Uncensored Video Report From Dr. In Gaza Hospital
Video and Text
January 06, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse“
Dr. Mads Gilbert, Gaza,
Dr . Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor in Gaza, tells Sky News that the number of civilians injured and killed in Gaza proves that Israel is deliberately attacking the population.
“Just a little bit more than an hour ago the Israelis bombed the central fruit market in Gaza city and we had a mass influx of about 50 injured and between 10 and 15 killed. At the same time they bombed an apartment house with children playing on the roof and we had a lot of children also. So this is really like speaking from the dumps of Inferno, it’s like hell here now, and it’s been bombing all night. Until now close to 500 people have been killed and the number of casualties is getting to 2,500 of which 50% are children and women.
Are your hospitals reaching capacity? Can you deal with these people?
We have been doing surgery around the clock. I have just talked with one of my colleagues in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), he’s not been sleeping for three days and the hospital is completely overcrowded, we are running 6 – 7 Ors (Operating Rooms) and there are injuries you just don’t want to see in this world… children coming in with open abdomens and legs cut off. We just had a child that we had to amputate both legs and an arm. And their only crime is being civilians and Palestinians living in Gaza. The relief now is not more doctors and more drugs; the relief now is to stop the bombing immediately, this cannot go on, it’s a disaster.
You’ve talked about the civilians, the women, the children, the men who aren’t involved in this, but are you also getting casualties that are Hamas fighters?
To be honest, we came on New Year’s Eve in the morning. I’ve seen one military person among the tenths… I mean hundreds that we’ve seen and treated, so anybody who tries to portrait this as a totally clean war against another army are lying. This is an all-out war against the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza, and we can prove that with numbers. And you have to remember that the average age of the Gaza inhabitants is 17 years, it’s a very young population, and 80% are living below the poverty limit of the UN. So this is a poor and very young people, and they are able to escape absolutely nowhere, because they cannot flee like other populations can in war time, because they are fenced in and they are in a cage, so they’re bombing 1.5 million people in a cage… young people, poor people and, you know, you cannot separate between the civilians and the fighters in such a situation.”
Transcribed by Atenea Acevedo (Tlaxcala) and Hana Al Bayaty (IAON)
[APPEASE INTERNATIONAL DO-GOODERS, TO PREVENT THEM ENDING THE GENOCIDE.]
Not unlike raising animals for slaughter on a farm, the Israeli government maintains that it is providing Palestinians with assistance so that it can have a free hand in attacking them, notes Neve Gordon.
Watching Israeli public television (Channel 1) these days can be an unsettling experience, and lately I’ve abstained from the practice. But after being stuck for seventy-two hours with our two young children inside a Beer-Sheva apartment, the spouse and I decided to visit my mother, who lives up north, so that our children could play outside far away from the rockets. My mother, like most Israelis, is a devout news consumer, and last night I decided to keep her company in front of the TV.
For the most part, the broadcast was more of the same. There were the usual images and voices of suffering Israeli Jews along with the promulgation of a hyper-nationalist ethos. One story, for example, followed a Jewish mother who had lost her son in Gaza about two years ago. The audience was told that the son has been a soldier in the Golani infantry brigade and together with his company had penetrated the Gaza Strip in an attempt to save the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
“Because members of his company did not want to hurt civilians, they refrained from opening fire in every direction, which allowed Palestinian militiamen to shoot my boy,” the mother stated. When the interviewer asked her about the current assault on Gaza, she answered that, “We should pound and cut them from the air and from the sea,” but added that, “We should not kill civilians, only Hamas.” The report ended with the interviewer asking the mother what she does when she misses her son, and, as the camera zoomed in on her face, she answered: “I go into his room and hug his bed, because I can no longer hug him.”
Thus, despite the ever-increasing loss of life in the Gaza Strip, Israel remains the perpetual victim. Indeed, the last frame with the mother looking straight into the camera leaves the average compassionate viewer — myself included — a bit choked up. Over the past few years, I have, however, become a critical consumer of Israeli news, and therefore can see through the perpetuation of the image that Israel and its Jewish majority are the victims and how, regardless of what happens, we are presented as the moral players in this conflict. Therefore, this kind of reportage, where the huge death toll in Gaza is elided and Jewish suffering is underscored, no longer shocks me.
What did manage to unnerve me in the broadcast was one short sentence made by a reporter who covered the entry of a humanitarian aid convoy into the Gaza Strip on Friday.
My mother and I — like other Israeli viewers — learned that 170 trucks supplied with basic foodstuff donated by the Turkish government entered Gaza through the Carmi crossing. That the report had nothing to say about the context of this food shipment did not surprise me. Nor was I surprised that no mention was made of the fact that 80 percent of Gaza’s inhabitants are unable to support themselves and are therefore dependent on humanitarian assistance — and this figure is increasing daily. Indeed, nothing was said about the severe food crisis in Gaza, which manifests itself in shortages of flour, rice, sugar, dairy products, milk and canned foods, or about the total lack of fuel for heating houses and buildings during these cold winter months, the absence of cooking gas, and the shortage of running water. The viewer has no way of knowing that the Palestinian health system is barely functioning or that some 250,000 people in central and northern Gaza are now living without any electricity at all due to the damage caused by the air strikes.
While the fact that this information was missing from the report did not surprise me, I found myself completely taken aback by the way in which the reporter justified the convoy’s entrance into Gaza. Explaining to those viewers who might be wondering why Israel allows humanitarian assistance to the other side during times of war, he declared that if a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe were to explode among the Palestinian civilian population, the international community would pressure Israel to stop the assault.
There is something extremely cynical about how Israel explains its use of humanitarian assistance, and yet such unadulterated explanations actually help uncover an important facet of postmodern warfare. Not unlike raising animals for slaughter on a farm, the Israeli government maintains that it is providing Palestinians with assistance so that it can have a free hand in attacking them. And just as Israel provides basic foodstuff to Palestinians while it continues shooting them, it informs Palestinians — by phone, no less — that they must evacuate their homes before F-16 fighter jets begin bombing them.
One notices, then, that in addition to its remote-control, computer game-like qualities, postmodern warfare is also characterized by a bizarre new moral element. It is as if the masters of wars realized that since current wars rarely take place between two armies and are often carried out in the midst of civilian populations, a new just war theory is needed. So these masters of war gathered together philosophers and intellectuals to develop a moral theory for postmodern wars, and today, as Gaza is being destroyed, we can see quite plainly how the new theory is being transformed into praxis.
Neve Gordon teaches politics at Ben-Gurion University. His new book, Israel’s Occupation, is due out this fall from the University of California Press.
Copyright © 2009 The Nation
Israel’s Action in Gaza Spurs Anti-Israel Rallies Introduction
January 2009 Demonstrations
December 30 “National Day of Action” Demonstrations
December 2008 Demonstrations
Anti-Israel groups in the United States have organized a series of demonstrations, rallies and other events in response to Israel’s military action in Gaza to staunch the barrage of Hamas rockets hurled at Israeli towns and cities.
A coalition of groups that often unite in protest against Israel has been touting the protests as a response to Israel’s “massacre of Palestinians.” As in the past, demonstrators have used these rallies to express extreme anti-Israel and anti-Zionist messages, to engage in anti-Semitic rhetoric and offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis, as well as to express support for terror.
On December 28 and 27, as Israel started bombing raids against Hamas installations in Gaza, anti-Israel demonstrations were held in cities nationwide. More coordinated rallies were organized outside Israeli embassies and consulates, U.S. federal buildings and elsewhere in the following days.
The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Israel activity, will report on anti-Israel demonstrations and events in reaction to Israeli strikes against Hamas as the situation unfolds.
|•||ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition|
|•||Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition|
The European Cup game between Bnei Hasharon and Turk Telekom was later postponed because the Israeli team did not return to the court. There was no word on when or where the game would be played.
The fans chanted “God is Great” and “Killer Israel.” At least one fan threw his shoe at Israeli players but police used riot shields to protect them as they left the court. The Turkish players also headed to the locker room.
A pro-Islamic group earlier set an Israeli flag on fire outside the arena.
Turkey has harshly criticized Israel over the ground offensive in Gaza and has urged an immediate cease-fire in the Palestinian territory. It has also called on the United Nations to take steps to end the violence.
|Click to view caption|
|Clockwise from top left: Egyptians protest in support of Gaza outside the Press Syndicate building in Cairo; Jordanians and Palestinians demonstrate in Amman against the continuing Israeli attacks on Gaza; Lebanese demonstrators listen to the speech of Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah during a rally organised by his supporters in the southern suburbs of Beirut against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza
“Arabs are a vocal phenomenon,” said former Israeli minister of defence Moshe Dayan disdainfully shortly after the Arab defeat in 1967.
Five consecutive days of round-the-clock raids on densely populated Gaza, which has been under tough sanctions for the past 18 months, pushed the number of martyrs approximately 400 and two thousand wounded. But are these figures high enough to trigger a real reaction?
“How many shaheed are enough for Arab rulers to retaliate to the Israeli massacres,” a Syrian young man was shouting during a demonstration beside Al-Yarmouk refugee camp.
A Yemeni protester who rushed into one of the demonstrations that filled the streets of Sanaa less than two hours after the first raid said, “this is not just an invasion of Gaza; it is an invasion of all Arab states and a direct result of the defeat of Arab conscience.”
Furious words that express bitterness and a desire for vengeance — but that is all. The Arab League, where the pro-American governments are dominant, has already postponed a ministerial meeting called to take a common position on the crisis in Gaza and a proposal to hold an Arab summit is meeting some resistance, diplomats said.
Judging by past summits, Arab heads of state are unlikely to fulfil popular aspirations, especially if that would put them in conflict with Israel and Washington.
Arab popular demands sound simple: opening the border with Egypt to relieve the siege; closing the embassy; expelling the ambassador; and withdrawing the generous 2002 Saudi peace initiative agreed by the Arab League. But they are all but impossible given the present political alignment, and they fall on deaf ears.
It appears nothing will really change. The pro-US Arab regimes will continue to play the role of loyal allies, and the “radical extremist regimes” as the West refers to Syria and its non-Arab ally Iran will score more points for their continuing support of resistance groups. In short, Hizbullah and Hamas will be symbols of dignity and victory in the Arab world.
Not long ago, in 2006, during the Israeli- Hizbullah war, the moderate regimes initially hoped that the conflict would damage Hizbullah, but soon changed tack when the Israeli army failed to deliver a quick victory and Hizbullah proved it could survive.
This week, pan-Arab satellite channels have been broadcasting nearly non-stop images of bloodied Palestinian bodies, ambulances screaming and women wailing in hospital corridors. But US President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice justified Israel’s slaughter with the usual mantra that Israel has the right to “retaliate and defend itself”.
“Our intention is to totally change the rules of the game,” Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said. According to Barak, “the game” is the whole Arab-Israeli conflict, but “the score” was much higher than he actually anticipated before launching the current attack.
It was 40 years ago, on 28 December 1968, that Israeli commandos raided Beirut airport and destroyed 13 Lebanese civilian aircraft, in retaliation for a Palestinian attack against an Israeli airliner in Athens. Israel aimed to inflict a revenge so severe to shock the Arabs into preventing the Palestinians from fighting Israel.
Today, 40 years and numerous attacks and wars later, Israel is again using massive retaliatory and punitive force to cow the Palestinians of Gaza into submission.
Arabs, and above all Palestinians, knew by grim experience that the death of one Israeli citizen justifies the indiscriminate murder of a hundred Palestinians. “This is an attempt to uproot the Palestinian resistance like what they tried to do in 2006 with Hizbullah,” said Hizbullah representative Hussein Rahal in Beirut.
But this is harder said than done. The Arab and Muslim communities cannot be judged this way. “These are communities that cherish their martyrs; where violent death reinforces social cohesion and unity,” said an Arab analyst.
“What has happened in the past few hours is simply an expression of what has been going on for days and months and years: the death and fear that Gaza’s gunmen and rocket teams and bombers have inflicted upon Israel have been returned 10, 20, 30 times over once again,” the analyst added.
Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians provide the rallying point to vent anger not only against Zionist atrocities but against what the public widely call “the collaboration of their regimes” with their supreme foe for already two generations, a rogue state which opponents rightly dismiss as “the Zionist entity”.
According to one Israeli commentator in Haaretz, judging by Arab leaders’ statements and slogans shouted by demonstrators in several Arab capitals, one might have thought that Egypt, not Israel, was the one waging war on Gaza.
But to be fair, it is not only Egypt but all Arab regimes that are being condemned by the Arabs.
“This is something to be ranked with Deir Yassin. With the Sabra and Shatila massacres,” the Arab analyst quoted above reiterated.
In Yemen, tens of thousands of people gathered in and around a stadium in the capital, Sanaa, chanting anti-Israeli slogans and criticising Arab leaders for failing to act. “How long will the silence last? Arabs wake up!” read one banner.
In Lebanon, Al-Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said that people were demanding more decisive action from their leaders. “We have heard very critical remarks, not only against Israel, but also against Arab governments. Many were angry at the Egyptian government, they feel they needed to do more,” she said.
Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, who likes to play the role of conscience of the Arab nation, joined in the criticism of Arab leaders on Sunday. “These characters should be ashamed of themselves. They are trading on the name of the Palestinian cause with their cowardly, weak and defeatist stands,” he said.
At a protest in Baghdad, Palestinian Ambassador Galil Al-Qasus said: “We were waiting for action from the Arab leaders, but now we do not want anything from them. We have appealed to Arab leaders for almost 60 years, but all these efforts were in vain.”