[ Editor’s Note: Stuart has a dual piece here for us today, a current civilian terrorism update and then also a review of the history for context, including some gem material on Israel’s use hi-tech Thermobaric weapons against Palestinians.
He also touches on the most sensitive subject of our time, the situation where states involved in terrorism as a foreign policy tool, give themselves immunity, with their entire military, intelligence, diplomatic and legal structures to protect themselves.
It is long past time to have a discussion as to why immunity for anyone should to be allowed under such circumstances. Look at what it has wrought upon us. Thus ends my cheery message for today… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … February 05, 20202 –
by Stuart Littlewood, Scotland, …for VeteransToday
The US administration uses GW Bush’s Executive Order 13224, Section 3, to outlaw and crush any individual, any organization or any nation that gets in its way. It deals with Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism. And for this purpose, the term ‘‘terrorism’’ means an activity that—
(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and
(ii) appears to be intended—
(a) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(b) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(c) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.
The joke is that the US itself, and its special buddy Israel, fall straight in. It fits them like a glove. And they can’t see it.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies is unhappy with the way the US State Department defines terrorism, pointing out that it only includes “violent acts carried out by non-state actors”.
Where the Department, in its main report, does include “State Sponsors of Terrorism” it means only nations that sponsor non-state actors. Nowhere does it address the fact that states commit direct acts of terrorism or the extent to which non-state actors are simply reacting to such terrorism.
With America, it’s always the other guys who are terrorists. “For over a decade, Gaza has been ruled by Hamas, a terror organization, responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands of Israelis,” says Trump’s land-grab plan.
It adds: “Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza nearly 15 years ago was meant to advance peace. Instead, Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist group, gained control over the territory, and increased attacks on Israel, including the launching of thousands of rockets…. As a result of Hamas’ terror and misrule, the people of Gaza suffer from massive unemployment, widespread poverty, drastic shortages of electricity and potable water, and other problems that threaten to precipitate a wholesale humanitarian crisis.”
The White House and their Tel Aviv puppetmasters still delude themselves that they can fool all the people all the time. But alternative media speaking truth to power is increasingly heard, so fewer people are swallowing their lies.
The Trump plan claims the governance structure in Gaza is run by terrorists who provoke confrontations, therefore, Israel will only implement its obligations under the Peace Agreement if the Palestinian Authority or some other body acceptable to Israel is in full control of Gaza and Gaza is fully demilitarized.
It threatens that Hamas, if it is to play a role in a Palestinian government, must adopt the Quartet principles, which include “unambiguously and explicitly recognizing the State of Israel, committing to non-violence, and accepting previous agreements and obligations between the parties, including the disarming of all terrorist groups”. There’s no similar obligation placed on Israel, no symmetry whatsoever.
At every opportunity, Hamas and Hezbollah, legitimate resisters to Israeli aggression, are demonized. It’s a bit rich for any ally of Israel to call Hamas terrorists. It would be very difficult objectively to classify Hamas as a terror government, given the context of decades of brutal military occupation, economic suffocation, ethnic cleansing and denial of human rights at the hands of a lawless intruder. And never mind the fact that Hamas was voted into power in full and fair elections.
In contrast, the state of Israel was founded on terror, which is well documented. Some years ago a colleague sent me a list of terror techniques in the Middle East “first used by Zionists”. They had appeared on several forums with requests for corrections. I’d seen evidence for some, but others were new to me. I mention them here only as claims and invite readers to point out any errors.
• Bombs in Cafés: first used by Zionists in Palestine on March 17, 1937, in Jaffa (actually grenades).
• Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine August 20-September 26, 1937
• Drive-by shootings with automatic weapons: IZL [Irgun] in 1937-38 and 1947-48 (Morris, Righteous Victims, p681.)
• Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists on July 6, 1938, in Haifa. (Delayed-action, electrically detonated)
• The bombing of a passenger ship: first used by the Zionists in Haifa on 25 November 1940, killing over 200 of their own fellows.
• The bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists on July 22, 1946, in Jerusalem [the infamous attack by Irgun on the King David Hotel which served as the central offices of the British Mandatory authority of Palestine. Irgun’s leader, Menachem Begin, went on to become Prime Minister of Israel.
• Suitcase bombing: first used by Zionists on October 1, 1946, against British Embassy in Rome.
• Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists on October 31, 1946, in Petah Tikvah.
• Car-bomb: first used by Zionists against the British near Jaffa 5 December 1946.
• Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against members of the British government, 20 of them.
• Parcel Bomb: first used by Zionists against the British in London 3 September 1947.
• Reprisal murder of hostages: first used by Zionists against the British in Netanya area on 29 July 1947.
• Truck-bombs: first used by Zionists 4 January 1948 in the center of Jaffa, killing 26.
• Aircraft hijacking: world-first state hijack by Israeli jets Dec 1954 on a Syrian civilian airliner (random seizure of hostages to recover 5 spies).
• Biological Warfare: pathogens used by Zionists in 1948, prior to the seizure of Acre, putting typhus into the water supply.
• Chemical Warfare: nerve gas very likely used by Zionists in February/March 2001 in at least 8 attacks in Khan Younis and Gharbi refugee camps (Gaza) and the town of Al-Bireh (West Bank).
• Nuclear threats made by Zionists e.g. 2003: “We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.” – Remarks of Martin Van Creveld, a professor of military history at Israel’s Hebrew University, 1 Feb 2003.
We can probably add “sofa slaughter” with armed drones. The Israelis use this armchair technique extensively in Gaza, unleashing death and destruction on civilians by remote control at no personal risk to themselves. There are interesting variations too.
For example, during the 40-day siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002 the Israeli Occupation Force set up cranes on which were mounted robotic machine guns under video control. According to eye-witnesses eight defenders, including the bell-ringer, were murdered, some by the armchair button-pushers and some by regular snipers.
Banned horror weapons spread terror
There’s also the use, suspected or real, of prohibited weapons to put Palestinians in a state of fear. In July 2006 doctors in Lebanon and Gaza were saying: “We never saw before wounds and corpses like those that arrive in the ward…” The majority of victims were women, children, and elders caught in Israeli attacks in the street, in the market place and at home.
What doctors saw led them to believe that a new generation of weapons was being tested. Common to all victims was the lack of visible wounds, but they had serious internal edema and hemorrhage with loss of blood from all orifices. All the bodies had a covering of dark powder making them look black, but they were not burnt. Clothes and hair were not damaged or burnt.
Electron microscope scans showed the presence of phosphorous, iron and magnesium at below normally detectable levels. Elements that are used as additives to boost the blast of thermobaric (fuel-air energy) bombs and grenades were found on skin samples, but none of these could be seen by instruments normally used in hospitals and emergency wards.
The United States had developed thermobaric bombs and grenades for the war against “terror” in Afghanistan. “All enemy personnel within the effective radius will suffer lethal effects as opposed to the conventional fragmentation round.”
These weapons produce a thermobaric overpressure blast and leave no fragments on or in the victims’ bodies, making it all the more difficult to provide proper care for the injured. “This fact already puts them outside established conventions of war, regardless of whether they are used against military or civilians,” said the doctors.
Thermobaric effects are devastating. “Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs, and internal organs, and possibly blindness. The destruction, death, and injury are caused by the blast wave,” says one report.
Another report, in Defense Technology, says: “Each tissue type… is compressed, stretched, sheared or disintegrated by overload according to its material properties. Internal organs that contain air (sinuses, ears, lungs and intestines) are particularly vulnerable to blast.”
Is the US sure it hasn’t supplied its bosom-pal Israel with these horrendous items knowing perfectly well they’d use them against women and children packed like sardines in Gaza?
And let’s not forget the assassinations and extra-judicial executions. In the US there’s a presidential prohibition on assassination except in war situations, but if they can conjure up an intelligence ‘finding’ that enables them to label the target a ‘terrorist,’ and claim assassination is an act of self-defense in a war situation, they’re in the clear – as Trump demonstrated when ordering Soleimani killed.
But for Israel, there are no such restraints. Assassination became an official Israeli policy in 1999. Their preferred method is the air-strike, which is lazy and often messy, as demonstrated in 2002 when Israeli F-16 warplanes bombed the house of Sheikh Salah Shehadeh, the military commander of Hamas, in Gaza City killing not just him but at least 11 other Palestinians including seven children, and wounding 120 others.
Which brings us back to Trump’s so-called peace deal designed to deny Palestinians their rights and put them in fear for their freedom, security, sovereignty, prosperity, dignity, and hopes for nation-building – now and forever.
It’s the very model of a vile terror document.
© 2020 Stuart Littlewood – All Rights Reserved
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. An Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, he has produced two photo-documentary books which can be read online at Radiofreepalestine.org.uk and Paperturn-view.com