Friday, May 18, 2007

Israel, Palestine.

Democracy Now! | Headlines for May 18, 2007

Some news from Democracy Now! Regarding Israel and Palestine:

Israeli air strikes in Gaza have killed at least 10 Palestinians over the past 24 hours. In the biggest raid, an Israeli bomb destroyed a two-story building belonging to Hamas. The bomb killed two members of Hamas and wounded 45 people including civilians who here buried in the rubble. Five more Palestinians died when Israeli war planes bombed a Hamas headquarters building east of Gaza City. A third Israeli air strike targeted a pickup truck near the southern town of Rafah. It killed three people, a father and his two teenage sons. Israeli troops and tanks have also moved across the Gaza border. Hamas accused Israel of colluding with Fatah in a battle for dominance over Gaza. A spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the Israeli attacks were justified because Hamas is firing rockets into southern Israel.
This isn't good is it.

Spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert:

Miri Eisen: "We won't allow them to use their violence, their terror, against Israel. Israel knows how to respond. We will do all defensive measures to be sure that our citizens are safe. We will not be dragged by the Hamas into the mire of Gaza."
Let's analyse this. Yes Palestine do fire (make-shift home-made) rockets into Palestine, and they injured 3 people. The Israeli retaliation for this is to take their US-supplied planes and helicopters and bomb two houses and a pickup truck, killing 10 people and injuring at least 45. Now when Palestine injure 3 people, it's called "violence, terror", and rightly so. When Israel murder 10 people and injure 45, it's called "defensive measures". Does any of that make sense? Their tanks and troops roll on further into Palestinian territory, and it's called "defence".

In Washington, the Bush administration has praised Israel for showing what it described as "great restraint."

Yeah, I mean they could have gone mad and massacred everyone in Palestine, but they only killed 10 people, that's not bad is it? Congratu-fucking-lations.

On this note it's worth reading up on US aid and support to Israel. One third of the money America gives out in foreign-aid is to Israel. You and I might think it strange that a country just below France, Italy, and Germany in terms of GDP per capita, should recieve $3bn every year in "aid" - for the last 25 years - from the US, but that's the way it goes. Some would even go as far as to say that "aid", should be for countries that are really starving and need it (Israel is above Spain, Greece, New Zealand, Portugal. Hardly "poor" countries).

It's also worth noting that about two-thirds of this money is for the military, the rest economic. I'm not sure how "military-aid" is makes sense as a phrase, unless the country was actually being invaded, rather than actively invading the surrounding countries.

In addition to this, a further $3bn is transferred through "indirect aid", such as loans which are forgotten, special grants etc.

There are two more special arrangements allowed to the Israelis. Every other country receives aid in quarterly installments, but Israel receives theirs in a lump sump at the beginning of each fiscal year, allowing them to collect interest. Also, other countries must account for each and every purchase, giving detailed accounts of which areas it was spent in, and on what purpose etc. Israel simply get their money into a huge "general pot" and do what they like with it, including the illegal occupation of Israel.

This situation breaks US law, in at least three ways;

The Arms Export Control Act stipulates that US-supplied weapons be used only for "legitimate self-defense. The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act prohibits military assistance to any country "which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights." The Proxmire amendment bans military assistance to any government that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to allow inspection of its nuclear facilities, which Israel refuses to do
Obviously though for the US to continue and expand as the world super-power, it's proxy-states in the most dangerous places are the most important, which places Israel right at the top. Any side-effects or repercussions are entirely irrelevant, as this deal is immensely helpful to their primary aim: conquering the Middle-East.

If you fancy expressing your dismay at this situation, the Enough! campaign is holding a rally in London on the 9th of June.

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