped in a matter of hours in such a way as to undermine their previous cover-stories. This is obviously contemptuous, but it isn't just a sensational flip-off to 'world opinion'. They are saying they killed civilians on purpose, that nowhere in Gaza is safe, and that they reserve their right to do it again and offer the same risible mitigations and alibis as before.



ziz said...

It appears you are not based in the UK so will not have seen the BBC programme Newsnight.

This post

Wednesday, January 07, 2009
How the BBC Newsnight and Today programmes unquestioningly help peddle Israeli lies

shows how both regev and Israeli Ambassador proser both claimed they had a video of people firing mortars from the school prior to the attack.

They had a video.

It was 15 months old. It showed details of a completely different school.

A spokesman challenged on the same programme tonight challenged again said the story was "nearly right" .. Mortars had been fired from within the school , in the compound, nearby ..

Another inconsistency, reports have been of an aerial attack from the very first - which the death toll suggests would be needed as mortars, whilst lethal are not THAT lethal.

Yet they repeat ad nauseam that they returned fire "from the ground".

The smirking and smug spokesmen do not however care.

650 odd down , 2000 injured and just another 1.464,000 to go.

The 3 hour time window also allows the IDF to re-arm, re-equip, eat, sleep, re-group, roulade troops, re-fuel, plan.

The Humanitarian Allee will not operate on Thursday - only every other day.

The timetable is this.

Jan 20 Inauguration
Jan 19 Martin Luther King Day

The Government and IDF do not want to be seen slaughtering whilst their pimp is so occupied.

So "Cease fire " (ish) finally declared on Friday 16th and 2 days to scarper back to the Gazan border.

Anonymous said...

Why do all the talk radio Conservatives say that the media is biased against Israel in favor of the terrorists?

Anonymous said...

All the Israeli thug killers have done is awaken a Sleeping Giant - the fluoride riddled, food additive pacified middle class.

I am off to a Rally for the Gazans in Perth, Western Australia tomorrow. I will not rest until this parasitic cancer called Jewish Imperialist Zionism and it's foundational religious base of Rabbinic Pharisaic Judaism and Kabala are shattered into a million pieces.

Hoffmans work on "Amalek" and the colelctive punishment of Palestinians and the DELIBERATE targeting of women and children has found a whole new audience.

May I say SHAME on the Orthodox Christian Churches in Perth who show little if ANY support to the plight of the Palestinain poeple.

I have stayed at the Russian Orthodox Monastery in New South Wales (Australia) and heard FIRST HAND from Monks and Brothers who have lived in Jerusalem for YEARS describe the UTTER, UNRELENTING brutality of the IDF.

Shame on the Prime minister Kevin Rudd and his monkey lesbian Julia Gillard. You stand UTTERLY condemned! But then we should not be surprised...Kevin Rudd was taken to a strip club by the Jewish editor of the New York Post where it is said by the strippers he groped them and was thrown out - the AUSTRALIAN Prime minister ladies and gentleman. ANOTHER blackmailed sheeple of the Jewish Zionist New World Order.

Anonymous said...

Well, I certainly don't sympathize with the murderous Israeli charade of a state but don't expect anything from the Russian Orthodox Church. The Moscow Patriarch has been a stooge of the Cryptocracy over in Moscow for decades. When the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad had its monastery in Hebron, the Palestinian Authority were only too happy to kick out the monks in a violent take over of the church at the Oak of Mamre and give it to Zionist shill Alexei II. Remember what good ole commrade "Drozdov" -- Alexei's KGB code name -- did when if visited New York? When he came to New York in the early 90s, he went to the Lubavitcher synogogue in Manhattan and obsequiously promoted the same kind of ecumenical, "elder brothers in the faith" non-sense John Paul II is famous for. A search on the internet will also reveal pictures of agent Drozdov sitting with Judaics at ecumenical meetings. In fact, it was under Drozdov's watch that the Orthodox Jews were able to erect their occult hexagram over Moscow again after Czar Alexander III ordered it taken down. Here's the story -- note that Russian Orthodox MP priests attended.


The spirit of anti-Christ that sits at the heart of the MP is dedicated to building Fr. Seraphim Rose's "Religion of the Future." Don't hold your breath waiting for the MP to do anything.