Michael Riordon

the view from where I live


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Gaza: what next?

According to mainstream media, the terms of a ‘cease-fire’ are currently in negotiation between the elected government of Gaza and the elected government of Israel.

In a tweet posted August 5, a spokesman for the Israeli military wrote: “Mission accomplished.”

Gaza in ruins“Mission accomplished”

What the latest Israeli mission accomplished:

  • 1,938 Palestinians killed, 1,626 of them civilians, including 460 children and 246 women
  • 7,920 wounded, mostly civilians, including 2,111 children and 1,415 women;
  • 800 houses destroyed and thousands of others severely damaged
  • Many thousands of Palestinian civilians forcibly displaced
  • The impact of Israel’s intentional destruction of health and education facilities, and water, sewage and electric infrastructure is beyond imagining.

August 5, the same day Israel declared “Mission accomplished,” US President Obama signed a $225 million cheque, approved by Congress, to resupply Israel with missiles.

What next?

In a searing cry for elemental justice, Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, writes from inside the “cage” that is Gaza: “A ceasefire is not enough.  It will not end the suffering.  It will only move us from the horror of death by bombardment to the horror of death by slow strangulation.  We cannot go back to being prisoners in a cage that Israel rattles when it chooses with brutal destructive offensives.”

Please read his eloquent call to the world, and give it wings by passing it on.  It’s the least we can do.


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A desperate plea from an Israeli Jew

Via Jewish Voice for Peace:

“My name is Eran Efrati, I am Jewish, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, and a 7th generation Jerusalemite.

What I’ve seen in Israel over the last few weeks is beyond anything I have witnessed in my life.

Gaza under attack, July 2104                                Gaza under Israeli attack, July 2014.  Photo: The Times, UK.

I’ve seen terrified Palestinian children in Hebron and Halhul, sitting on the ruins of their homes.

I’ve seen Israeli mobs in the street chanting “death to Arabs” and pulling out Palestinian men from their stores to beat them as other Israelis stood idly by. I’ve seen Israeli soldiers lined up at the Gaza border, ready at a moment’s notice to invade.

And now, like you, I’ve seen the climbing death toll in Gaza, over 100 dead and some 500 injured – all by Israeli missiles, with no end in sight.

As much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think I can do a lot about it. But I believe you can.

North American voices – especially Jewish North American voices – are probably the most critical voices right now.  [MR: I would add that in the face of crimes on this scale, all voices of reason and compassion need to be heard wherever and however they can.]

We need you to tell Israeli politicians, the Israeli media, Israeli society, that you can’t support this attack. That you can’t support human rights violations. That you can’t support racism. That you won’t support the idea that Jewish lives matter more than Palestinian lives.

Join me and sign this Open Letter now—if they get another 10,000 signatures, Jewish Voice for Peace will take out ads in Haaretz and the Jewish Forward with our message.

We know the roots of this are long and deep. But the truth behind this latest assault is finally coming out: as J.J. Goldberg wrote in The Forward, the Israeli government lied, and created this situation.

For weeks, the government knew that the three kidnapped teenagers were dead.  But they instituted a gag order on the media, lied to Israelis and the world, and falsely claimed the mass arrests and collective punishment of Palestinians was all in the hopes of finding the teenagers alive.

In other words, their chosen response was to kidnap the mind of an entire country.

From the very beginning, this has been about punishing Palestinians. From the beginning, the government has been willing to manipulate and use its own people for that goal.

Overhead, I hear airplanes headed to Gaza all day long, and I know there’s nothing I can do to stop them. And now we all know the lengths they’ve gone to justify this attack, and how fully Israeli society has bought into it.  And I don’t think we can stop it from within.

But I think you can.

Please join me and sign this statement: We oppose the occupation, the bloodshed, the privileging of Jewish lives over others lives.

Reliable updates on the current Israeli assault on Gaza and the West Bank, here, and here.

For an inside look at how Palestinians and Israelis are resisting the occupation, check out Our Way to Fight.