Debunking Info About Palestine
Debunking info about Palestine is easy. Getting the public to care is what is hard. Palestine has endured decades of settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the invading Israeli government. Mentioning this on Facebook will get your account restricted for 30 days, ridiculed & laughed at on Imgur and banned on Twitter. Here are some Myths & Facts about the dire situation of the men, women & children of Palestine that Israel keeps under wraps…
More Reading: The True Meaning of “Laa ilaaha illAllaah”
Myth: Israel’s military assault is self-defensive in nature. No other country in the world would tolerate “rockets.”
Reality: No other country has to tolerate rockets because no other country has maintained a long military occupation coupled with siege. Israel’s military assault was not and is not self-defensive. Israel launched air strikes against the Gaza Strip before and after the kidnap of three Israelis in mid-June. It must be noted that Israel initially, and without evidence, blamed Hamas for this kidnap incident, thereby attempting to justify its ransacking and invasion of more than 2,000 homes, its kidnap and arrest of more than 500 Palestinians, including members of Parliament, its killing of 11 Palestinians in the West Bank, and its military assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 2. All this happened before a single rocket was fired from Gaza.
Moreover, given that Israel maintains its military occupation over the Gaza Strip, it cannot claim self-defence. Israel has a choice: either maintain its military occupation and accept the consequences or end its military occupation, declare its borders, and claim it is acting in “self-defence.”
Myth: Israel targets only “combatants” and avoids civilian casualties.
Reality: Israel has adopted a loose definition of “combatant” to include any person who is affiliated in any way with Hamas. This runs contrary to international law, which requires that military operations be confined to those who are actually fighting. For example, Israel deliberately targeted Gaza police chief Taysir al-Batsh, killing 18 members of his family. Police are civilians according to international law. Israel has also attacked hospitals, mosques, water treatment facilities, sewer lines, the Gaza Strip’s sole power plant, and other civilian infrastructure that has nothing to do with Hamas.
According to UN estimates, 80 percent of those killed are civilians, including 448 children and even medical personnel. Using Israel’s logic, this also means that any home of any past or present Israeli soldier or police officer is a legitimate target as is any civilian area where military is present (such as the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv).
The “knock on the roof” procedure – dropping a missile on a house in advance of its bombing – has resulted in deaths. According to Philip Luther of Amnesty International, “There is no way that firing a missile at a civilian home can constitute an effective “warning.” Amnesty International has documented cases of civilians killed or injured by such missiles in previous Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip,” he said.
In addition, while Israel claims that it distributes leaflets, these leaflets do not tell people where they are to go to be safe. As noted by Israeli human rights organizations, “Dispersal of leaflets does not grant the military permission to consider the area “sterile”, assume that no civilians were left in the area and then proceed to attack civilian sites. The military must not assume that all residents have indeed left their homes.” (http://adalah.org/eng/Articles/2307/ Joint-letter:-Grave-concern-regarding-Israeli-to) Moreover, weaponry currently being used – such as fléchettes – is designed to increase casualties in densely populated areas.
Myth: Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.
Reality: This is an effective mechanism to deprive Palestinians of their humanity by blaming Palestinian deaths on Palestinians. While the resistance movements fight from within the small area of the Gaza Strip, they do not use Palestinian civilians as cover. To date, international investigations have concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate these long-standing Israeli claims and yet the claims continue to be accepted by many, unchallenged. Ironically, the converse has been well established: Israel has used Palestinian civilians as human shields when carrying out its military operations.
Myth: This is about Hamas/Gaza. Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel.
Reality: This is not about Hamas; this is about Palestine. Israel conveniently ignores the Likud party platform, the Yisreal Beitenu platform, and the Jewish Home platform (all members of the current Israeli governing coalition) that call for either no Palestinian state or the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. This attack on Gaza has little to do with Hamas but more to do with breaking up Palestinian unity and dividing Palestinians. Israel routinely kills and imprisons non-Hamas members. We recall, all too well, the bombing campaigns in the West Bank as well as the isolation of President Arafat. Israel seeks the destruction of Palestine – as evidenced by the Nakba, the Naksa, its on-going colonization, its policy of demolishing homes, and its policy of expelling Palestinians (or revoking their residency). In Israel’s eyes we are an inconvenient “demographic threat” – irrespective of who we vote for.
These talking points were not new to this latest attack. One can only hope that the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization will learn the value of media, as the Israelis have, and will put into place an effective media strategy to counter these myths before the next attack takes place.
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