Israeli Genocide in Gaza: Analysis of the Numbers

On January 22nd, media organizations across the globe reported the milestone of 25,000 Palestinian deaths at the hands of the IDF, (Israeli Defense Forces), since Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7th.

Sources for Palestian Casualty Figures

Palestinian casualty figures originate with the Hamas Ministry of Health in Gaza, but are being used and accepted by the U.S. State Department, Human Rights Watch, and various officials and agencies of the United Nations, including the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

One Catholic source places the number of fatalities higher. Father Ibrahim Faltas, the Vicar for the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, believes the true figure is closer to 30,000. According to Father Faltas, some 10,000 children have been killed and another 40,000 have been orphaned.

The Hamas Ministry of Health does not distinguish between civilian and military casualties among Palestinians.

The Israelis, and the Israelis only, are claiming that 9,000 Palestinian fatalities—35% of the total deaths—are those of combatants.

Unprecedented Proportion of Civilian Casualties

Others dispute this claim, with varying estimates of 60 to 90 percent civilian fatalities. Even if Israeli figures are taken at face value, it means that the IDF is killing nearly two civilians for every armed combatant which it kills, a ratio unprecedented in modern warfare.

This means that the percentage of civilian fatalities suffered by the Palestinians in the last three and one half months, 65%, is nearly double that suffered by the Germans and the Italians in the entire Second World War, and more than double that suffered by the Japanese in the same conflict.

This statistic is all the more astonishing when one considers that each one of those countries was subjected to a protracted campaign of strategic bombing by the Allies, in an era when aerial bombardment was far less precise than it is today.

The percentage of civilian fatalities in World War II for Nazi Germany was 37 percent, for Fascist Italy 34 percent, and for Imperial Japan 31 percent, respectively.

Damning Information from Israeli Source

n an analysis published in the Israeli newspaper HaaretzProfessor Yagil Levy stated that with a civilian death rate in Gaza of 61 percent, “The ratio [of civilian to military fatalities] is significantly higher than the average civilian toll in all the conflicts around the world from the second world war to the 1990s.”

“Without Parallel in Recent History”

2024 Population of Gaza Strip—2,375,000

As of January 23, 2024:

1.) Total Palestinian casualties—88,844

Palestinian fatalities—25,490

Palestinian wounded—63,354

Total fatalities as a percentage of the population of Gaza—1.1%

Total casualties as a percentage of the population of Gaza—3.75%

Percentage of women and children casualties—69%

2.) Total Palestinian displaced persons—1,900,000

Total displaced persons as a percentage of the population of Gaza—80%

3.) Total Palestinians with exhausted food supplies/facing catastrophic starvation—577,000

Percentage of Palestinian population facing starvation—24.3%

4.) Total Palestinians suffering from infectious diseases—350,000

Percentage of Palestinian population which is sick—15%

5.) Total housing units damaged or destroyed in Gaza—360,000

Percentage of homes damaged or destroyed—60%

6.) Total United Nations worker (UNRWA, WHO, UNPD) fatalities—153

7.) Total journalist fatalities—117

8.) Total all non-Israeli Gaza fatalities—25,760

9.) Total Palestinian casualties, West Bank—4,708

Total Palestinian fatalities, West Bank—360

Total Palestinian injuries, West Bank—4,348

10.) Total Palestinian casualties, Gaza and West Bank—93,552

Total Palestinian fatalities, Gaza and West Bank—25,850

Total Palestinian injured and wounded, Gaza and West Bank—67,702

11.) Total Israeli Casualties, Gaza and Green Line Israel—8,293

Total Israeli Fatalities—1,413

(504 soldiers, 69 police and security officers, 770 civilians, 70 Israeli Arabs)

Total Israeli Injured and Wounded—6,632

Total Israeli Hostages Taken—248

Total fatalities as a percentage of the population of Israel—.015%

Total casualties as a percentage of the population of Israel—.09%

12.) Total Israeli displaced persons—200,000

Total displaced persons as a percentage of the population of Israel—2%

Kýrie, eléison! Christe, eléison! Kýrie, eléison!
Our Lady of Palestine, Pray for Us!
Queen of Peace, Pray for Us!
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!


C. Joseph Doyle is the Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. Since 2019, Doyle has also served as Director of Communications for the Friends of Saint Benedict Center. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Catholicism.


A Tale of the Palestine Archaeological Museum

Abdullah Jaddallah was a native of Jerusalem. He was a devoted husband and father to seven children. Highly favored for his education, Jaddallah was employed by the British army during the years of British Mandate rule in Palestine. Following a successful career with the British military, in which he traveled across the Middle East on various assignments, Jaddallah permanently settled in Jordan. Jaddallah enjoyed drinking his black tea with milk, a ritual adopted during his tenure in the military; tea with milk would become a fond family tradition upheld by successive generations. Two generations later, and from a much farther distance, I was transfixed by the story of my grandfather, a man that I barely knew. Immersed in his memory, my practice as an artist evolved into one that traced lineage, familial histories, and, subsequently, the geopolitical forces which catalyzed our migration. I was left to wonder: What historical circumstances created these conditions? What constraints did he endure, and how did it impact his movement? How am I implicated within this meshwork of history, chance, and fate? Meditating on his story and the complexities of these intersections, a larger research project unfolded; while its major thrusts are historical, it still resides between the poles of fact and fiction.

In 2014, I stumbled upon the story of the Palestine Archaeological Museum; however, the brief history that I encountered felt wholly insufficient. While the Israel Antiquities Authority foregrounds central figures who oversaw the erection of the museum (like John D. Rockefeller and Henry Breasted, whom I introduce later in this essay), these historical ac-counts neglect to acknowledge the violent seizure of land that altered the fate of this institution. It is through colonial theft that a more complex picture emerges of the Palestine Archaeological Museum; however, extant histories proffer a depoliticized image of the museum impacted by the occupation of Palestinian land. Meditating on the erasures in the museum’s history, I could not help but feel that this story was an allegory for larger, more persistent efforts to suppress Palestinian history.

This spurred the creation of A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (2014–19), a multimedia project that restores the memory of the former Palestine Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem, an institution entrenched in geopolitical turmoil and precarity. A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum is presented as a museological installation, with an exhibition space formerly held online. Before embarking on this project, I had never been to Palestine, nor to the museum, and so my research and art making was carried out at a distance. Due to these constraints, imagination served as a vehicle that stitched together an otherwise fragmented history. Suddenly I stepped into the role of a collector, driven by an impulse to salvage any valuable material I could find. This collection became a bridge to a site that I could not physically access.

A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum is composed of this makeshift archive; the collection also contains personal, familial heirlooms. By juxtaposing these intimate mementos with historical ephemera, I reclaim authority over personal experience, validating its role in the pro-duction of knowledge. Furthermore, it is through these personal histories and experiences that cultural memory is shaped and transmitted. Hours were spent mining and excavating hidden corners of internet marketplaces. I purchased photographs, stamps, and pamphlets from independent eBay and Etsy merchants. Some merchants sold aged books and press clippings as their official business line. Others sold more sporadically, auctioning off junk culled from drawers and cabinets. This collection does not, in fact, belong to the Palestine Archaeological Museum proper; however, it became a speculative archive for the “restored” iteration of the museum that I introduced to the public. Digitized portions of this collection were shared on an exhibition webpage [no longer online]. This website played an integral role in the afterlife of the installation, connecting me to other Palestinian artists, researchers, and writers, all producing their own unique historical and archive-based research projects.

(In 2019, I received a note from Yazan Kopty, a writer, oral historian, and National Geographic Explorer. Kopty is currently the lead investigator on an archive- based research project titled Imagining the Holy, which examines images of historic Palestine from the National Geographic Society archive. Kopty makes space for the Palestinian community, providing opportunities to collaborate and restore Indigenous knowledge and narratives to the images in the archive. The photographic archive can be accessed on Instagram via @imaginingtheholy.)

The story of the Palestine Archaeological Museum begins with its founding mission: preserving and recording the diverse cultures of the region. However, this vision was stymied in its infancy. By engaging the fraught trajectory of the museum, my project questions the ways that didactic institutions are implicated in the erasure of subjugated peoples and histories. Furthermore, the project confronts the colonial legacies of the institution as we know it. A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum considers the rich possibilities in creating our own imaginative histories, institutions, and archives to bridge gaps in history and distance.

Ruminating on my grandfather’s story and the course of his career, it became more pressing to consider how colonial entanglements played out across personal, political, and cultural registers. This led me to broader questions about archaeological practice, soft power, and Western cultural hegemony, and how this impacted Palestine in particular. These forces undoubtedly led to the erection of the Palestine Archaeological Museum. This museum was only one chapter within a larger history of extractive archaeological projects taking place in the Middle East at this time, initiated under the jurisdiction of colonial governments. James Henry Breasted, America’s first formally trained Egyptologist and a professor at the University of Chicago, spearheaded the birth of the museum. Breasted also founded the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, with generous philanthropic support from John D. Rockefeller. Breasted and Rockefeller formed a mutually beneficial relationship; between 1924 and 1927, Rocke-feller supported Breasted’s archaeological projects in the Middle East. Breasted insisted that archaeological artifacts had a home in the heart of Jerusalem. Following an unsuccessful attempt to open an Egyptian antiquities museum and research center in Cairo, Breasted proposed opening the Palestine Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem. In January 1927, Rockefeller approved the museum’s initial development plans, allotting two million dollars to subsidize construction costs and operating expenses. The British government provided necessary approvals for Breasted and fellow organizers to erect the museum. Austen St. Barbe Harrison, the architect at the helm of the project, combined contemporary European design with local architectural traditions, a style later defined as Mediterranean Modern-ism. The fusion of these aesthetics asserted British cultural prestige and further expressed its paternalistic role as a colonial occupier. The Palestine Archaeological Museum was built on a hill overlooking the northeast corner of the Old City, officially opening to the public on January 13, 1938.

The museum endeavored to catalog and preserve the rich diversity within the region. But as political tensions heightened, the museum’s mis-sion was further out of reach. On April 1, 1948, the British government closed the museum to the public. The high commissioner assembled an international board of trustees to preside over the institution. The makeup of the board traced back to Britain and France, with members also recruited from various antiquities departments across Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, among others. The international board remained effective until November 1966, when King Hussein of Jordan nationalized the museum. During the Six-Day War of 1967, Israeli military forces seized control over the Old City of Jerusalem, and, as a result, the Palestine Archaeological Museum was captured and relinquished to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Bullet holes still line the library walls, serving as a memento from the battle. Following the end of the war, the institution was officially renamed the Rockefeller Museum. It remains unclear who authorized changing the identity of the museum. However, the decision to rename the museum has remained a point of contention. The Rockefeller Museum continues to operate today, instilling a new collective memory throughout the region, one that undermines histories of Palestinian indigeneity.

In 2017, I left Ohio and journeyed to the Rockefeller Museum, which still stands on that hill overlooking the Old City. The edifice is officially deemed a historical landmark; old etchings, markings, and carvings on the muse-um’s facade reveal its conflicted past. Exterior entrance halls direct visitors to the Government of Palestine Department of Antiquities offices. Upon entering through the front doors, patrons encounter the building’s floor plan, guiding them to the exhibition halls. Above the map reads “Palestine Archaeological Museum,” its maiden name hand-carved into the limestone wall. Wandering through these hallways, the museum felt virtually untouched—its interior halls unfixed and unchanged from the photographs I examined in the archives. While these appearances remained frozen on the surface, the wall text was quietly confrontational, promoting a narrative positioning Palestinians as “visitors” of their native land. The story of the Palestine Archaeological Museum is a painfully layered one, replete with the haunt-ings of colonial power and historical erasure. In many ways, its story is only a modicum of the more pervasive effacement of Palestinian historical and cultural memory that occurs ad infinitum. This institution was born out of a deep entanglement with colonialism and Western expansion, only to become the spoils of its new colonial occupier. Palestine was forcefully re-moved from its name, much like our names on villages, streets, and maps effectively erased by the violent workings of a settler-colonial regime. Re-claiming this institution’s fraught history opened a pathway to creating A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum, an imaginative space that reclaims and resuscitates the elisions of history.

Dareen Hussein is a writer, curator, and multimedia artist based in Ohio. She is a PhD student in the Department of History of Art at the Ohio State University. This essay appears in FUTURE/PRESENT. Arts in a Changing America, Duke University Press (2024).


Lord of Peace, Give us Your Promised Peace: The Prayer of Father Manuel Musallam

“Lord, may we hear the cry of the victims of conflict, especially today, those voices rising from Gaza. Forgive our deafness, open our ears and hearts to the anguish and distress of our neighbor. And we join in the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Gaza. But you, God, in whom we trust, do not keep your good grace from us. Do not stand so far away”(Psalm 10:1).

Lord Jesus, when You passed through Gaza, fleeing Herod’s threat, we protected You. We fed You. We warmed Your weakened body. Please come back to Gaza and help us. Give us Your promised Peace. Do not forget Your people: 200 Catholics, 3,500 Orthodox, 30 Baptists, 10 Anglicans and a million and a half Muslims.

Have mercy on us, God. Give us peace based on justice, growth and charity. Make us understand these words: “Rejoice in hope. Endure in distress. Devote yourselves assiduously to prayer” (Romans 12:12).

Strengthen us in our distress “so that, through the encouragement we ourselves receive from God, we may encourage those who are in all kinds of distress!” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Lord, even if we are thirsty for peace and hungry for justice, “who will separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall distress, anguish, persecution, hunger, want, peril, or the sword?” (Romans 8:35).

We are Yours. Save us! Lord of Peace, rain Peace upon us. Lord of Peace, grant Peace to our land. Have mercy, Lord, on all Your people! But do not leave us, Lord, in enmity forever!”

Amen.


Father Musallam’s message to Gaza and the world…


The Malthusians

Dr. Malthus, an economist, an Englishman, once wrote the following words:

“A man who is born into a world already occupied, his family unable to support him, and society not requiring his labor, such a man, I say, has not the least right to claim any nourishment whatever; he is really one too many on the earth. At the great banquet of Nature there is no plate laid for him. Nature commands him to take himself away, and she will not be slow to put her order into execution.”

As a consequence of this great principle, Malthus recommends with the most terrible threats, every man who has neither labor nor income upon which to live to take himself away, or at any rate to have no more children. A family, that is, love—like bread, is forbidden such a man by Malthus.

Dr. Malthus was, while living, a minister of the Holy Gospel, a mild-mannered philanthropist, a good husband, a good father, a good citizen, believing in God as firmly as any man in France. He died (heaven grant him peace) in 1831. It may be said that he was the first, without doubt, to reduce to absurdity all political economy, and state the great revolutionary question, the question between labor and capital. With us, whose faith in Providence still lives, in spite of the century’s indifference, it is proverbial—and herein consists the difference between the English and ourselves—that “everybody must live.” And our people, in saying this, think themselves as truly Christian, as conservative of good morals and the family, as the late Malthus.

Now, what the people say in France, the economists deny; the lawyers and the littérateurs deny; the Church, which pretends to be Christian, and also Gallican, denies; the Press denies; the large proprietors deny; the government, which endeavours to represent them, denies. The Press, the government, the Church, literature, economy, wealth—everything in France has become English; everything is Malthusian. It is in the name of God and his holy providence, in the name of morality, in the name of the sacred interests of the family, that they maintain that there is not room in the country for all the children of the country, and that they warn our women to be less prolific. In France, in spite of the desire of the people, in spite of the national belief, eating and drinking are regarded as privileges, labor a privilege, family a privilege, country a privilege.

M. Antony Thouret said recently that property, without which there is neither country, nor family, nor labor, nor morality, would be irreproachable as soon as it should cease to be a privilege; a clear statement of the fact that, to abolish all the privileges which, so to speak, exclude a portion of the people from the law, from humanity, we must abolish, first of all, the fundamental privilege, and change the constitution of property. M. A. Thouret, in saying that, agreed with us and with the people. The State, the Press, political economy, do not view the matter in that light; they agree in the hope that property, without which, as M. Thouret says, there is no labor, no family, no Republic, may remain what it always has been, a privilege.

All that has been done, said, and printed to-day and for the last twenty years, has been done, said, and printed in consequence of the theory of Malthus.

The theory of Malthus is the theory of political murder; of murder from motives of philanthropy and for love of God. There are too many people in the world; that is the first article of faith of all those who, at present, in the name of the people, reign and govern. It is for this reason that they use their best efforts to diminish the population. Those who best acquit themselves of this duty, who practice with piety, courage, and fraternity the maxims of Malthus, are good citizens, religious men, those who protest against such conduct are anarchists, socialists, atheists.

That the Revolution of February was the result of this protest constitutes its inexpiable crime. Consequently, it shall be taught its business, this Revolution which promised that all should live. The original, indelible stain on the Republic is that the people have pronounced it anti-Malthusian. That is why the Republic is so especially obnoxious to those who were and would become again, the toadies and accomplices of kings—grand eaters of men, as Cato called them. They would make a monarchy of your Republic; they would devour its children.

There lies the whole secret of the sufferings, the agitations, and the contradictions of our country. The economists are the first among us, by an inconceivable blasphemy, to establish as a providential dogma the theory of Malthus. I do not reproach them; neither do I abuse them. On this point the economists act in good faith and from the best intentions in the world. They would ask nothing better than to make the human race happy; but they cannot conceive how, without some sort of an organization of homicide, a balance between population and production can exist.

Ask the Academy of Moral Sciences. One of its most honorable members, whose name I will not call, though he is proud of his opinions, as every honest man should be—being the prefect of I know not which department, saw fit one day, in a proclamation, to advise those within his province to have thenceforth fewer children by their wives. Great was the scandal among the priests and gossips, who looked upon this academic morality as the morality of swine! The savant of whom I speak was none the less, like all his fellows, a zealous defender of the family and of morality; but, he observed with Malthus, at the banquet of Nature there is not room for all.

M. Thiers, also a member of the Academy of Moral Sciences, lately told the committee on finance that, if he were minister, he would confine himself to courageously and stoically passing through the crisis, devoting himself to the expenses of his budget, enforcing a respect for order, and carefully guarding against every financial innovation, every socialistic idea—especially such as the right to labor, as well as every revolutionary expedient. And the whole committee applauded him. In giving this declaration of the celebrated historian and statesman, I have no desire to accuse his intentions. In the present state of the public mind, I should succeed only in serving the ambition of M. Thiers, if he has any left. What I wish to call attention to is that M. Thiers, in expressing himself in this wise, testified, perhaps unconsciously, to his faith in Malthus.

Mark this well, I pray you. There are two millions, four millions of men who will die of misery and hunger, if some means be not found of giving them work. This is a great misfortune, surely, and we are the first to lament it, the Malthusians tell you; but what is to be done? It is better that four millions of men should die than that privilege should be compromised; it is not the fault of capital, if labor is idle; at the banquet of credit there is not room for all.

They are courageous, they are stoical, these statesmen of the school of Malthus, when it is a matter of sacrificing laborers by millions. Thou hast killed the poor man, said the prophet Elias to the king of Israel, and then thou hast taken away his inheritance. Occidisti et possedisti. Today we must reverse the phrase, and say to those who possess and govern: You have the privilege of labor, the privilege of credit, the privilege of property, as M. Thouret says; and it is because you do not wish to be deprived of these privileges, that you shed the blood of the poor like wate: Possedisti et occidisti!

And the people, under the pressure of bayonets, are being eaten slowly; they die without a sigh or a murmur; the sacrifice is effected in silence. Courage, laborers! sustain each other: Providence will finally conquer fate. Courage! the condition of your fathers, the soldiers of the republic, at the sieges of Gênes and Mayence, was even worse than yours.

M. Léon Faucher, in contending that journals should be forced to furnish securities and in favoring the maintenance of taxes on the press, reasoned also after the manner of Malthus. The serious journal, said he, the journal that deserves consideration and esteem, is that which is established on a capital of from four to five hundred thousand francs. The journalist who has only his pen is like the workman who has only his arms. If he can find no market for his services or get no credit with which to carry on his enterprize, it is a sign that public opinion is against him; he has not the least right to address the country: at the banquet of public life there is not room for all.

Listen to Lacordaire, that light of the Church, that chosen vessel of Catholicism. He will tell you that socialism is antichrist. And why is socialism antichrist? Because socialism is the enemy of Malthus, whereas Catholicism, by a final transformation, has become Malthusian.

The gospel tells us, cries the priest, that there will always be poor people, Pauperes semper habebitis vobiscum; and that property, consequently, in so far as it is a privilege and makes poor people, is sacred. Poverty is necessary to the exercise of evangelical piety; at the banquet of this world here below there cannot be room for all.

He feigns ignorance, the infidel, of the fact that poverty in Biblical language, signified every sort of affliction and pain, not hard times and the condition of the proletaire. And how could he who went up and down Judæa crying, Woe to the rich! be understood differently? In the thought of Jesus Christ, woe to the rich meant woe to the Malthusians. If Christ were living today, he would say to Lacordaire and his companions: ” You are of the race of those who, in all ages, have shed the blood of the just, from Abel unto Zacharias. Your law is not my law; your God is not my God!

And the Lacordaires would crucify Christ as a seditious person and an atheist.

Almost the whole of journalism is infected with the same ideas. Let Le National, for example, tell us whether it has not always believed, whether it does not still believe, that pauperism is a permanent element of civilization; that the enslavement of one portion of humanity is necessary to the glory of another; that those who maintain the contrary are dangerous dreamers who deserve to be shot; that such is the basis of the State. For, if this is not the secret thought of Le National, if Le National sincerely and resolutely desires the emancipation of laborers, why these anathemas against, why this anger with, the genuine socialists—those who, for ten and twenty years, have demanded this emancipation?

Further, let the Bohemians of literature, today the myrmidons of journalism, paid slanderers, courtiers of the privileged classes, eulogists of all the vices, parasites living upon other parasites, who prate so much of God only to dissemble their materialism, of the family only to conceal their adulteries, and whom we shall see, out of disgust for marriage, caressing monkeys when Malthusian women fail—let these, I say, publish their economic creed, in order that the people may know them.

Faites des filles, nous les aimons—beget girls, we love them, sing these wretches, parodying the poet. But abstain from begetting boys; at the banquet of sensualism there is not room for all. The government was inspired by Malthus when, having a hundred thousand laborers at its disposal, to whom it gave gratuitous support, it refused to employ them at useful labor, and when, after the civil war, it asked that a law be passed for their transportation. With the expenses of the pretended national workshops, with the costs of war, lawsuits, imprisonment, and transportation, it might have given the insurgents six months’ labor, and thus changed our whole economic system. But labor is a monopoly; the government does not wish revolutionary industry to compete with privileged industry; at the work-bench of the nation there is not room for all.

Large industrial establishments ruin small ones; that is the law of capital, that is Malthus.

Wholesale trade gradually swallows the retail; again Malthus.

Large estates encroach upon and consolidate the smallest possessions; still Malthus.

Soon one half of the people will say to the other:

The earth and its products are my property.

Industry and its products are my property.

Commerce and transportation are my property.

The State is my property.

You who possess neither reserve nor property, who hold no public offices and whose labor is useless to us, TAKE YOURSELVES AWAY! You have really no business on the earth; beneath the sunshine of the Republic there is not room for all.

Who will tell me that the right to labor and to live is not the whole of the Revolution?

Who will tell me that the principle of Malthus is not the whole of the counter-Revolution?

And it is for having published such things as these, for having exposed the evil boldly and sought the remedy in good faith, that speech has been forbidden me by the government, the government that represents the Revolution!

That is why I have been deluged with the slanders, treacheries, cowardice, hypocrisy, outrages, desertions, and failings of all those who hate or love the people! That is why I have been given over, for a whole month, to the mercy of the jackals of the press and the screech-owls of the platform! Never was a man, either in the past or in the present, the object of so much execration as I have become, for the simple reason that I wage war upon cannibals.

To slander one who could not reply was to shoot a prisoner. Malthusian carnivora, I discover you there! Go on, then; we have more than one account to settle yet. And, if calumny is not sufficient for you, use iron and lead. You may kill me; no one can avoid his fate, and I am at your discretion. But you shall not conquer me; you shall never persuade the people, while I live and hold a pen, that, with the exception of yourselves, there is one too many on the earth. I swear it before the people and in the name of the Republic!

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865).


This essay was published in 1848. It was translated into English by Benjamin R. Tucker and published in 1885.


Featured: Illustration from the American School Board Journal, 1922.


Conflicts: A Short Interview with Richard Black

The following is a brief interview with Richard Black, former member of the Virginia State Senate and one of the very few, if not the only Western politician, to openly speak out against U. S. proxy wars in the Middle East.

Costantino Ceoldo (CC): What does the American citizen think about the confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians?

Richard Black (RB): Most Americans felt that Israelis were justified in fighting back after Hamas attacked them… But global protests demonstrated that Israel has lost support because of their mistreatment of Palestinians, particularly on the West Bank.

CC: And in other countries, in your opinion?

RB: Open borders immigration is pushing millions of Arabs and Muslims into the U. S., the UK, and Europe. The new immigrants reject the West’s long-standing consensus that Jews had the right to force the ancient inhabitants of Palestine from their farms and homes. Current immigration policies will unquestionably lead to the eventual demise of Israel once Muslims grow sufficiently numerous to overpower support for Israel. Current immigration policies rest on the UN 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Although nations can withdraw from those treaties, only Great Britain, which is being flooded with Rwandan immigrants has seriously begun working against them thus far.

CC: What fate awaits the Palestinians?

RB: The Palestinian people cannot simply vanish from the Earth; they must live somewhere. Since 1948, Israel has pushed millions of Palestinians out of what is now called Israel, and other countries are loathe to accept any more. It is time for Israel to carry out their end of the bargain.

CC: It seems that the fate of the Biden presidency is tied to Israel…

RB: The violence in Gaza has split the Democrat Party, and that threatens Joe Biden’s reelection… According to the Jerusalem Post, over half of the Democrat Party’s campaign contributions come from wealthy Jewish contributors. They insist on Biden supporting Israel’s deadly bombing in the Gaza Strip. That pits Jewish-Americans against Muslim Americans, and both are vital Democrat voting blocks. Biden has angered Muslim voters, who see the Gaza attacks as war crimes. In 2020, Jews voted 75% Democrat, and Muslims voted 65% Democrat. But this year, Muslims were already irritated with Biden over education. His Education Department encouraged schools to expose children to homosexuality. They encouraged transgendered men to read suggestive books to schoolchildren while wearing highly-sexualized female costumes. This perverse agenda had already hurt Democrats with Muslim voters, who are protective of their schools. On October 31st, Reuters reported that Arab American support for Biden and the Democrats had plunged to 17% in recent polls, which could cause Biden to lose in Michigan, a state that is essential to winning the national vote in the electoral college.

CC: Is it not in the interest of Israel and its incumbent government for the US to openly enter the conflict?

RB: Since the Gulf War of 1990, the U. S. has fought Arabs continuously for 34 years. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen have been disastrous, both for them and for us. The U. S. has lost power and prestige from needless wars in Ukraine and the Mideast. Now, violence in Gaza has further shaken our fragile alliances in that region. America is prepared to expand its military involvement to support Israel, but our military power has eroded, and the Pentagon would prefer to contain the conflict in Gaza. There’s little question that Netanyahu would like to see Americans fight Hezbollah’s battle-hardened army in Lebanon. But although the U. S. could defeat them from the air, Hezbollah is a substantial military power that cannot be brushed off lightly. They are well armed, highly disciplined, and battle hardened. They are among the world’s finest urban fighters today.

CC: So what?

RB: The U. S. treasury is depleted, and the U. S. cannot afford another war. I doubt that Biden will seek to expand this one. He does not need to fight another highly-unpopular war as Election Day approaches in November. Ukraine is yesterday’s news. When its counteroffensive failed, the war left the front pages. Today, all eyes are on Gaza. After many months of friendship with Russia, Netanyahu foolishly sent intelligence operatives to fight for Ukraine. As a consequence, Russia harshly criticized Israel’s attack on Gaza, and Israel can’t help Zelenski any longer because of war in Gaza.


Costantino Ceoldo writes in the areas of geopolitics; his work is published in many journals. This article appears courtesy of PRAVDA.ru.


Contempt and Mockery: The Other Israeli War on Palestine

When Zionist militias, using advanced Western arms, conquered historic Palestine in 1947-48, they expressed their victory through the deliberate humiliation of Palestinians.

Much of that humiliation targeted women, in particular, knowing how the dishonor of Palestinian females represents, according to Arab culture, a sense of dishonor to the whole community.

This strategy remains in use to this day.

When scores of Palestinian women were released following prisoner exchanges between the Palestinian Resistance and Israel, starting on November 24, there was very little room to hide the facts.

Unlike the 75-year-ago Palestinian community, this current generation no longer internalizes Israel’s intentional humiliation of women and men alike, as if an act of collective dishonor.

This has allowed many newly released female prisoners to speak openly, often on live TV, about the kind of humiliation that they were exposed to while in Israeli military detention.

The Israeli army, however, continues to act with the same old mindset, perceiving the humiliation of Palestinians as an expression of dominance, power and supremacy.

Over the years, Israel has perfected the politics of humiliation – a notion that is predicated on the psychological power of shaming whole collectives to emphasize the asymmetrical relationship between two groups of people: in this case, the occupier and the occupied.

This is precisely why, in the early days of the Israeli war on Gaza, Israel detained all Palestinian workers from the Strip who happened to be working inside Israel as cheap laborers at the time of the October 7 operation.

The dehumanization they experienced at the hands of Israeli soldiers demonstrated a growing trend among Israelis to degrade Palestinians for no reason whatsoever.

One of the worst documented episodes took place on October 12, when a group of Israeli soldiers and settlers assaulted three Palestinian activists in the West Bank. Israeli newspapers Haaretz and The Times of Israel described how the three were assaulted, stripped naked, bound, photographed, tortured and urinated upon.

Those images were still fresh in the minds of Palestinians when new images emerged from northern Gaza.

Photos and videos published in Israeli media showed men stripped down to their underwear, being placed in large numbers on the streets of Gaza, while surrounded by well-equipped and supposedly menacing Israeli soldiers.

The men were handcuffed, tied together, forced to hunch down and then, eventually, thrown into military trucks to be taken to an unknown location.

Some of the men were eventually released to tell horror stories, which often had bloody endings.

But why is Israel doing this?

Throughout its history – violent birth and equally violent existence – Israel has purposely humiliated Palestinians as an expression of its disproportionately greater military power over a hapless, confined and mostly refugee population.

This tactic was infused more during certain periods of history when Palestinians felt empowered as a way to break their collective spirit.

The First Intifada, 1987-93, was rife with this kind of humiliation. Children and men between the ages of 15 to 55 would be habitually dragged into schoolyards, stripped naked, forced to kneel down for endless hours, beaten, and insulted by Israeli soldiers using loudspeakers.

Those insults would cover everything that Palestinians hold dear – their religions, their God, their mothers, their holy places and more.

Then, boys and men would be forced to perform certain acts, for example spitting in each other’s faces, shouting certain profanities, slapping themselves or each other. Those who refused would be immediately overpowered, beaten and arrested.

These methods continue to be applied in Israeli prisons, especially during times of hunger strikes, but also during periods of interrogations. In the latter cases, men would be threatened with the rape of their wives or sisters; women would be threatened with sexual violence.

These episodes are often met with collective Palestinian defiance, which directly feeds into Palestinian popular resistance.

The image of the Palestinian fighter, dressed in military fatigue, brandishing an automatic rifle while proudly walking the streets of Nablus, Jenin, or Gaza, in itself does not serve an actual military purpose. It is, however, a direct response to the psychological impact of the kind of humiliation inflicted upon Palestinian society by the Israeli occupation army.

But what is the function of a Palestinian military parade? To answer this question, we must examine the sequence of the event.

When Israel arrests Palestinian activists, they attempt to create the perfect scenario of a humiliated and defeated community: the terror felt by the people when nightly raids begin, the beating of the family of the detained, the shouts of insults, and other well-choreographed horror scenes.

Hours later, Palestinian youth emerge on the streets of their neighborhoods, proudly parading with their guns amid the ululation of women and the excited looks of children. This is precisely how Palestinians respond to humiliation.

Palestinian armed Resistance has grown much stronger in recent years, with Gaza currently serving as a case in point.

As the Israeli military is failing to reoccupy Gaza and subdue its population, utilizing the politics of humiliation on a mass scale is simply impossible.

To the contrary, it is the Israelis who do feel humiliated, not only because of what has taken place on October 7, but everything else that has taken place since then.

Unable to operate freely in the heart of Gaza, Khan Yunis, Rafah or any other major population centers in the Strip, the Israeli army is forced to humiliate Palestinians in whatever little margins they can control, Beit Lahia, for example.

Frustrated by their military failure to deliver on their promises of subduing Gazans, ordinary Israelis have taken to social media to taunt Palestinians in their own way.

Israeli women, often along with their own children, would dress up in ways that would convey a racist representation of Arab women crying over the bodies of their dead children.

This type of social media mockery seems to have appealed to the imagination of Israeli society, which still insists on its sense of superiority even at a time when they are still paying the price of their own violence and political arrogance.

This time around, however, Israel’s politics of humiliation is proving ineffective because the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis is on its way to being fundamentally altered.

One is only humiliated if he or she internalizes that humiliation as a sense of shame and disempowerment. But Palestinians, this time around, are experiencing no such feelings. On the contrary, their ongoing sumud (resilience) and unity have generated a sense of collective pride unequaled in history.


Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out. This article appears through the kind courtesy of MintPress News.


Why Israel Slaughters with Impunity

We all know now that Israel can do no wrong, for it is blessed with immunity for being the eternal victim. For Israel, Hitler is the gift that keeps on giving.

We all know that the USA is complicit in the crimes, rushing more and more PMGs to Israel so it will never run short in its precise bombing of important military targets, such as churches, hospitals, schools, mosques, universities, and ordinary homes and residential high-rises.

We all know that no matter how many UN “emergency” meetings are held to rein in Israel’s bloodlust, no matter how many resolutions voted on, the bombs will continue to fall, because Israel can kill as many Palestinians as it wants. There is no one to stop them.

No one seems to know, let alone care, that all the people of Gaza (2.2 million)—not just some—cannot get enough to eat each and every day, and mass starvation is happening right now.

The usual response among most people in the West is—both sides are the same (meaning, Israelis and Palestinians); they both lie and cheat and murder, it’s hard to know where the truth lies. We should worry about our own countries.

If that were true, then why is it that as of now there is only side that has had over 8,000 bombed to pieces? That has had killed nearly 30,000, and left 55,000 people injured? That has had the only place given them to live turned into a wasteland? Why is it that ordinary citizens of one side have been heavily armed with the latest weapons, while those of the other side buy what they can on the black market?

Why is it that one side is well-fed and will not be worrying about food and water, while the other side must starve it out?

How exactly are both sides the same? How is it that both sides lie, cheat and kill?

Then the argument is made that Palestine and Israel are so far away. Let them fight it out. I have other things to worry about.

If that were true, then what about February 2022, when the entire West went into a paroxysm of Russphobia (which still shows little signs of abating), and you couldn’t go to get some milk without being told to to help the poor Ukrainians who were bring “brutally invaded” by the “dictator” Putin, etc.

Why was Ukraine not so far away, then—but Palestine is now so far away? Why was it so easy to care for one side and hate the other in 2022, but now we must be neutral?

Where is the International Criminal Court, which could not issue an arrest warrant for President Putin fast enough, but which now can see no crimes being committed in Gaza by Netanyahu and his ilk?

Therefore, for many, who are told what to think, the razzia by Hamas on October 7th was an “unprovoked” terrorist attack, and everyone was told to “condemn Hamas.” Here was Israel, a sunny, happy land where the lion cannot help but lie down with the lamb and where live all those nice people closely related to stories in the Bible and who by default are all about peace and love. Then suddenly, on October 7th, for no reason whatsoever, the savages known as “Hamas” burst into this bit of paradise and went into a mad frenzy of murder and mayhem. The porn writers had a field day—and all their ghastly inventions are now piously and firmly believed and repeated.

What does it matter that of the 1100 or so (the exact number, for some reason, remains unclear) that died on October 7th, more than half were IDF who were killed in combat—and thus October 7 is a military defeat of Israel. What does it matter that much of the murder of civilians that day was done by the IDF in their attack helicopters and their tanks. What does it matter that the Israeli prisoners released by Hamas gave their captors high-fives and one even wrote a touching letter of thanks. Meanwhile, there are only horror stories of Palestinians who were in Israeli prisons, including Palestinian children. What does it matter that the IDF shot three of the hostages who had managed to escape from Hamas, thinking they were running to safety towards their own. If they had not escaped, they would still be alive today. What does it matter that IDF snipers can shoot any child they like.

All this raises a far more important problem that we must all deal with, for this problem is endemic to all Western societies, in which many of us live. And the problem is this in starkest terms: we are governed by a ruling mob (wrongly called “elite”) that operates according to its own “morality”—a “morality” that has nothing to do with that of their citizens. We can protest and shout and disapprove all we want, but their “morality” will suffer no compromise and will be implemented. They will continue to send bombs to Israel. They will continue to ignore the suffering and deaths of Palestinians. They will continue to see no crimes being committed by the IDF. They will bring no Israeli politicians to trial for crimes against humanity.

Here, it would be easy to wax conspiratorial. Suffice it to say that what we face are a bunch of powerbrokers who imagine International Relations to be the identification of the “villain;” our job is to play the lackeys and hate those we are told to hate (Hamas, Muslims, China, Iran and, of course, Russia), and we must coddle those that we are told to coddle (Ukrainians, Israelis). This sordid love-hate game is given the glittery wrapping of “civilization” vs. “barbarism”—for you see, it is highly civilized to give endless weapons to Netanyahu to slaughter Palestinians in their thousands. It is highly civilized to demand that Ukrainians die in the hundreds of thousands to keep us safe from Russian “barbarity.” Who finally wins in this game of love and hate?

Then, we are outraged when those that we are told to coddle face any sort of come-uppance—and we demand all-out savagery to defeat the “barbarians”—for it is justified to bomb an entire Palestinian refuge camp in order to kill one putative Hamas operative. There is nothing wrong with Zelensky sending child-soldiers and even pregnant women to die in the meat-grinder of war. It’s all money well spent.

Here, some will object that I am not pointing out the obvious: that it is Russia doing the killing. This objection holds little water, for Russia did not want this war; it had signed a good peace deal, which the warpig Boris Johnson quickly jettisoned to bring about a conflict to annihilate Russia (the very old pipe-dream of the West). War was forced upon Russia. And now Russia will finish this war on its own terms—no matter how many fantasies the West spins out about a “stalemate” and the next “Wunderwaffe.” Did we actually expect Russia to do nothing and just let the USA, NATO and their proxy (Ukraine) march all the way to Vladivostok? Russia also knows that any sort of ceasefire will only mean time for the West to rearm and have another go at Operation Barbarosa 3.0.

Likewise, Hamas did not act out of sheer barbarity on October 7th; rather, the attack of that day was a carefully planned and perfectly executed military operation—which was a response to the atrocities committed by Israel for so many years. Israel was defeated on October 7th—and thus quickly needed to gain the upper-hand by resorting to the tried-and-tested “system” of hyper victimology, complete with shameless theatrics.

Invoked as well was the old trick of equating the criticism of Israel as “antisemitism”—a charge that puts the fear of God into any self-respecting Westerner. Heaven forefend that I be called an “antisemite.” Ergo… what Palestinians? What bombing of the innocents? See, I’m not “anti-semitic…”

So, why does Israel slaughter Palestinians with impunity? Because Western powerbrokers and their ruling class have chosen Israel to play the role both of victim and “hero” of civilization. To that end, Palestinians (and Muslims generally) have been assigned the role of “villain,” who can only move from one outrage to the next atrocity. Just imagine the negative press if Zionism were a Muslim invention. In this way, “our values,” the “international rules-based order,” Western “civilization” are stood up against “barbarism.” When Israel kills babies, it kills for our good, for our “civilization,” for “our values.” We, in the West, are the beneficiaries of the “heroic” slaughter by the gallant IDF. Just as all those dead Ukrainians have let us keep our “democracy” and our “freedom.”

How can anyone object to dead barbarians, no matter how tiny? Perhaps a better question to ask—what have we become?


C.B. Forde writes from rural Canada.


“Massaging” Children’s Minds in the Jabotinski State

The Ten-Year Run-Up To The Massacre In Gaza: The Great Kindergarten Project Of 2013.

To repent? The hour has gone. There will never be another Yom Kippur.

“But Jesus said: Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).

At Years’ End, one is wont to think back on childhood scenes.
Jet-setters before ever there were jets, flitting hither and thither, Mendelssohn’s parents perhaps too readily delegated the detail of their progeny’s days to a Scots governess. That said, self-centred dandy though he was, the pater familias had one great quality: a free-thinker himself, he respected the course of others’ thoughts—including his children’s—and declined to meddle. For which reason, most likely, the pater forbade television, cartoons and all things Disney, being in his view, US brain-poison. As for chewing-gum… NYET.

But the pater went further.

We are shortly after World War II.

Though beset with an incurable nervous ailment which erupted during the events of 1933, at no point did the pater ever refer to the holoxxx… while the governess had been instructed never, in his absence, to allow his children to look at film or images of the horrors. Never did he seek to present the fate of the Jxxx during the War as unique or “worse” than that which struck the Slavs, Romanians or Hungarians. A dilettante violinist before 1933, he venerated the true Germany, the true Austria, listened to their composers every night, and appointed two German Catholics as godfathers to his children.

In a nutshell, and despite glaring flaws, the pater familias upheld a certain idea of Man, and shrank from polluting the mind with ideology of any stripe.

****

Turning to our problem.

How can it be, that persons heretofore variously known as tailors, scientists, musicians or – God forbid – idle dreamers or Groucho Marx (with a banker or two for good measure …), having once seized far-off lands and property from their rightful, ancient inhabitants, should suddenly set to the gruesome murder of the latter in their tens of thousands and call it “war?” Without remorse, and as for repentance—there will never be another Yom Kippur.

Once arrived in the Jabotinski state, something has slithered into the mind, akin to what Professor Mattias Desmet has described as “mass formation,” this time, as demonic possession, mass psychosis to the psychiatric profession. Psychosis sporting a Janus Head, with the face of victim and tormentor being interchangeable. On the scale of the Jabotinski state, the battered child syndrome, whereby the victim grows up to inflict upon others the torments he has suffered—or merely imagines, in this particular case, to have suffered.

No-one would suggest that the Jabotinski state’s citizens, going about their lucrative affairs orstrutting in the altogether on beaches robbed manu militari from others, might be fully compos mentis, but over the past decade, those citizens have shape-shifted. As one learns from our friend Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where the guilty shape-shift into a feral beast, such as that Lycaon, turned into a wolf by Zeus, to whom he had served up a roasted hostage(!).

****

97 % of the Jabotinski state’s citizens have never known the holoxxx nor even been subjected to racism, since they have little or nothing to do with persons other than Themselves, and certain nothing to do with those dreadful Semites, the Palestinians.

Accordingly, the Usual Suspects swiftly gathered that if – nigh on a century after the holoxxx—the Anglo-US military platform in the Arab world known as the Jabotinski state were to be massively aggrandised, the youth must needs be polluted—pardon, saturated—with an aggressive ideology amounting, in a word, to a cult of death and of the dead.

It was in 2013 – year of the Maidan events – that the current project’s “live”, so to speak, phase, kicked off, Miliekowsky-Netanyahu having again been voted in as Prime Minister in 2009.

How does it work ?

Although earlier, in extra-curricular gatherings, millions of children had been dragged through memorials, holoxxxx musuems, forced to watch terrifying documentaries on the “real” Germany or goggle at ghoulish images… most Jabotinski state school teachers were repelled by any suggestion they should “teach” the holoxxx (Holoxxx “Educator” Miss Richler-Friedman told the press that “I see teachers and they say, ‘Don’t speak with me about it… It will take me to dark places. I don’t want it”’), to the effect that the events were dealt with in history faculties alone. That said, memorial ceremonies were being held in schools, with holoxxx survivors invited to speak to pupils, teachers and especially, soldiers.

Shape-shifting in 2013: Ovid’s Incubi Emerge from the Woodwork

Suddenly, in 2013, massaging the childish mind becomes the Order of the Day.

The Jabotinski state’s “Education” Ministry then announced that all schools would thenceforth be given formalised holoxxx lessons, throughout the 12 years’ compulsory school attendance. Said project was drafted with “experts” from the International School for Holoxxxx Studies. In 2023, these individuals are of military age.

In 2016, unbelievably, unless one acknowledge that the purpose be reversal of the psychoanalytic process, i.e., designed to provoke psychosis, the programme was injected into kindergartens as well under the whip-hand of the aforesaid Yael Richler-Friedman (also here and here).

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance: “Training courses in Israel and in Poland are also offered to soldiers and security personnel.”

In 2015, on Holoxxx Remembrance Day, tinies came back from kindergarten with a yellow star pinned to their jumpers, whilst in a Tel Aviv school, pupils were asked to describe a typical day in a concentration camp and imagine a conversation with an NSDAP member. Not everyone was a happy, er, camper: ““The teaching of the Holocaust to toddlers is not only inappropriate pedagogically, but it’s part of a cynical policy by Benjamin Netanyahu’s governments that instills fear and entitlement through indoctrination, to raise a generation ready for endless war,’ said Yossi Sarid, a former Education Minister and an ex-leader of the liberal Meretz Party.”

In what is the most Americanised state on earth after France, stuffed to the gills with techno-electro-rap, Red Bull, fast food, video games, drugs, porn, organised crime and Netflix, and, lest one forget, US ARMS AND US TAXPAYERS’ BILLIONS, this gigantic fallacy of composition has latched onto the minds of the targetted generations like bats into long hair.

Research, with which the Holoxxx “education” clique is undoubtedly all too well acquainted, has proven a thousand times that the voyeur who contemplates monstrosities puts himself into the role of tormentor.

Thus, by being first obliged to goggle at horrors, the child will come to “enjoy” them, and pass from imaginary victim to real-life tormentor.


Mendelssohn Moses writes from France. (Revised and amended from the original French on Réseau International).


Should Turkey and the Arab States Continue to Do Nothing?

For once, Mendelssohn addresses a warning to Turkey and to the Arab states, having now, on all-too many occasions, attempted to shake sense into his self-professed “co-religioniaries” in the Jabotinski state.

A Bright and Bountiful Future for All?

(NB: Iran is a case apart. As the main target of Anglo-American hatred, she has no option other than to protect her people and ancient culture against a fire-storm which would set off World War III).

Back to Turkey and the Arab states.

Sackcloth and Ashes—An Excellent Disguise?

In their lamentable majority, the latter’s elites are rentiers and bazaris, dependent on Anglo-American largesse, gliding along in the belief that their foreign investments will sleep soundly, provided they play both sides against the middle. Discreetly, one safeguards all financial, commercial and of course arms deals with the Jabotinski state and its masters in England and the USA, while beating one’s breast and tearing one’s hair whenever the extinction of the Palestinians be raised in a public forum.

Blind Greed

Once exterminated the “Useless Eaters” of Gaza, What Next, sleek elites? Have you but thought of that?

Armed to the gills by the USA, the Jabotinski state’s armies are about to occupy the entire “ex” Palestinian coast line and seize the Palestinian off-shore oil fields, yielding limitless access to fuel, before pounding into dust the indigenous peoples still clinging to East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

What was, in 1948, merely a nasty Anglo-American bridgehead, has grotesquely swollen to become a slime-mould platform, borderless and bristling with every advanced weapons system on the planet including nuclear missiles, all of which point straight towards the Arabo-Muslim world.

The Jabotinski state is about to hatch the serpent’s egg: a gigantic military platform open to the sea, dripping with oil, and answerable solely to that state’s “Aryan” masters.

If, for the sake of their well-fed elite’s creature comforts, Turkey and the Arab states continue to tolerate that, I prefer not to think of the consequences.


The Untold Story of October 7th

The dramatic, earth-shattering events in Palestine starting on October 7 have taken many people by surprise. However, attentive observers were not among them.

Few expected that Palestinian fighters would be parachuting into southern Israel on October 7; that instead of capturing a single Israeli soldier—as done in 2006—hundreds of Israelis, including many soldiers and civilians, would find themselves captive in besieged Gaza.

The reason behind the ‘surprise,’ however, is the same reason that Israel is still reeling under collective shock, which is the tendency to pay close attention to political discourses and intelligence analyses of Israel and its supporters—while largely neglecting the Palestinian discourse.

For better comprehension, let us go back to the start.

The Spark

We entered 2023 with some depressing data and dark predictions about what was awaiting Palestinians in the new year.

Just before the year commenced, the United Nations Mideast envoy, Tor Wennesland, said 2022 was the most violent year since 2005. “Too many people, overwhelmingly Palestinian, have been killed and injured,” Wennesland told the UN Security Council.

This figure—171 killed and hundreds wounded in the West Bank alone—did not receive much coverage in Western media. The mounting number of Palestinian victims, however, registered among Palestinians and their Resistance movements.

As anger and calls for revenge grew among ordinary Palestinians, their leadership continued to play its same traditional role—of pacifying Palestinian calls for resistance while continuing with its ‘security coordination’ with Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, 88, carried on rehashing the old language about a two-state solution and the ‘peace process’ while cracking down on Palestinians who dared protest his ineffectual leadership.

Defenseless in the face of a far-right Israeli government with an open agenda to crush Palestinians, to expand illegal settlements and to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, Palestinians were forced to develop their defensive strategies.

The Lions’ Den—a multi-factional Resistance group that first appeared in Nablus in August 2022—grew in power and appeal. Other groups, old and new, emerged on the scene throughout the northern West Bank, with the single objective of uniting Palestinians around a non-factional agenda and, ultimately, producing a new Palestinian leadership in the West Bank.

These developments sounded alarm bells in Israel. The Israeli occupation army moved quickly to crush the new armed rebellion, raiding Palestinian towns and refugee camps one after the other, with the hope of turning this nascent revolution into another failed attempt to challenge the status quo in occupied Palestine.

The bloodiest of the Israeli incursions occurred in Nablus on February 23, Jericho on August 15 and, most importantly, in the Jenin refugee camp.

The July 3 Israeli invasion of Jenin was reminiscent, in terms of casualties and degree of destruction, of the Israeli invasion of that very camp in April 2002.

The outcome, however, was not the same. Back then, Israel had invaded Jenin, along with other Palestinian towns and refugee camps, and succeeded in crushing armed resistance for years to come.

This time around, the Israeli invasion merely ignited a broader rebellion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, creating a further schism in the already deteriorating relationship between Palestinians, on the one hand, and Abbas and his PA, on the other.

Indeed, just days after Israel concluded its attack on the camp, Abbas emerged with thousands of his soldiers to warn the bereaved refugees that “the hand that will break the unity of the people .. will be cut off from its arm”.

Yet, as the popular rebellion continued to build momentum in the West Bank, Israeli intelligence reports started talking about a plan composed by the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, Saleh Arouri, to ignite an armed Intifada.

The solution, according to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, citing official Israeli sources, was to kill Arouri.

Indeed, Israel’s attention and counterstrategy were focused intently on the West Bank, as Hamas, in Gaza at the time, in Israel’s viewpoint, seemed disinterested in an all-out confrontation.

But why did Israel reach such a conclusion?

Miscalculation

Several significant events, the kind that would have pushed Hamas to retaliate, have taken place without any severe armed response by the Resistance in Gaza.

Last December, Israel had sworn in its most right-wing government in history. Far-right ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich arrived on the political scene with the declared objectives of annexing the West Bank, imposing military control over Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Palestinian Muslim and Christian holy sites and, in the case of Smotrich, denying the very existence of the Palestinian people.

Their pledges were quickly translated into action under the leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ben-Gvir was keen on sending a message to his constituency that the seizure of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel had become imminent.

He repeatedly raided or ordered raids on Al-Aqsa at an unprecedented frequency. The most violent and humiliating of these raids occurred on April 4, when worshippers were beaten up by soldiers while praying inside the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Resistance groups in Gaza threatened retaliation. Several rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel, merely serving as a symbolic reminder that Palestinians are united, regardless of where they are in the geographic map of historic Palestine.

Israel, however, ignored the message and used the Palestinian threats of retaliation and the occasional ‘lone-wolf attacks’—like that of Muhannad al-Mazaraa at the illegal Maale Adumim settlement—as political capital to ignite the religious fervor of Israeli society.

Not even the death of Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan on May 2 seemed to have shifted Hamas’ position. Some even suggested that there is a rift between Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad following Adnan’s death as a result of a hunger strike in the Ramleh Prison.

On the same day, the PIJ fired rockets into Israel, as Adnan was one of its most prominent members. Israel answered by attacking hundreds of targets inside Gaza, mostly civilian homes and infrastructure, which resulted in the death of 33 Palestinians and the wounding of 147 more.

A truce was declared on May 13, again with no direct Hamas participation, giving further reassurance to Israel that its bloody onslaught on the Strip had achieved more than a military purpose—often referred to as ‘mowing the lawn’—but a political one, as well.

Israel’s strategic estimation, however, proved to be wrong, as attested by Hamas’ well-coordinated October 7 attacks in southern Israel, targeting numerous military bases, settlements and other strategic positions.

But was Hamas being deceptive? Hiding its actual strategic objectives in anticipation of that significant event?

“Roaring Flood”

A quick examination of Hamas’ recent statements and political discourse demonstrates that the Palestinian group was hardly secretive about its future actions.

Two weeks before 2023 commenced, at a Gaza rally on December 14, Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, had a message for Israel: “We will come to you in a roaring flood. We will come to you with endless rockets; we will come to you in a limitless flood of soldiers … like the repeating tide.”

The immediate response to the Hamas’ attack was the predictable US-Western solidarity with Israel, calls for revenge, the destruction and annihilation of Gaza and the revitalized plans of displacing Palestinians out of Gaza into Egypt—in fact, out of the West Bank as well, into Jordan.

The Israeli war on the Strip, also starting on October 7, has resulted in unprecedented casualties compared to all Israeli wars on Gaza, in fact, on Palestinians during any time in modern history.

Quickly, the term ‘genocide’ was being used, initially by intellectuals and activists and eventually by international law experts.

“Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza is quite explicit, open, and unashamed,” associate professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University, Raz Segal, wrote on October 13 in an article entitled ‘A Textbook Case of Genocide.’

Despite this, the UN could do nothing. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on November 8 that the UN has “neither money nor power” to prevent a potential genocide in Gaza.

In essence, this effectively meant the disabling of the international legal and political systems, as every attempt by the Security Council to demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire has been blocked by the US and Israel’s other Western allies.

As the death toll mounted among a starving population in Gaza—all food deprived per the November 28 estimation of the World Food Program—Palestinians resisted throughout the Gaza Strip.

Their resistance was not only confined to attacking or ambushing invading Israeli soldiers but was predicated on the legendary steadfastness of a population that refused to be weakened or displaced.

Sumud

This sumud (steadfast perseverance) continued, even when Israel began to systematically attack hospitals, schools, and every place that, in times of war, is seen as ‘safe places’ for a beleaguered civilian population.

Indeed, on December 3, UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk said that “there is no safe place in Gaza.” This phrase was repeated often by other UN officials, along with other phrases such as “Gaza has become a graveyard for children,” as first noted by UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder on October 31. This left Guterres with no other option but to, on December 6, invoke article 99, which allows the Secretary-General to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

Israeli violence and Palestinian sumud also extended to the West Bank as well. Aware of the potential for armed resistance in the West Bank, the Israeli army quickly launched major, deadly raids on countless Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps, killing hundreds, injuring thousands, and arresting thousands more.

But Gaza remained the epicenter of the Israeli genocide. Aside from a brief humanitarian truce from November 24 to December 1, coupled with few prisoner exchanges, the battle for Gaza -for the future of Palestine and the Palestinian people—continues at an unparalleled price of death and destruction.

Palestinians know full well that the current fight will either mean a new Nakba, like the ethnic cleansing of 1948, or the beginning of the reversal of that very Nakba—as in the process of liberating the Palestinian people from the yoke of Israeli colonialism.

While Israel is determined to end Palestinian Resistance once and for all, it is evident that the Palestinian people’s determination to win their freedom in the coming years is far greater.


Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out. This article appears through the kind courtesy of MintPress News.