YouDo

priceofliberty:

Let’s be clear: I’m no fan of Hamas, a brutal and anti-Semitic group which has been accused by Amnesty International and other NGOs of human rights abuses against the people of Gaza and of war crimes against the people of Israel. Firing rockets into civilian areas isn’t justified under international law, even if it is framed as part of a (legitimate) struggle against foreign military occupation.

Having said that, however, in recent days I’ve been debating supporters of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza on radio and on Twitter and I’ve been astonished not just by the sheer number of fact-free claims made by those supporters, but also by their confidence, slickness and sheer message discipline. According to the pro-Israel, pro-IDF crowd, Hamas is to blame for everything.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. To quote the late US senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

1) The Gaza Strip isn’t occupied by Israel

Boston Globe: “Israeli-imposed buffer zones.. now absorb nearly 14 percent of Gaza’s total land and at least 48 percent of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85 percent of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three.” Human Rights Watch: “Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there.” B’Tselem, 2013: “Israel continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza’s airspace and the territorial waters, just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967.”

2) Israel wants a ceasefire but Hamas doesn’t

Al Jazeera: “Meshaal said Hamas wants the ‘aggression to stop tomorrow, today, or even this minute. But [Israel must] lift the blockade with guarantees and not as a promise for future negotiations’. He added ‘we will not shut the door in the face of any humanitarian ceasefire backed by a real aid programme’.” Jerusalem Post: “One day after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire accepted by Israel, but rejected by Hamas, fell through, the terrorist organization proposed a 10-year end to hostilities in return for its conditions being met by Israel, Channel 2 reported Wednesday.. Hamas’s conditions were the release of re-arrested Palestinian prisoners who were let go in the Schalit deal, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings in order to allow citizens and goods to pass through, and international supervision of the Gazan seaport in place of the current Israeli blockade.” BBC: “Israel’s security cabinet has rejected a week-long Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by US Secretary of State John Kerry ‘as it stands’.”

3) Israel, unlike Hamas, doesn’t deliberately target civilians

The Guardian: “It was there that the second [Israeli] shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: ‘They are only children.’” UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay: “A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belies the [Israeli] claim that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect civilian lives.” United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009: “The tactics used by the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006. A concept known as the Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations. The Mission concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it.. appears to have been precisely what was put into practice.”

4) Only Hamas is guilty of war crimes, not Israel

Human Rights Watch: “Israeli forces may also have knowingly or recklessly attacked people who were clearly civilians, such as young boys, and civilian structures, including a hospital - laws-of-war violations that are indicative of war crimes.” Amnesty International: “Deliberately attacking a civilian home is a war crime, and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian homes, in some cases with entire families inside them, points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war.”

5) Hamas use the civilians of Gaza as ‘human shields’

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor: “I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.” The Guardian: “In the past week, the Guardian has seen large numbers of people fleeing different neighbourhoods.. and no evidence that Hamas had compelled them to stay.” The Independent: “Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organisation to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields.” Reuters, 2013: “A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.”

6) This current Gaza conflict began with Hamas rocket fire on 30 June 2014

Times of Israel: “Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.. The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.. Hamas hasn’t fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012.” The Nation: “During ten days of Operation Brother’s Keeper in the West Bank [before the start of the Gaza conflict], Israel arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011.”

7) Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel

Jewish Daily Forward: “Hamas hadn’t fired a single rocket since [2012 Gaza conflict], and had largely suppressed fire by smaller jihadi groups. Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to five per month in 2013.” International Crisis Group: “Fewer rockets were fired from Gaza in 2013 than in any year since 2001, and nearly all those that were fired between the November 2012 ceasefire and the current crisis were launched by groups other than Hamas; the Israeli security establishment testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force Hamas established specifically for that purpose.. As Israel (and Egypt) rolled back the 2012 understandings - some of which were implemented spottily at best - so too did Hamas roll back its anti rocket efforts.”

8) Hamas provoked Israel by kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers

Jewish Daily Forward: “The [Israeli] government had known almost from the beginning that the boys were dead. It maintained the fiction that it hoped to find them alive as a pretext to dismantle Hamas’ West Bank operations.. Nor was that the only fib. It was clear from the beginning that the kidnappers weren’t acting on orders from Hamas leadership in Gaza or Damascus. Hamas’ Hebron branch — more a crime family than a clandestine organization — had a history of acting without the leaders’ knowledge, sometimes against their interests.” BBC correspondent Jon Donnison: “Israeli police MickeyRosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens def lone cell, hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership.. Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government.”

9) Hamas rule, not Israel’s blockade, is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip

US State Department cable: “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.. Israeli officials have confirmed.. on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.” The Guardian: “The Israeli military made precise calculations of Gaza’s daily calorie needs to avoid malnutrition during a blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory between 2007 and mid-2010, according to files the defence ministry released on Wednesday under a court order.. The Israeli advocacy group Gisha.. waged a long court battle to release the document. Its members say Israel calculated the calorie needs for Gaza’s population so as to restrict the quantity of food it allowed in.”

10) The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solution

Times of Israel: “[Netanyahu] made explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.. Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, ‘I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’”

11) All serious analysts agree it was Hamas, and not Israel, that started this current conflict

Nathan Thrall, senior Mid East analyst at the International Crisis Group, writing in the New York Times: “The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement.” Henry Siegman, former national director, American Jewish Congress, writing for Politico: “Israel’s assault on Gaza.. was not triggered by Hamas’ rockets directed at Israel but by Israel’s determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June, even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy.”

🚶How many times since the creation of the state of Israel have the Arab states waged wars against Israel? During the last Arab-Israeli war, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula including the Gaza Strip eventually they gave it back to Egypt. From the Gaza Strip the Arabs are still trying to destroy Israel by using the Palestinian people to do their dirty work. Blessed are the real peacemakers. In this conflict, where are they?🙇#Israel #Gaza #Arabs #Palestinians #war

thepeoplesrecord:

Resistance is justified when Gaza is occupiedJuly 29, 2014
As the world reels in horror at mounting Palestinian deaths in Gaza, the Israeli propaganda machine and its willing accomplices in the U.S. mainstream media have issued their customary reply: Blame Hamas.
Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer,Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed all responsibility for Palestinian deaths on Hamas:

We’re sad for every civilian casualty. They’re not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately targets civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They embed their rocketeers, their rocket caches, their other weaponry which they use to fire on us in civilian areas.
What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. So we try to target the rocketeers. We do. And all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can…They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.

Netanyahu presents Israel as innocently defending itself—and Hamas as inviting Palestinian deaths for propaganda purposes. He then goes on to call Hamas “genocidal terrorists,” stating that they “call for the destruction of Israel, and they call for the killing of every Jew wherever they can find them.”
Thane Rosenbaum, a senior fellow at NYU School of Law, went even further in his July 21 Wall Street Journal op-ed article. Rosenbaum explained that it’s impossible to kill “innocent civilians” in Gaza…because all of Gaza is guilty:

[In 2006], the people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives…Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore…
On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point, you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets.

This reasoning isn’t confined to avowedly conservative publications like the Journal. Bob Dreyfuss, writing for The Nation, made the liberal version of the argument in an article titled “The Palestinians Must Put an End to Suicidal Hamas.” He directs his outrage not at Israel for its genocidal actions, but at Hamas’ “idiotic decision to fight Israel by firing useless missiles against unseen Israeli targets.”
Those who stand for self-determination for the Palestinian people shouldn’t help Israel make its case for shedding Palestinian blood. We should be challenging Israel’s various alibis for its killing fields in Gaza—and that means setting the record straight about Hamas.
Israel claims that if only Hamas were to stop firing rockets, accept a ceasefire and recognize Israel, it would stop bombing Gaza.
But Hamas did precisely that in the year and a half following the November 2012 ceasefire that ended Operation Pillar of Cloud, as Israel dubbed its last rampage through Gaza. In 2013, “Israel had one of the quietest years, if not the quietest year, it had had since rockets started coming from Gaza, which, by the way, began before the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in the fall of 2005,” Nathan Thrall, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, told Democracy Now!
Between November 2012 and today, it was Israel, not Hamas, that more frequently—and far more lethally—violated the terms of the ceasefire, as an infographic at ElectronicIntifada.net shows. During this time, Israel continued to carry out air strikes against whatever targets it deemed legitimate, and Israeli snipers fired on—and killed—farmers if they strayed too close to the Israeli-designated “buffer zone” along the Gaza-Israel border. The terms of the ceasefire also stipulated that Israel would lift its blockade of Gaza—which instead intensified, especially after the Egyptian military took over power after toppling Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi a year ago.
So why don’t the Palestinians employ nonviolent resistance, as so many liberal commentators implore?
The answer is that they do—but Israel, the media and the rest of the world routinely ignore these popular struggles. As Patrick O’Connor explained at ElectronicIntifada.net:

The fact that thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis are together employing nonviolent tactics similar to those of the U.S. civil rights movement and the South African anti-apartheid movement would come as surprising and welcome news to most Americans. Americans are largely unaware of the struggling but vibrant grassroots nonviolent movement in Palestine, because the U.S. corporate media prefers a simple, flawed story of Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli retaliation.

Similarly to U.S. civil rights activists, Palestinians must face tear gas, stun grenades and even live ammunition to take part in such resistance, but still they courageously do.
The nonviolent movement is based in the West Bank because that’s where it’s possible to employ such tactics in confrontations with Israeli security forces. In Gaza, which is hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world by Israel’s total control over all air and sea access—and by Egypt’s collaboration with Israel to keep Gaza’s borders closed—there is no way to engage Israel by nonviolent means. Gaza is an open-air prison, and getting too close to the bars means death by an unseen sniper, a navy boat or a drone.
Full article

🚶”[In 2006], the people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives…”🙇Is this not a true statement?👀#Gaza #Israel #Palestinians #Iran #Arabs

thepeoplesrecord:

Resistance is justified when Gaza is occupied
July 29, 2014

As the world reels in horror at mounting Palestinian deaths in Gaza, the Israeli propaganda machine and its willing accomplices in the U.S. mainstream media have issued their customary reply: Blame Hamas.

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer,Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed all responsibility for Palestinian deaths on Hamas:

We’re sad for every civilian casualty. They’re not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately targets civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They embed their rocketeers, their rocket caches, their other weaponry which they use to fire on us in civilian areas.

What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. So we try to target the rocketeers. We do. And all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can…They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.

Netanyahu presents Israel as innocently defending itself—and Hamas as inviting Palestinian deaths for propaganda purposes. He then goes on to call Hamas “genocidal terrorists,” stating that they “call for the destruction of Israel, and they call for the killing of every Jew wherever they can find them.”

Thane Rosenbaum, a senior fellow at NYU School of Law, went even further in his July 21 Wall Street Journal op-ed article. Rosenbaum explained that it’s impossible to kill “innocent civilians” in Gaza…because all of Gaza is guilty:

[In 2006], the people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives…Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore…

On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point, you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets.

This reasoning isn’t confined to avowedly conservative publications like the Journal. Bob Dreyfuss, writing for The Nation, made the liberal version of the argument in an article titled “The Palestinians Must Put an End to Suicidal Hamas.” He directs his outrage not at Israel for its genocidal actions, but at Hamas’ “idiotic decision to fight Israel by firing useless missiles against unseen Israeli targets.”

Those who stand for self-determination for the Palestinian people shouldn’t help Israel make its case for shedding Palestinian blood. We should be challenging Israel’s various alibis for its killing fields in Gaza—and that means setting the record straight about Hamas.

Israel claims that if only Hamas were to stop firing rockets, accept a ceasefire and recognize Israel, it would stop bombing Gaza.

But Hamas did precisely that in the year and a half following the November 2012 ceasefire that ended Operation Pillar of Cloud, as Israel dubbed its last rampage through Gaza. In 2013, “Israel had one of the quietest years, if not the quietest year, it had had since rockets started coming from Gaza, which, by the way, began before the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in the fall of 2005,” Nathan Thrall, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, told Democracy Now!

Between November 2012 and today, it was Israel, not Hamas, that more frequently—and far more lethally—violated the terms of the ceasefire, as an infographic at ElectronicIntifada.net shows. During this time, Israel continued to carry out air strikes against whatever targets it deemed legitimate, and Israeli snipers fired on—and killed—farmers if they strayed too close to the Israeli-designated “buffer zone” along the Gaza-Israel border. The terms of the ceasefire also stipulated that Israel would lift its blockade of Gaza—which instead intensified, especially after the Egyptian military took over power after toppling Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi a year ago.

So why don’t the Palestinians employ nonviolent resistance, as so many liberal commentators implore?

The answer is that they do—but Israel, the media and the rest of the world routinely ignore these popular struggles. As Patrick O’Connor explained at ElectronicIntifada.net:

The fact that thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis are together employing nonviolent tactics similar to those of the U.S. civil rights movement and the South African anti-apartheid movement would come as surprising and welcome news to most Americans. Americans are largely unaware of the struggling but vibrant grassroots nonviolent movement in Palestine, because the U.S. corporate media prefers a simple, flawed story of Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli retaliation.

Similarly to U.S. civil rights activists, Palestinians must face tear gas, stun grenades and even live ammunition to take part in such resistance, but still they courageously do.

The nonviolent movement is based in the West Bank because that’s where it’s possible to employ such tactics in confrontations with Israeli security forces. In Gaza, which is hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world by Israel’s total control over all air and sea access—and by Egypt’s collaboration with Israel to keep Gaza’s borders closed—there is no way to engage Israel by nonviolent means. Gaza is an open-air prison, and getting too close to the bars means death by an unseen sniper, a navy boat or a drone.

Full article

🚶”[In 2006], the people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives…”🙇Is this not a true statement?👀#Gaza #Israel #Palestinians #Iran #Arabs

jeopardy:

CLUE CREW NOTES FROM THE ROAD: THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM 

On Tuesday’s Jeopardy!, Jimmy and I swam with the fishes at the Georgia Aquarium, which features more animals than any other aquarium in the world. It was a tough task deciding which of them to feature on the show but we chose some pretty cool animals. I hope you agree!

image

This is Beethoven. He is over 13 feet in length and a mature male at 21 years old. The wetsuit and booties I wore were a necessity as the water temperature is kept at a chilly 58 degrees to simulate the Arctic. Shooting with the majestic beluga whale was quite an experience!

image

As you will see in the clue that features him, Beethoven was a perfect honorary Clue Crew member, demonstrating his skills right on cue.   

image

Producer Brett Schneider made sure I was prepared and ready before entering the water with Beethoven.

Read More

🚶Sweet.🐝🙇

youthseverywhere:

From 33 Mashups That Prove “Adventure Time” Makes Everything Way More Awesome on Buzzfeed [x]

🚶Berry nice.🐒🙇

smithsonianmag:

Photo of the Day: A Nurturing Dragonfly
Photo by Glenn Rodrigo (Leicester, UK); Leicester, UK 

🚶Wow. Me dragon, you fly.🙇

smithsonianmag:

Photo of the Day: A Nurturing Dragonfly

Photo by Glenn Rodrigo (Leicester, UK); Leicester, UK 

🚶Wow. Me dragon, you fly.🙇

rtamerica:

 Russia says US claims of firing into Ukraine are false

🚶Seriously? I guess the annexation of Crimea by RasPutin cannot be verified with Western satellite data either.👀Hmmmm.🙇

theacademy:

Siskel & Ebert

🚶My all time favourites. They made the movies. I really miss them.👼🙇

🚶Keds are for kids.🐒🙇

🚶Keds are for kids.🐒🙇

🚶Oh boy.👀🙇

🚶Oh boy.👀🙇

unknownimouz15:

ġίяls jυsт ωαит тo нαvє fυи!
do NOT repost │ only reblog  ☚ do not ever remove this caption.

🚶Wow.👀🙇