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:
N.Y. Times: ‘Adding to Recession’s Pain, Thousands to Lose Jobless Benefits’
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’
Drivers rattled by the worst U.S. labor market since World War II are hanging on to old autos longer instead of buying new models, threatening to crimp sales again in 2009 after demand plummeted to a 16-year low.
N.Y. Post: ‘INFANT DUMPED IN B’KLYN’
N.Y. Post: ‘Sex, Drugs & Death at Luxe Hotel’
A Long Island banana mogul at the center of a deadly sex romp at a tony Midtown hotel lives a double life – married suburban dad and…
Wall Street Journal: ‘Obama Plans To Keep Estate Tax’
Obama and congressional leaders plan to move soon to block the estate tax from disappearing in 2010.
N.Y. Times: ‘Obama Signals His Reluctance to Look Into Bush Policies’
Barack Obama indicated that he was unlikely to authorize a broad inquiry into Bush administration programs like domestic eavesdropping.
N.Y. Times: ‘Democrats Look for Ways to Undo Late Bush Administration Rules’
Harper’s: ‘The $10 trillion hangover:
Paying the price for eight years of Bush’ (Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes)
N.Y. Post: ‘ISRAEL VS. B’KLYN IN FAKE-AND-BAKE MATZO WAR’
Wall Street Journal: ‘New Playing Field In Electric Car Push’
Fewer barriers in electric-car production have leveled the playing field for newcomers hoping to compete against established car makers.
N.Y. Post: ‘PLACARD BLITZ NAILS DA COPS: PARKING-PERK ABUSERS’
Mayor Bloomberg’s crackdown on motorists who abuse official parking placards has snared a slew of detectives and investigators who work for the city’s prosecutors, the Post has learned…
N.Y. Times: ‘In Emphasis on Economy, Obama Looks to History’
Harper’s: ‘A Farewell to Dick Cheney’
…Dick Cheney is the man that James Madison was warning us about.
Harper’s: ‘Harper’s Index: A retrospective of the Bush era’
Bloomberg: ‘Paulson Bailout Fails to Give Taxpayers Buffett’s Terms With Goldman Sachs‘
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’
Regulators are pressing Citigroup to shake up its board and replace its chairman in an effort to restore confidence in the beleaguered bank.
Newsweek: ‘If Obama is Serious: He should get tough with Israel’ (Aaron David Miller)
N.Y. Post: ‘PATERSON JOINS ISRAEL SUPPORTERS IN MIDTOWN’
Gov. Paterson joined an estimated 10,000 Israel supporters in Midtown yesterday to proclaim the Gaza offensive an act of self-defense. “We recognize the right of the state of Israel to…
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘Eyeless in Israel’
N.Y. Times: ‘Few in U.S. See Jazeera’s Coverage of Gaza War’
Tel Aviv-based journalist Lisa Goldman takes the Israeli press to task over its coverage of the Gaza campaign. “For the most part, Gaza as a place inhabited by human beings has been ignored,” she writes of Israeli media coverage.
Jewish Daily Forward: ‘Timeline: The Gaza Strip, From Disengagement to Operation Cast Lead’
N.Y. Daily News: ‘Israel hints at end of Gaza operations’
Israeli leaders hinted Sunday the Gaza assault might soon wind down, even as thousands of fresh reservists joined the battle and infantry units pushed toward the crowded heart of Gaza City.
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’
A children’s book based on Herman Rosenblat‘s Holocaust love story, which was recently exposed as a hoax, was pulled from bookstores. The East Village Mamele explains the scandal to her daughter.
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)
To end the bloody occupation, Israel must be the target of the same kind of global movement that finally ended apartheid in South Africa.
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’
Fox News: ‘”Victims” of Madoff Scandal Do Math, Realize They Profited’
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:
“I had a call yesterday from a guy who said, ‘I’ve taken out more money then I originally put in, but I still had $1 million left with Madoff. Should I file a $1 million claim?'” said Steven Caruso, a New York attorney specializing in securities and investment fraud.
N.Y. Daily News: ‘Madoff vics: Let him rot in jail’
Madoff’s victims say it’s outrageous that he has been allowed to serve house arrest in his cushy East Side pad.
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’
Telegraph: ‘”Hellishly hot” sauce dedicated to Bernard Madoff’
Wall Street Journal: ‘New Ponzi Case Pursued’
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil charges against a Pennsylvania man accused of running a $50 million Ponzi scheme since at least February 1995.
Gothamist: ‘Bernie’s Weekend at Home, Before Judge’s Decision’
N.Y. Times: ‘GMAC Chairman With Ties to Madoff Steps Down’
Gawker: ‘Marc Rich Lost “Insignificant” Millions to Madoff’
N.Y. Times: ‘New Description of Timing on Madoff’s Confession’
Wall Street Journal: ‘Madoff Brother, at Arm’s Length?: Peter Was No. 2 and Close to Bernard; Investigators Now Scrutinizing Role’
Crain’s New York Business: ‘Bernie Madoff’s bagman had everything to lose’
J. Ezra Merkin, former chairman of national lender GMAC, crashes to earth as the second biggest conduit for Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
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’
A hedge fund is campaigning to fire the board of Yeshiva University because of its investment with Bernard Madoff.
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’