Finkelstein: ‘War in Gaza was a prelude what’s to come in Lebanon’

The controversial American Jewish academic, author and a critic of Zionist-regime’s policies in Occupied Palestine and Lebanon. Unlike his fellow Jewish academic and critic of Washington’s foreign policy, Dr. Chomsky, Dr. Finkestein has never claimed to be a supporter of Israel.

On October 28, 2010 – Dr. Norman Finkelstein spoke at a function sponsored by the Canadians For Justice and Peace In The Middle East (CJPME) held at the University of Toronto. He told the audience that the 2008-2009 Israeli genocide of 1.5 million Palestinian people was a prelude to what’s to come in Lebanon. Watch a video at the end of this post.

According to Dr. Finkelstein, the Zionist entity flew 2,800 to 3,000 combat missions, not a single plane was damaged because Hamas sat in its bunkers the whole time; an Israeli analyst said not a single battle was fought.

“After the first week of the air assault, the land assault began. The Israeli soldiers had special night-fighting equipment so Hamas couldn’t even see them. One Israeli soldier said: ‘There was nothing there. It was a ghost town, with only livestock.’ Another soldier said: “I didn’t see a single Arab the whole week I was there.’ Another Israeli soldier said: “It felt like hunting season. It reminded me of a playstation computer game.’ ”

Surreal though this may sound, Mr. Finkelstein said the reality is that this so called War in Gaza was really 22 days of death and destruction inflicted on the Palestinian people in Gaza. He said the Israeli military exploded white phosphorous – which burns at a temperature of 816 degrees Celsius – over schools, hospitals and markets, resulting in 1400 Palestinians deaths.

“Four-fifths of these deaths were civilians, of which 400 were children. Israel had 10 combat deaths and four civilian. The kill ratio was 100 to one. Is this a war or a massacre?”

Subsequently he asked the audience to raise their hands if they had heard that Israel claimed the high number of civilian deaths was due to Hamas using human shields and forcing people to gather near Hamas staging grounds. Although many in the audience raised their hands, few did when he asked them how many knew that of the 300 human rights organizations that investigated, not one reported any evidence of Hamas using human shields or forcing people to remain around buildings controlled by Hamas.

“That shows the power of media,” Mr. Finkelstein said. “The basic facts are not widely known.”

He added that Amnesty International said even if Israeli accusations of human shields being used were true, it doesn’t explain the deaths in Gaza.

“Many were killed in their homes or going about their daily activities. Of the 400 children killed, many were studying or playing on their roofs or in their homes. All the human rights organizations said these actions were war crimes and crimes against humanity. They said Hamas committed comparable crimes, but not on a comparable scale.”

Dr. Finkelstein said he thinks the real reason for the assault on Gaza was part of a plan to restore Israel’s deterrence capacity, after it suffered military defeats in Lebanon in 2000 and 2006. He said a former US ambassador to Israel has predicted that Israel will attack Lebanon within the next 18 months.

“Israel has made it clear that it intends to do to Lebanon, what it did to Gaza – use massive force against the civilian infrastructure. Israel has said that the next war will be a game-changer. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah said the next war will be a tit for tat war – a factory for a factory and an airport for an airport. If missiles hit Tel Aviv there will be massive casualties. There’s no way that Israel will accept a third defeat in Lebanon. If Hezbollah starts losing, it’s almost certain that Iran will enter, knowing they will be next. It’s difficult to know how it will end, but both sides will probably resort to extreme measures.”

With the possibility of war on the horizon, much is being made in the media of the peace process to try and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; but Mr. Finkelstein said there has never been a peace process: it is just a facade for annexation.

“In September 1993, when the Oslo Peace Accord was signed, there were 250,000 settlers. Now, 17 years later there are 500,000 settlers. Fourty-two per cent of the West Bank has been annexed. When Palestinians complain about this, Israel says the issue of settlements must be negotiated in the peace process.”

In January 2009 – Amnesty International had called for a ban on arms supplies to the Zionist entity. In September 2010 – the Neculear Watchdog (IAEA) rejected the 128 UN members’ call to force Israel to join NPT.

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