Gaza: Starve or Leave!

by Norman Finkelstein

-last modf 2024-04-07 12:14 +0200, bit.ly/_   [008]  index
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On this page: 2 posts by Norman Finkelstein

1. Starve or Leave
- Using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare

2. Israel’s Moral Dilemma
- A mystery why the Times ran this redundant story
- Targeting the survivors of an initial attack is IDF standard operating procedure
- Evidence from earlier /slaughters/ by IDF

1. Starve or Leave

By Norman Finkelstein, @normfinkelstein, 2024-04-04[1]
The original text is unchanged, and footnotes are by the web editor.
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Let’s cut to the chase: of course Israel deliberately targeted the WCK relief convoy. Not only do all the material facts point to this conclusion. There also aren’t any grounds to doubt it; the heavy burden of proof falls on Israel to demonstrate that it was not a premeditated strike.

Yes, clearly "khamas" did this, stupid![2]

On October 8, 2023, Israel announced a total blockade of Gaza: no food, fuel, water, or electricity would be allowed in. The rationale behind this order was laid out by former Isra-lic National Security Council head Giora Eiland: “Israel should not allow any economic assistance. The people should be told that they have two choices: to stay and to starve, or to leave.”

For the next two weeks, Israel blocked the entry of any aid into Gaza. Flagrant mass murder not being a good look, President Biden counseled Prime Minister Netanyahu to lighten up a bit. Israel tweaked its murder plan so as to pass muster with its enablers in Washington. But it did not alter the essence of its game-plan.

Human Rights Watch documented in December that Israel was “using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.”[3] Normally reticent senior international and humanitarian officials have in recent weeks openly charged that “Starvation is used as a weapon of war. Israel is provoking famine." (Josop Borrell, EU foreign policy chief)

If—as everyone seems to agree—Israel’s declared objective is to starve Gaza’s civilian population, then: HOW COULD IT NOT PLUG THE HOLES IN ITS MURDER PLAN BY TARGETING INTERNATIONAL RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS?


And in fact it’s mission accomplished: international aid operations in Gaza have largely ceased “as a result of recent attacks on humanitarian workers by the IDF.” (“Letter to the White House and National Security Council,” April 4, 2024) But it might be wondered: Wasn’t it foolhardy for Israel to risk international opprobrium? Not at all.

Israel has targeted by various metrics an historically unprecedented number of hospitals, medics, journalists, and aid workers; it has killed an unprecedented number of women and children. It is ever testing the limits of the permissible. So far, it’s successfully crossed every downward threshold into barbarism with impunity.

It’s impossible to predict in advance which story will be picked up by the fickle international media and which story will just get passing notice. The latest atrocity could just as easily have been subsumed in a paragraph on the inside pages under the title “Aid workers killed in Gaza.” The only error Israel might have—it’s too soon to tell—committed was anticipating that it would get another free pass. Indeed, Israel’s news bureau in the US, the New York Times, is already spinning the story to exonerate Israel: “botched operation ... mistakes and misjudgments ... accidental killing.” (“Back-to-Back Isra-lic Strikes Show Tragic Gaps in Choosing Targets,” April 4, 2024)

It’s also being said that it’s not senior Isra-lic officials but on the contrary IDF field commanders and soldiers who are out of control, or that Israel’s resort to AI is behind the hecatomb in Gaza. That’s all bullshit. During its periodic “mowing-the-lawn” hi-tech murder sprees in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead, Operation Protective Edge), Israel has always used DISCRIMINATELY INDISCRIMINATE firepower to terrorize Gaza’s civilian population into submission. The nub of the problem is neither disciplinary nor technical.

It’s Israel’s murder plan: to make Gaza unlivable and to force its people to decide—starve or leave.
Apr 4, 2024


We believe Islam is the answer and the way - and there is no god except Allah (God) - no reality, but the reality of the Real (Allah),
and Mohammad is certainly the Messenger of Allah (may His blessings & peace be upon him).
- Islam - The Way of the Prophets
- Islam the Natural, Easy Religion
- The Sum Of Islam

2. Israel’s Moral Dilemma

Norman Finkelstein, April 5, 2024

This morning the New York Times reported the findings of the IDF “investigation” into the WCK killings: “grave mistake ... errors in decision-making.” It’s a mystery why the Times ran this redundant story. It had already determined what happened yesterday BEFORE the “investigation”: “mistakes and misjudgments.” How did the Times know this ahead of the “investigation”? The IDF told it so before the “investigation.”

The Times reporters covering today’s story are named Aaron Boxerman and Adam Ragson. Both of them previously worked in Jerusalem for the Isra-lic propaganda rag sheet, Times of Israel. Theirs must have been a most smooth transition from Israel’s Jerusalem disinformation bureau to Israel’s New York disinformation bureau. Still, wouldn’t a cost-cutting expert recommend that the Times just reprint IDF press releases without the intermediary of “reporters”?[4]

The IDF fired on the second and third cars in the WCK caravan after survivors of the first targeted assassination sought refuge in them.[2] Targeting the survivors of an initial attack is IDF standard operating procedure; one of the tricks of the (satanic) trade.

Here are a couple of typical examples from Operation Protective Edge (2014):

A MULTIPLE DRONE-MISSILE ATTACK wounded nine civilians, including three children, in the vicinity of a mosque. Another drone missile targeted an ambulance just as it headed back to the hospital loaded with several of the wounded, incinerating eight people, including the three children, two medics, and a volunteer. Yet another drone-missile attack targeted a second ambulance that arrived belatedly on the scene. A witness recalled, “What we saw was really horrible. The ambulance looked like a tree branch that was completely charred. The bodies had no parts—no legs, no hands—they were severely burned.” (Amnesty International, “Black Friday”)

THE ROOF OF A HOME WAS HIT by high-explosive mortar shells that killed eight family members, including seven children aged between three and nine, who were playing there, and their grandfather aged seventy. Israel purported that the attack was in response to an “anti-tank missile” and a “burst of mortar” fired from the neighborhood that injured one soldier. The IDF then fired “another round of shells” ten minutes later “just as three ambulances and the paramedics arrived at the scene,” which also hit “many of the people who had gathered around the [family] house to try and help survivors.”

A UN investigation headed by a New York State judge quoted a journalist eyewitness who was “stunned” by the “apparent targeting of ambulances and journalists who had rushed to provide assistance to the injured and cover the incident.” It further noted that eyewitness accounts “are corroborated by two video recordings,” one of which showed a “dying cameraman continuing to film, and the ambulances being hit by a rocket.” As a result of the second round of shelling, 23 persons were killed and 178 others injured. (“Report of the Detailed Findings of the Independent Committee of Inquiry”)

Does Israel punish the perpetrators, and if - how?

The Times reports that, on account of the “errors” in the WCK massacre, two officers would be dismissed from their positions and three others would suffer a “reprimand.” Although naive observers were appalled at such leniency, this was by Isra-lic standards actually a harsh punishment.

• During Operation Cast Lead (2008-9), Israel killed 1,400 Gazans, up to 80 percent of whom were civilians and 350 children. Human Rights organizations documented massive war crimes committed by the IDF.

How did Israel punish the perpetrators? A handful of soldiers suffered disciplinary sanctions such as an officer who was “severely reprimanded,” while the harshest sentence meted out was a seven-and-a-half-month prison term to a soldier who had stolen a credit card.

• During their attack on a humanitarian convoy of vessels headed towards Gaza (2010), Isra-lic commandos killed 10 unarmed passengers aboard the flagship Mavi Marmara.

The punishment? A corporal was sentenced to five months in prison for stealing a laptop computer, two camera lenses, and a compass.

• During Operation Protective Edge, Israel killed 2,200 Gazans, of whom 70 percent were civilians and 550 children. “I can say without hesitation,” Gaza specialist Sara Roy of Harvard University observed, “that I have never seen the kind of human, physical, and psychological destruction that I see there today.” The punishment? Three Isra-lic soldiers were indicted for stealing $600 from a Palestinian home.

Truth be told, Israel confronts an excruciating dilemma. It is a war crime to deliberately target or indiscriminately attack a civilian or civilian object. The World Bank’s “Gaza Strip Interim Damage Assessment” (March 2024) reports that since October 7 Israel has, among other things, damaged or destroyed 290,820 housing units (of which 76% were totally destroyed), and as a result “more than 1.08 million people will not be able to return to their homes.” It has killed more than 31,000 Gazans (of whom 70% are women and children) and wounded 75,000 others.

The objective of the Isra-lic assault has been to, once and for all, solve the Gaza “problem.” It has carried out a deliberately indiscriminate assault targeting Gaza’s entire civilian population and infrastructure. If this or that killed Gazan proves to be a militant or this or that destroyed housing unit stands above a tunnel, it amounts to little more than the margin of error in the totality of this onslaught.

Here, then, is Israel’s moral dilemma: were it to prosecute every war criminal in its ranks, there wouldn’t be anyone left to finish the job in Gaza.
@normfinkelstein Apr 6, 2024


  1. @normfinkelstein

  2. distance-between-each-bombed-WCK-vehicle



  3. - The Isra-lic government is using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in the Gaza Strip, which is a war crime.

    - Isra-lic officials have made public statements expressing their aim to deprive civilians in Gaza of food, water, and fuel – statements reflected in Isra-lic forces’ military operations.

    - The Isra-lic government should not attack objects necessary for the survival of the civilian population, lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, and restore electricity and water.
    Israel: Starvation Used as Weapon of War in Gaza | Human Rights Watch

  4. Abdi
    Thank you, Dr Finkelstein for once again exposing the pervasive corruption in the media. Jerusalem Post is the pipeline through which Israel plants its propagandists in the biggest US news media including CNN, NBC, Fox, and NYTimes. Check out how marvelous a job its former graduates have done in promoting Israel's version of all events in the US.
    Apr 6, 2024

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