Tonight in San Francisco, Augusts 23rd, at a fundraiser for Children in the Gaza, Norman Finkelstein was the guest speaker.
For those of you who may not be familiar with him, Norman Finkelstein is a professor of Political Theory, the writer of nine books dealing with the Israeli Conflict with the Palestinian People, an American Jew himself, and the son of parents who were Holocaust victims. His parents taught him that from their experience they had learned genocide, incremental or otherwise, was an atrocious and unconscionable act against humanity no matter what group or race was on the receiving end of it. They personally deplored what they saw the Israelis were doing to the Palestinians as a desecration to the memory of all the Jews who died in the Holocaust.
Norman Finkelstein’s presentation covered so many aspects of the recent Massacre in Gaza giving information that goes unreported by the mainstream media in this country, a great failure of a Fourth Estate that should be informing the People of the full context of the recent event.
For instance it has been reported that Netanyahu’s government has justified its bombardment of Gaza as necessary to seal off the tunnel systems that reach into Israel. There are actually 32 of them, only 12 of which actually cross the border. He pointed out how the media has portrayed them as the means by which Hamas fighters are able to enter Israel and attack and kill innocent Israelis at kindergartens, nursery schools, old peoples homes, and other such propagandistic caricatures to sway the international community into thinking of the Palestinians as the most vile, despicable terrorists in the history of the world. Even Attila the Hun would not impale babies on pitchforks but the Palestinians of course would. Point of fact those 12 tunnels have been used soley to go after Israeli combatants, the rest are the mouthings of the Israeli propaganda machine, unrivalled in its capability to deceive masses of people and our Fourth Estate, our so-called Free Press, at the same time.
What our Press has failed to expose by doing any noticeable research other than getting their talking points from the Israeli government and our bought and paid for State Department is the context that surround the lies and the distortions of truth which if given reveal a picture far different than what the American Public is aware of.
An example: When Generalissimo al Sissi came to power in Egypt after killing more than 1000 peaceful, non-violent protesters in the streets of Egypt, one of his first tasks was to “seal off” the tunnels bordering Gaza. There were more than a thousand of them. He was successful in doing so. Did it entail leveling Gaza’s interior to do so? Of course not. He merely sealed off 1000 tunnels on the border.
Did our media point this out to the electorate of this country or did they do the bidding of our 51st State? So you see where they failed in not giving perspective, context, to this ongoing slaughter of innocent Palestinians…over 500 children so far and at least 75 % of the Palestinian deaths being civilians? Is this then the highest of journalistic excellence in searching for the truth in an objective and fact based manner? Clearly not. But this is the existing state of dystopia in the entertainment world of fantasy news that bends fawningly to the will of the US government.
Norman Finkelstein pointed out what, with a little common sense, would expose the fallacy of rockets raining down on Israel. ROCKETS, ROCKETS, ROCKETS, screams our hysterical panoply of Israeli endlessly repeated sloganeering reporters. Rockets pouring from the skies, terrorizing Uncle Schlomo and his bed- ridden wife, a ninety year old invalid.
The official count of 2800 rockets fired so far belie the question just where have the Palestinians gotten the materials to make these harbingers of death. Not from Egypt, the tunnels have been sealed for some time now. Not from Iran or Hezbollah. The Iranians and Hezbollah broke off their aid to Hamas when Hamas decided to support verbally the opposition seeking to overthrow the Assad government which Iran and Hezbollah supported.
Now follow this. The damage down by these so-called rockets (think pyrotechnics) has amounted to 15 million dollars and three Israeli deaths, one of which was from a heart attack while fleeing in his vehicle. Think about it. 2800 ROCKETS causing only 15 million dollars of damage and three deaths. Hardly a pin prick compared to Israeli Defense Force’s laying waste to Gaza destroying homes, apartments, schools, sewage plants, electric power stations, water distribution sites, hospitals, clinics, mosques, and over 2000 deaths, over 10,000 injured Palestinians…and counting.
The Israeli government’s answer to this incongruity? Thank Yahweh for blessing God’s Chosen People with the Iron Dome rocket interceptor. Which would sound a most feasible bit of logic except that:
“In an interview last Thursday with Radio 103, Israel Defense Prize winner and aerospace engineering expert Dr. Moti Shefer stated simply that Iron Dome was one of the biggest bluffs ever seen.
He said, “There is no missile in the world today able to intercept missiles or rockets. Iron Dome is a sound and light show that is intercepting only Israeli public opinion, and itself, of course. Actually, all the explosions you see in the sky are self explosions. No Iron Dome missile has ever collided with a single rocket. Open spaces are a myth invented in order to up Iron Dome’s current interception percentages. The rockets announced as intercepted by Iron Dome either never reach the ground, or are virtual rockets invented and destroyed on the Iron Dom control computer. To this day, no one has ever seen an intercepted rocket fall to the ground.”
He continued, “What lands here is what’s launched. The parts we see on the ground are from Iron Dome itself. We’re shooting at ourselves, mainly virtually. The virtual rocket was invented in order to increase the vagueness surrounding Iron Dome. Assume that a real rocket arrives. What does the command and control system do? It creates nine more virtual rockets, and transmits their paths on computer graphics to the rocket launcher operators. The launcher operators see 10 rockets and launch 10 Iron Dome interceptors. People hear 10 booms, one rocket enters, and you get a 90% success rate.”
According to Dr. Shefer, Iron Dome is a part of a broad conspiracy, in which two interested parties afraid of peace are participating: the defense industries and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Now I ask you. Is our delusional Fourth Estate getting this information out to the American People? Amy Goodman’s news program, Democracy Now, has covered it. But our Corporate Enabling Media wouldn’t dare challenge Israel’s or the Obama’s Adminstration’s rather slippery slick propaganda machine. So the Majority of the American People continue to be hoodwinked at their own expense because their so called elected representatives recently voted to re-arm the Israeli military with almost a quarter billion dollars of taxpayers money. Think about all those Conservative Senators and Representatives who decry the profligate spending of this or that agency at the expense of the American taxpayer. Oh, wait a minute. They make an exception for their generous donors from AIPAC who flood their campaign coffers for favors returned.
Norman Finkelstein felt it important to point out how at the beginning of the war, how everyday a murderous assault was perpetrated upon the Gazans, Obama or his spokespersons would come out and state that Israel had the right to defend itself, thereby giving Natanyahu’s government the green light to continue the massacre. Remember Bush the Decider. Well now we have Obama the Enabler.
However after one UN refugee facility was bombed, then a second, then a third, then a fourth, the comatose Ban Ki Moon, the US’s yes man in the United Nations said these were criminal acts. Interesting how everything that preceded the bombing of UN refugee facilities went un-addressed, but when four facilities housing their own United Nations personel and equipment, suddenly this was a conscience raising moment.
And then on August 3rd, a fifth United Nation’s facility was bombed and Obama, cowardly leader that he is, had our State Department issue the statement that it was a “DISGRACEFUL SHELLING”.
World Opinion had finally hit home jaggedly cutting through Obama’s crusty conscience. He no longer had anyone behind him. He was the pariah leader of the most despised nation in the world at that moment in history with the exception of Israel.
The State Department sent out those words, “DISGRACEFUL SHELLING”, and Netanyahu immediately gave the order for Israel’s “Most Moral Army in the World” to pull out.
Not a single word was uttered from the hallowed halls of the US Congress. All those money grubbing, on the take from the Israeli lobby, AIPAC beneficiaries-Congressmen went eerily silent. Our media, the same.
Speaks pretty convincingly to the complicity of this American president and Congress and the power they didn’t use in the interest of preventing an unprecedented and atrocious violation of human rights and war crimes, and a clear reflection of how soulless and unprincipled have become the virtues they like to extol as American exceptionalism.
The United States has reached the gutter of its own undoing and fallen from any more international respect for some long forgotten myths about the values of American democracy and justice.
After Norman’s talk, a young woman asked the question what could the Palestinians do, what could Americans do to confront AIPAC and its immoral clutch on our prostituted legislative and executive representatives.
He stated that only the Palestinian People could help themselves really, we could only assist them in that endeavor. He then proposed the possibility of a march of the more than one and a half million Gazans, half to the Egyptian border crossing and the other half to the Israeli border crossing, in a non-violent protest, demanding the lifting of the INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED illegal blockade.
Good chance that Israel would murder maybe a hundred, maybe two hundred, the Egyptian Army taking their orders from al-Sissi the same. But the world would bear witness to that act of liberation and Justice would be done…..as long as the march remained non-violent.