The deadly violence in Gaza continues with snipers of the Israeli Defense Forces shooting at protestors. The latest outrage was the killing of a 21-year old volunteer medic Razan al-Najjar and the shooting of three other medics, even though she was wearing the white coat that identified her as a medic. Here is a photograph of al-Najjar and one in which she was treating an injured demonstrator.
You can see scenes from her funeral that thousands attended here. Israel has said that it would investigate the death of al-Najjar but you can be sure that they will find no wrongdoing because in their eyes, the IDF can do no wrong.
At around 4:30 P.M., I saw two young guys take a Palestinian flag from an older woman who was close to the coiled fence that was on the ground. They went up to that fence, which was about ten meters away from the perimeter fence. They put the flag on the barbed wire fence, and then I heard a few shots and saw one of them fall down. The other guy lay flat on the ground beside him. A few young men tried to reach them to give them first aid but the soldiers fired live rounds and teargas canisters around them.
I advanced toward the spot with the first-aid team. The soldiers fired live rounds near us to warn us not to approach. One of the women on the emergency team put up her hands to set the soldiers minds at ease and let them know we were a medical crew, and we kept advancing, but the shooting continued near us and over our heads. The soldiers also fired teargas canisters behind us. Despite this, we managed to get to the two guys. I found that the guy who was injured is a relative of mine, Muhammad Musbah. He had been hit by a live bullet in the right leg and was lying on his back. His leg was completely torn up below the knee and he was bleeding badly. I bandaged the wound with medical gauze and Wasim Musbah, who was with us, brought the stick the Palestinian flag had been tied to, broke it in two and tied it to the injured leg as a splint for support. The entire time we were caring for him, the soldiers kept firing above us. A few young guys moved forward till they reached us, and together we lifted Muhammad and got him away from the barbed wire fence and on to a tuk-tuk, because there was no ambulance there.
Israel knows that it is being increasingly condemned around the world and even in the US. The Israel lobby here has already moved to pass laws at the state and federal levels to punish people for supporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement because of fears that it is rapidly gaining support as a result of Israeli government actions. The government of Israel is also seeking fund the lobby groups to carry out its propaganda work using various front organizations and that is raising alarms because that would require the lobby groups to register as foreign agents.
Last fall, officials with a shadowy Israeli government agency started knocking on the doors of America’s leading Jewish institutions.
They came offering money with few strings attached. They wanted American Jewish institutions to help them fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement by running “missions” to Israel for influencers, something some of them were doing anyway.
Jewish institutions aren’t usually in the business of turning down grants. But then, one by one, at least four did.
The Jewish Federations of North America, perhaps the central institution of the organized Jewish community, said no. So did the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, another key establishment group.
The Jewish organizations rejected the offers, according to multiple Jewish communal officials who spoke with the Forward, because accepting the proposed deal would have required them to register as foreign agents with the Department of Justice. At least four organizations turned down offers from the same Israeli agency, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
The Israel parliament is also considering passing legislation that prohibits the photographing or filming of IDF soldiers.
Under the proposed legislation, entitled the “Prohibition against photographing and documenting IDF Soldiers”, those found photographing troops “with the intention of undermining the spirit” of the army can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.
“Anyone who filmed, photographed, and/or recorded soldiers in the course of their duties, with the intention of undermining the spirit of IDF soldiers and residents of Israel, shall be liable to five years imprisonment,” says the bill, proposed by Robert Ilatov, a member of the Knesset and the chairman of the right-wing nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party.
As Glenn Greenwald says:
What do you do if you’re a country with a military that routinely and indiscriminately slaughters innocent people, including children, in support of illegal occupation? You make it a felony to film them or report on what they do
Israel will be aided in this by the US which as usual is providing diplomatic cover and protection for Israeli atrocities even though it is becoming increasingly isolated at the United Nations .
A bitter divide over who is to blame for scores of Palestinian deaths from Israeli fire at protests near Gaza’s border shifted Friday to the United Nations, where the United States vetoed a measure backed by Arab countries to protect Palestinians and condemn Israel.
Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, described the measure, a United Nations Security Council resolution drafted by Kuwait, as one-sided. She accused the measure’s authors of inexplicably absolving Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza and organized the protests.
The United States, a permanent Security Council member with veto power, was the sole no vote on the measure, which was enough to defeat it. Ten members voted in favor and four abstained.
A separate American resolution proposed by Ms. Haley, which would have condemned Hamas for the Gaza violence, failed to gain any support from fellow Council members.
Ms. Haley said the votes showed that the Security Council majority “was willing to blame Israel, but unwilling to blame Hamas, for violence in Gaza.”
“Further proof was not needed, but it is now completely clear that the U.N. is hopelessly biased against Israel,” she said in a statement.
While the votes were largely symbolic, they offered some insight into the challenges the United States is facing diplomatically over what critics call its unbridled support of Israel’s side in the protracted conflict with the Palestinians.
Kuwait’s draft resolution condemned the use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians” and demanded a halt to such actions. It made no mention of Hamas, which Israel, the United States and several other countries consider a terrorist organization.
In the vote for the American resolution, in which the United States was the sole yes vote, three members voted against it and 11 abstained.
As long as the US continues to give its unconditional support for Israel, it will continue to commit atrocities.