When last I heard (about 8 days ago – just before the Gaza/Israel conflict flared up), about 40,000 Syrians had been killed by their own government. About 35,000 are apparently still missing. (Shades of President Assad’s father when the senior Assad was also President, and massacred some 25,000 Syrians at Hama when he brutally put down a Muslim Brotherhood rebellion in 1982. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) Thousands more Syrians have fled the country seeking refuge in Turkey, Jordan and even Lebanon.
Yet Syria has disappeared completely from the media map. I’ve not heard or seen any TV, newspaper or radio reports that mentioned Syria since the terrorists in Gaza starting firing rockets at Israel in earnest.
Speculation is rife now as to why the Gaza conflict suddenly flared up. “Bibi (Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu) wanted it for vote catching”. “Ditto Ehud Barak” (Israel’s Minister of Defense). “President (of the Palestinian Authority) Abbas needs the war to strengthen his position vis-à-vis Hamas”. “Both the Arabs and Israel see the war as a mechanism to jump-start their economies”. “Hamas needed to revive its image”. Etc. etc. etc.
The infamous Goldstone Report issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council, that condemned Israel for intentionally targeting Palestinian civilians during the Gaza war, has a new and surprising critic -- Richard Goldstone, himself.
"We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report," Goldstone says in a mea culpa in the Washington Post. "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."
He goes on to explain:
The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.
The Propagandist unleashes a multi-part series reporting on a bizarre display of political indoctrination and doublespeak that occurred in a forum promoting the book "Antisemitism. Real and Imagined", co-written by English professor and 9/11 truther Michael Keefer. Ironically, Mr. Keefer made a number of statements related to Israel that reasonable people might infer as anti-Semitic. Or are these statements merely legitimate criticism of Israel (and supporters of a particular Israeli government policy)? You be the judge.
Then there's the small matter of the blockade on Gaza. Keefer was kind enough to outline the background of the situation as he saw it. "The blockade of Gaza is intended, let’s use the term, to terrorize the civilian population into reversing the position it took in what is generally acknowledged to have been an untarnished and democratic election. That blockade is a very severe violation of international law."
To anyone completely ignorant of the actual situation in Gaza, this might seem reasonable. A blockade on any territory would seem inherently unjust, particularly if the only reason is to "terrorize" and...More >>