Israel's Action in Gaza: 'Is This Not a War Crime?'
July 12, 2014 • 11:58AM

In a commentary Friday about the rapidly expanding wars in the Middle East, Col. W. Patrick Lang (US Army, ret.) says that the real purpose of the Israeli war on Gaza is to destroy the Palestinian unity government.

Lang writes that "Natanyahu has made it clear that if rocket (not guided missile) fire out of Gaza does not end, there will be a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. IMO [In my opinion] this will be a large search and destroy operation employing a lot of infantry-supported armor that will be heavily provided with artillery and air support. IMO a decision to conduct such an operation in an area that contains 1.6 million people, most of them civilians, is a decision to inflict mass casualties on that population. IMO that decision is motivated by a desire to destroy the unity government now in effect in the Palestinian Authority. Is this not a war crime?"

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in four days, with more than 600 injured. The Israeli operation is following the same lines as the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead that failed to destroy Hamas and killed thousands of Palestinians, and the 2012 8-day operation against Gaza which also failed to destroy Hamas.

The U.S. is "offering" to mediate, but neither side is interested in anything Obama and Kerry are saying. For Netanyahu, who is carrying out the British perpetual war strategy, there are no constraints on what Israel can do, and that was clear when Obama shut down the peace talks in April 2014, when the Israelis walked out after the PLO and Hamas reached a unity agreement.

Intelligence sources with high-level channels to several Palestinian leaders, and Israeli sources told LaRouchePAC that they are extremely worried that traditional back-channels — not very strong to begin with — that had functioned to end previous military engagements, are not functional at all. With the countries that surround Israel and Palestine either in a state of instability or outright war, there are no ready ways to mediate.

The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, presented a fact sheet to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah on July 10th that asserts that the Israeli campaign really began on June 13, the day after three Jewish settler youth had been kidnapped on the West Bank. Fourteen Palestinians had been killed by Israelis, either security forces or settlers, before this week's bombing campaign had even begun, and 900 Palestinians were arrested, including minors and elected members of the Palestinian legislative council.

The fact sheet says: "Israeli occupation forces have conducted incursions in nearly all Palestinian cities, resulting in confrontations with the Palestinian civilian population. During said incursions, Israeli occupation forces invaded hundreds of Palestinian homes, raided university campuses, attacked media and civil society institutions." It also includes names of those killed (82 of them, including many children and women), as well as prominent figures who have been arrested.

The fighting escalated, Friday, with the first rocket fire coming from Lebanon, to which Israel immediately responded with rocket and artillery fire. Netanyahu is — without evidence — blaming the northern attack on Hezbollah, while an account in the Israeli media quotes the Lebanese military saying they had found and dismantled rocket launchers that had been used by other radical Islamic fighters.

Iron Dome Enables Israeli Genocide Against Palestinians

Ha'aretz blogger Uri Misgav posted an extraordinary article early Friday morning, Israeli time, in which he argues that the Iron Dome anti-rocket system may protect Israelis from rockets fired by militants in Gaza, but it also buys something much more pernicious.

"It enables Israelis to feel protected while continuing their life almost without a hitch," Misgav writes. "They can blow up their feelings of victimization and misery to new heights, while going on about their business relatively comfortably." He characterizes the Iron Dome as "Israel's doomsday weapon" which enables Israeli governments "to launch a 'limited operation' once every two years, to refill the hatred and demonization reserves and renew the confidence of their obedient subjects, who only a day or two ago began to realize that their government was deceiving them."

Misgav ridicules the Israeli government's claim that it is exercising "restraint" in its bombing campaign against the Palestinians. "Restraint? I'd like to see how Israelis would act and speak if just once an F-16 squadron swooped down on a residential neighborhood and dropped a ton of smart bombs on it." The Iron Dome, Misgav writes, not only intercepts missiles, "Apparently it intercepts free thought as well. It dooms its users to blindness, deafness and dementia," he writes. "If our leaders really want them [that is, the people who live within rocket range of Gaza] to have quiet, they must strive courageously and creatively for an overall solution," Misgav concludes. "They must install above us all the iron dome of a negotiated political settlement. But apparently it doesn't pay to manufacture such an item."