Georges Braque, Vase de Feuilles found in Priceless Treasures Drawn from Local Private Art Collections Star in Long Island Collects
Every time Ankara protests Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians, Israeli spokesmen counter not only by claiming that Turkey, which suffers from terrorism itself, should understand Israel’s position, but also that "What the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is to Turkey, Hamas is to Israel."
Turkey could prevent neither the refusal of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to extend the cease-fire nor the cruel attacks of Israel, which has been preparing for this war for six months.
by Clara Marina O’Donnell
‘We’re fed up with empty gestures’, the Israeli prime minister told a high level delegation from the EU. Several foreign ministers and EU officials had come to the Middle East to try to help end the war raging in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, which has killed over 700 Palestinians and 10 Israelis in the twelve days since it started. The EU has been calling for a ceasefire and the reopening of Gaza’s borders.
by Cheryl Rofer
There are increasing indications that Americans are becoming less supportive of Israel’s doing anything it wants to the Palestinians.
In this interview, the interviewee, Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz, head of the Knesset Defense Readiness and Fighting Terrorism Committee, admits that Israel was planning this offensive for 8-9 months.
That would be during the 6 month ceasefire …
There is nothing right in this terrible conflict. I don’t know how people don’t go running mad at what’s happening. I do, in my head.
See Erkan’s blog at right for pictures and links on how some Turks are responding to the invasion of Gaza.
Since December 26, Global Voices Online has been providing special coverage of the Gaza Strip bombings, including on-the-ground coverage from Gaza, and reactions from the region and around the world.
From the Survey:
A bloody new chapter in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians dramatically shifted the news agenda from domestic to foreign crises, dominating media attention in an otherwise crowded week of news.
The Gaza fighting between Israel and Hamas, which escalated from aerial warfare to fierce ground fighting, accounted for 21% of the newshole from Dec. 29-Jan. 4, according to the weekly News Coverage Index from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism
Prosecuting international crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces in the occupied territories (1) by Cenap Çakmak
War crimes are acts that are committed most extensively in times of war. Making comments on the list of war crimes that might have been committed by the Israeli forces will depend on whether the Gaza offensive is an international armed conflict or an armed conflict not of an international character. When we assume this is an internal conflict (because Israel has jurisdiction over the Occupied Territories) there could be a list of probable war crimes.
The attacks it launched in the last days of 2008 without even waiting for the end of its religious holiday once again brought Israel’s political understanding to the fore. This approach points to a state behavior that seeks to maximize its advantages without considering the opponents’ losses.
Rudolf Bkouche, a member of the National Bureau of the French Jewish Union for Peace, in an article where he commented on Israel’s attacks against Lebanon in August 2006, said there was only one thing left behind from Zionism: "A Jewish state serving as an outpost of civilization against barbarism."
While the European Union grapples with its latest international crisis over gas supply and the Israeli incursion into Gaza, EU officials and diplomats seem more determined than ever to improve the chances of Tony Blair becoming EU president.
Violence against Jews is spreading throughout European cities in the wake of Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip amid concerns that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe.
Emine Erdogan is in dark headscarf at center. From L to R, Aisha Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Fauzia Gilani of Pakistan, Asma Assad of Syria, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser al Missned of Qatar, Queen Rania of Jordan, Wafaa Suleyman of Lebanon and Bahar Muradova of Azerbaijan, during Saturday’s meeting in ?stanbul.
As you are all aware, a major human tragedy is taking place in Gaza. The embargo that has been continuing for a long time in Gaza was previously causing deaths one-by-one.
key UN Mission 
Mavi Boncuk |
The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip but Israeli warplanes launched intermittent attacks on Friday.
After days of intense haggling, the Security Council passed a resolution urging an "immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire", and for Israel to withdraw from Gaza after a 14-day air-and-ground offensive. The vote was 14-0, with the United States abstaining. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. "fully supports" the resolution but abstained "to see the outcomes of the Egyptian mediation" with Israel and Hamas, also aimed at achieving a cease-fire.
Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip is failing, but there may be a silver lining. The war against Hamas is proving — once again — that the Middle East’s extremist movements cannot be eliminated by military means. If the incoming Obama administration absorbs that lesson, it will have a better chance of neutralizing Iranian-backed groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and of eventually brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
A ceasefire would only be the beginning. Nothing can be achieved in Gaza if moderates aren’t given a reason to choose talk over terror.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says Israel is intent on teaching the Islamists of Hamas a lesson in Gaza.
The war has revived Israel’s leftists, but it’s killing their chances of a deal with Palestinian moderates.
The assault in Gaza has boosted Iran’s hawks and hurt moderate Arabs who were tilting toward Israel.
[Originally published in Hurriyet Daily News] As of yesterday, the Israeli military had killed 770 people in the Gaza Strip, about 200 of them children. Millions around the world are appalled at this ruthless bloodshed. But Israeli spokespersons routinely show up on television, and pleasantly tell us that they don’t have the slightest responsibility in all this carnage. They are doing everything they can do avoid this "collateral damage," they say, including warning civilians to run away from their homes before launching an onslaught of bombing. And, based on that, pro-Israeli commentators, such as Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, coldly tell us that Israel is absolutely the "moral side" in his conflict. Really? Some Westerners who know the region well say that this is not true. Robert Fisk, for example, the veteran British Middle East correspondent, argues, "It is an old lie that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties." But I can’t claim to have a first-hand knowledge about these matters. I will just think out loud on what seems fairly obvious.
Ari Rusila: The situation in Gaza is escalating into a full scale war with over 800 deaths and over 3,000 in hospitals already. The use of force can stop rockets flying from Gaza to Israel for a while, but what after that? Balkan history can provide some lessons applicable to the Middle East.
by Francisco Veiga
Olmert y Erdogan hace unos meses: los límites de la confianza, los límites de la información La crisis de Gaza viene poniendo de relieve, una vez más, y así ad infinitum, hasta qué punto los conflictos en el "espacio ex otomano" son particularmente propensos a despertar pasiones desbocadas en Occidente, como hace casi doscientos años. Y como siempre, lo que ocurre sobre el terreno
Imagine your next-door neighbor – with whom you have had a long and bloody feud – pulling out a gun and shooting into your windows, from his own living room, which is densely packed with women and children. In fact, he’s holding his daughter on his lap as he tries to target your own kids. He claims he will not stop until your family is dead. Police are unavailable. What should you do?
by Avi Shlaim
The only way to make sense of Israel’s senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. The establishment of the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials were aware at the time of the grave injustice perpetrated by one-sided American support for the Israelis. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to foreign secretary Ernest Bevin that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment is too harsh; but Israel’s vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the George W Bush administration’s complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.
The Gaza war moves into the middle of its second week with Israeli ground forces driving further into the territory. The increasing civilian death-toll and the deepening humanitarian crisis are fuelling diplomatic attempts to halt the conflict. In this poised situation, Israel’s military and political leaders are faced with the choice of whether to shift their focus towards an early endgame or to intensify their campaign.Paul Rogers is professor of peace studi
es at Bradford University, northern England. He has been writing a weekly column on global security on openDemocracy since 26 September 20
by Daniele Archibugi
One of the most accredited interpretations offered to explain the launching of missiles by Hamas and the disproportionate Israeli reaction is that both in Israel and Palestine a general election is shortly to be held. While the holding of Palestinian elections is always, like the distribution of water, food, medicines and fuel, highly uncertain, the mandate of the President in office of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, expires on 9 January. Looming over the Palestinians is the risk of a resumption of the civil war between Al Fatah and Hamas, and an electoral competition could avert the resumption of hostilities.
‘Most of the regimes in the Middle East have legitimacy problems. They cannot vociferously politicize the Palestinian issue in Jordan, in Syria or in Kuwait. … There are no leaderships in the Middle East that can take on the Palestinian issue courageously and, at the same time, remain in power. Only the Turkish leadership can do it’
The recent Israeli attacks against Gaza launched on Dec. 27 showed that the Israeli army and the Olmert administration have learned lessons from the defeat they tasted against Hezbullah in 2006.
Any decent human being would be appalled by the civilian casualties that too often accompany armed conflicts around the world, and the current crisis in Gaza is no exception. The questions that immediately arise are: Can civilian casualties be avoided? How? If they cannot, who must be held accountable?
I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.
Prosecuting international crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces in the Occupied Territories (2) by CENAP ÇAKMAK
War crimes are acts that are committed most extensively in wartime. Making comments on the list of war crimes that might have been committed by the Israeli forces will depend on whether the Gaza offensive is an international armed conflict or an armed conflict not of an international character.
While Israel’s operations in Gaza continue, initiatives for peace are also continuing at the same speed. A platform called the Egypt-France peace plan, which also includes other countries such as Turkey, has been formed.
The Gaza issue has been covered widely in both written and visual media, and this is understandable; however, there are few informative pieces either on television or in newspapers.