IDF Murders 17 Gazans, Wounds 1,400 in Great Return March Protest
This is one of the deepest darkest days in years in the annals of Israeli-Palestinian relations. An independent Gaza initiative tied to the Nakba commemoration and the 1976 murder of Palestinians known as Land Day, called the Great March of Return, met the stone wall of Israeli resistance. Even before the march began, Israel announced it would use live fire to suppress the unrest. This is something unheard of not just in Israel-Palestine relations, but in the annals of all colonial struggles: the colonizer/oppressor announced in advance t planned to kill protesters in cold blood, while armed with little more than a rock, a tire or a slingshot.
Israel knew it could get away with perpetrating a massacre because the Trump administration Middle East policy has been hijacked by a pro-settler cabal run by Jared Kushner, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, all of whom offered generous financial support to settlements before they entered the White House. It’s ironic that they in particular have risen to such positions of influence in the Trump administration due to their sworn, ferocious allegiance to Trumps financial interests before he became president. Trump admires Jews like them because they fulfill all the Jewish stereotypes: they’re tough, they’re mean, they’re protect his money. In any other context, we’d call that anti-Semitism.
But given that Trump seems to hate everyone who isn’t white, his stereotyping of Jews gets lost in the mix.
Hamas is encouraging a hostile march on the Israel-Gaza border. Hamas should focus on desperately needed improvements to the lives of Palestinians in Gaza instead of inciting violence against Israel that only increases hardship & undermines chances for peace.
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) March 30, 2018
With the U.S., not only not saying a peep about this bloody massacre, but siding with Israel, it’s hard to see what constructive role we could play even in we wanted. In fact, Greenblatt tweeted falsely that the Gaza protest was sponsored by Hamas (it isn’t) and blamed it on the Gaza militant group. We’re on Israel’s side. Even when Israel murders Palestinians in cold blood, we stand with Israel. It’s a shameful abnegation of moral responsibility. And a betrayal of forty years of U.S. policy, which in itself was never terribly critical of Israel. But at least it maintained a semblance of balance.
Today’s protest brought 17 Gazans killed and over 1,400 injured. Over 50,000 demonstrators braved the Israeli mayhem to join in the protest. A remarkable show of unity in an enclave that often seems shorn of hope.
Tonight we eat the bread of affliction with Palestinians
Today is also the first day of Passover. It is the holiday of freedom (at least for Jews). It marks the liberation of the Israelites from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. The most dramatic part of the Biblical story pictures 600,000 Israelites massed on the shores of the Red Sea with thousands of the Pharaoh’s chariots rapidly closing in. Just at the moment everything seems hopeless, the winds rise to ferocious gales, the seas part and the Israelites walk to freedom.
As the Israelites are crossing, the Egyptian forces charge into the parted waters, which suddenly begin to close upon them. All of Pharaoh’s army is drowned in the raging water while the Israelites escape to safety on the other side.
In Gaza today, Palestinians did what the Israelites did 1,200 years ago. They massed in their thousands at the border separating Gaza and Israel. Their purpose: to reclaim the land stolen from them in the 1948 Nakba. But instead of God opening the border fence and allowing the Palestinians to pour through, He stood by as the latter-day equivalent to Pharoah’s army mowed them down in the thousands. God, it appears, remains on the side of the modern Israelites, even though they have assumed the mantle of the Egyptian oppressors.
Hamas tells the world about a peacful protest, it should be called a violent riot pic.twitter.com/RFjEP1dBnL
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) March 30, 2018
The Intercept reports, based on eyewitness accounts, says that Israeli snipers felled protesters far from the fence. In other words, they were not protecting Israel’s border. They were engaging in target practice. Shooting birds in a barrel. The very first Gazan killed yesterday was a farmer working his fields. He was struck by an Israeli tank shell. Imagine that, Israel needs a massive tank shell to take out a single man working his fields. Why not drop one of Israel’s 200 WMD devices on Gaza and be done with it? Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes have already suggested something similar. So this is nothing shocking or new.
I’ve embedded this feeble IDF propaganda tweet which typically shears all context from the Palestinians protests and their comparison to other peaceful protests elsewhere in the world. When Palestinians protest, they’re not met with the NYPD (which in itself can be pretty brutal) or a London bobbie. In this case, they’re not even met with Israeli police. They’re met with the full force of the army bearing its most advanced weapons. This is not a protest in a western capital. This is a protest in the capital of Israeli Occupation and oppression. So please excuse the fact that Gazans don’t go to their protests bearing gifts for their oppressors and placing daisies in the barrels of their guns.
Note that the peaceful western panel features the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty in its background. While the Palestinian panel shows violent protesters with a mosque in the background. This little Islamophobic gem implies that it is Islam which stokes the violence of Palestinians. Instead, it is Israel’s brutal Occupation which does so.
Another further irony, there is a third panel missing from this tweet: the one which shows what the IDF brings to its protests. Snipers, drones firing tear gas, tanks, artillery, and sometimes even helicopter gunships.
Today’s tragedy indicates the total breakdown in Israeli tactics. They have no other mode than full-on assault. It also points to the U.S. inability and unwillingness to tamp down Israel’s worst impulses. This is a perfect storm of murder and dysfunction, which can only lead to far darker places. Mark my words.
The world will sit back and do nothing. The United Nations? Impotent. Not to mention that old U.S. Security Council veto. The European Union? Occupied with far weightier problems far closer to home, like Brexit and the Russian spy scandal. The Arab world? The Saudi Crown Prince was in Seattle today, where he created massive traffic jams as his retinue drove through the city. The region’s corporate élite rolled out the red carpet because it knew he had his checkbook open and was ready to buy Boeing planes and meet with Boeing founder, Bill Gates. Not a word about Palestine on the agenda.
51 thoughts on “IDF Murders 17 Gazans, Wounds 1,400 in Great Return March Protest – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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‘This is one of the deepest darkest days in years in the annals of Israeli-Palestinian relations…’
I’m afraid I find it pretty par for the course — and predictable. Israel’s been opening up on unarmed demonstrators with everything up to helicopter-launched missiles for decades now. Sometimes she just slaughters batches of Palestinians for the heck of it — see Kfar Kassem, or Deir Yassin, or Sabra and Chantilla, or Qana, or…
Then too, she — or at least Netanyahu — obviously needs to get something going.
So this is indeed evil — but it’s hardly news. It’s actually pretty routine. Hey, time to get something started. And what better way than…
If only this were remarkable. If only it were a ‘Bloody Sunday,’ or a Kent State, or something that would excite months of recrimination and outrage and promises to change.
None of that will happen. This is what Israel is. You might as well get upset at a sheep cropping the grass. In fact, isn’t that an Israeli phrase for this sort of thing?
‘ Why not drop one of Israel’s 200 WMD devices on Gaza and be done with it?’
Don’t encourage them. Morally, I’m sure they’d have no problem with that at all.
The POINT is probably to openly slaughter some large number of Palestinians in a way that (a) the true believers can rationalize, and yet (b) Hamas will find it politically impossible to ignore.
Then those vicious terrorists will fire off a few score rockets, killing zeros of Jews, and we’ll be off to the races. Hey: works every time. Why mess with success?
‘This is something unheard of not just in Israel-Palestine relations, but in the annals of all colonial struggles: the colonizer/oppressor announced in advance it planned to kill protesters in cold blood, while armed with little more than a rock, a tire or a slingshot.’
Well, no. There was Jillianwala Bagh in 1922, for starters. Of course, there was a shocked inquiry, and General Dyer was sacked.
Nothing of the kind will happen here. That — not the massacre itself — is really the critical distinction. What is a crime and outrage in other societies is normal behavior for Israel.
Now I’ll ask a question.
What is the appropriate way for the Palestinians to respond to an invader who shoots them down wholesale if they attempt non-violent protests?
@ Colin Wright: If you read lib Zios like Gershom Gorenberg, the appropriate response is a Palestinian Gandhi. That to me seems like utter nonsense. Not to mention that there have been and are Palestinians who practice non violence. They turn out to be virtually irrelevant to the Palestinian political debate because Israel would just as soon shoot them down like dogs, as it would take them seriously.
‘@ Colin Wright: If you read lib Zios like Gershom Gorenberg, the appropriate response is a Palestinian Gandhi. That to me seems like utter nonsense…’
The awful truth is that if one goes past the eponymous film to study how the Indian independence movement worked, it was really a matter of a ‘good cop/bad cop’ routine, so to speak. Gandhi’s non-violence was one half of a dyad that rested on plenty of bombings, mob violence, etc at the other end. The British could have coped with either one; they were overwhelmed by the combination.
There are some other extremely important differences between British India and Jewish Palestine, but just the above implies that any ‘Palestinian Gandhi’ would need to be complemented by a ‘Palestinian Islamic Jihad.’
In context, I think calls for a ‘Palestinian Gandhi’ that rest on a rose-tinted conception of the Indian original in the first place are simply wishful thinking at best and outright hypocrisy at worst. They would confine the Palestinians to ineffectual gestures while the Zionist machine just keeps grinding them up — and at some level, I suspect that’s what Gorenberg et al want. ‘Just sit there and pathetically beg. Maybe we’ll feel like giving you a few crumbs.’ God forbid the Zionists be TOLD what they can have — and just have to accept it.
I don’t think there are any ‘Gandhis’ in this god-awful conflict. Maybe that’s the problem.
Non violence gets bupkiss. It’s violence that wakes the world up for a little while. Palestinians have to being Israel’s heavy disproportionate hand down on themselves. Still, if they keep these protests up, I think it will serve them. Singing “let my people go”, which some do traditionally at the seder, should taste bitter in mouths this year as Jews celebrate liberation.
“Another further irony, there is a third panel missing from this tweet: the one which shows what the IDF brings to its protests. Snipers, drones firing tear gas, tanks, artillery, and sometimes even helicopter gunships.”
That IDF propaganda piece is shameful. It’s to persuade those who in their hearts know the real difference obviously, those whose have a conscience to deal with still, those who I can only imagine, know deep down the disconnect between celebrating the Passover and what Jewish liberation has turned into.
Thank you Richard…
‘…Singing “let my people go”, which some do traditionally at the seder, should taste bitter in mouths this year as Jews celebrate liberation…’
I think you underestimate people’s capacity for unthinking hypocrisy. Such a reaction will happen in perhaps one in ten thousand; it simply won’t occur to the rest.
People tend to simply believe whatever is convenient. I doubt if the average Jew is better than anyone else when it comes to this; it won’t bother them in the least to sing ‘let my people go’ while shooting down those who are attempting to escape their chains. In fact, they won’t even think about the words at all.
You only have to look at the IDF propaganda and think.The protest on the left is in New York! People are not at that protest who are living everyday under oppression.
Palestinians take a risk with their lives to get out there. Are the weapons depicted in the propaganda anywhere in the actual photo of the protesters? I see flags (double click to enlarge the photo).
Note the difference in responses between Israeli military and French police. For France: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/935702/Paris-protests-France-Emmanuel-Macron-reforms-paris-riots-pictures
Violent protests occur frequently around the world. The resort to deadly force is the first resort of Israel; in democracies the last.
The IDF graphic is revealing in its use of crescents atop buildings (subtly injecting a religious element to justify its actions).
‘…Violent protests occur frequently around the world. The resort to deadly force is the first resort of Israel; in democracies the last…’
Equally important — and another way of saying the same thing — is that when fatal violence does occur in the course of Western civil unrest — or even war — it’s a cause of scandal, of controversy, of anxious second-guessing. See My Lai, Kent State, Bloody Sunday, that footage of a helicopter shooting a photographer in Baghdad.
In Israel — even when the protestors aren’t even actual insurgents but sometimes entirely peaceful — it’s quite alright to mow them down. The Israeli Lieutenant Calley doesn’t go to prison. Absent embarassing footage, he probably won’t even be questioned. Heck, he may even go on to wind up as Prime Minister. Look up the deeds of young Ariel Sharon. The West at worst regrets this sort of thing, and at its best, actively strives to keep it from happening again. It doesn’t bother Israel at all. In fact, I’d go so far as to say Israel actively needs the violence. Couldn’t get by without it, in fact. There must be an enemy, and he must be smote, over and over, in perpetuity.
…preferably a nice, impotent enemy, close at hand. Palestinians, in a word.
ضربني وبكى وسبقني واشتكى
“First he hits me. Then he starts to cry. Finally he runs ahead of me to the judge and sues me” (Darabani wa baka, wa sabaqani wa eshtaka).
Bleating to the UN today about this when deadly cross-border insurgencies in other regions of the Middle East have recently gone unreported with nary a whimper (Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan, Iraq, inter-alia. Whether what happened in Gaza was right or wrong it’s the height of hypocrisy to only focus on this.
‘Bleating to the UN today about this when deadly cross-border insurgencies in other regions of the Middle East have recently gone unreported with nary a whimper (Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan, Iraq, inter-alia. Whether what happened in Gaza was right or wrong it’s the height of hypocrisy to only focus on this.’
Obscene. I’d say it’s the height of hypocrisy to equate shooting down unarmed demonstrators to ‘deadly cross-border insurgencies.’
It betrays your bias and hypocrisy and it is obscene you choose to lionize Israel before you go learn about those other incidents
‘It betrays your bias and hypocrisy and it is obscene you choose to lionize Israel before you go learn about those other incidents’
Lol. You need to go look up ‘lionize.’ I can’t argue with someone who can’t even speak English.
I think you need to learn how to use a dictionary or get a better one. The usage is correct.
Beyond me why RS keeps such a rabid anti-semite posted.
It also seems to me you are very frustrated writing multiple posts when you could be more concise in one….hard for me to read your redundancies.
@ yisrael: I agree with you about Colin’s loquaciousness. But you will not make unsupported claims that another commenter is an anti-Semite. Besides it not being true, it’s a comment rule violation. All such claims must be supported by credible evidence. That you don’t like his comments or disagree with them is not sufficient to label them such.
Not all of us can be native speakers.
@ Elisabeth: I’ve tried to rein in my impulse to take advantage of our Israeli friends’ poor English to poke fun. But I do weaken sometimes when a hasbarist is especially sanctimonious.
Gefilte ( as in gefilte fish?) The Gazans have endured their condition and suffered from it long years now with relatively little uprising. This is because of the devastating consequences of doing so. Check the various “operations” from the Israeli side colloquially and cynically called “mowing the lawn” ( something Israel just has to do!, maintenance). To anyone fair minded and with a sense of morality and justice, especially a Jew,especially a Jew at Passover, watching this over the years, a sense of shame has to roll in (one would think). But maybe Jews are no better than other oppressors.
That Gefilte and others tow the line to “look over there!!” is totally shameful. It’s just another excuse along with the other excuses that make up the defense of a often brutal occupation. This does not make what Israel has been doing, for decades now, okay, justified.The current Israel has no intention of moving towards justice and the U.S. is as complicit as ever only more upfront about it.
The media — English as well as American — is really wussing out on this. Of course, they KNOW the overwhelming majority of the shootings are simply Jews shooting down unarmed Palestinians.
But they dasn’t say so. All their headlines are ‘the IDF says…’ or ‘Israel claims…’. I even saw one site that was using a photo of a stone thrower from Ramallah to get the necessary violent protestor for their image.
It’s bleakly comic. ‘Well, Mr. _____ says…’ and we just have to respect that. Only here it’s Israel that’s been exalted into the unquestionable authority. Better just cite what the IDF says. Wouldn’t want the Israel Lobby to open a can of whoop-ass on you.
To someone who has looked at how all this has happened before, it’s really sickening to watch it all happening again. And we’re just setting the stage, folks. The big extravaganza is still to come.
My. There’s a pleasant surprise. The Guardian — which I thought had long since been brought to heel — has actually gotten up on its hind legs.
‘Strip Mourns Dead after Protest is Met with Bullets.’
Kind of sad this is actually noteworthy, but it is something.
‘…Trump admires Jews like them because they fulfill all the Jewish stereotypes: they’re tough, they’re mean, they’re protect his money. In any other context, we’d call that anti-Semitism…’
Oh I think you’re behind the times, Richard. Away with all that sensitivity and compassion and victimhood.
The new UBERJEW is the MASTER. He wears big boots and stomps and stomps and stomps and stomps…
It’s really pathetic — or would be, if it weren’t so evil. To think that a self-image could degenerate to something as shallow and vile as this. I mean, stand up for yourself — by all means. However, don’t deny your own humanity. Stormtroopers sweeping through the Ukraine isn’t ACTUALLY the apex of the human condition.
This is one of those trains of thought that leads me to decide I’m better off being gentile. It’s bad enough bearing the responsibility for Israel that comes with being American. I’d hate to be Jewish to boot. Think of being literally related to the creatures that revel in it.
‘…Think of being literally related to the creatures that revel in it.’
Sigh. It just dawned on me that I am related to ‘the creatures that revel in it.’
Look at all those Evangelical Christians. They’re all for Israel — and the bloodier, the better.
It’s not God that is on the side of the Israelis, it is Satan and they are evil beyond redemption
‘It’s not God that is on the side of the Israelis, it is Satan and they are evil beyond redemption.’
I have tried that line of reasoning with my personal Evangelical. Maybe ‘Israel’ is a perversion dreamed up by the anti-Christ? Isn’t he supposed to come before the actual Messiah and pervert his word?
Theologically, it seems to fit the facts.
Give me a break Linda: Most of them are just scared and brainwashed. Pure evil usually has little to do with people doing bad things. You can leave Satan out of this.
‘Give me a break Linda: Most of them are just scared and brainwashed. Pure evil usually has little to do with people doing bad things. You can leave Satan out of this.’
It’s an interesting point, actually. Evil is at least conceptually meaningful — and sometimes Israel and Israelis seem to incarnate it.
Often, words aren’t so much accurate or inaccurate as useful or not useful. For example, talking about ‘nations’ such as France and Germany in the context of the Middle Ages isn’t particularly useful; it becomes very useful if we’re discussing the late nineteenth to late twentieth century.
I think ‘evil’ at least arguable starts to become a useful and valid paradigm when it comes to modern Israel. After all, let’s reverse your argument: in what sense is Israel NOT evil? Can’t evil be a reality, and Israel embody it?
‘Give me a break Linda: Most of them are just scared and brainwashed. Pure evil usually has little to do with people doing bad things. You can leave Satan out of this.’
There’s another way of looking at this, too.
Many people aren’t going to ‘leave Satan out of this.’ They’re going to insist on viewing Israel in religious, eschatological, millenial terms — as the site of Armageddon, the Messiah’s return, and so on.
And in a way, they’ve got a point. After all, if it weren’t for all of that, Palestine would be of no more significance to anyone than Lebanon, or for that matter, Albania. The Zionists are there in the first place because of Palestine’s religious significance — else they’d have settled on a bit of South Australia.
So okay — discuss it in their terms. And in their terms, I could see the modern state of Israel as embodying good, or as embodying evil.
I’ll take evil — and I’ll try to convince them of that. The alternative is to leave them to pursue their millenial dream without you offering anything meaningful at all to counter it.
Elisabeth: Agreed. All of the theological bashing about ‘Satan’ and ‘hell’ that thrives on both sides leaves me cold.
‘Elisabeth: Agreed. All of the theological bashing about ‘Satan’ and ‘hell’ that thrives on both sides leaves me cold.’
However, a critical point is that the Satan and hell angle doesn’t leave others cold, and if you’re ever going to get anywhere, you’re going to have to address the conflict in their terms as well as yours.
You can cite Israel’s crimes to an Evangelical until you’re blue in the face; as long as he’s convinced Israel’s a fulfillment of biblical prophesy, you’re not going to make much headway. Now, get him thinking that maybe the state that calls itself ‘Israel’ isn’t what Jehovah had in mind, and you’ve made progress.
The most critical element in US support for Israel right now are the millions of Evangelicals who think it’s the fulfillment of God’s plan. That certainty has to be shaken if US support for Israel is to be undermined.
‘Not all of us can be native speakers.’
Yeah, I regret some of that post, and I’d have edited it if I’d had the option — but ‘lionize’ when he means ‘vilify’? That was a bit much. Speaking for myself, I try to avoid using words if I don’t know what they mean.
Then too, I feel little compunction about how I treat hasbarists. I try to be nice to anyone who lies within the Richard-you span — really, I do try. However, those who outright support Israel just as it is are another matter.
…and my entry for the prize video from Friday’s festival of murder.
An Israeli sniper shoots a Palestinian while he is praying.
I suspect there isn’t one, but if there is, I wonder what God thinks of people who shoot people while they are praying?
What does He think of people who support shooting people while they are praying? As I say, people support Israel as it actually is are beyond the Pale.
RE: “. . . Trump administration Middle East policy has been hijacked by a pro-settler cabal run by Jared Kushner, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, all of whom offered generous financial support to settlements before they entered the White House. It’s ironic that they in particular have risen to such positions of influence in the Trump administration due to their sworn, ferocious allegiance to Trumps financial interests before he became president.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: Can you imagine the mountain of dirt Kushner, Friedman and Greenblatt must have on Donald Trump? Easily enough (not incuding any priviledged information) to put him in prison for the rest of his life, I would think.
This just in:
‘Rights groups slam Israeli ‘crimes’ in Gaza, say ‘shooting unarmed civilians illegal’ ‘
? Surely not if the killers are Israeli?
Re my point about how a critical distinction is that what may occur elsewhere but is a crime there is just mighty fine on Planet Israel.
‘Netanyahu Blasts Erdogan, Praises Israeli Army after Gaza Killings ‘
Find the bit about Nixon praising the National Guard for shooting down the students at Kent State.
I think you need to learn how to use a dictionary or get a better one. The usage is correct’
Amazing. So you’re seriously insisting that I’m an admiring and uncritical supporter of Israel, given to heaping it with unqualified praise?
‘…Beyond me why RS keeps such a rabid anti-semite posted.’
Okay. I’m an anti-semite — who lionizes Israel. Have I got this right?
…and Israel formally agrees that for her, it’s normal to shoot down unarmed demonstrators.
‘Israeli minister rejects calls for investigation into Gaza killings, applauds army instead’
In context, not a crime at all. I’m inclined to agree; accept Israel for what it is, and there’s no reason to even raise an eyebrow.
Of course, I feel all commercial and diplomatic ties to Israel should be suspended. Pending the introduction of an egalitarian state, the sole form of permissible contact should be that airliners could go in empty and come out full.
But no, I wouldn’t call Israel’s actions a crime. For Israel as it is currently constituted, this is normal behavior, and ‘crime,’ after all, is a term that is defined relative to the norms of a society. In the US, beef-eating isn’t a crime; in Israel, killing Palestinians isn’t a crime.
I accept that. I understand completely.
“the sole form of permissible contact should be that airliners could go in empty and come out full.”
Like boxcars in, boxcars out, Colin?
Assuming the boxcars went in empty, you’d have an analogy!
…and evidently, Bernie Sanders has decided he won’t be running for President in 2020. At any rate, he certainly won’t be winning.
‘…Bernie Sanders has condemned the killings, in a tweet this afternoon.
The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response…’
@ Colin WRight: Bernie’s tweet, while decent, was decidedly milquetoasty when it came to the Israeli siege of Gaza. He wrote that the U.S. should try to be helpful to Israel in ending the siege. What the hell does that even mean? My hunch is that it was written by his lib Zio Israel foreign policy staffer, Matt Duss.
Thanks Richard for the excellent deconstruction of the odious IDF propaganda tweet, particularly the missing third panel about what the IDF brings to a peaceful demonstration. You nailed these hasbara bastards precisely. I wish this critique would appear in mainstream western media, but of course it won’t.
Little to no attention in media, just a tiny detail …
Jewish Bride Taken By Prophet Muhammad (pboh)
Just a reminder for the Jewish tribes of the Arabian peninsula …
“Our country doesn’t have a problem with Jews. Our Prophet Muhammad married a Jewish woman. Not just a friend—he married her.” [Source: Arabian Prince Salman interview with The Atlantic while traveling the New World – sightseeing new WTC building perhaps?]
‘Little to no attention in media, just a tiny detail …
Jewish Bride Taken By Prophet Muhammad…’
So are you celebrating the tolerance of Muhammed or protesting the defilement of Jewish womanhood?