Al Jazeera report on white phosphorus in Gaza.
As Chico Marx said, “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”
That’s easy when it comes to Gaza. The Jewish state’s brutal use of white phosphorus — alleged over the weekend by observers on the ground dispatched by NYC-based Human Rights Watch — is lighting up the landscape.
However, most of the U.S. press (a notable recent exception is Newsweek) has its usual blind spot when it comes to Israel’s war on Gaza. As the Daily News noted late last week in “‘Concentration camp’ Gaza stirs fire”:
Relations between the Holy Land and the Holy See were tense Thursday night after a leading Vatican cardinal compared the besieged Gaza Strip to a concentration camp.
“Defenseless populations are always the ones who pay,” Renato Cardinal Martino told the Italian daily Il Sussidiario. “Conditions in Gaza increasingly resemble a big concentration camp.”
That drew a furious denunciation from Israeli officials, who said the comment was “based on Hamas propaganda.”
Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the son of Holocaust survivors, called on the Pope to apologize to Israel.
Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, defended his comments.
“They can say what they want, but the situation in Gaza is horrible,” he told the newspaper La Repubblica.
Confirming that is Human Rights Watch, whose observers belie Hikind’s claim that the brutality in Gaza is propaganda.
In fact, it’s even worse than the cardinal says, according to HRW.
You question the watchdog group’s credibility? HRW broke several major stories of U.S. atrocities in Iraq — including the horrific tale of the American soldiers in Fallujah who proudly called themselves the “Murderous Maniacs” and admitted to kicking the shit out of Iraqis just for the fun of it. (See my September 2005 item “U.S. Soldiers Reveal New Torture Tales.”)
Now, here’s what HRW says about what’s going on:
On January 9 and 10, 2009, Human Rights Watch researchers in Israel observed multiple air-bursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over what appeared to be the Gaza City/Jabaliya area.
Israel appeared to be using white phosphorus as an “obscurant” (a chemical used to hide military operations), a permissible use in principle under international humanitarian law (the laws of war). However, white phosphorus has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.
“White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch.
If the Nazis had had white phosphorus — the 21st century version of napalm — they would have used it against the Jews.
Now for less bad news…
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
Wall Street Journal: ‘Retail Bankruptcy Wave Expected’
N.Y. Times: ‘Storm Sinks Indonesian Ferry, 250 Feared Dead’
Bloomberg: ‘U.S. Consumers Keep Autos Longer, Shun Showrooms as Cuts in Payrolls Mount’
N.Y. Post: ‘INFANT DUMPED IN B’KLYN’
N.Y. Post: ‘Sex, Drugs & Death at Luxe Hotel’
Wall Street Journal: ‘Obama Plans To Keep Estate Tax’
Harper’s: ‘The $10 trillion hangover:
Paying the price for eight years of Bush’ (Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes)
Wall Street Journal: ‘New Playing Field In Electric Car Push’
N.Y. Times: ‘In Emphasis on Economy, Obama Looks to History’
Harper’s: ‘A Farewell to Dick Cheney’
Henry Paulson‘s bank bailouts, done under “great stress” during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, failed to win for U.S. taxpayers what Warren Buffett received for his shareholders by investing in Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The Treasury secretary made 174 purchases of banks’ preferred shares that include warrants to buy stock at a later date. While he invested $10 billion in Goldman Sachs in October, twice as much as Buffett did the month before, Paulson gained certificates worth one-fourth as much as the billionaire, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Goldman Sachs terms were repeated in most of the other bank bailouts.
Salon: ‘Bill Moyers on Israel/Gaza’ (Glenn Greenwald)
N.Y. Times: ‘Citi Is Urged to Replace Chairman’
Newsweek: ‘If Obama is Serious: He should get tough with Israel’ (Aaron David Miller)
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘Eyeless in Israel’
N.Y. Times: ‘Few in U.S. See Jazeera’s Coverage of Gaza War’
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘Timeline: The Gaza Strip, From Disengagement to Operation Cast Lead’
N.Y. Daily News: ‘Israel hints at end of Gaza operations’
N.Y. Daily News: ‘Analysis: Ceasefire hinges on Egypt closing smuggling routes’
The Nation: ‘Can Labor Revive the American Dream?’
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘If at First You Don’t Succeed: Hasidic Singer, Subject of Rabbinic Ban, Tries Again’
Hasidic singing sensation Lipa Schmeltzer was set to perform last March before a crowd of thousands at Madison Square Garden’s WaMu Theater in New York. The concert, a charity fundraiser, was billed as “The Big Event.”
Then, less than three weeks before the concert date, 33 ultra-Orthodox rabbis — including some of the community’s most prominent figures — issued an edict banning attendance. The event, they warned, was likely to cause “ribaldry and lightheadedness.”
Deferring to the rabbis, organizers promptly canceled the concert. The ban, however, roiled the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, world, sparking an unusual public outcry in a community known for its scrupulous obedience to rabbinic authority.
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘What Happens to Gaza When the Fighting Stops?’
Nation: ‘Moral Blindness on Gaza’ (Robert Scheer)
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘Fact or Fiction?: The Story of the Fake Holocaust Memoir’
N.Y. Daily News: ‘ABC’s hidden cameras unveil anti-immigrant prejudice’
Investment News: ‘Morgan Stanley, Citi in retail merger talks’
Nation: ‘Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction’ (Naomi Klein)
Nation: ‘Toward Peace in Gaza’
Investment News: ‘Rubin retires from Citi’
Nation: ‘Caroline and Me’ (Katha Pollitt)
Caroline Kennedy would like to be a senator. I don’t blame her. So would I!
Especially if Governor Paterson could just waft me into office, and I didn’t have to, um, you know, campaign. I’ll bet some parts of the job are really fun, and it’s public service, which is so uplifting. You think I’m joking, but every argument that has been advanced for Kennedy is just as true for me. She’s a mother, a writer, a person with no electoral experience or, so far as we know, longstanding interest in acquiring any–me too! She has more kids; I’ve written more books–I’d say it averages out.
Nation: ‘Obama Anoints Kaine, Praises (And Snubs?) Dean’
N.Y. Daily News: ‘Big shakeup at fatal psych ward’
From Fox News: “Hundreds and maybe thousands of investors in Madoff’s funds have been withdrawing money from their accounts for many years. In many cases, those investors have withdrawn far more than their principal investment.” And more:
N.Y. Daily News: ‘Madoff vics: Let him rot in jail’
N.Y. Times: ‘Eight Years of Madoffs’ (Frank Rich)
Wall Street Journal: ‘Madoff Prosecutors Push Back Deadline’
Federal prosecutors bought more time to focus on their investigation of Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50 billion fraud scheme after they reached a deal with Mr. Madoff’s lawyers to delay the deadline to bring an indictment in the criminal case against him.
Prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan had faced a deadline Monday to convince a grand jury to indict the New York money manager on fraud charges or show at a public court hearing that there was “probable cause” to arrest him, but Mr. Madoff’s lawyers agreed Friday to give the government until mid-February to do so.
Delaying any indictment gives prosecutors time to investigate Mr. Madoff and others without having to prepare for trial, or negotiate a deal in which he agrees to plead guilty to certain charges in exchange for a lower prison sentence, says Anthony Barkow, a former federal prosecutor.
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘AJCongress Crippled by Madoff Scandal’
Wall Street Journal: ‘New Ponzi Case Pursued’
N.Y. Times: ‘GMAC Chairman With Ties to Madoff Steps Down’
Crain’s New York Business: ‘Bernie Madoff’s bagman had everything to lose’
Wall Street Journal: ‘Funds of Funds & Madoff: “Like Presiding Over the Long-Term Funeral”‘
Advanced Trading: ‘Fund-of-Hedge Funds Lacked Technology to Avoid Madoff Losses’
Investment News: ‘Madoff scam hurts Mackenzie Financial’
HedgeFund.net: ‘Activist Gunning For Yeshiva Board’
HedgeFund.net: ‘Commentary From Our Publisher: Bernie, We Hardly Knew Ya’
HedgeFund.net: ‘Merkin Liquidation Stymied By NYU’
HedgeFund.net: ‘Woman Tied to Madoff in Hiding’