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Western News Agencies Distort Live Satellite Feed from Gaza Aid Flotilla

Western News Agencies Distort Live Satellite Feed from Gaza Aid Flotilla


By Lloyd Hart
06/03/10


While watching the live satellite feed video from Al Jazeera television in the early morning of the violent attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla the chronology of events is clear. The Israeli's fired on the vessel Mavi Marmara before boarding. After that, the live satellite feed camera focuses on the initial wounded and then after that the camera moves to the top deck and at that point the Israeli commandos land on the upper deck and are attacked by clearly enraged individuals who have just witnessed their friends being shot, some to death and are suffering psychological shock as a result of Israeli terrorism. This, however, is not what western news agencies are showing.


What he western news agencies are doing is distorting the video from Al Jazeera showing the attacks on the Israeli commando's first out of context with the original satellite feed. This act of subversion of the truth is clearly a deliberate attempt to prevent the truth from getting out to the western public. One of the most popular newspapers in Briton committed this act of subversion, the Guardian, on it's online web site. 


Most news outlets in the west are following the Israeli propaganda line of showing the top deck Mavi Marmara confrontation between activists and Israeli commandos using Al Jazeera video out of context or are showing Israeli video that strictly focuses attention on their deliberate propaganda line, which of course is a well designed lie.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2010/jun/01/israeli-troops-confront-flotilla-activists


Even Al Jazeera English has edited their own video to show the upper deck confrontation first and has removed the on board reporters comments that clearly state that the Israel's fired on the Mavi Marmara before boarding. This is interesting and reveals America's hand behind the scenes threatening Al Jazeera as the U.S. would be the only power they would be threatened by.


http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/201053113252437484.html


In the videos shown at the below link shows the original satellite video feed as well as the Israeli video which shows the conflict of chronology between the two videos.


http://intifada-palestine.com/2010/06/raw-footage-israeli-soldiers-killing-innocent-people-on-the-flotilla/


Here is another source of the Al Jazeera satellite feed from the Mavi Marmara


http://www.forumeter.com/video/229855/IDF-Boarding-Gaza-Aid-Flotilla


The Huffington Post attempts to show as much of the available video as possible.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/31/mavi-marmara-video-israel-news-gaza-flotilla_n_595250.html


With reporters on the Mavi Marmara stating that the Israeli's opened fire with live ammunition killing and wounding some of the passengers prior to boarding the vessel and the speed by which the Israeli's released it's video and propaganda onslaught, one could easily come to the conclusion that it was the Israeli plan all along to open fire prior to boarding the Mavi Marmara. That the Israeli's did this in order to provoke a violent reaction from some of the activists on board the ship that Israeli's could then catch on video and thus justify to the world the violence, murder and piracy Israel has clearly committed. Whether the resulting propaganda spewing out of Israel and their zionist colleagues hear in america is just damage control or the conspiracy outlined above is irrelevant at this point. 


Former Bush National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley was just on MSNBC claiming a broad conspiracy by the flotilla activists to run the blockade of Gaza, provoke Israeli violence, gain international sympathy to lift the blockade so later when the blockade is lifted the same activists could smuggle in weapons. This is patently absurd as the smuggling of weapons through the tunnels is going along just fine. If it were just weapons the people in Gaza needed, there wouldn't be an issue. Gaza is not short on weapons. Gaza is short on food, medical and infrastructure supplies and this speaks to the collective punishment used by the British and Americans throughout their history that murdered millions of civilians and is used widely by the Israeli's throughout to do the same since British and American backed European and American zionists stole Palestine from the people living there at the time and renamed it Israel.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/37487898#37487898


I think it is important to get a grip on what the British and American backed European and American zionists did and why the Palestinian People keep fighting. British and American backed European and American zionists stole Palestine from the Palestinian People.


Under international law the Palestinians have a right to use violence to get Palestine back. This is what the fighting is all about. An immense amount of treasure has been spent by the U.S. to ensure the stolen land stays in zionist hands. Part of the reason for this seemingly absurd U.S. national security policy that creates more enemies then it pacifies is simply that the the zionists have agreed not to expose America's role in financing the Nazis in Germany into power and then financing the Nazi's secret arms build up which is surfacing now anyway.


American zionists have been using this tact from the very beginning of the land theft according to former Israeli intelligence officials whom also revealed to me that the Mosad continues to collect intelligence on American politicians in order to twist arms.


This sickening codependent relationship and all the violence that has been caused by it, could end tomorrow if the Israeli's would just agree to the Arab League's proposal of a two state solution along the 1967 boarders between Gaza and the West Bank.


Sadly however this will not be allowed to happen because Israeli is ruled by far worse religious fanatics than anyone the Palestinians can offer up. What makes the zionists worse you ask? It's that they are in the wrong and Israel as the so-called Jewish state sits on stolen land that the Israeli's claim is based on religious fiction made up by religious fanatics. The Zionists are the victims of their own propaganda.


Now I don't fault Jews wanting to get out of Europe and America after all that has happened them but to attempt to establish a Jewish state in a land where most of the Jews converted to Islam anyway is pure psychosis brought on yes by the oppression the Jews by the Europeans and Americans but still psychotic.


By following the zionist path the Israelis have become psychopathic murderers just like the Europeans and Americans and must be stop by all means necessary and if this means Palestinians resorting to violence to defend themselves from the zionist invader, so be it. I support their right to get their land back from the zionist thieves that stole it in the first place. And I am sure the majority of the planet would agree with me.






      

 

New protests in the german capital against the Israeli attack on the FreeGaza flotila

Renewed protests against the slaughterous Israeli assault on the Gaza solidarity convoy took place on tuesday in Berlin. Hundreds of participants deplored the victims of the attack and condemned the Israeli government on account of this crime. They also strongly criticised the german and US complicity in the murderous Israeli politics.

In reference to the german involvement, they mainly denunciated the exportation of weaponry all over the world including Israel.

Annette Groth, member of the Bundestag (german parliament) who had survived the assault on the ship convoy, also rose to speak during the manifestation in front of the german Foreign Office. In contrast to the majority of the passengers of the solidarity convoy she could leave Israel soon after the hijacking of the ships by the Israeli army.

Further manifestations against the Israeli assault have been announced for friday and saturday (day of international solidarity) in the german capital.

Berlin: Protests against Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla

Monday 31th of may, after a very short period of mobilisation, about 150 palestinian, jewish, turkish and german participants gathered in front of the Israeli embassy in Berlin to protest against the sanguinary attac from Israeli special forces against the solidarity aid convoy to Gaza. The objectors claimed the observance of international law and human rights and condemned the slaughtery assault with more than 10 killed and about 50 wounded participants of the relief convoy.

Another demonstration was anounced for thursday afternoon (at 5 p.m.) in front of the german ministry of foreign affairs.

Israeli Hypocrisy: Talking Peace While Preparing for War and Institutionalizing Dire Conditions in Gaza

 Israeli Hypocrisy: Talking Peace While Preparing for War and Institutionalizing Dire Conditions in Gaza - by Stephen Lendman

 

On May 8, Haaretz Service and Reuters headlined, "PLO executive committee approves new peace talks with Israel," saying:

 

"The Palestinian Authority on Saturday got the green light to restart peace talks with Israel after the PLO's executive voted to approve indirect negotiations," excluding Hamas - the legitimate government after Palestinians overwhelmingly elected them in January 2006. Instead, coup d'etat leader (whose presidential term expired in January 2009) Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will participate, PLO spokesperson Yasser Abed Rabbo saying that "negotiations will take one form: shuttling between President Abu Mazen (Abbas) and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu." Talks have now begun.

 

Obama's Middle East special envoy, former Senator and Walt Disney chairman, George Mitchell will do the honors, trying to force Palestinian negotiators to accede  to Israeli demands and declare success, until inevitable new violence forces a restart of the whole process at some future time. The charade continues.

 

Recurrent negotiations have gone on for decades, always with the same result. Rita Mae Brown (in her book "Sudden Death"), and some say Albert Einstein, called it insanity, or the practice of "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In this case, results are what Israel predetermines, Palestinians having no say whatever about a process designed to fail. 

 

For a detailed analysis, see this writer's article titled, "Peace Process Hypocrisy: Stillborn from Inception."

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/03/peace-process-hypocrisy-stillborn-from.html.

 

Justifiably, Hamas objected to being left out, calling the proximity talks "absurd" because they'll "give the Israeli occupation an umbrella to commit more crimes against the Palestinians. Hamas calls on the PLO to stop selling illusions to the Palestinian people and announce the failure of their gambling on absurd talks."

 

On May 7, the Chinese Xinuah news agency said that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also rejected talks as "ill and absurd, whether direct or indirect," given numerous earlier failures, or as honest peace brokers explain: besides excluding its legitimate government, how can Palestinians negotiate in good faith without a willing partner. 

 

They've never had one in Israel, nor do they this time. As a result, expect another round of peace process hypocrisy, producing rhetoric but nothing else, or what this writer earlier called the tragedy and travesty at Annapolis, the last bogus November 2007 effort.

 

Negotiations are one-sided. Israel makes demands and offers nothing. Abbas has been co-opted to go along, so failure is again assured. Yet President Shimon Peres claims Israel is "committed to peace" and a sovereign Palestinian state, a cantonized one encroached on for as much West Bank land as Israel wishes and all East Jerusalem, an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council, as much a rightful Palestinian capital as for Israel. 

 

A topic not to be discussed, nor the right of return, a legitimate state, the preferable one-state solution, and the end to 43 years of oppressive military occupation. Not important enough to be on the agenda nor the legitimate rights and concerns of a sovereign people, set up again to be betrayed.

 

With new peace talks underway, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that from April 29 - May 5:

 

-- Israeli security forces continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank and Gaza;

 

-- seven Palestinian civilians, including two children and a journalist, were shot and wounded;

 

-- nonviolent West Bank protesters were assaulted;

 

-- the IDF fired at Palestinian farmers in Gaza border areas;

 

-- their forces conducted 23 incursions in West Bank communities and one in Gaza;

 

-- in the West Bank, they arrested 40 civilians, including eight children, three journalists, and two human rights workers;

 

-- Gaza remains under siege while West Bank free expression and movements are restricted;

 

-- home and other Palestinian demolitions continue;

 

-- Separation Wall construction continues a process of separation, isolation, and annexation of 12% of Palestinian West Bank land;

 

-- East Jerusalem ethnic cleansing continues;

 

-- West Bank and Gazan agricultural lands are being  destroyed; 

 

-- regular settler attacks on Palestinians occur; and

 

-- settlement expansion goes on unabated.

 

In this environment, peace talks have resumed, but there's more. On May 7, Jerusalem Post writer Caroline Glick headlined, "Column One: Time to plan for war," saying that Obama's "repeated abdication of responsibility (for) preventing nuclear non-proliferation leaves it on Israel's shoulders" to prepare for the: 

 

"coming war (in which) Israel will have only one goal: to destroy or seriously damage Iran's nuclear installations. Every resource turned against Iran's proxies must be aimed at facilitating that goal. That is, the only thing Israel should seek to accomplish in contending with Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas is to prevent them from diverting Israeli's resources away from attacking Iran's nuclear installations."

 

It gets worse, advocating a "preemptive strike against Hizbullah's missiles and missile launchers, Syria's missiles, artillery and launchers, and Hamas's missiles and launchers....These are dangerous times. Iran, which seeks to position itself as a regional superpower, has been emboldened by the Obama administration's abdication of US global leadership. Only Israel can prevent Iran from endangering the world. But time is of the essence."

 

Glick advocates all-out war at a time Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria pose no threat. Only Israel and America's presence do, a topic unaddressed in her article nor are new proposed peace talks.

 

However, her column serves a purpose. Besides highlighting Israel's belligerency, she acknowledges its "undeclared nuclear arsenal (that) only threatens those who would attack the Jewish state with the intention of annihilating it." She assumes because Israel never used it, or failed to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as Iran did, that it "has the right to develop a nuclear program," weapons, of course, because  Dimona doesn't generate electricity.

 

Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is hard line on Iran, demanding unspecified action if it won't abandon its nuclear ambitions, besides:

 

-- once wanting all Israeli Arabs and Arab Knesset members who met with Hezbollah and/or Hamas executed;

 

-- favoring Israeli Arab loyalty to a Jewish state as a condition for citizenship or face expulsion otherwise;

 

-- assassinating "militant" Palestinian leaders, ones committed to equality and freedom; 

 

-- abandoning the peace process and earlier agreements like Camp David and Oslo; and

 

-- on his first day as foreign minister said "those who want peace should prepare for war."

 

Suffering Palestinians in crisis aren't his concern, nor Gaza's siege, its electricity crisis, and its humanitarian impact, the topic addressed below.

 

Under Siege, Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis - One of Many Problems is its Deteriorating Electricity Supply

 

Under nearly three years of siege, inadequate power supply persists, now less than earlier since January 2010 as the "UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory" reported.

 

On May 7, it explained that:

 

"Since January 2010, there has been a serious deterioration in the supply of electricity in the Gaza Strip. (It's because) Gaza's sole power plant, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP), is able to produce only half the electricity that it did (earlier), due to a lack of funds (for required) industrial fuel," after the European Commission's subsidy ended despite the great need.

 

Worse still, Israel limits amounts of all goods and services entering Gaza, including essential to life foods, medicines, and fuel.

 

Pre-2010, most parts of Gaza got from 8 - 12 hours of electricity most days. Now it's 6 - 8, so more than ever, "all aspects of daily life (are impeded), including household chores, health services, education, and water and sanitation services." 

 

The situation is chronic, serious, and deteriorating, dating from June 2006 when Israel bombed and destroyed six GPP transformers. Five months later, production resumed at a 65 MW capacity compared to 140 MW or more previously.

 

Under siege since June 2007, the ability to get spare parts, needed equipment and fuel was greatly impeded, the result being inadequate electricity for 1.5 million people, including for essential facilities like hospitals.

 

Currently, GPP operates one turbine producing about 30 MW of electricity, half its 2009 amount and less one-fourth prior to June 2006. Gazans lucky enough to have them use generators, but if operated improperly they can be dangerous, causing fires, explosions, or carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Inadequate electricity also hampers hospitals that also use back-up generators. However, they can't run non-stop. Doing so causes damage, and spare parts are hard to get. As a result, elective surgeries are postponed or not done, deferring to critical ones or emergencies.

 

Water and sanitation facilities are also impacted. For example, Gaza City's sewage treatment plant requires 14 days of uninterrupted power to properly complete the treatment cycle. Without it, 60 - 80 million liters of raw or partially treated sewage is discharged into the Mediterranean Sea daily.

 

Pumping water also requires electricity, but because pumps can't operate continuously, households especially can't get enough (at most from 5 - 7 hours a day), raising hygiene and health concerns.

 

Education is affected by darkened classrooms, inadequate refrigeration to store food for schools with canteens, dirty rest rooms, the inability to run equipment like computers, and other impediments. Agriculture as well for irrigation, fodder production, adequate lighting for hens to lay eggs, and various other functions.

 

Gaza needs from 240 - 280 MW of electricity daily. About 42% is bought from Israel, around 7% from Egypt, and the rest depends on GPP that can only supply 13% of the Strip's needs, far short of enough. The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company then apportions output through scheduled service outages in some areas to feed others. The situation in untenable and deteriorating, short of committed outside help. Israel and Washington have impeded it or cut it off entirely to make all of Gaza scream - a slow-motion genocide agenda affecting 1.5 million people.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also 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.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.



Israel always chooses violence over peace

No Princes After All

On May 14, 2007 at a Defense Intelligence Agency conference the US government admitted roughly 70% of all US intelligence work was being handled by private corporations. That's right. Our nation's most secret and sensitive work placed in the hands of individuals with some background in intelligence/ black ops all for a price tag.

יריב אופנהיימר אקוניס

מאז ומעולם היה תמוה ומוזר ביותר לרבים בישראל, העובדה שארגון 'שלום עכשיו' זוכה לחשיפה וסיקור תקשורתי קבוע. כולם לא הבינו כיצד זה שארגון שמאל מובהק, לכאורה, זוכה להישמע תכופות בלב התקשורת הישראלית. כולם לא הבינו כיצד זה שהתקשורת הציונית לא מפחדת מסיקור שלום עכשיו, הרי מדובר בארגון שמאל מובהק, ויש יגידו אף קיצוני.

 

Israel's Open Secret: Nuclear Armed and Dangerous

 Israel's Open Secret: Nuclear Armed and Dangerous - by Stephen Lendman

 

For many years, Israel's open secret is that it's one of eight known nuclear powers, including America and Russia with about 97% of the world's arsenal according to Helen Caldicott in her book "Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer." The others are Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel - North Korea a declared but unverified one.

 

In her January 20, 2009 Canadian Medical Association Journal article titled, "Obama and the opportunity to eliminate nuclear weapons" Caldicott wrote:

 

"The Cold War is over, but the threat of nuclear war is not. Little progress has been made since 1989 when the Berlin Wall collapsed. In fact, the threat of nuclear annihilation has escalated. In 1972, when 5 nuclear nations....signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they agreed to rapidly disarm. They have done the opposite," resulting in a greater than ever threat, the Pentagon's new Nuclear Posture Review and US-Russia deal doing nothing to reverse it.

 

See http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/04/obamas-brave-nuke-world.html.

 

In his 1991 book, "The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and America Foreign Policy," Seymour Hersh discussed its strategy to launch a massive nuclear counterattack if it felt its existence threatened, the stark message being the next regional war may be nuclear.

 

In his 1997 book, "Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies," Israel Shahak said that, helped by the Israeli Lobby (and Christian Zionists), "Israel (is) clearly prepar(ing) itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East (with no) hesitati(on) to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones."

 

Shahak also explained that Israel regards "the launching of missiles (onto its territory) as 'nonconventional' regardless of whether they are equipped with explosives or poison gas." In turn, Israel's nuclear doctrine dictates that a "nonconventional" attack requires one in response, meaning a nuclear one, the foundation of its grand strategy, according to Shahak. 

 

According to Hebrew University's Professor of Military History Martin Van Creveld, "We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you (it) will happen before Israel goes under."

 

Israel maintains a double standard. It won't let another Middle East state acquire nuclear weapons, but will never give up its own or the right to use them preemptively.

 

Background on Israel's Nuclear Development

 

It began with its 1948 founding, David Ben-Gurion (Israel's first prime minister) having told Ehud Avriel, a European operative and later MK, to recruit East European Jewish scientists who could "either increase the capacity to kill masses or to cure masses; both are important." 

 

One was Avraham Marcus Klingberg, later an Israeli chemical and biological weapons (CBW) expert and deputy director of the Israel Institute of Biological Research in Ness Ziona, south of Tel Aviv. More on Israel's CBW program below.

 

Another was Ernst David Bergmann, "father of the Israeli bomb" in charge of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC). Ben-Gurion was determined to have a "nuclear option" and other "non-conventional" weapons (WMDs) to counter the Arabs' numerical advantage. In his farewell address to the Israeli Armaments Development Authority (RAFAEL), Ben-Gurion defended the strategy saying:

 

"I am confident, based not only on what I heard today, that our science can provide us with the weapons that are needed to deter our enemies from waging war against us."

 

Ben-Gurion and later prime minister Shimon Peres became the leading forces behind Israel's nuclear and CBWs programs.

 

In the late 1940s, Israel and France began collaborating, at the time the IDF Science Corps searched the Negev desert for recoverable uranium. In 1952, the IAEC was established. The Dimona Nuclear Research Center/reactor was secretly completed in 1964 near Bersheeba in the Negev - a heavy water moderated, natural uranium reactor/plutonium reprocessing plant to make nuclear weapons. Designed as a 24 megawatt facility, its cooling system had far more capacity than needed, none for electrical generation, and its plutonium reprocessing capability signified an intent to produce nuclear weapons.

 

After the 1967 Six Day War, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered full-scale production, averaging 4 - 12 bombs per year. US presidents since Lyndon Johnson supported the program. At the same time, it's believed testing took place in the Negev, jointly with France in Algeria, later in the Indian Ocean, and perhaps elsewhere. 

 

By the early 1970s, Israel had advanced nuclear technology, world class scientists, and several dozen bombs ready to launch. Today it's believed it has hundreds and a delivery system able to hit distant targets accurately.

 

Earlier, with inadequate uranium supplies, it acquired some clandestinely, and by the late 1960s through close collaboration with South Africa - supplying technological expertise in return for the needed material, the arrangement lasting until apartheid ended in the early 1990s.

 

France and South Africa were Israel's main collaborators, but also America by going along, staying silent to this day, and initially providing a 5 megawatt highly enriched uranium research reactor as part of Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" program. According to journalist Mark Gaffney, Israel's program "was possible only because of (its) calculated deception....and willing complicity on the part of the US." 

 

Israeli scientists were trained at US universities and had access to domestic weapons labs. Since the early 1970s, advanced technology transfers were made, including supercomputers able to design sophisticated nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Mordechai Vanunu's mid-1980s documented revelations provided proof.

 

Mordechai Vanunu - Heroic Whistleblower/Victim of Israeli Retaliatory Viciousness

 

A Dimona nuclear technician, he smuggled out dozens of photos and scientific documents, published by the London Sunday Times on October 5, 1986, headlined:

 

"Revealed - the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal/Atomic technician Mordechai Vanunu reveals secret weapons production," saying:

 

"THE SECRETS of a subterranean factory engaged in the manufacture of Israeli nuclear weapons have been uncovered by the Sunday Times Insight team.

 

Hidden beneath the Negev desert, the factory has been producing nuclear atomic warheads for the last 20 years. Now it has almost certainly begun manufacturing thermo-nuclear weapons, with yields big enough to destroy entire cities."

 

The Times named Vanunu as its source, having worked at Dimona for nearly 10 years in "Machon 2 - a top secret, underground bunker built to provide the vital components necessary for weapons production...."

 

Nuclear experts examined Vanunu's documents, called them genuine, and concluded that Israel's sophisticated technology enabled it "to build up a formidable nuclear arsenal."

 

According to Theodore Taylor, a world expert at the time:

 

"There should no longer be any doubt that Israel is, and for at least a decade has been, a fully-fledged nuclear weapons state....considerably more advanced than (earlier) indicated...."

 

Other top nuclear scientists agreed - Israel was, and today is, a world nuclear power, possessing sophisticated technology and weapons. Vanunu's revelations cost him dearly. On October 12, 1986, The Times headlined his September 30 disappearance, five days before his story broke.

 

Mossad lured him to Rome, then beat, drugged, and kidnapped him. He was secretly tried in 1986-87, and sentenced to 18 years in prison for espionage and treason - in harsh isolated confinement in a six square meter cell. 

 

Released in 2004, his behavior and movements were restricted. As a result, harassing arrests followed after giving foreign journalists interviews and trying to leave Israel. He said he suffered "cruel and barbaric treatment" in prison, no surprise since torture is official Israeli policy, usually for Palestinians, but for anyone security services target.

 

On July 2, 2007, Vanunu was again imprisoned for six month for speaking to foreign journalists, later reduced to three months by the Jerusalem District Court "In light of (his) ailing health and the absence of claims that his actions put the country's security in jeopardy."

 

Daniel Ellsberg called him "the preeminent hero of the nuclear era." He says "I am neither a traitor nor a spy, I only wanted the world to know what was happening." On December 28, 2009, he was arrested again following his alleged meeting with his girlfriend, a Norwegian national, then transferred to house arrest. 

 

On April 14, 2010, Vanunu said "The restrictions, not to leave the country for one more year (were) renewed. Now 7 years since my release AFTER 18 years in Israel PRISON." 

 

He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize each year from 1988 - 2004. In March 2009, he asked the Nobel Committee to remove his name from consideration, and in February 2010 again declined the honor, most often given war criminals.

 

In 1979, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Prize, "for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people," and in 2001, Norway's University of Tromsoe honored him as a Doctor Honoris Causa (History).

 

John Steinbach on Israel's Nuclear Program

 

In 2009, The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR- nuclearfiles.org) published  Steinbach's paper titled, "The Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program," saying:

 

"With several hundred weapons and a robust delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the world's fifth largest nuclear power, and now rivals France and China in terms of the size of its nuclear arsenal," despite an official ambiguity about an advanced sophisticated program. As a result, a combination of expert analysis and whistleblower revelations provided what's known. Also occasional slips, like in December 2006 when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Germany's Sat. 1 channel:

 

"Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly, threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia?" Backtracking after a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, he said:

 

"Israel has said many times - and I also said this to German television in an interview - that we will not be the first country that introduces nuclear weapons to the Middle East....That was our position (earlier). That is our position (now) - nothing has changed."

 

Since the 1970s, Israel's official position is that it chose "an option to produce electricity using nuclear reactors. (This) requires promoting nuclear knowledge and research, preparing sites suitable for building nuclear power plants," and weighing the economic benefits.

 

According to Steinbach:

 

"Despite this claim, an exhaustive search of publicly available sources indicates the existence of no meaningful Israeli civilian nuclear energy program, past or present....From its inception, the Israeli nuclear program has centered on developing a nuclear weapons program, with any other nuclear program being incidental."

 

Steinbach also cites estimates of Israel's arsenal at "from 100 to over 400 bombs," there being "little doubt that (its) weapons are among the world's most sophisticated, and largely designed for war fighting." They include:

 

-- "boosted fission weapons and small neutron bombs, designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long-term radiation - in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact;"

 

-- long range ballistic missiles;

 

-- sophisticated aircraft able to deliver a nuclear strike;

 

-- cruise missiles, artillery shells, and land mines with the same capability;

 

-- "In June 2000, an Israeli submarine launched a cruise missile that hit a target 950 miles away, making Israel only the third nation (besides) the US and Russia with that capability;"

 

-- Israel maintains triad strength, including strategic bombers, ballistic missiles, and submarines, able to strike well beyond the Middle East; and

 

-- overall, Israel's capability "is much greater than any conceivable need for defensive deterrence;" like America, it's for preemptive offense, and given both nation's belligerence, some day they may launch them aggressively without cause, claiming, of course, it's  defensive.

 

According to Jane's Intelligence Review, Dimona's reactor "is suffering severe damage from 35 years of operation," worrisome enough for Israeli nuclear scientists to call for its shutdown to avert a potential catastrophe. Also at issue are internal radiological hazards, revealed on a March 2003 BBC program with five Dimona workers discussing the effects on their health.

 

Israel's Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW)

 

Israel signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) but didn't ratify it. It refused to sign the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and maintains a policy of CBW ambiguity. It's not known but believed that its Nes Tziyona Biological Institute produces sophistical chemical and biological weapons and state-of-the-art delivery systems.

 

However, in 1993, the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment included Israel as a nation having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities. In 1998, former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Bill Richardson said: 

 

"I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time. There's no doubt they've had stuff for years."

 

It's also believed it has a sophisticated BW capability, and is likely producing, maintaining, and updating its stockpile.

 

On August 7, 2006, Paola Manduca's Global Research article headlined, "New and unknown deadly weapons used by Israeli forces: 'direct energy weapons, chemical and/or biological agents, in a macabre experiment of future warfare."

 

It referred to the summer Lebanon/Gaza offensives, citing reports of "New and strange symptoms....reported amongst the wounded and the dead.

 

Bodies with dead tissue and no apparent wounds; 'shrunken' corpses; civilians with heavy damage to lower limbs that require amputation, which is nevertheless followed by unstoppable necrosis (dying cells and living tissue) and death; descriptions of extensive internal wounds with no trace of shrapnel, corpses blackened but not burnt, and others heavily wounded that did not bleed."

 

On July 11, 2006, Ma'an News Service cited the Palestinian health ministry saying Israel used a new type explosive in Gaza, containing "toxins and radioactive materials which burn and tear the victim's body from the inside and leave long term deformations."

 

On July 11, 2006, Gulf News said a Palestinian doctor "accused Israel of using a type of chemical ammunition which causes burns and injuries in soft tissue and cannot be traced by X-ray." Severe internal wounds were reported.

 

Since the second Intifada's inception, reports cite "unknown gas" attacks, possibly a nerve agent, anyone breathing it losing consciousness immediately for about 24 hours with high fevers and rigid muscles. Some needed urgent blood transfusions. Asked but not known is whether this is chemical/and or biological warfare.

 

International law bans these weapons. Israel tests new ones in conflict zones - in 2006 in Lebanon and Gaza and against Gazans during Operation Cast Lead.

 

Treating the victims, Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert cited white phosphorous that burns flesh to the bone. Also depleted uranium and a new close-range explosive causing severe injuries, including battlefield amputations. Children, he said, had their legs cut off, abdomens sliced open, or simply killed outright.

 

Final Thoughts

 

On September 9, 2004, Haaretz (by DPA) headlined, "ElBaradei: Israel's nuclear arms blocking Mideast peace," quoting him from the Sydney Morning Herald saying:

 

Addressing Israel's nuclear arsenal must be part of a peace process settlement. "This is not really sustainable that you have Israel sitting with nuclear weapons capability there while everyone else is part of the non-proliferation regime....It is a very emotional issue in the Middle East."

 

While Israel maintains ambiguity and world leaders keep mum, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, not shy about confronting Israel, said this before attending Obama's nuclear summit:

 

"We have yet to see an international community, which is so sensitive about Iran's nuclear program, taking a firm stance against Israel," a notorious nuclear outlaw. "We do not want to see nuclear armament in our region. Our policy on this issue is very clear no matter which country has it. That could be Israel or Iran or any other country."

 

On April 14 in Paris, Erdogan called Israel the biggest threat to Middle East peace, not just because of its nuclear arsenal, but for its disproportionate force against Palestinians. His comments came a day after Israel compared him to Libya's Gaddafi and Venezuela's Chavez, a sign of continued frayed relations between the two nations, including an angry exchange with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the January World Economic Forum.

 

He's now confronting Israel's nuclear threat, a real one under its first strike doctrine to destroy the entire region if threatened. With its history of open belligerence, the possibility is too great to ignore, and too important not to confront given the consequences if initiated.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also 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.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.Israel's nuclear arsenal threatens humanity

I Almost Forgot כמעט שכחתי

במלאת 62 במלאת 62 שנה למדינה היהודית (אה... כן, ווהדמוקרטית) יצא ארגון כמעט שכחתי לרחובות העיר להזכיר את מה שכל כך קשה לזכור: הנכבה הפלסטינית. השנה זה חשוב במיוחד כי חוק חדש עומד בפתח, חוק הנכבה קוראים לו. זה חוק נדיר במדינות דמוקרטיות כי הוא מאיים על מי שמבקשים לזכור אירוע כה חשוב בעבר של הארץ. ע"פ חוק זה כל מוסד ציבורי שתומך בציון הנכבה ביום העצמאות צפוי לסנקציות כלכליות. אבל אנחנו יודעים שהנכבה לא הסתיימה ב-1948 אלא רק התחילה אז. עד שלא תוכר זכות השיבה של הפליטים הפלסטינים גם הישראלים לא ישתחררו מהיות כובשים בארץ.

Indoctrinating Israeli Youths to be Warriors

 Indoctrinating Israeli Youths to Be Warriors - by Stephen Lendman

 

The modern roots go back to Zionism's founding at the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897, its program being:

 

"Establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Eretz Yisrael."

 

Five decades later, it was accomplished by dispossessing indigenous Palestinians, denying them the right to their land, creating a new Jewish identity, legitimizing Jews as rightful owners, and using superior military force to assure it against defenseless civilians, no match against their powerful adversary. 

 

Leading up to and after its War of Independence, Israel stayed politically and militarily hard line, negotiating from strength, choosing confrontation over diplomacy, naked aggression as a form of self-defense, and occupation to seize as much of historic Palestine as possible to secure an ethnically pure Jewish state - policies called "Israelification (and) De-Arabization" to preserve a "Jewish character."

 

In his book, "The Making of Israeli Militarism, Uri Ben- Eliezer says writing about Israeli militarism involves "ventur(ing) into an intellectual minefield," given Jewish history under the Nazis and the perception of Israel as a safe haven. Yet decades of Arab-Israeli conflict produced seven full-scale wars, two Intifadas, and many hundreds of violent incidents.

 

Ben-Eliezer believes that, beginning in the 1930s, militarism "was gradually legitimized within the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, then within the new state (was) crystallized into a value, a formula, and an ideology." Over time, it acquired a dynamic of its own, then during the 1948 war, it "acquired full legitimacy" and became decisive in setting policy.

 

Politics and militarism were wedded to create a militaristic view of reality. Thereafter, it was institutionalized to where "the idea of implementing a military solution to (political problems) was not only enshrined as a value in its own right but was also considered legitimate, desirable, and indeed the best option."

 

Today, militarism is a "cardinal aspect of Israeli society," its quintessential element under the 1986 National Defence Service Law, requiring all Jewish Israeli citizens and permanent residents to serve - men and women, with exemptions only for Orthodox Jews, educational inadequacy, health, family considerations, married or pregnant women or those with children, criminals, and other considerations at the Defense Ministry's discretion. In addition, most Israeli leaders are former high-ranking IDF officers, politics and the military being inextricably connected. 

 

Little wonder that Israel is a modern day Sparta, a nation of about 5.6 million Jews, another 500,000 settlers, able to mobilize over 600,000 combatants in 72 hours, equipped with state-of-the art weapons and backing of the world's only superpower for whatever it wants.

 

Yet on March 2, 2008, McClatchy Newspapers writer Dion Nissenbaum headlined, "Israelis show declining zest for military service," saying:

 

"....under the surface, something has been slowly shifting in Israel as the nation prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary May 14. More and more Israelis are avoiding mandatory military service - something" earlier considered unthinkable.

 

According to author and former chief Israeli military psychologist, Dr. Rueven Gal:

 

"In the past, it is true that not serving in the military was considered the exception. In more recent times, it became more tolerable and more acceptable to people."

 

According to 1997 IDF statistics, less than one in ten Israeli men avoided service. Now it's nearly triple that number, or according to some, even higher, given the resonance of conscientious objectors, Refusniks, students unwilling to serve in the Territories, and "Breaking the Silence" reserves speaking out about IDF atrocities over the past decade, especially during the Gaza war.

 

Women are also opting out - around 44% compared to 37% a decade earlier. As a result, National Infrastructures Minister, Uzi Landau, called the IDF no longer a "people's army (but rather) half the people's army." 

 

Given Israel's hardline militarism requiring mandatory service, officials are seeking new ways to deter avoidance.

 

Indoctrinating Youths to Accept Militarism in Israeli Society and Culture

 

New Profile is a "Movement for the Civil-ization of Israeli Society" away from militarism and a culture of violence, its "feminist women and men....convinced that we need not live in a soldiers' state" and should no longer tolerate one.

 

In July 2004, its report titled, "Child Recruitment in Israel" examined how Israeli armed forces and Jewish militias indoctrinate young children to be warriors, a practice they believe essential to stop. 

 

Child recruitment involves more than having weapons and using them, their being no front lines in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Israel and the Territories, IDF soldiers are everywhere. "Many military bases are located inside population centres and few Israelis ever spend a day without meeting soldiers on duty."

 

As a result, a functional definition of child recruitment is as follows:

 

-- a child is anyone under 18, recruited by one or more of these methods:

 

(1) by wearing an official uniform, having an official document, or in other ways identified as an IDF or related group member, even if not formal;

 

(2) by promoting or supporting IDF actions, actively or through other services; and/or

 

(3) by undergoing practical or theoretical training to perform or assist IDF activities, formerly or otherwise.

 

Armed forces and security groups include Israel's military, its police (including conscripted Border Police), General Security Services (GSS), and Jewish militias, mostly based in settlements.

 

Relevant International Laws

 

Artictle 38(2)(3) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) states:

 

(2) "State Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities; (and)

 

(3) State Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen into the armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, State Parties shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest."

 

Article 77(2) of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions (1977) contains similar language, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) criminalizes the recruiting of children under 15.

 

The 1990 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child recognized 18 as the minimum recruitment age. Then in 2000, the International Labour Organization's Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182 condemned "all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery....including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict."

 

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (2000) prohibited forced recruiting and raised the minimum age to 16.

 

Contrary to international law, Israeli legislation takes precedence over accepted norms and standards. Conscription at 18 is mandatory, at times includes those six months younger, and children under 18 may enlist voluntarily, but aren't used as combatants until coming of age.

 

Child recruitment is also done informally, the idea being to prepare underage youths for future mandatory service. Ben-Eliezer wrote how early Zionist settlers established militant organizations, notably the Bar Giora (named for Simon bar Giora in ancient Roman times), Hashomer (The Guard), and the Haganah (Defense), small in scale but profound in influencing younger minds. He explained saying:

 

"The formative years of the younger generation produced an ethos created by local experience: guarding fields and crops, fighting with Arab children, being given a weapon at the age of bar mitzvah (a boy's thirteenth birthday). This was the childhood experience of prominent members of the young generation (tempering their outlook) with suspicion, which frequently became hostility, and they reached maturity feeling that a confrontation between (Arabs and Jews) was inevitable."

 

Before 1948, very young children engaged in military activities, doing so eagerly as a sort of game. As a result, a militaristic worldview developed, especially among youths later becoming leaders. Militant groups formed at this time, including Fosh (a Hebrew acronym for Field Units), the Palmach (Striking Force), Stern Gang (Israeli Freedom Fighters -Lehi in Hebrew) and Irgun (National Military Organization - Etzel in Hebrew).

 

Before Israel's War of Independence, recruitment was a "Duty to Volunteer." Then it was mandatory after the IDF's establishment on May 26, 1948, replacing the paramilitary Haganah. 

 

It's still called a privilege, a "noble and worthy action," today moulding young minds to be eager when called, but they participated earlier as well. In the 1948 battle for Jerusalem, Youth Battalion trainees, aged 16 and 17, were combatants. So were women.

 

Defining Israeli Militarism 

 

New Profile calls it "a way of thinking, which promotes forceful solutions, usually military ones, as preferable and even desirable ways of solving problems." As a result, security forces are society's most valued and revered, "whose needs and opinions come second to none." Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, called "The whole nation....an army and the whole land (a) front."

 

Today's IDF is the world's fourth most powerful military, nuclear armed with state-of-the-art weapons and technology, an active space and satellite program, biological and chemical capabilities, and a large per capita military budget, financed generously by Washington. 

 

The military also controls 48% of public lands, and recycles its commanders into high government positions, including municipality and regional council heads, mayors, ministers, and heads of state. Others get top public administration positions or serve as business executives or directors.

 

"The unquestioned prestige enjoyed by top military officers emanates downwards, and some of it can still be enjoyed by" common soldiers. Children see and feel it everywhere, including from adult family members, from religious leaders, and in school. In addition, imagery and weapons are ubiquitous, including old tanks, guns and fighter jets visible in public places.

 

Israeli Children as Future Soldiers - Militarized Education Starting in Kindergarten, at Home, and on Streets

 

"The military is physically present in schools and school activities," uniformed soldiers there, many teaching classes to program young minds. Further, teachers, especially principals, are retired career officers, and school walls are adorned with names and photos of fallen heros among their graduates. Field trips for all ages are to military memorials on former battlegrounds.

 

Curricula and textbooks reflect militarism, from kindergarten through high schools that have mandatory programs in all state-run ones called "preparation for the IDF" that includes training. Glorifying military heros and conquests while vilifying Palestinians are featured.

 

Symbolic recruitment precedes conscription. It consists of indoctrinating youths to feel part of the military, mobilized for war, ready for combat, and eager to participate. More still by kindergarten and elementary school children sending gift packages to soldiers, especially on holidays, expressing gratitude in personal letters.

 

A 1974 teachers' guide titled, "When a Nation Reports for Duty" promotes enlistment saying:

 

"The Entire people carry the burden of the war effort, and it is divided between those who wear the IDF uniform and the civilians who are not directly recruited by the IDF.

 

Therefore it should be understood that (every) civilian carries the burden of the war effort."

 

Children learn early, and it sticks, preparing them for later conscription and a lifetime of military support. Besides school, they're exposed in ceremonies, commemorations, speeches, field trips to military bases, and holiday celebrations of battles between "us" (Jews) and "the bad guys" (earlier Nazis, Egyptians, Persians, Arabs) and now Palestinians. As a result, children are imbued "to accept military force and war as a natural state and a natural response to conflict situations."

 

Soldiers in Israeli Schools

 

They're both former IDF teachers and administrators as well as "uniformed soldiers on duty, stationed in schools as part of the school staff....The presence of former soldiers, especially retired high-ranking officers, in the education system is considered by many in Israeli society, including government, to be a positive influence on children," especially since preparing youths for military service is a core educational goal.

 

In collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Defense, the IDF operates two large-scale youth programs:

 

-- the Teacher-Soldier one to train soldiers to become teachers, to complement civilian staff despite their poor qualifications; and

 

-- the Youth-Guide one works with underprivileged children, in some cases for Youth Battalions; others as Preparation for Military Service coordinators.

 

They're nearly always in uniform, report to civilian and military superiors, promote militarism and wars for defense, and children acclimate to viewing them as an integral part of their education and a future obligation.

 

Indoctrinating youths early blurs the line between Israeli military and civil society, promotes militarism, and makes conscription seem inevitable, necessary, and desirable.

 

Preparation for Military Service

 

For most male and female Israeli youths, military service is a rite of passage, a natural step in preparation for adulthood, something policy makers have been cognizant of for decades.

 

After the 1973 Yom-Kipper War, the above-mentioned "When a Nation Reports for Duty" guide explained the role of all Israelis during emergencies and helped children understand it clearly.

 

In 1984, actively preparing youths for military service began when the IDF and Ministry of Defense published a guide called "Towards Service in the IDF," explaining:

 

-- the privilege of serving;

 

-- adapting to military and basic training;

 

-- developing fitness in preparation;

 

-- the IDF as a positive force in society; and

 

-- and preparing parents to accept their children's role as future warriors.

 

Since the run-up to the 1948 war, training for military service was common, especially through Youth Battalions, but in 1984 programs included school indoctrination "as part of the ordinary curriculum." 

 

Today's program is called "Willingness to Serve and Readiness for the IDF," mandated for three years in high school, the program's goal being:

 

"Preparing the entire youth population to service in the IDF, while strengthening their readiness and willingness to perform a substantial and contributing service, each to his abilities, and emphasizing the importance of serving in combat units."

 

Content includes combat legacy stories on field trips, the ethics of war, familiarization with different IDF units, physical education, and Arabic studies to enlist Israelis for intelligence. The format is regimented, emphasizing discipline, and a "Soldier for a Day" program takes children to a military base for descriptive presentations, especially about elite combat units.

 

Several civilian programs also prepare them for future service, including "Preparation for Combat Fitness" courses, "Youth Battalions Special Forces Induction," and "Follow Me." It's common "to see large groups of young men run about on public beaches, in preparation for military service."

 

The "Naale Program (a Hebrew acronym for Youth Immigrating Before Parents) promotes immigration for foreign Jewish children, encouraging them to come to Israel, attend high school, and become citizens. It presents military service as a major socializing force, stressing benefits such as acceptance in Israeli society.

 

Israeli Law Provisions

 

Article 44 of Israel's 1986 National Defence Service Law authorizes the IDF to obtain information about everyone Intended for Security Service. Educators, employers, and others asked to help must cooperate.

 

Under Article 43, persons Intended for Security Service can't travel abroad without Defense Ministry permission, although exemptions are freely granted with restrictions such as time limits.

 

Prior to conscription, most children receive a warrant at home, requiring they report to their Regional Conscription Bureau, a practice called "first call-up" for initial screening, data verification, medical and intelligence tests, and a personal interview. If after three warrants, children don't comply, police intervention may follow.

 

Military High Schools

 

Besides ordinary ones, some military high schools include:

 

-- Mevo'ot Yam with 500 students who wear uniforms, participate in parades, and learn weapons use in preparation for future Navy service;

 

-- Air Force technical schools for cadets preparing for future IAF service; and

 

-- the Amal 1 network - one of the largest high school ones in Israel, a joint military-civilian project for future Air Force service.

 

Courses combine civilian and military studies, children  being groomed to become soldiers. 

 

Yet Article 77(2) of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions (1977) prohibits recruiting them under 15. In Israeli military schools, they're "regularly recruited" as young as 13 or 14. It persists because of militarism's pervasive influence in Israeli society and culture.

 

Military Training for Children

 

In all Israeli high schools, mandatory Youth Battalion Training Week simulates army life for 11th and 12th graders on military bases. In uniforms, it includes:

 

-- reception, processing, orientation, and marches;

 

-- night and day weapons and field training; and

 

-- lessons about battle heritage, military ranks, discipline, adapting, service commitment, and purity of arms, etc.

 

During the entire time, youths are surrounded by soldiers and treated like them gain familiarity with military life. In groups of about 20, treatment and conditions are rigorous, obedience a must, and for those who disobey, punishments include extra calisthenics, running, and chores like latrine duty.

 

In times of emergency Youth Battalions may be recruited for active service as they were during the 1948 war.

 

For boys 16 or older, elite combat unit tryouts are held, initially for two days, and for qualifiers up to five, involving demanding and exhausting mental and physical fitness tests. The IDF's reference to "substantial service" strongly emphasizes Elite Combat Unit enlistment - the "cream of the crop" for the "most exciting fighting activities."

 

For the few selected, pressure to be accepted is intense because participation is considered a great honor.

 

Military Use of Child Labor

 

Arranged through schools, children are enlisted to support the IDF, especially during times of emergency or special needs. Besides training, they do laundry, sort uniforms, wash dishes, set dining room tables, clean vehicles, and do other chores, freeing up soldiers for military duties.

 

To support a war effort, children as young as 15 and a half are enlisted for "Labour Service (to protect) the State or public security or for providing vital services to the population." In all cases, schools cooperate, and during extreme times, children have no choice.

 

Civil Guard Use of Children

 

The Israeli Civil Guard is a police-run community-based organization, founded in 1974 to mobilize civilians for protection against Arab militia attacks. Today, the Guard patrols community areas, challenges Palestinians, harasses them, at times shoots them, and performs other civil services like securing public transportation, educational institutions, open markets and parking lots as well as helping out at checkpoints.

 

About 15% of Guard volunteers are children, eligible at age 15 to join in a restricted status that's removed a year later. Parents consent is also required. Youths are armed, and some schools give extra credit for participating.

 

Members of Emergency Squads are mostly adults to be first called on as needed, but since 2002 high school students have increasingly been enlisted.

 

Although part of Israel's police force, the 1971 Police Order's Section 8 is titled "The Israeli Police Force in Military Functions, and Article 92(a) states:

 

"At times of war or emergency, the Minister is entitled, if the government agrees, to declare the Israeli Police Force, or a part of it, a military force which might be employed in military functions for the protection of the State."

 

In the West Bank, children as young as 15 guard settlements and other security work, performing functions that include working in police headquarters and patrolling with arms they're trained to use.

 

Some of them "grow up believing they must banish the Palestinians, and act" violently with impunity, including harassing them freely, beating them, breaking into their homes, destroying their property, and at times killing them.

 

There's little difference between "training and assigning a child to do work as an armed (settlement) guard (or) assigning (them as) soldier(s) at the front in wartime....The formalities of whether one officially belongs to the army or not are hardly relevant," given the pervasive militarization of Israeli society.

 

Although civilian service is voluntary, children are raised "in a hostile and violent environment in the middle of a confrontation area." In the Territories, many believe it's their land. They must protect it, and Palestinians are enemies. Under intense social pressure, they perform at a very immature age when they're too young to know the consequences, yet are conditioned to be militant and obedient.

 

Using Palestinian Children as Collaborators

 

Israel's GSS recruits Palestinian informants, including children, for field agents to provide intelligence - collaborators most Palestinians call traitors "worthy of death." 

 

Tactics involve detaining Palestinian children, then pressuring and torturing them to comply, much like recruiting the South Lebanon Army (SLA) after the 1982 invasion and occupation. Under IDF and GSS supervision, SLA Lebanese citizens, including children as young as 12, were used as collaborators for intelligence purposes.

 

During the second Intifada, Palestinians (including children) were used as human shields, forced at gunpoint to comply. 

 

Some Final Comments

 

Israeli militarized education starts early in overt and symbolic ways to condition young minds to accept  service as natural, vital, and an honor for Jewish citizens. The "educational system is so committed to (promoting) military service that it (fails) to consider" the harm to new youth generations who grow up thinking wars and violence are natural, peace unattainable, Arabs inferior, and Palestinians enemies. 

 

Militarizing society is corrupting and self-destructive, recruiting child soldiers criminal and unconscionable. "All forms....must stop." The alternative is unacceptable, illegal, and intolerable.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also 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.

 

http://prognewshour.progressiveradionetwork.org/

 

http://lendmennews.progressiveradionetwork.org/

 

 

 

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