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THIS WEEK'S EPISODE:

Episode #675: Peace Out
First Broadcast: 7/28/14
Let's have Robert Fantina from Counterpunch set some of the background for the situation in Gaza:

First, let’s establish context. Israel was formed by the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 Palestinians, driven from their homes with no recompenses, to refugee camps. Israel took far more than 50% of their land at that time. Since then, through illegal settlement building, Palestinians are squeezed into less than 20% of their own land, and that amount is constantly shrinking.

Musa al-Gharbi added some recent details for Al Jazeera:

The current escalation began with the abduction of three Israeli teenagers from settlements in the West Bank. ...

After the kidnapping, for more than two weeks Israeli authorities put on a show of looking for the missing teens — the whole time whipping up anti-Arab sentiment, raising hopes of a recovery and marginalizing voices of dissent. When the abductees were found murdered, the Israeli public was outraged and demanded vengeance. Shortly after the funerals for the youths, another group of Israeli settlers beat and burned to death a 16-year-old Palestinian teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir. This incident was followed by a brutal assault on Tariq Khdeir, a 15-year-old U.S. citizen and cousin of Mohammed’s by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Another fact that is less known — but perhaps more important — is that within hours of the three teens’ disappearance on June 12, Israeli officials knew that they were dead. ...

Knowing that the teens were already dead, the Israeli government even sent the mothers of the abductees to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council to raise international awareness and plead for their boys’ safe return. Then the IDF launched Operation Brother’s Keeper, the most extensive military operation in the West Bank for more than a decade, under the auspices of saving the missing teens whom, again, they knew to be deceased.

The blame for their abduction immediately went to Hamas, which denied any involvement in the kidnapping. Israel has offered no concrete proof to implicate Hamas — instead identifying as its prime suspects a rogue faction with a history of defying Hamas’ leadership and sabotaging the group’s peace-building efforts. They were identified early on, meaning that Israel knew full well that neither Hamas nor its armed wing (al-Qassam Brigades) were behind the boys’ disappearance. Nonetheless, the IDF began a military campaign against them and de facto the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza.

The results of the initial IDF actions into the West Bank?

During the course of Israel’s three-week campaign of mass arrests in the West Bank, ostensibly to search for the killers of three settlers, the Israeli military and police conducted an average of 18 raids per day into Palestinian homes, charities and businesses, stealing cash and property worth an estimated $3 million, documents a new report from the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. ...

The Euro-Mid investigation documented a theft of $370,000 in cash during the 387 incursions it examined, as well as $2.5 million worth of property, including cars, computers, mobile phones and jewelry. The money and property were seized from homes, universities, health clinics, media companies and currency exchanges.

As al-Gharbi continues, "All these provocations came weeks before Hamas fired the first rockets into Israel." He goes on to assert that the Palestinians, via Hamas, were acting in self-defense against Israeli provocation, "contrary to Obama’s claims and the widely held narrative in Western media." The Israeli response to those rockets can best be described as a slaughter. As ThinkProgress said in their headline, "Palestinian Civilians Make Up Three-Quarters Of The Dead In Gaza," adding that "the number of those killed during the latest iteration of the war between Hamas and Israel has been disproportionate, with the vast majority of the dead being both Palestinian and civilian." The Guardian reported these death tolls the night we taped this episode:

• The latest figures from the Palestinian health ministry said that 695 had been killed in the conflict, including at least 166 children.

• Three Israeli soldiers were killed in an attack involving an explosive device on Wednesday, the military said. 32 soldiers have been killed in the conflict.

Since then, the figures have increased, the Palestinians again suffering the brunt of it:

Fighting between Hamas and Israel continued on Sunday despite a series of ceasefire announcements by both sides, each of which was rejected by the other amid mutual blame and recrimination. ...

The death toll in Gaza rose to more than 1,030 on Sunday. Unicef said 218 children had been killed. Two-thirds were under the age of 12, it added.

The Israeli Defence Forces said 43 soldiers had died. Two Israeli civilians and a Thai agricultural worker were killed in rocket attacks.

Why is Israel subjugating the Palestinians like this? Is it just about pure domination? Or something a little more tangible? Middle East Monitor explains it simply:

To borrow the words of Tascha Shahriari-Parsa when she wrote a report for The Ecologist: "Behind the operation, behind the mass Israeli and US propaganda attempting to justify the massacre, and behind the death of every child in Gaza is a conflict rarely discussed - an imperialist conflict and a contradiction that rests on Israel's ambitions to appropriate and profit from Gaza's natural gas resources."

Let us go back to 2000 when British Gas (BG) discovered that Gaza sat on an estimated $4 billion worth of natural gas. Needless to say that this discovery came as a shock to Israel, as suddenly Gaza, this little slither of land which Palestinians have been discarded upon, this purgatory which Zionists imagined to crush Palestinians' hopes and dreams, became a key geo-strategic priority. Come hail and high waters, Israel would have to gain access to those resources.

Since BG made its first estimation, it was established that Gaza's gas reserves are far greater than first anticipated. According to Michel Chossudovsky, a Canadian economist and prominent analyst, Gaza is basking in as much wealth as the State of Kuwait.

Something to think about the next time Israel insists that everything they do is all about "self defense."


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So, what is Free New York anyway? The simple answer is that it's a this neat little public access TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network which I co-produce with the tremendous help of my camerawoman/editor/everything else, Kim. The complicated answer is that it's a project of mine to broadcast opinions and events which don't always appear within "the mainstream media" (like The New York Times, the major networks, local radio, etc.), and so far I think it's been working.

If you think I'm doing a good job--or not--and you feel like sending me snail mail, the address is:

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You can also email me at fny@freenewyork.net, which should get to me a lot faster than the snail mail.


And now, the "Thought of the Moment" . . .

Check back later. I'm sure something will turn up.

Previous Thoughts

Who's Sorry Now?

The Cabinet of Captain Eo

Dark Days and Lessons Learned

Lies, Lies, Lies!

God damn, that DJ made my day

OH, LIKE THIS HELPS

Bush, Inarticulate As Usual

THE U.S. IS A ROGUE STATE

CHANGE THE WAY YOU VOTE!

VOTE FOR RALPH NADER!

SPEAKING OF PATRIOTS . . .

THE N.Y.P.D., THE P.B.A., TWELVE JURORS IN ALBANY, GOVERNOR PATAKI, MAYOR GIULIANI, AND OFFICERS SEAN CARROLL, EDWARD McMELLON, KENNETH BOSS, AND RICHARD MURPHY ALL SUCK

Sadness Is A World With No Peanuts

HOTMAIL SUCKS

SOME INTERVIEWS ABOUT SUCKING INTERNS DON'T SUCK

THE HOUSE SUCKS

POLITICIANS SUCK

WAR SUCKS

I LIKE DR PEPPER!

SUBWAYS SUCK

SOME INTERNS (ALLEGEDLY) SUCK

SCAMMERS SUCK

SPAMMERS SUCK

JOE BRUNO SUCKS

CORPORATIONS SUCK

GENOCIDE SUCKS

CENSORSHIP SUCKS

Read all about my letter, which was published in the New York Press on July 9, 1997.

Here you can view an op-ed I sent to the New York Times, which they never printed. Maybe I'll add an even larger essay in the future.


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