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International | Anti-War

Gaza Ceasefire Extended
by Stephen Lendman
Tuesday Aug 19th, 2014 6:08 AM
Gaza
Gaza Ceasefire Extended

by Stephen Lendman

Monday's ceasefire deadline was extended another 24 hours. It was set to expire at midnight local time.

Talks continue for a permanent ceasefire. Long denied justice for beleaguered Palestinians remains elusive.

It's hard knowing how another day, week or month will achieve what never before was possible.

Israel is a lawless, racist, apartheid rogue terror state. It's all take and no give. It wants its interests alone served. It wants fundamental Palestinian rights denied.

It wants Gazans isolated under siege. It wants brutalizing occupation continued.

It wants Palestinian self-determination avoided at all costs. It wants the right to keep stealing Palestinian land.

It wants control of all valued parts of Judea and Samaria. It wants their resources. They include Palestine's large Eastern Mediterranean Leviathan natural gas (and oil) reserves.

It wants business as usual continued. It wants the right to persecute, brutalize and wage premeditated war on Palestine whenever it wishes.

It wants the right to do so for any reason or none at all. It wants the right to blame Palestinians for its crimes.

It wants the right to get away with genocidal mass slaughter unaccountably. It wants the right to bomb and shell Gaza to rubble.

It wants the right to use chemical, biological, and radiological agents, other banned terror weapons, as well as newly developed ones producing injuries and symptoms medical professionals never before saw.

Reports from Cairo are mixed. One suggests longterm ceasefire terms are being finalized after 15 days of Egypt-mediated talks.

Others claim negotiations are at impasse on issues mattering most. Israel remains hardline.

Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh said "Israel is seeking to break the confidence between Palestinians and the Egyptian mediators by refusing  to make any concessions."

Palestinian negotiators are determined to "realize our people's demands, which are worthy of the sacrifices made in the Gaza Strip."

Israel bears full responsibility for impasse. Fatah negotiator Faysal Abu Shahla said reports of progress are false.

"There has been no progress so far, and there are anonymous sources trying to put stumbling blocks before the Egyptian initiative."

"Therefore, we agreed to extend the talks by 24 hours, and we should reach a situation (by midnight August 19 local time) of either (an) agreement or no agreement."

Things don't look good. Netanyahu's delegation continues going all-out for a longterm ceasefire without "signing a meaningful agreement."

"They avoided any agreement in an attempt to continue their unilateral plans to have control over everything, as they have done in the past."

On Tuesday, senior Hamas leader Izzat Al-Rishq accused Israel of deliberately undermining talks by making new last minute demands.

Israel is determined to deny Gazans concessions they most want. Agreeing to them changes everything. It makes Palestinian self-determination possible.

It prevents Israel from controlling the territory of another sovereign state. It ends land theft.

It gives Palestinians control of their borders, resources, air and coastal waters. It frees Gaza from siege.

It's the beginning of the end of Israel's lawless occupation. It reverses Israel's Six-Day War gains. It makes sovereign Palestine within June 1967 borders possible.

It gives Palestinians East Jerusalem as their exclusive capital. It gives diaspora Palestinians the right to return.

It gives Palestinians what they've long been denied. It makes liberation possible. It fulfills the dream of millions of Palestinians.

It defeats what Israel spent decades to achieve, maintain and advance. It's a dagger in the heart of its Greater MIddle East plans.

It's why Israel keeps going all out to avoid making meaningful concessions. It's determined to continue business as usual.

Its negotiators came to Cairo with clear orders. Maintain status quo conditions at all costs. Demand everything. Give nothing meaningful in return.

Claim the ruse of Palestinian "terrorism" as justification. Invent one Big Lie after another to do so.

Repeat them publicly. Do it ad nauseam. Get Western media scoundrels to do it.

Convince world leaders that "Hamas terrorists can never be trusted." Hamas is Palestine's democratically elected government.

It's not a terrorist organization. It never was. It's not now. It's a legitimate resistance group.

It virtually never initiates conflict with Israel. It responds justifiably to repeated Israeli provocations. International law permits it.

Netanyahu is a world class thug. He's guilty of multiple high crimes against peace.

He blames them unjustifiably on Palestinians. He belongs in prison, not high office.

So do other hardline Israeli officials. They're guilty of state-sponsored terrorism.

Operation Protective Edge was well-planned, cold, calculated premeditate aggression. Israel bears full responsibility.

Blaming legitimate Hamas self-defense turns truth on its head. Israeli justice blames victims for its crimes.

If Islamic Jihad leader al-Batsh is right, Cairo talks remain at impasse on issues mattering most to Palestinians.

"If progress was made with any issue being negotiated, we would have notified all the media outlets," he said.

Talks continue. Neither side wants more conflict. At the same time, Hamas and other resistance groups don't want weeks of struggle to be futile.

They reject status quo conditions. They want Gaza's siege ended. They want Israel held accountable for genocidal mass slaughter and destruction.

They want peace and stability. They want long denied justice.

Gaza's health ministry reported 2,016 Palestinian deaths. Another 10,196 wounded. Many severely. Some won't survive. Others will be maimed for life.

Expect death toll numbers to rise. Bodies under rubble are being found. Israel murdered nearly 550 children and infants.

It considers them legitimate targets. Under international law, attacking civilians constitutes a war crime. Israel is guilty multiple times over and then some.

So is Washington for supporting its killing machine and waging its own wars of aggression. Both nations partner in high crimes against peace.

Wars without end attest to their barbarity. Millions suffer horrifically. Peace is a four-letter word.

Zionism is a curse. It harms Jews and non-Jews alike. It's a monster destroying its host. It threatens humanity. It rejects rule of law principles.

It's an ideology for the manufacture of human rights abuses. Gaza is Exhibit A.

On August 15, the World Jewish Congress and Conference of Presidents of (52) Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO) published an unconscionable "Open Letter to the Israel Defense Forces."

"Thank you for your service and sacrifice on behalf of the Jewish State and Jewish Nation," it said.

"We thank the leaders and members of the Israel Defense Forces for their courage, commitment, and humanity in the battle against Hamas and other terrorist organizations that constantly and deliberately endanger civilians in Gaza and Israel."

"We remember those who fell and their families and pray for the quick recovery of those who were injured."

"A grateful American and world Jewish community thanks you."

"We are one people with one heart."

Signed:

World Jewish Congress
Ronald S. Lauder, President
Robert Singer, CEO

Conference of Presidents of (52) Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO)
Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman
Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO

AIPAC is CPMAJO's best known organization. It has enormous influence in Washington. It's an unregistered foreign agent.

It operates illegally. It promotes war. It deplores peace. It represents what deserves universal condemnation. It doesn't matter. It's a powerful force to be reckoned with.

It calls premeditated Israeli aggression "self-defense." It calls legitimate Palestinian self-defense "terrorism."

It repeats one Big Fat Lie after another. It supports the worst of Israeli crimes. So does the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

It was founded in 1897. It's the nation's oldest Zionist organization. It turns truth on its head.

It blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes. It supports Israel's cold-blooded murder of 2,000+ Palestinians as well as turning large parts of Gaza to rubble.

It calls lawless aggression "self-defense." So does the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It's America's second oldest Zionist organization.

It "expresse(d) solidarity" with Israel's Operation Protective Edge. It repeated one Big Fat Lie after another supporting it. It unjustifiably blamed Hamas for Israeli crimes.

America's 52 Zionist organizations march in lockstep. James Petras calls them a "fifth column threat in America."

They support violence. They deplore peaceful coexistence. They promote confrontation over diplomacy. They endorse racist hate.

They turn a blind eye to Israel's worst human rights abuses and other crimes. They deplore democratic rights.

They believe in Jewish exceptionalism, specialness and uniqueness as God's "chosen people."

They endorse strength through militarism, belligerence, intimidation and naked aggression.

They call legitimate Israeli criticism "anti-Semitism." They call Israeli high crimes against peace "self-defense."

However Cairo talks conclude, one thing is certain. Justice will remain elusive. Fundamental Gazan rights will remain denied.

Israel will breach whatever it agrees to. It will do it straightaway. It will do so with impunity. It will keep committing human rights abuses.

It will wage aggressive war whenever it chooses for whatever reasons it invents. World leaders able to make a difference will turn a blind eye. They'll continue supporting what demands condemnation.

Palestinian liberation remains a distant dream. They're on their own to achieve it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour
by Mike Novack
Tuesday Aug 19th, 2014 2:57 PM
The extension didn't last. And rather inexplicable of you to suggest that the Israelis were going to break the cease fire, unless what you meant was that in order to prevent them from doing that the Gazans opened fire first.

Look, I really don't understand the WHYS of some of this. Perfectly OK for the Gazans to decide that they don't want another extension, want to resume fighting for what they want. But since it would have just been a few hours, why not wait for the extension to expire and then resume firing rockets. It's not as if anything to be gained by surprise as the rockets are poorly aimed and rarely hit intended targets.