by Stephen Lendman
Palestine's democratically elected government is targeted. West Bank coup d'etat authority has no legitimacy. Abbas' term as president expired in January 2009. Israel rigged his 2005 election.
What's ongoing is illegal aggressive war. Israeli provocations caused it. Israel's entire history reflects belligerence. It lives by the sword. It's a modern-day Sparta.
Operation Pillar of Cloud was planned months ago. All military campaigns take many weeks or months of planning. Attacking Gaza coincides with Israel's January elections.
Netanyahu hopes war will ensure his reelection. On January 22 he'll know. Also at issue is subverting Palestine's November 29 UN non-member observer status bid. Israel and Washington are going all out to sabotage it. As of now it looks certain.
More on what's ongoing below, what's at stake, and why it matters.
Hundreds of global protests condemn Israel's naked aggression. Many thousands across the Middle East, Europe, North America, and elsewhere denounce Israel's cold-blooded premeditated murder.
Innocent civilians are being slaughtered and injured. Hundreds of sorties caused widespread destruction. Mostly non-military sites were targeted.
They include residential neighborhoods, schools, mosques, government buildings, factories and workshops, fishermen, agricultural areas, an electricity transmitter, UN facilities, and civilian infrastructure.
Cuba condemned Israel's attacks. So did Russia, Malaysia, Egypt, other regional leaders, and Venezuela.
Hugo Chavez denounced Israeli aggression. "Barbarism" he called it, saying:
"Another aggression against the Gaza strip has begun. Savage, savage: the state of Israel bombing the Gaza strip again."
Chavez always supported Palestine. He's a rare leader who says what he means and means what he says. Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Venezuela will vote for Palestine's UN upgrade.
He stressed his government's support of "the long march of the Palestinian people towards full recognition of having a state, as an independent nation, the right to peace, and their ancestral territories."
Press TV said Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries strongly censured Israel. On November 15, a unanimously approved statement said:
"The Non-Aligned Movement strongly condemns the recent military actions against the Palestinian people and believes that the Israeli regime's aggression and its resort to bullying against defenseless people requires the immediate attention of the international community."
Security Council action was urged. Washington's veto assures resolutions condemning Israel never pass.
Western leaders and media scoundrels support Tel Aviv's worst crimes. They're always in lockstep with Israeli crimes of war and against humanity. Lost civilian lives, widespread destruction, and human suffering don't matter.
Israel's imperial ambitions count most. Middle East hegemonic status is sought. Tel Aviv wants all regional rivals removed. War is prioritized when other ways fall short.
Western leaders and media scoundrels ignore key issues. Collective punishment is policy. So is targeting civilians in all Israeli wars. It's called "Dahiya."
It's named after the Beirut suburb destroyed in Israel's 2006 Lebanon war. Then Northern Command General Gabi Eisenkot explained, saying:
"What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on."
"We will apply disproportionate force at the heart of the enemy's weak spot (civilians) and cause great damage and destruction."
"From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages (towns or cities). They are military bases. This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved."
Israel's former chief of staff Dan Halutz said Lebanon would be "turn(ed) back 20 years."
In October 2008, Col. Gabriel Siboni said:
"The idea is to use enough "disproportionate force (to inflict) damage and met(e) out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes."
"With the outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy's actions and threat it poses."
"The strike must be carried out as quickly as possible, and must prioritize damag(ing) assets....be aimed at decision makers and the power elite (and at) economic interests and the centers of civilian power."
Former Southern Command General Yoav Galant led Israel's Cast Lead war. Strategy he said was to "send Gaza decades into the past."
The Goldstone report discussed Israel's military doctrine. It "views disproportionate destruction and creating maximum disruption in the lives of many people as a legitimate means to achieve military and political goals."
Retired General Giora Eiland's war strategy was quoted. It reflects Israeli policy in all wars. It prioritizes eliminating military threats. It's also to destroy "the national infrastructure and (inflict) intense suffering among the population."
What kind of country operates this way and calls itself civilized? How can democratic credentials be claimed? How can mass slaughter and destruction be justified? Israel and America claim it all the time.
Dahiya tactics are prioritized in all Israeli wars. Crimes of war and against humanity follow. Cast Lead was Israel's most barbaric conflict since 1948. Reports suggest what's now planned will exceed its savagery.
Israel's cabinet authorized calling up 75,000 reserves. Mobilization is accelerating. Israeli forces and heavy armor positioned along Gaza's border. Invasion, full-scale war, mass slaughter, and widespread destruction loom.
IDF spokesman General Yoav Mordechai said Israel is "in the process of expanding the campaign." At least 30,000 troops are positioned to invade. Others may follow.
Gazans are terrified. Young children are traumatized. The sights, sounds, and smell of death permeate the Strip. A November 16 Mondoweiss article headlined "Dead mothers, teachers and babies in Gaza yet media overwhelmingly focus on rocket fire into Israel."
It's minor by comparison. Few casualties were reported. Gaza is isolated under siege. It's been bombed and shelled mercilessly for days. Reports are that white phosphorous and other illegal weapons are used. Hundreds of sites were struck. Now ground invasion looms.
Days earlier, Israel assassinated Ahmed Jabari. He led Hamas' Qassam Brigades. He was also important politically. A previous article said killing him had a purpose.
Peace was at hand. A draft truce agreement was consummated. It included ways to establish ceasefires in future flare-ups.
Israel abhors peace and stability. It depends on conflict and violence. Jabari was murdered to assure what was planned.
Killing him, a 12-year old boy, and others assured retaliation. Israel planned it that way. Hamas and other resistance groups responded defensively. Blame the victim followed.
Self-defense is inviolable under international law. Israel calls it terrorism. So do Western leaders and media scoundrels. They support lawless aggression and denounce defensive actions.
Israel and America benefit from conflict and violence. Both claim added justification for large-scale regional military readiness.
Peace and stability are easily attainable. Achieving them subverts imperial aims. Enemies are invented to stoke fear. Conflict follows. Victims are blamed.
The same destructive cycle repeats. Israel and Washington prioritize it. Middle East tensions are on the boil. Full-scale Gaza war looms. Others rage across the region.
Israel and America assure permanent conflict. A cycle of violence is perpetuated. Gaza now shares regional ground zero status with Syria. How this ends who knows.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.