Well-researched and argued overview

January 13, 2009

In News

Israel’s Appetite for Destruction

01.12.2009 |
By David Seminara
David Seminara is a former American diplomat, currently serving as a Senior Program Officer at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The views expressed in this article do not represent those of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Israel’s violent assault on the Gaza Strip and the repugnant complicity of the United States in sanctioning Israel’s actions undermines America’s already diminished moral authority in the world, damages the West’s ability to confront international terrorism, and jeopardizes Israel’s long term security interests. The current offensive in Gaza is certainly not the first time Israel has committed atrocities against Palestinian civilians, and the United Stated has long been complicit in condoning and even supporting Israel’s reprehensible response to perceived threats from the Palestinians. Yet the scope and scale of Israel’s current rampage against Gaza a low point in the recent history of both Israel and the United States, particularly vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the wider Arab world.

Murder Incorporated

A comparison of the bloodshed on both sides of the current conflict shows a stunning disparity in the level of casualties and exposes how utterly disproportionate Israel’s response to Hamas’ patchwork rockets has been. Israel has killed nearly twenty times more Palestinians (nearly 900 and counting with more than 3,300 injured according to the United Nations as of January 11, 2009)[i] in just the first fortnight of its assault on the Gaza Strip compared to the last two years worth of Israeli casualties at the hands of Palestinian terror attacks (49 dead in 2007-8[ii]). Twice as many Palestinians were killed on the very first day of Israel’s rampage (250-300) compared to the number of Israelis killed over the last four years in terror attacks. (116) Thus far, four Israeli civilians have been killed in the conflict, with approximately 220 people wounded[iii]. Far more Israelis die each year from traffic accidents than from Hamas rockets. For example, in 2005, the number of Israeli victims of “terror attacks” was less than 10% of the number of traffic fatalities[iv]. In 2008 the number of Israeli victims of terror attacks was once again less than 10% of the number killed in traffic accidents, with more than 400 people were killed in road accidents[v], compared to 36 Israelis killed in terror attacks[vi]. Let me be clear- every death is one too many, but it’s important to put the level of violence in context in order to understand how utterly inappropriate Israel’s response is in this situation.

We Didn’t Start the Fire

Israel speciously claims that its bloody offensive against the Gaza Strip is a response to rocket fire from Hamas, but even if this were true, which it is not, the response would be wildly disproportionate, as Hamas rocket fire has resulted in less than two dozen Israeli fatalities over the last eight years according to Israeli human rights groups. The truth is that Israel has been planning this attack for more than six months- even as Israel was negotiating a ceasefire agreement with Hamas[vii]- and long before the Israelis themselves violated a four month long ceasefire with Hamas on November 4 by assassinating 6 Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip[viii]. Note the significance of the date the Israelis chose to break the ceasefire- November 4 was the date of the U.S. Presidential election- certainly the best day of the year to commit acts you don’t want the international community to notice. Just as the timing of the November 4 attack was no accident, the timing of the current offensive- just before the Israeli election and prior to the inauguration of Barrack Obama- is obviously calculated and not a swift reaction to Hamas rocket fire.

Hamas predictably retaliated for the November 4 strike against its members, but its worth noting that Israel assassinated dozens of Palestinians even during the four month period from mid-June to early November when Hamas wasn’t firing any rockets into Israel at all, and it has also assassinated numerous Palestinians on the West Bank- where no rockets have ever been launched from- including, Arafat Al Khawaja, an unarmed 22 year-old that was demonstrating against the assault on Gaza on December 27[ix].

What a Fool Believes

Over the last fortnight the Israeli government has served up several dubious claims regarding the background and conduct of the present conflict that need to be dispelled in order to understand the context of what is transpiring in Gaza.

The Song Remains the Same

1) Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip by “disengaging” from the territory three years ago- While it’s true that Israel dismantled its settlements in the Gaza Strip, it routinely enters the territory to conduct assassinations, home demolitions, and other operations. Israel has never truly “disengaged” from the territory or given the Gazans any measure of freedom- it retains control over land and sea borders and airspace, controlling the flow of people and products in and out of the Strip. No one can come or go from the Gaza Strip unless Israel grants them a permit, and Israel often inexplicably denies non-combatants with no criminal history the right to leave Gaza. For example, in July, Israeli officials denied exit permits to three students from Gaza that had won prestigious U.S. government funded Fulbright Scholarships to study in the United States, even after repeated pleas from American diplomats to let them travel to the United States[x].

This is not an isolated incident, as an article in the International Herald Tribune[xi] notes, hundreds of students in Gaza that have won scholarships to study abroad are unable to leave- not because they cannot secure the visas to study in foreign countries- but because Israel prefers to keep them as prisoners in the Gaza Strip. The bottom line is that Gazans have no more control over their lives now than they did prior to Israel’s “disengagement,” and, in fact, Israel has killed more than 1,300 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since disengagement, prior to the current round of fighting which commenced on December 27, including more than 250 children[xii].

The Hustle

2) Instead of turning Gaza into a Dubai on the Mediterranean, Hamas has used the territory to terrorize Israel- The truth is that ever since Hamas won free and fair legislative elections in January 2006, Israel- behind America’s diplomatic bullying- has imposed collective punishment on the Gazans for voting for Hamas by imposing a harsh blockade that has made it impossible for adequate supplies of food, medicine and electricity to reach the Gaza Strip.[xiii] Long before the present conflict, human rights groups warned that the blockade was having catastrophic effects on the public health and economy of Gaza, and were urging the Israeli government to halt this form of collective punishment.[xiv] The group Physicians for Human Rights estimates that at least 200 Palestinians have died because Israel refused to allow them out of the Gaza Strip to seek medical care since the imposition of the blockade of Gaza.[xv] Halting the flow of food and medicine to civilians as a tool of war is a war crime and a violation of the fourth Geneva Convention. The U.S., for its part, not content to merely play its part in making life miserable in the Gaza Strip, took matters one step further with an Iran-contra-like plan to fund and arm militias to overthrow Hamas[xvi].

Aside from the obvious fact that trying to overturn the result of a democratic election undermines the U.S. claim that it’s trying to create a “New Middle East” where democracies replace dictators, the move didn’t work, and the U.S. attempts to topple Hamas only served to strengthen their popularity in the Gaza Strip and around the Arab World. The notion espoused by Thomas Friedman[xvii], and other official and un-official Israeli spokespersons that Gaza could “turn into a Dubai” while Israel strangles its economy and the U.S. cows the rest of the world into boycotting it is plainly absurd[xviii].

Blame if on the Rain

3) Israel is taking the utmost care in avoiding civilian casualties- Two weeks into the conflict, Israel has already killed at least 93 women, 275 children, while wounding 1,333 children and 587 women and has killed an untold number of male non-combatants.[xix] Israel has also attacked U.N schools serving as safe-havens- in one case killing 3 and in another case killing 40[xx], a vegetable market[xxi] ambulances[xxii], and U.N aid convoys. Israel initially tried to claim that Hamas was using the U.N protected school as a launching pad for mortar attacks, but after strenuous U.N denials, they eventually retracted their claim. Israel’s claims that Hamas is to blame whenever they commit an atrocity against an obviously civilian target remind one of Serbia’s similarly specious claims during the Balkan wars- claims that no one in the international community believed. The U.N. announced on January 8, that they’d have to suspend aid deliveries in the Gaza Strip due to the risk posed by the Israeli army, after a tank shell struck and killed the driver of a U.N aid convoy.[xxiii]

Aside from killing hundreds of civilians in Gaza, Israel is also guilty of deliberately preventing the Red Cross from assisting injured civilians trapped in the ruble of their demolished homes- in one case denying the Red Cross access for four days while soldiers were just meters away from people trying to get out from the wreckage of their homes. Numerous press reports, including a piece in the Washington Post[xxiv], described a scene of utter carnage. “Emergency workers said they rescued 100 more trapped survivors Thursday and found between 40 and 50 corpses in a devastated residential block south of Gaza City that the Israeli military had kept off-limits to the International Committee of the Red Cross for four days…rescue workers found 16 bodies Wednesday in a large room of a house in Zaytoun: seven women, six children and three men, all members of the al-Samuni family. Most had sustained trauma injuries from shelling, but many had gunshot wounds as well… Four children, weak but alive, were found lying under blankets, nestled next to their dead mothers, Abuzaid said. Red Cross officials had said earlier that 12 adult bodies had been found in the house.”

Israel also has a history of using weapons banned under international law for use against civilian populations. For example, Human Rights Watch exhaustively documented Israel’s use of cluster bombs in civilian areas in Lebanon in 2006 in a 131 page report entitled, “Flooding South Lebanon: Israel’s Use of Cluster Munitions in Lebanon in July and August 2006.[xxv]” Human Rights watch is now pressing Israel to halt its use of white phosphorus- which can burn down houses and cause horrific burns on human skin.[xxvi] Hamas has, of course, also shown a blatant disregard for Israeli civilians, but fortunately, the arsenal of weapons at their disposal is extremely limited.

Beast of Burden

4) Israel is doing the U.S. a favor by taking on Hamas for us, in another front in the U.S.-led “War on Terror”- this claim has been made by not only the Israeli Foreign Ministry, but also by mainstream U.S. neo-cons like William Kristol in the New York Times- with Kristol going so far as to say that the U.S. should be “thanking Israel” rather than criticizing it.[xxvii] The truth is that Hamas is not part of Al Qaeda’s ideological war against the West-and has not specifically targeted U.S. interests the way Al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups have. The Israeli- Palestinian conflict is, at its heart, a dispute over a piece of land.

The only connection between the Israel- Palestinian conflict and the U.S. led war on terror is that our support for Israel and its violent colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip fuels anti-Americanism in the Arab world, contributes to the deterioration of our already battered image in the Middle East, and serves as a recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda and other radical groups. For example, the BBC carried a story on January 12 featuring young Indonesian men that wanted to join the jihad against Israel and the United States in support of Gazans under siege. The story went on to quote an extremist group called the Islamic Defenders Front, which claims to have signed up 5,000 new recruit inspired by the Israeli atrocities in Gaza.[xxviii] In the wake of Barrack Obama’s historic election and the ensuing good feelings toward the United States following this remarkable event, Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip and the complicit U.S. response is a windfall for Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. It is, essentially, a reminder to Muslims that while the face of leadership in America may be changing; America’s policies toward the Middle East may not. Rather than thanking Israel for its violent campaigns in the Occupied Territories, we should be condemning it, along with the rest of the world.

It Takes Two

Despite the lopsided disparity in casualty figures and the clear evidence of human rights violations by Israel in the Gaza Strip, most segments of the mainstream U.S. media continue to propagate the myth that both sides are equally to blame while urging a return to a failed peace process- which is really nothing more than a sad farce, whereby Israel goes through the motions while continuing to carve up more and more chunks of the West Bank. These tired pundits that implausibly cling to the two-state solution peace process mirage cannot seem to understand the key reason why Palestinians would support a movement which espouses armed resistance to Israel. Namely the fact that the settler population in the Occupied Territories has more than doubled since the start of the Oslo Peace Process and has continued to grow under successive Israeli governments. If the casualty figures in the present conflict were reversed and Hamas had killed hundreds of Israelis, with the Israelis killing only a handful of Palestinians, no American pundit that hoped to keep his job for long would be claiming that both sides were equally to blame.

Given the mainstream American media’s largely sympathetic pro-Israeli coverage, it’s easy to see how Americans could be confused as to who the victim and who the aggressor is in this conflict. Reports of Palestinian casualties often refer to the victims as “militants” – but its often unclear how the reporter has made this determination- and I suspect that they are often simply parroting whatever the Israeli military has claimed. The New York Times buried coverage of the deadly bombing at the school in Gaza that was serving as a shelter for civilians on page 10. Is there any doubt that if a Hamas rocket killed 40 Israelis hiding in a school that the story would have been on the front page? For that matter, can anyone imagine the reaction of U.S. officials and the media if 900 Israelis had been killed thus far in this conflict and just a handful of Palestinians? Can anyone doubt that we’d be hearing calls for a U.S. military intervention to stop Hamas? Somehow we are a lot less concerned about 900 dead Palestinians whose lives aren’t worth as much as Israelis.

Sympathy for the Devil?

Yesterday I rode home from work on Chicago’s Metra commuter line and sat next to a middle aged woman that seemed visibly distraught by the stories she was reading on her laptop. After several loud, audible sighs, and one episode where she ostentatiously covered her eyes with her hands while tilting her head back to face the heavens, I looked down to see what website she was looking at. It was something called The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) website.[xxix] My seat- mate was watching a video account of a rabbi’s report from what was billed as “War-Torn Israel.” I couldn’t hear the narrative because she had headphones on, but the images were not of the shattered homes, bodies in the streets and omnipresent rubble of Gaza, but instead scenes of rolling, verdant, bucolic hills in Israel. It looked more like the Sound of Music to me than a war zone. I then watched as she clicked into another page whose headline read, “I Survived a Hamas Rocket Attack!” After more audible sighs, I watched her click into a “Donate Now” page,[xxx] which asks Americans to donate money- not to the tens of thousands of Gazans that are now homeless and in dire need of food and medicine, not to the Red Cross which is working around the clock to treat the thousands of seriously wounded Palestinians in the most primitively under funded hospitals and medical clinics imaginable, but to the Israeli victims of “Hamas terrorism.” While the IFCJ highlights its support to “victims of Hamas terrorism” it also, by its own admission, provides support to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) which is perpetrating atrocities in Gaza, in the name of “fighting terrorism.”[xxxi]

Even though media reports have indicated that only four Israeli civilians have been killed in this conflict thus far, the IFCJ website reports that “thousands of Israelis have been injured and traumatized.” The United Nations has estimated that some 220 Israeli civilians have been injured, so one can only guess that the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has thrown the word “traumatized” in there to cover what is an obviously misleading appeal. I’ve combed through this website and there is not a word of grief or regret or even a nugget of humanity expressed for the huge numbers of Palestinian dead and injured- and there are absolutely no appeals to help with the dire humanitarian crisis going on in the Gaza Strip.

More than a decade ago, during the devastating siege of Sarajevo, a Jewish friend and colleague of mine at the Chicago Tribune invited me to attend a United Jewish Appeal (UJA) event on the “humanitarian crisis in Bosnia.” My friend knew that I was interested in the situation in the Balkans, and the promotional flyer she forwarded me regarding the event looked interesting. The event turned out to be a 90 minute slideshow and presentation of how the UJA, along with other Jewish charities had helped members of Sarajevo’s tiny Jewish community move to Israel. At the end of the presentation, there was a pitch to donate money to help the remaining Jews in Bosnia. There was absolutely no mention of the genocidal campaign against Bosnian Muslims, or the plight of any other groups in Bosnia other than the Jews there. At the conclusion of the pitch, there was a lengthy question and answer session- and, given the fact that the promotional flyer had not mentioned that the presentation would be focused solely on Bosnia’s small Jewish community, I expected there to be some questions on the big picture situation in Bosnia. Yet, once again, all of the questions and discussion centered on the plight of Bosnia’s Jews.

I retell these stories to demonstrate the kind of dangerous, bunker mentality that can take hold amongst groups of embattled people that become capable of only seeing the suffering of their own kind. Those that focus solely on the suffering of people from their own race, religion or ethnic group aren’t bad people, and many groups are certainly guilty of this, but you have to feel depressed about the prospects for peace in the Holy Land when supporters of Israel can look at this conflict in Gaza and feel motivated to provide material support solely to the war machine that is responsible for committing more than 98% of the casualties. My point is not that fervent supporters of Israel are demonic, or even more hard-hearted than others, or that there are no Israeli victims of Hamas deserve sympathy or support. But when you look at the scale of the killing and the devastation in the already desperately poor Gaza Strip, and compare it with the minimal damage that Israel- a wealthy and advanced country- has suffered, and then conclude that it’s the Israelis who need your help, you are obviously completely immune to the suffering of the Palestinians.

There is no question that the legacy of the Holocaust looms large on the psyche of Israelis and their ardent supporters around the world. In their minds, Israel is the perennial victim no matter the facts of the situation. But at what point will the rest of the world, particularly the United States stop excusing Israel’s conduct and begin to treat it like any other nation that needs to abide by international law? Millions around the world are hoping that Barrack Obama will give Israel the tough love it desperately needs, but his campaign rhetoric is not encouraging on this score.

During a visit to Israel during the campaign, Obama was quoted as saying, “If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that… And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing,” Mr. Obama did not address how he or his daughters might feel about having their homes attacked by F-16’s, Apache helicopters and tanks. The implication here is somehow that the children of Israel are in more danger from Hamas rockets than the children of Gaza from the Israeli military- this despite the fact that more than 200 children were killed in Gaza by the Israeli military between 2006 and October 2008, while, during the same time frame, only five Israel children (still obviously 5 too many) were killed in Israel.[xxxii] Of course, if Mr. Obama had to move his family to either Israel or the Gaza Strip, one has to believe he’d take his chances against the Hamas rockets and move them to Israel. I certainly would.

Rocket Men

This conflict is not about Hamas rockets. Hamas has transformed itself from a mere armed resistance group into a political movement, though it still foolishly refuses to recognize Israel and continues to offer Israel the pretext for war it craves by firing its ineffectual homemade rockets into Israel. Israel does not want peace with Hamas no matter what the terms are- it wants to destroy Hamas, not make peace with it. The Israeli leadership believes that by hammering the Gazans they’ll succeed in cowing them into submission and turning them against Hamas. With an election looming on the horizon, Israeli leaders are all trying to slake the electorate’s thirst for vengeance.

But no matter how much force Israel uses in Gaza, they will not succeed in weakening Hamas, and, in fact, the harsher their response, the more likely Hamas will be strengthened. Most Gazans are part of very large, close- knit extended families with very extensive social circles, and nearly every man, woman and child that has been killed by the Israeli Defense Forces has brothers, parents, cousins, uncles and friends whose attitudes towards Israel will harden. The Palestinians are a resilient people, who are capable of enduring grave suffering and injustice. To think that they can be smashed into submission is foolhardy.

When Doves Cry

Two weeks prior to launching the present offensive in Gaza, Israel’s Foreign Minister was quoted as saying, “I will also be able to approach the Palestinian residents of Israel, those whom we call Israeli Arabs, and tell them, ‘your national solution lies elsewhere.[xxxiii]'”

This is an astonishing, yet very calculated statement, in that, no candidate for high office with her level of political experience would make it unless they believed that the sentiment would appeal to a broad spectrum of the electorate. Livni is essentially saying that if the Palestinians get a state on the West Bank, then the Arab citizens of Israel- who make up 20% of the country- should be deported, or ethnically cleansed from the territory. This notion that non-Jewish Arab citizens should be driven out exposes the kind of deeply ingrained racism which allows the Israeli leadership to act as it is in the Gaza Strip at this moment.

Its important to remember that Livni is Israel’s top diplomat- its acting Foreign Minister- and, a leading presidential candidate, whom the international media has called the “dovish” candidate. This is not a far-right, fringe candidate- but rather someone firmly in the center-left spectrum of Israeli politics. Can one imagine the reaction if Condoleeza Rice had opined that American citizens of Hispanic descent (not illegal immigrants, but actual U.S. citizens) should plan their future in Mexico?

Gimme Shelter

As the United States stands by and applauds while Israel stubbornly presses on with its lethal assault in Gaza, in the teeth of a nearly unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire (the U.S. voted “present” after squelching earlier, stronger statements against Israeli aggression), it is difficult to imagine what Israel would have to do in order to draw U.S. condemnation. Perhaps Israel would need to commit a thoroughly comprehensive genocide, effectively “cleansing” the entire Occupied Territories of Palestinians once and for all, in order to rupture the U.S.- Israel alliance. In human history, no nation has ever subjugated its own national interests so as to acquiesce to the perceived interests of another nation in the way the U.S. has with Israel.

Despite this cozy relationship and fawning pro-Israel coverage in the American media, many Americans are waking up to the fact that our one-sided support for Israel is unjust and not in our interests. But American politics is still dominated by special interests, rather than the national interest, and there is no special interest group more powerful than the pro-Israel lobby- even though it only represents the more hawkish segment of America’s Jewish community. Why did the U.S. House of Representatives vote 390-5 “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza?”[xxxiv] Look no further than the power and strength of the Israel lobby.

Get Up, Stand Up

Even as America faces two wars abroad and a catastrophic economic crisis at home, there is no single issue more central to America’s security than to balance America’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During the presidential election campaign, one of Barrack Obama’s most frequent talking points was on the need to reduce the influence of special interests in Washington. “The problem we have is that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die. They go to die because the lobbyists and special interests have a strangle-hold on the agenda in Washington. They go to die in Washington because too many politicians are interested in scoring political points rather than bridging differences in order to get things done.[xxxv]”

The world is waiting for Mr. Obama to be a man of his word- the future of Israel and Palestine, and the security of the United States lie in the balance.

[i] United Nations Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, Field Update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator, 10-11 January, 2009,

[ii] Jonathan Lis, “Shin Bet: Number of Attacks on Israel swelled in 2008,” Haaretz, January 4, 2009,

[iii] United Nations Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, Field Update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator, 10-11 January, 2009,

[iv] Amos Harel, “Shin Bet: Palestinian Truce Main Cause for Reduced Terror,” Haaretz, January 2, 2006,

[v] “Israeli Tour Bus Accident Kills at Least 26,” Associated Press, December 16, 2008,

[vi] Jonathan Lis, “Shin Bet: Number of Attacks on Israel swelled in 2008,” Haaretz, January 4, 2009,

[vii] Barak Ravid, “Disinformation, Secrecy, and Lies: How the Gaza Offensive Came About,” Haaretz, December 31, 2008,

[viii] Rory McCarthy, “Gaza Truce Broken As Israeli Raid Kills Six Hamas Gunmen,” Guardian, November 5, 2008,

[ix] Ghassan Bannoura , “One Civilian Killed, Four Others Injured, and One Kidnapped by Israeli Army Near Ramallah,” International Middle East Media Center, December 28, 2008,

[x] “Gaza Fulbright Scholars Denied Access to Israel Meet with U.S. Visa Officials at Gaza Border,” The Associated Press, July 10, 2008,

[xi] ibid

[xii] United Nations Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA-OPT Protection of Civilians Summary Data Tables, Reports to the end of October 2008,

[xiii] “Guide: Gaza Under Blockade,” BBC, November 11, 2008,, Sara Roy, “If Gaza Falls,” London Review of Books,” January 1, 2009,

[xiv] “Letter to Olmert: Stop the Blockade of Gaza,’ Human Rights Watch, November 20, 2008,
-blocks-deliveries-gaza-20081114, “Israeli Army Blocks Deliveries to Gaza,” Amnesty International, November 14, 2008,

[xv] Guide: Gaza Under Blockade,” BBC, November 11, 2008,

[xvi] David Rose, “The Gaza Bombshell,” Vanity Fair, April 2008,

[xvii] Thomas Friedman, “The Tipping Points,” New York Times, February 27, 2005,

[xviii] Sara Roy, “A Dubai on the Mediterranean,” London Review of Books, November 3, 2005,

[xix] United Nations Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, Field Update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator, 10-11 January, 2009,

[xx] “Strike at Gaza School Kills 40,” BBC, January 7, 2009,

[xxi] Azmi Keshawi, “On the Spot: Chaos in Gaza After Israeli Blast Hits Vegetable Market,” The Times, January 5, 2009,

[xxii] “Paramedic Killed as Shell Hits Ambulance in Gaza,” The Guardian, January 4, 2009,

[xxiii] “U.N. Aid Agency Suspends Operations,” ABC News, January 9, 2009,

[xxiv] Craig Whitlock and Rayham Abdel Kareem, “100 Survivors Rescued in Gaza from Ruins Blocked by Israelis,” Washington Post, January 9, 2009,

[xxv] “Israel’s Use of Cluster Bombs Shows Need for Global Ban,” Human Rights Watch, February 17, 2008,

[xxvi] “Israel: Stop Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza,” Human Rights Watch, January 10, 2009,

[xxvii] William Kristol, “Why Israel Fights,” New York Times, January 4, 2009,

[xxviii] Lucy Williamson, “Indonesians Rally Around Gaza Cause,” BBC, January 12, 2009,

[xxix] International Fellowship of Christians and Jews,

[xxx] Ibid,

[xxxi] “International Fellowship of Christians and Jews to Donate $45 million to Jewish Agency for Israel,” Jewish Agency for Israel, December 20, 2007,

[xxxii] United Nations Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA-OPT Protection of Civilians Summary Data Tables, Reports to the end of October 2008,

[xxxiii] “Livni: Palestinian Residents of Israel Should Move to Palestinian State,” Jerusalem Post, December 11, 2008,

[xxxiv] “Watch: U.S. House Passes Landslide Vote Backing Israel in Fight Against Hamas,” Reuters, January 10, 2009,

[xxxv] The CNN Democratic Presidential Debate in Texas, February 21, 2008,