Friday, February 29, 2008

Israeli Minister Vows Palestinian Holocaust; American Media Takes No Notice

According to the British Telegraph: "A senior Israeli politician provoked controversy today when he warned that Palestinians firing rockets from Gaza would be punished with a 'bigger holocaust' from Israeli armed forces." A simple google news search of the story found headlines in British, Canadian, Irish, Australian, Iranian, and Arab media sources, but almost nothing in the American press - Democracy Now being one exception.

Now there is debate over the translation of the actual word used: "shoah." Though even the Israeli newspaper Haaretz admits that "shoah" is "the Hebrew word for holocaust or disaster ... the word is generally used to refer to the Nazi Holocaust..." But even without the "holocaust" statement, the threat is still grave and ought to provoke a response of outrage from Americans. In the past 3 days 33 Palestinians have been killed, including 5 children playing soccer, all allegedly in response to rocket attacks that have killed one Israeli in the same time period. The minister's statement, along with threats from many other Israeli officials, appear to be leading up to a possible ground invasion of Gaza, but certainly a military escalation. No doubt many more children and innocent civilians will be killed needlessly.

Needlessly because Hamas has offered a cease fire and negotiations which nearly 2/3 of the Israeli population supports. Unfortunately, the military leaders and right-wing politicians in Israel probably have too much at stake in refusing negotiations, escalating their state terror campaign against Gaza, and continuing to label Hamas "terrorists" while they exact collective punishment against the people in Gaza.

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