Gaza Massacre
Gaza Massacre Blog

Recent Writings on the Massacre and Related Subjects
May 7, 2024 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Where's the Rest of the World?

As Israel's promised invasion of Rafah unfolds, choking off what little humanitarian aid that has been able to enter, 1.4 million defenseless Gazans (600,000 children) lie huddled in Rafah as famine stalks the land. Words are fine, and so are legal challenges. But, clearly, if the rest of the world (outside of Israel and its supporters in North America and Europe) acted, this genocide could not happen.

So where's China? Where's Russia? Where's Saudi Arabia? Where's Türkiye? Where's India? Where's Egypt? Where's Iran? Why is it left to Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries, to actively attempt to halt the genocide? Perhaps, as Chris Hedges remarks: it is not accidental. “You had 30,000 Yemenis starved to death, you had cholera epidemics, when they were under that US-Saudi siege; so it's very close to home historically in terms of memory.”

Killing the Messenger

The Middle-East's so-called “only democracy” has murdered at least 140 journalists, in some cases, their entire families. Israel has just shut down Al Jazeera's office in Israel.

Don't Ever Say Demonstrations Don't Work
“Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, ‘Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed,’ A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (PBUH)! I will help him if he is oppressed, but if he is an oppressor, how shall I help him?’ The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘By preventing him from oppressing (others), for that is how to help him.’”
If demonstrations didn't work, why would governments go to so much trouble brutalizing demonstrators? And why would the corporate media spend so much energy criticizing and disrespecting them?

Meanwhile, The Biden Administration has held up the latest shipment of deadly weapons for Israel. No one is saying why; but, I think I know.

College students have learned a lot since the Vietnam War era when I used to demonstrate. Their demonstrations have been mostly peaceful, with only a few instances of sporadic violence, many of which were very likely instigated by the ever-present agent provocateurs, always embedded in a demonstration.

On the other hand, college administrators and law enforcement appear to have learned nothing at all, in spite of many coming of age during the Vietnam War era. Rather than treating demonstrators with respect, many have doubled-down on brutality, viciousness and violence.

Not surprisingly, the resolve of the demonstrators has increased in the wake of this ill-treatment, and many more have joined the demonstrations.

In a conflict between youth and the aged, youth *ALWAYS* wins. The demonstrators will be around long after “old farts” like Joe Biden and Donald Trumps are dead and gone. (Count me in with the “old farts.”)

Turning Up the Heat in Palestine

Palestine/Israel saw record-smashing April temperatures of over 105°F, temperatures not seen in April since the time of the first Nakba. This is particularly devastating for Palestinian refugees living out in the open or in makeshift tents. More extreme heat waves and decreased rainfall are predicted for the coming years as global warming increases.

The Future
“I've seen the future, baby, it is murder.”
—Leonard Cohen (The Future)

In short our “allies” are as out of control as we are. Israel stands naked before the world as it strives to outdo the brutality of its 20th Century Nazi predecessors. Europe lies on the brink of a World War III that will put it's 20th Century World Wars to shame. Wealthy corporations, backed up by governments and universities, continue to mine and drill for fossil-fuels as world-wide temperatures soar and extreme weather events increase in number and intensity.

If there is any possibility of avoiding disaster, it lies with our youth, who are so courageously standing up to the world's out-of-control militarists and climate wreckers.


April 16, 2024 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Gaza: Computer-Assisted Genocide

The Israeli military has been using computer-generated attack lists in Gaza with an admitted error-rate of 10%. For some targets, up to 100 collateral civilian casualties per target are considered an acceptable ratio. Targets are often bombed at home, sometimes wiping out entire extended families. 14,000 children have been murdered in the Israeli onslaught, and that is probably an under-estimate.

I apologize to everyone, particularly Palestinians, for the part I played in developing this genocidal computer technology.

Gaza: Never Seen Such Cruelty Before

Two surgeons from the United States, Feroze Sidhwa and Mark Perlmutter, who have returned from working at the European Hospital in Gaza remarked that as humanitarian surgeons they thought they had seen it all, but they had never before witnessed such cruelty as they encountered in Gaza.

Gaza: Attack on Humanitarian Aid-Workers

Israel has apologized for murdering seven celebrity aid workers from World Central Kitchen; but has nothing to say about the murder of at least 217 other humanitarian aid workers in Gaza.

Iran May Have Saved the Lives of Thousands of Children in Gaza

CNN reports that in the wake of Iran's drone and missile counter-attack on Israel, Israel has postponed its planned assault on Rafah this week. Apparently, Iran has accomplished what neither the United Nations, the United States nor any other country could. But don't expect any of the above to thank Iran.

Diplomatic Missions are by international law considered extra-territorial land. Thus Israel's attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria was equivalent to an attack on Iranian soil; and Iran's counter-attack was justified under international law.

Russia Tells Israeli Ambassador: No !#$%&! Way

The Israeli ambassador has asked Russia to denounce the Iranian drone and missile counter-attack on Israel. Russia responded: Where was Israel when The Ukraine attacked civilians in Russia?

Russia Today estimated that it cost Israel ten times as much to defend against the Iranian counter-attack as Iran spent attacking.

And, if they didn't already know, Palestinians now know who their friends are and who is just pretending.


March 18, 2024 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

A Tale of Four Wars

War 1: Afghanistan

In 2001 The United States, with the blessings of the United Nations and perhaps 50 countries, invaded Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest countries, presumably because of one person, Osama bin Laden. After killing hundreds of thousands over the course of 20 years, and spending trillions of dollars, the US and friends threw in the towel and slunk home with their tails between their legs.

War 2: Ukraine

It's crunch time for the collective West. In spite of gifting many billions of dollars and heavy weapons to The Ukraine, there is little doubt that Russia is winning and, if things continue to go as they have, will continue to win. Sanctions seem to have hurt Europe, which is not united in its desire to prosecute this war, far more than they hurt Russia.

The West seems to have three choices:

Choice 1. Go to the bargaining table and end the war, likely coming away with far less than they would have if they hadn't scuttled negotiations two years ago.

Choice 2. Continue the war hoping for the unlikely miracle.

Choice 3. Escalate, sending foreign soldiers to the Ukraine with heavier, more deadly weapons, increasing the chance of nuclear World War III.

I would opt for Choice 1; but nobody listens to me. Wouldn't we all be so much better off if we hadn't supported the Ukrainian coup in 2014, when the current Russophobic government came to power?

War 3: Palestine

The purpose of this war appears to be the total elimination of Palestinians in Gaza. Over ten thousand children have been killed in the Israeli onslaught. The latest atrocities include the defunding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency by the United States and friends and the massacre of starving people waiting in line for food by the Israeli military.

Israel's War on Gaza will go down in history, along with the Nazi destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Rape of Fallujah by the United States and friends.

This is not a war. This is a massacre. There is no honor in massacring defenseless people. There is no honor in supplying weapons to those who carry out a massacre of defenseless people.

For most of the world, Israel is and will continue to be a pariah state and the United States will be known as the superpower that enabled Israeli crimes.

War 4: Nature

Humans continue to foul the air with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in ever increasing amounts. As a result, the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations from meteorological winter 2022-23 to meteorological winter 2023-24 was greater than the increase between any other two consecutive winters on record.

February 2024 was the most anomalously warm month on record, 1.63°C above the 1850-1900 average.

The world saw more extreme weather disasters in 2023 than in any other year since record-keeping began.

These and more climate highlights and disasters listed here.

One has to wonder why we continue to fight wars we can't win.


February 8, 2024 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Under Fire

No sooner did the International Court of Justice rule that South Africa's charge of Genocide against Israel was plausible and that Israel should refrain from killing civilians, then Israel charged in an evidence-free dossier that ten employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were involved in the brief Hamas incursion into Israel of 7 October 2023.

On the basis of Israel's evidence-free dossier, the United States and many European nations cut off funding for UNRWA. Hundreds of thousands of Gazans rely on UNRWA for food and essential medicines. Even if Israel's allegations were true, cutting off humanitarian aid would be a crime.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced a bill to make the suspension of donations to UNRWA permanent.

Israel has bombed the Belgian mission in Gaza. Belgium is one of the few European Countries that did not suspend funding for UNRWA.

UNRWA has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Meanwhile the massacre of Palestinians continues.

Those who wish to contribute to UNRWA can do so through UNRWA-USA

Economic Fallout from US Support for Israel

McDonalds and Starbucks, names that are associated with the United States are hurting financially due to boycotts in Muslim nations. I suspect McDonalds and Starbucks are only the beginning.

Yemeni (Houthi) attacks on shipping in the Red Sea in support of Gaza have caused shipping prices to skyrocket. While rich countries shirk their responsibility to Palestine, Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries, steps up to the plate.

Biting the Hand That Feeds You: Itamar Ben Gvir and Son Forced to Apologize

Shuvael Ben Gvir, son of Israel's minister of national security, Itamar Ben Gvir, apologized for a remark implying that US president Joe Biden is suffering from Alzheimer's.

Itamar Ben Gvir, who once famously refused to apologize for saying that his right to freedom of movement, as a Jewish settler, is more important than the same right for Palestinians, who have lived on the land fo generations, also was forced to apologize for his son's remark.

Ironically, the younger Ben Gvir's remark was probably not so far from wrong. Many have noted that Biden appears to be deficient in the brain and memory departments.

Our Most Warlike President

Joe Biden must really love war. He is now bombing Yemen, Iraq and Syria, and supplying bombs to Israel in its war against Gaza and The Ukraine in its war against Russia. He also appears to be itching to start a war with China.

His one claim to fame, withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan, was actually negotiated by the Trump administration before Biden took office. Biden delayed our withdrawal from Afghanistan by three months, and almost scuttled the deal by bombing Afghanistan one last time on his way out.

I am simply flabbergasted that the Democratic Party would even consider running Joe Biden for a second term.

I am simply flabbergasted that anyone claiming to be “progressive” would even consider voting for Joe Biden in November.

Gaza's Teenage Isaac Newton

15-year-old Hussam Al-Attar has developed a wind-powered electric generator to light his family's tent in Rafah where over one million Gazans are now huddled. Al-Attar says:
“Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell on his head and he discovered gravity. And we here are living in darkness and tragedy, and rockets are falling on us, therefore I thought of creating light, and did so.”
“I was very happy that I was able to make this [lighting system], because I eased the suffering of my family, my mother, my sick father, and my brother's young children, and everyone here who is suffering from the conditions that we live in during this war.”
Al-Attar dreams of becoming a scientist like Isaac Newton and creating an invention that will benefit not only the people of the Gaza Strip but the whole world. Perhaps he will one day help create a world that runs on non-polluting renewable energy.

Meanwhile, Palestinians like Al-Attar are referred to as “human animals” by Israelis.

Israeli Refusenik, Tal Mitnick, Sentenced to Another 30 Days in Jail

After spending 30 days in jail for refusing induction into the Israeli Armed Forces, Israel attempted to induct Mitnick again. Mitnick refused induction a second time and was sentenced to another 30 days. Mitnick has stated:
“My refusal is an attempt to influence Israeli society and to avoid taking part in the occupation and the massacre happening in Gaza. I’m trying to say that it’s not in my name. I express solidarity with the innocent in Gaza. I know they want to live; they don’t deserve to be made refugees for the second time in their lives.”
Tal Mitnick and others like him constitute the conscience of Israel, a nation, which, like ours, has been poisoned by perpetual war.

Ceasefire? Maybe Soon

Negotiations are ongoing. Meanwhile the massacre of civilians continues and Palestinian guerrillas, with no air-force, navy or heavy weapons continue to fight back effectively against an Israeli military, well-equipped with the latest offensive arms from the United States.

I am so very impressed by the Palestinian guerrilla fighters in Gaza. I had thought they would be quickly wiped out in the Israeli onslaught. But I was wrong.

After four months of fighting, they remain an effective military force and have forced Israel into negotiations that may lead to some freedom from Israeli domination for Palestine. They have exposed the Israeli Defense Forces to the entire world as the brutal, lawless bullies that they are.

Pray for a quick end to the war and the suffering. Peace is Precious.

More on the Amalekite Genocide

While Binyamin Netanyahu, as justification for the Palestinian Genocide, has cited 1 Samuel 15:3:
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
I have seen no discussion of Exodus 17:
6: Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

8: Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
One might surmise from the juxtaposition of verses 6 and 8 that Moses had tapped into an underground water source, likely belonging to the Amalekites. So, what followed was probably a battle over water rights. Whether anyone proposed to share the water source is not said. Anyway, in the ensuing battle, the Israelites prevailed.
13: And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
I find it highly unlikely that God would condemn a people to extermination for trying to defend their water source. And if He were to do so, I'm sure he would take care of it Himself.
Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. —Romans 12:19
Indeed, God has already engineered five great extinctions in which many many species were exterminated. He appears to be working on the sixth great extinction as I write.

In any case the Amalekites were not totally wiped out as they show up again in 2 Samuel 8:12 as one of the many tribes and nations defeated by King David.

Note: The vengeance is mine quote above is a restatement of Deuteronomy 32:35. All biblical quotes above are from the King James Version.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a biblical scholar.

More on Martin Luther King and Beyond Vietnam

In a previous newsletter, I suggested a rereading of Martin Luther King's speech: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Here's a paragraph from that speech. Suggestion: substitute Netanyahu for Diem, Hamas for VC, Islamists for communists and Gaza for both the South and the North.
“Perhaps a more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front, that strangely anonymous group we call "VC" or "communists"? What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the North" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.”

January 23, 2024 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

On the Myth of the Innocent Civilian

Let's begin this inquiry with a story that Sven Lindqvist relates in his book, Terra Nullius.
Shortly after the end of World War II, a teenage Lindqvist books passage on an Icelandic freighter. They stop in Norway to pick up some barrels of herring. The locals invite the crew ashore for coffee. Lindqvist goes with them. At one point, someone notices him and demands, “Who's that?” On learning that he's Swedish, an old woman asks “Swedish, eh, well, what about the 1942 transits, then?” Sweden was neutral in WWII, but allowed German troops to pass through Swedish territory, going to and from Norway. Lindqvist responds, “I was ten in 1942. They didn't ask me.” “But big enough to share the booty,” the woman replies.

At first Lindqvist thinks it very unfair to blame him for what the whole Swedish nation did, but after thinking about it, he realizes the old woman was right. It was by his own country's cowardly appeasement policy that he avoided being bombed or shot at or even going to bed hungry. Yes, he had his share of the booty, so now he must accept his share of the responsibility too.
Lindqvist went on to write some of the most honest and perceptive books we have on War and Racism. If you haven't read A History of Bombing or Exterminate All the Brutes, give these books a try.

This snippet from Terra Nullius is posted here.

But here is my question: Israelis enjoy a high standard of living, higher than some Western nations like France and Italy. Israeli's have their share of the booty — most of the land of Palestine and its resources. How many accept their share of the responsibility too? How many have even lifted a finger to help their Palestinian neighbors? How many have even lifted a finger to demand an end to the brutal occupation of Palestine?

Over two million Palestinians are imprisoned in Gaza's 140 square miles, not knowing when their next meal will come or where the next bomb will fall. How many Israelis accept responsibility for this? How can one who shares in the booty make claim to be an innocent civilian?

And how about us? We inherit a land in which the population of pre-Colombian inhabitants was reduced to 1/10 of its original size through disease, war, removal and starvation, mostly by European invaders and their descendants. Shouldn't our responsibilities include the support of other indigenous groups facing a similarly genocidal invader? Shouldn't we be supporting Palestinians in the face of a genocidal invasion instead of giving billions in military support to Israeli invaders intent upon genocide?


Now let's talk about Palestinians

Palestinians have lived under an exceptionally brutal Israeli occupation since 1967. This is particularly true in Gaza where Palestinians who were forcefully driven off their land in 1948 to make room for an Israeli state, now live under an Israeli blockade which doesn't even allow enough sustenance for survival, while regularly invading the enclave with bombs and tanks, killing indiscriminately and destroying infrastructure necessary for public health and survival,

Wouldn't it indeed be strange if Gazans didn't fight back in any way they could?

Wouldn't it indeed be strange if guerrilla militias like Hamas didn't exist?

Wouldn't it indeed be strange if the people didn't support such militias?

It has been said that “The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.” And this leads the invader to commit even greater atrocities — to make no distinction between guerrilla and civilian.

Here is an example from one of our own attempts to commit genocide. Consider this snippet from the court martial of Lt. William Calley, who was convicted and served 3 years under house arrest for his part in the 1968 massacre of over 500 Vietnamese civilians, some as yet unborn.
Q: What were you firing at?
Calley: At the enemy, sir.
Q: At people?
Calley: At the enemy, sir.
Q: They weren't even human beings?
Calley: Yes, sir.
Q: Were they men?
Calley: I don't know sir. I would imagine they were, sir.
Q: Didn't you see?
Calley: Pardon, sir?
Q: Did you see them?
Calley: I wasn't discriminating.
Q: Did you see women?
Calley: I don't know, sir.
Q: What do you mean you weren't discriminating?
Calley: I didn't discriminate between individuals in the village, sir. They were all the enemy, they were all to be destroyed, sir....
The invader and occupier doesn't discriminate between fighters and civilians. They are all the enemy, all to be destroyed. And in Palestine these atrocities have gone on year after year after year for 75 years.

Here in the United States, looking out from our comfortable armchairs, it is easy to criticize; but walk a mile in their shoes first. How dare we, in a country that has supported Israel to the hilt for decades, even unto genocide, complain about how Palestinians choose to fight back? If we find the tactics by which Hamas fights back, "horrendous," the very least we can do is to call for a ceasefire and end our support for those who commit far more horrendous and brutal acts of inhumanity.

In truth, if I had grown up in Gaza amid constant atrocities and humiliations, perhaps, I, too, would have become a guerrilla. I would hope that I would have had the fortitude to resist in any way possible. Perhaps, rather than wait for the inevitable bombs and soldiers to come to me, I would come to them, in any way I could.

And here, in the United States, where we share in the booty, I am happy to see so many of my countrymen and women beginning to take responsibility. I am pleased to see even a few congress-people taking some responsibility and calling for a ceasefire. It is way past time for our government to also take responsibility: to send food and medicines instead of bombs, to begin to repair hospitals, sewage disposal plants and water treatment facilities, to insist on an end to the invasion and blockade, to insist on a just peace.

And as a final note: Since the United States uses its veto in the Security Council to block any reasonable peace initiative, isn't is time for others to form a coalition to bring the invasion and blockade of Gaza to an end? The world has sat on its hands and cried crocodile tears for far too long.

The War Against Gaza and the Climate Catastrophe

For those climate activists who refuse to oppose the War Against Gaza: Greenhouse gas emissions during the first two months of Israel's War Against Gaza are estimated to be at least 281 thousand tonnes, more than the annual output of many countries. 99% of these emissions can be attributed to Israel, with only a minuscule amount stemming from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Almost half of these emissions are attributable to US supply flights to Israel. 281 thousand tonnes is probably a gross under-estimate, as it does not include the entire war supply chain.

Robert Koehler Discusses Martin Luther King's landmark Beyond Vietnam Speech

After reading Koehler's short article which includes parallels to today's War Against Gaza, be sure to reread King's Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence speech.


January 10, 2024 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Israeli Refuseniks: The Conscience of the Nation

Here's a short article by Brett Wilkins about three young Israelis who have refused induction into the military.

Tal Mitnick writes: “I refuse to agree with the idea that killing civilians in Gaza would provide security for anyone... neither to the people of Gaza nor to the people of Israel. I believe that the only path to security and peace lies in coexistence.” Mitnick is serving a 30 day prison term for refusing induction. His sentence could be extended if he continues to refuse induction.

Ariel Davidov says, “I cannot take part in something that is so immoral, so unjust. This is a genocide that has been going on since the beginning of Zionism.”

And Ella Keidal says: “I don't wish to serve an army that is enacting an occupation, an apartheid regime.”

Israeli refuseniks face far more societal scorn and ostracism than those of us who 60 years ago refused induction into the US military during the era of the Vietnam genocide.

You can read more about Israeli refuseniks here.

Crunch Time in Gaza

Personally, I don't see this War Against Gaza continuing as it has. Either it will metastasize into a regional or even global war, possibly even a global nuclear war; or it will end. It already shows signs of metastasizing. Everybody says they don't want a wider war. Fine, then shut this war down while it is still possible to do so.

The whole world is responsible for this war. The world could have collectively ended this war at any time within the last 75 years. It refused to do so.

One day, Palestine will say to the world: “You supported Israelis who took my water, burned my olive trees, destroyed my home, took my job, stole my land, imprisoned my father, killed my mother, bombed my country, starved us all, humiliated us all; yet, I was to blame for my resistance.”

On Armies of Liberation

I'm sure you've all heard it: Claims that Hamas is just a bunch of terrorists. I've certainly heard it, even from Bernie Sanders, who claimed Israel has “the right to go to war against Hamas, who committed an atrocious invasion of their country.”

Yes, I've heard it all before, many times: The FLN in Algeria, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Mao Zedong in China, Fidel Castro in Cuba, The Viet Cong in Vietnam, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and, of course, the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Ok, so you don't like Hamas. Well, what have you done to help the Palestinians achieve justice without resorting to armed struggle? What are you doing now to help them achieve justice? If you can't answer these questions, then how does condemning Hamas help the Palestinians to achieve justice?

And once liberation is achieved, expect to hear about how Palestine was so much better off under Israeli occupation; just as we now hear how Afghan women were so much better off under foreign bombs than they are now under the Taliban government.

And, oh, speaking of the Taliban, did you know that opium production in Afghanistan is down a whopping 95%, since the Taliban defeated the United States and other foreign invaders? The world should be thanking the Taliban for cutting off the supply of this dangerous drug. Instead of complaining about how the Taliban run their country after 20 years of foreign imposed war and occupation, the world should be returning Afghanistan's frozen assets so they can finish the job of eradicating opium production.

Yes, the world. Did you know that over 50 countries, virtually the entire global population, participated in some manner in the invasion of Afghanistan? Did you know the Taliban booted the invaders out with virtually no help from anyone else. Did you know that not one single state recognizes the Taliban?

I'm sure Hamas looks at the Taliban and thinks, we can do that too.


December 28, 2023 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Reflections on the Massacre of the Holy Innocents
“The highest form of Jihad (sacred struggle) is to speak the truth in the face of a tyrannical ruler.”
—The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

I had thought about making the newsletter I wrote earlier this month my last; but after reading Chris Hedges', The Cost of Bearing Witness, I know I must continue to write. Even if no one reads, I still must continue to write.

In Gaza, journalists risk their lives to speak truth to power. As Hedges notes:
“They stand as witnesses to evil, an evil the aggressors want buried and forgotten. They expose the lies. They condemn, even from the grave, their killers. Israel has killed at least 13 Palestinian poets and writers along with at least 67 journalists and media workers in Gaza, and three in Lebanon since Oct. 7.”

“They speak so we will not be silent. They speak so we will take these words and images and hold them up to the principalities of the world — the media, politicians, diplomats, universities, the wealthy and privileged, the weapons manufacturers, the Pentagon and the Israel lobby groups — who are orchestrating the genocide in Gaza.”

The least I can do is, from the safety of my home in the belly of the beast, add a few words of my own.

Hedges relates the following encounter with Guatemalan refugees on the Day of the Holy Innocents.
“I was in a refugee camp in the early 1980s for Guatemalans who had fled the war into Honduras. The peasant farmers and their families, living in filth and mud, their villages and homes burned or abandoned, were decorating their tents with strips of colored paper to celebrate the Massacre of the Innocents.”

“Why is this such an important day?”
asks Hedges.

“It was on this day that Christ became a refugee,” a farmer answers.
The story of the Massacre of the Innocents bears repeating. King Herod ordered the death of all male children two years of age and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem, upon learning of the birth of Christ. Warned by an angel, Joseph escapes to Egypt with his wife, Mary, and baby Jesus. (Matthew 2:16)

Like so many biblical verses, this one has application far beyond a single instance. It illuminates what may be a universal truth: The rich and powerful will go to any length to preserve their privileged position, even unto the indiscriminate massacre of young children.

I saw this 25 years ago in Iraq where children five years of age and under were dying at a rate of 5,000 each month, mostly from preventable diarrheal disease. I was in a hospital in Baghdad listening to a doctor explain how there were few medicines and rehydration fluids were in short supply due to almost universal sanctions.

I wandered off, looking around the ward, and came upon an infant so emaciated and dehydrated he couldn't even cry. He would screw up his face as if trying and then give up only to try again a few minutes later. I interrupted the doctor, “This child is dying. He needs rehydration fluids.” The doctor responded, “We gave him some earlier. He didn't respond.” Unsaid: There is not enough to go around. He has had his share. So the child will die. There is nothing we can do to save him. If the sanctions aren't lifted, many more like him will die.

When I came home and would talk about Iraq, I would draw the parallel to King Herod and the Massacre of the Holy Innocents. I would ask that the sanctions be lifted, that the children may live. Few listened.

The War Against Gaza is even more intense: disease, starvation, constant bombing, over 20,000 dead in less than three months, mostly women and children, thousands of children murdered. whole neighborhoods flattened by 2,000 pound made-in-the-USA bombs, over two million people crowded into 141 square miles, trapped with no place to go, nowhere to hide, one of the highest population densities on planet Earth.

What kind of monster would treat children this way? What kind of monster would send 2,000 pound bombs overseas to be dropped on children? What kind of world cries crocodile tears as the massacre of the children continues?

This is evil. Pure and simple. It must stop.

And make no mistake, there will be paybacks. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Remember that verse. Remember it well.

On this day, let us not forget the biblical massacre of the holy innocents. But above all, let us not forget that the massacre of the innocents goes on today. Let us not forget the modern-day Herods in Israel, the United States and elsewhere throughout the world that continue to massacre the children. We are called — called to speak the truth in the face of these modern-day Herods.


December 15, 2023 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Hostage Dilemma Moot

I never heard from Hamas on my offer to become a hostage.

I guess the whole idea is moot now. It appears that Israel prefers killing its own to negotiating for their release.

Gaza: The World's Very Worst Humanitarian Catastrophe
“We are no strangers to human suffering—to conflict, to natural disasters, to some of the world's largest and gravest catastrophes,”
write the heads of CARE USA, Mercy Corps, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam America, Refugees International, and Save the Children U.S. in a New York Times op-ed. But,
“We have seen nothing like the siege of Gaza. Most of our organizations have been operating in Gaza for decades. But we can do nothing remotely adequate to address the level of suffering there without an immediate and complete cease-fire and an end to the siege. The aerial bombardments have rendered our jobs impossible. The withholding of water, fuel, food, and other basic goods has created an enormous scale of need that aid alone cannot offset.”
Meanwhile, the US casts a lone dissenting vote in the UN Security Council, vetoing a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and bypasses congress to rush more deadly weapons to Israel.

Over 18,000, mostly women and children, have been killed by Israeli munitions, many supplied by the United States. The latest reported atrocity is the execution of a woman and a room full of children, including newborns, sheltering in a school. According to an eye-witness, they were all shot point blank by IDF troops.

There will be pay-backs for this. Make no mistake about it. There will be pay-backs. Henceforth, Israel will be known as the Butcher of Gaza and the United States will be known as the enabler of atrocities.

Palestine/Israel: The No State Solution

We've heard about two-state solutions and one-state solutions, but the solution we are headed for is a no-state solution. According to Bill McKibben, Palestine/Israel is warming at a rate twice the global average. Rainfall is down and projected to fall further. Sea-level has risen, and is expected to rise further.

To make matters worse, Israel is flooding the tunnels under Gaza with sea-water, thereby creating an environmental catastrophe of lasting proportions. There is no guarantee that the sea-water flooding the tunnels under Gaza will not migrate and pollute aquifers throughout the region.

As McKibben points out:
“The land here, theoretically so sacred to all sides, is in danger of turning into an uninhabitable desert.”

November 25, 2023 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Solving the Hostage Dilemma

I wasn't planning to write a second November newsletter, but I have this absolutely awesome idea that I just have to share with you.

It is now well-known that Qatar (yes, Qatar, not Joe Biden) has succeeded in arranging a temporary 4-day pause in hostilities to facilitate an exchange of hostages for prisoners and allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza. The first 39 Palestinian prisoners and the first 13 Israeli hostages as well as 11 Thai and Filipino hostages are reported to be back home. According to what I've been reading, more is to come during the final three days of the truce. And meanwhile, a convoy of 137 trucks of humanitarian aid, the largest convoy yet, has arrived in Gaza, delivering humanitarian aid to the north for the first time since October 7.

Unfortunately, Israel has proclaimed that they intend to keep the war going once the four-day pause ends. However, they have kindly offered to extend the truce for one day for each additional ten hostages released

Well, Israel has killed around 15,000 Palestinians since October 7, that comes to around 300 per day. Hamas took around 240 hostages on October 7, although some may have died in the subsequent Israeli bombardment. In addition, a few have been released previous to the current truce. Add in the 50 or more being release in this week's 4-day truce and Hamas will have less than 19 days worth of hostages.

Now I'm sure that the 5,700 Palestinians that would likely be killed in those 19 days will deeply appreciate the extra 19 days of life amid the rubble of what once was their homes in Gaza. But, after that, Hamas is going to need some more hostages to keep the truce going. Where are they going to come from?

One possibility is another October-7-like raid on Israel, but that has its drawbacks. The Israeli military might come with its helicopters and hellfire missiles and kill everything that moves, both friend and foe, like they did on October 7.

So now we come to my suggestion. Let's ask for volunteers. If ten people will come forward each day and volunteer to become Hamas hostages then Hamas can release them at a rate of ten per day and voila! The truce can last forever.

To get the ball rolling, I am applying to become the first volunteer hostage. Perhaps, languishing in some Israeli prison is an octogenarian Palestinian who, like me, can barely get up in the morning and make it to the toilet on time. Perhaps I could be traded for him. See! Everybody wins.

Failing that, I ought to be at least worth a truckload of potable water or essential medicines.

Think about it! Is this not an incredible solution to a very difficult situation?


November 8, 2023 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Israeli Doctors Endorse Bombing Gazan Hospitals

With all the death and destruction in Gaza, this report really hit me hard. According to Middle East Eye, around 100 Israeli doctors signed an open letter endorsing the bombing of hospitals in Gaza. Doctors! Professionals who have presumably sworn an oath to do no harm, endorsing the bombing of hospitals.

Certainly, the United States has also bombed hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq, crimes against humanity for sure; and other countries such as Saudi Arabia have also bombed hospitals; but to my knowledge the destruction of hospitals has never before been endorsed by a group of doctors.

What has Israel become? To quote Chris Hedges, “Israel, like the United States, has been poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war.”

Apparently, Israel has contemplated using nuclear weapons on Gaza. To be sure, the minister who remarked on this publicly was disciplined, although it is uncertain whether he was disciplined for stating publicly that nuclear war against Gaza was under consideration or whether he was disciplined for considering it.

Israeli arrogance appears to know no bounds. Israel has demanded that the UN Secretary General resign for stating the obvious, that the events of October 7 did not happen in a vacuum. In truth, I would have at least used a word like provoked or incited, but then again, I am not a diplomat.

And Israel protests against Russia hosting a Hamas delegation that had come to talk peace.

And Israel has demanded that the Red Cross brave Israel's indiscriminate bombing to visit hostages. A lull in the bombing to make this possible? Don't even think about it.

And Amnesty International has found compelling evidence documenting Israeli use of white phosphorus in Gaza. White phosphorus is a horrendous weapon. It sticks to the skin and burns clear down to the bone.

And Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, refers to Palestinians as “human animals.”

And Prime Minister Netanyahu misuses the Bible, citing the Amalekite genocide to justify the total destruction of the Palestinians.
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” —1 Samuel 15:3 (KJV)
Now lets talk about Hamas. It is well-known that Hamas was nurtured by Israel as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority. However, divide and conquer is not always the palliative it is cracked up to be.

Fast forward to October 2023. Ralph Nader points out that Binyamin Netanyahu claimed in 2019:
“Those who want to thwart the possibility of a Palestinian state should support the strengthening of Hamas and the transfer of money to Hamas. This is part of our strategy.”
And Bezalel Smotrich is quoted as saying, “The Palestinian Authority is a burden, and Hamas is an asset.”

According to the Intercept, the Misgav Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy, an Israeli think tank, claimed that Hamas’s attacks of October 7 created “a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the entire Gaza Strip.”

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that Hamas continued to be nurtured by Israel right up to and including the events of October 7, 2023.

So what went wrong? Global Public Opinion! People got sick and tired of War, and in the United States, watching billions gifted every year to Israel while they went without.

Far from the sympathy Israel expected to elicit from the events of October 7, the world has (finally!) turned against Israel. All over the world there have been demonstrations for a cease-fire as Israel continues to bombard Gaza, murdering over 4,000 children and counting. In New York City, under the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace, the peace movement took over Grand Central Station demanding a cease-fire. Other countries, such as Bolivia and South Africa have severed diplomatic ties with Israel. Criticism of Israel has become almost universal. 1,500 Israelis have called for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli war crimes.

All over the world, incidents of Hebrophobia (usually called antisemitism, which is a misnomer) are on the rise. Many Jews wonder why.

16 Years ago, I wrote,
“The US is already experiencing a shift in sentiment. The public is beginning to blame Jews for the failure of the US Middle East policy. (No, of course it couldn't possibly be our own fault.) As the failure of our Middle East policy becomes more and more difficult to deny, I would expect to see a sharp resurgence of anti-Jewish bigotry in the US.”
Three Murderous Myths (p13)

So don't say I hadn't warned you.

Here, I would be remiss if I didn't also include the two following paragraphs from Three Murderous Myths:
“Israel may react differently. As the power and unconditional backing of its major benefactor evaporates, Israel may decide that the best course is not only to make peace with its neighbors, but to enter into some form of economic and military cooperation with them.

“This would be the worst nightmare for the US and Europe: a Middle East at peace with itself making its own decisions about its petroleum resources and backed up by the world's fourth mightiest military power with (at least) 200 nuclear warheads. Perhaps this is why some refer to the relationship between the US and Israel as the ‘tail wagging the dog.’”

It appears that the United States and Europe, along with reactionary elements in Israel are going to extraordinary lengths to prevent this from happening.

In truth, all this death and destruction could have easily been avoided by creating a single state in historic Palestine with freedom of religion and equal rights for all. And I think this will happen eventually, in spite of those who prefer war and hatred to peace and equality.

Human-rights lawyer, Craig Mokhiber, recently resigned his position of many years with the United Nations over its inability to prevent the ongoing massacre in Gaza. He, too, points out, the only viable solution is a single state in historic Palestine, with equal rights for all. His four-page letter of resignation is well worth the read.

And a final note: Don't ever make the mistake of equating all Jews with the country of Israel, as much as leaders in Israel would like you to.

Similarly, don't make the mistake of equating all Palestinians with Hamas; nor the mistake of equating all Westerners with empire and colonialism.

We must begin today to build a world based on the right of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness belonging to all. Our very existence as a species depends on it.


October 22, 2023 (written for Rolla Peace Newsletter)

Palestine and Israel: Déjà Vu All Over Again
“The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.” —Albert Einstein
All very predictable. Gazans have been under Israeli blockade since 2007, living with inadequate quantities of water, food and medicines. Over two million Gazans live blockaded on a small strip of land 25 miles long by 5 miles wide, one of the most crowded pieces of real estate in the world. Somehow, Gazans manage to put together a few primitive rockets or cross the border into Israel. Israel responds with overwhelmingly disproportionate force raining death and destruction from the air down upon this overcrowded enclave which has no air force or any other means to protect itself.

Gaza is the Warsaw Ghetto on steroids — reminiscent of how the Nazis treated the Jews 80 years ago. Israeli supporters in the United States parrot the mantra about Israeli's right to defend itself, as if such disproportionate force could be called defending oneself. They proclaim any criticism of Israel as antisemitism. The United States continues to send large quantities of military aid, to the tune of 3.8 billion annually, to Israel, much of which is used against unfortunate people with no means of defending themselves. The United States uses its veto in the United Nations Security Council to protect Israel from international indignation and accountability for its actions.

So what's different this time?

The world today is not the world of times past. The United States is no longer the all-powerful hegemon it was a few years ago. After 20 years of making war on Afghanistan the United States was forced to withdraw.

Russia has been able to defeat the US proxy, Ukraine, on the battlefield, gaining control of huge swaths of land in spite of many billions in Western military aid. US economic sanctions on Russia have been largely ineffectual.

But back to Israel: Israel may be pounding Gaza with bombs, paid for by the US taxpayers, and threatening a ground war, but they are losing the battle on the diplomatic front. Thousands of mostly young people, under the leadership of US Jewish organizations, like Jewish Voice for Peace, demonstrated in Washington for a ceasefire and an end to the war on Gaza. This level of support for Peace is unprecedented.

Cries of genocide and apartheid are heard everywhere. Taunts of antisemitism are considered laughable. Incidents of Hebrophobia are on the rise. The United States cast the only No vote in the Security Council and vetoed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. A high level State Department official resigned over Biden's Gaza policy. Mahmoud Abbas has refused to talk to Joe Biden who has expressed his undying affection for Israel.

Biden has claimed to have seen photos of Israeli children beheaded by Hamas fighters where there were none. Biden claims that Israel is not guilty of bombing the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, when it is unlikely that Gazans have weapons capable of causing such destruction and would have certainly used them on Israel if they had them. The whole world laughs at Joe Biden; but lets be generous and say that he is senile rather than he is a liar.

So where do we go from here? Chris Hedges, echoing the Einstein quote with which I introduced this short snippet, ends his article, This Way for the Genocide, Ladies and Gentlemen with the paragraph.
“Israel taught the Palestinians to communicate in the primitive howl of hatred, war, death and annihilation. But it is not Israel’s assault on Gaza I fear most. It is the complicity of an international community that licenses Israel’s genocidal slaughter and accelerates a cycle of violence it may not be able to control.”
Indeed, the international community could end this slaughter today if it had the will. However, it chooses to tolerate or, in the case of the United States, actively encourage the slaughter, while crying crocodile tears.

And I too am fearful of a much wider conflagration. Dying empires can cause great damage in their death throes. The United States has sent warships to the Eastern Mediterranean. What if other countries send warships too? There may be other fronts opening up in the North. This could easily escalate into a regional or even a global war.

And don't forget that Israel is the only nuclear-armed state in the region. Does Israel's so-called right to defend itself include using nuclear weapons on its neighbors?

I repeat what I have said many times in the past. The time for a one-state solution in Palestine and Israel is long overdue. It is time for a single state with equal rights for all. It certainly won't be easy. So much death, destruction, hatred and bitterness to be overcome. But it may just save the world from World War III.