by Stephen Lendman
Operation Pillar of Cloud reflects the latest chapter in Israel's decades-long, slow-motion, genocidal war on Palestine.
So-called memorandum of understanding terms changed nothing. They're nonbinding, meaningless, and insulting.
Israel disregarded all past agreements. It'll violate this one with impunity and already did. More on that below.
With full US support, it flagrantly ignored dozens of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. They condemned or censured Israel for its crimes, deplored it for committing them, and/or demanded they end.
Israel does what it pleases with impunity. Palestine's Nakba never ended. It continues now. It's embedded in Palestinian consciousness. It reflects an ongoing journey of pain, suffering, loss, and injustice.
Daily life replicates Palestine's tortured past. Occupation harshness threatens Palestinian culture, heritage, and existence. Draconian military orders alone create oppressive conditions. They include:
• No. 92 giving Israel control of all West Bank and Gaza water;
• No. 158 stipulating that Palestinians can't construct water installations without (nearly impossible to get) permit permission, and those built will be confiscated or demolished;
• No. 1015 requiring Palestinians get permission to plant trees on their own land;
• No. 128 authorizing the IDF to take over any Palestinian business not open during regular business hours;
• No. 107 prohibiting Arabic grammar, Crusades history, and Arab nationalist publications;
• No. 101 banning gatherings of more than 10 people without advance notice with names of participants;
• Nos. 811 and 847 letting Jews buy land from Palestinian owners with or without their consent;
• No. 998 requiring Palestinians get permission to withdraw funds from their bank accounts;
• No. 818 authorizing how Palestinians can plant decorative flowers;
• No. 329 preventing the right of return; and
• Nos. 1649 and 1650 turning all West Bank residents (including native born ones) potentially into "infiltrators;" doing so makes them vulnerable to deportation, fines or imprisonment without IDF-issued permits.
Imagine daily life under these conditions and much more. Brutalizing repression terrorizes Palestinians ruthlessly. Israeli provocations instigate conflicts and full-scale wars.
Fingers point the wrong way every time. Palestinians are blamed for Israeli crimes. Peace, stability, and freedom remain elusive. Operation Pillar of Cloud resolved nothing.
Israel got away with murder and mass destruction. Conflict didn't end. It continues. Washington and Israel assure it. They're partners in crime.
On Thursday, a day after both sides agreed on memorandum of understanding terms, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded four Palestinian youths.
They approached Israel's security fence. They threatened no one. They displayed Palestinian flags. In response, soldiers opened fire.
An IDF spokesman said they "began rioting." He lied.
Friday morning, Israeli soldiers murdered another Palestinian youth in cold blood. Live fire wounded another 19. They gathered near Israel's border peacefully to pray.
Incidents like this and greater provocations happen often. Netanyahu pledged to stop them. He lied. He's been caught red-handed lying many times.
After pledging to pursue peace, he called doing so "a waste of time." He admitted wanting to destroy Palestinian authority and existence.
He knows he'll get Western support for claiming self-defense. Washington collaborates with and endorses all Israeli criminality.
The Israeli Lobby boasts about having US administrations and Congress in its pocket. Israel gets away with murder with impunity. It happens every time.
Israeli policy reflects the worst of criminality and duplicity. Palestinians know what they're up against. Conflict will resume whenever Israel plans it. Under Netanyahu, it's certain.
A scurrilous Haaretz editorial lauded him. "In praise of Netanyahu," it headlined.
It admitted that diplomacy could have avoided conflict. "But once (Netanyahu) decided on a military operation, (he) demonstrated relative restraint."
Imagine calling hundreds of Palestinians murdered or injured "restraint." Imagine how many families lost loved ones. Imagine mass destruction impossible to rebuild easily under siege conditions.
Imagine shocking crimes of war and against humanity. Imagine Israel again getting away with murder. Imagine editors who know better praising what they should condemn.
"Restraint" showed "strength," they said. In other words, they killed, injured, and maimed fewer Palestinians than during Cast Lead.
"It's clear that the Goldstone Report….penetrated deeply into the consciousness of Israeli decision-makers…."
It did no such thing, of course. Internal whitewash followed. So did Ban Ki-moon's handpicked commission. It absolved Israeli crimes. Goldstone himself fell from grace.
Despite irrefutable evidence, he softened his initial criticism. Dark forces got to him. He capitulated. In the process, he sold his soul, honor, character, dignity, and high-mindedness. He failed dismally trying to explain.
Israel remains free to kill and destroy again. It takes full advantage.
Haaretz claims conditions now "could well herald the onset of a new era…" It hopes ceasefire terms will improve living conditions in Gaza.
It ignored blockade lawlessness. Palestinians haven't had a "new era" in over 64 years. Nothing changed now. Instead of condemning Netanyahu and likeminded hardliners, Haaretz editors "expressed (their) appreciation of this government and its leader for the relative restraint they displayed."
It's hard imagining editors who know better would claim what's categorically false. An unnamed Gazan woman put a human face on Palestinian suffering.
On November 20, her letter from Gaza was published. In part it said the following:
"The situation here is really terrible and it's getting worse day after day…."
"This morning, the Israeli F16 military jets hit our area twice. The first time, they hit the building of the council of ministers with 5 huge missiles just a few homes away from our home."
"Our home was shaking like an earthquake, and our windows broke and shattered everywhere, and I felt the missiles inside our home. It was very scary. Of course serious damages happened to all surrounding buildings in the area."
"The first time, the Israeli F16 military jets hit Palestine stadium, which is located in the neighborhood next to my neighborhood, with 4 huge missiles, and caused some damages to my home as well."
"I heard the huge explosions and saw the flames and it was very terrifying. We see and feel death very close with each bombing. Israel is bombing everywhere in Gaza all the time by air, sea and land."
"Nowhere to hide….Nowhere is safe….We don't have shelters. We just stay at home so all of us can die at once if a missile would strike our home."
"We are still recovering from the trauma of (Cast Lead). How will we recover from this?"
"This is insane….How much is too much?….I hope this madness will stop as quickly as possible."
On June 14, 1956, Jack Kennedy gave Harvard's commencement address. Politicians don't speak that way today. His entire talk included scholarly references and quotes. It was an impressive example for young graduates.
He reminded the audience that political leaders once "traded in the free commerce of ideas." They achieved important results at home and abroad.
The link between US scholars and politicians lasted over a century, he added.
Where freedom is endangered, he said, politicians and intellectuals "should be natural allies, working more closely together for the common cause against the common enemy."
They must decide whether to be "an anvil or a hammer." He concluded saying "if more politicians knew poetry and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live on this commencement day of 1956."
He was assassinated perhaps for believing war isn't the answer. He'd deplore what's going on now. He was chastened by the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. He fired CIA director Allen Dulles and his assistant General Charles Cabell.
He once said he wanted to "to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds." That alone was reason to kill him.
He opposed America's growing Southeast Asian involvement. After initially sending troops and advisors, he changed course. He refused to send more and wanted ones there gradually withdrawn.
He called Pentagon generals "crazy" for wanting to nuke Soviet Russia. He said he "never had the slightest intention of" attacking or invading Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis.
He swung to peace, away from war, wanted nuclear weapons abolished, and the Cold War ended. He favored "general and complete disarmament."
He signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty with the Soviets. In October 1963 (weeks before his assassination), he signed National Security Action Memorandum 263. It called for removing 1,000 US troops from Vietnam by year's end and the remainder by December 1965.
As president, he underwent a spiritual transformation. He changed from cold warrior to peacemaker. He opposed Israeli nuclearization. He wrote Gen-Gurion and told him. He also supported Palestinian liberation.
On June 4, 1963, he challenged Wall Street. He signed Executive Order (EO) 11110. It constitutionally empowered the federal government to create and "issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury."
It's believed he ordered the Treasury Secretary to issue nearly $4.3 billion worth of United States notes. Perhaps he had in mind replacing Wall Street controlled Federal Reserve Notes.
Whether or not he wanted the Fed abolished or nationalized isn't clear. Had he lived and served a second term, imagine the possibilities.
Peace instead of war? Government closer to serving everyone? Perhaps more mindful of people needs?
Michael Harrington's "The Other America" expose of US poverty affected him enough to want something done about it. Who can know what might have followed.
America has no Jack Kennedy today. For sure, neither does Israel.
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.