On November 8, following a two-week lull in violence, Israel invaded Gaza with eight tanks and four bulldozers. As the conflict escalated, and with a land assault on Gaza imminent, the media was painting a picture of a tiny, terrified Israel under attack by a barrage of rockets. One would think that Gaza was the tenth strongest military force on the planet.

Apalled and frustrated, I wrote a letter to KGO, which you may read below. But first …

You meet the nicest people        
                at demonstrations …

    There were hundreds of us across the street from the Israeli consulate in San Francisco. I noticed a woman bearing a Puerto Rican flag. When I caught up with her, I called, “¡Viva Borinquen Libre!” When she learned that I was the son of the famous independentista Abuela Jean, she insisted on taking my picture. I required that she e-mail the photo:

To Reb Fr. Bill O’Donnell’s requirements for a successful demonstration
(Show up,
meet someone new, and have fun!) I would add, get a song out of it.

[NOTE: To view full-size PDF, or to download, click on the image above, or: here.]

Let ‘em eat DU!
A modest attempt at being Fair and Balanced
17 November, 2012

Dear KGO,

I was appalled, but not surprised at your news organization’s coverage of the Israel-Gaza conflict. You made it sound like tiny, vulnerable Israel is being relentlessly attacked by a neighboring behemoth, rather than a dirt-poor third world country being relentlessly attacked by the 10th most powerful military force on the planet (according to GlobalFirepower.com — of the 55 countries listed, Palestine is not even among them.)

However, the key is given, if one listens closely enough, as you reported that Israel had committed over 200 strikes against Gaza. (Emphasis mine, of course.) The result was sixteen Palestinian civilians killed, versus three Israeli citizens (Five Israeli soldiers have been injured.)

All of this began November 8th, when, following a two-week lull in violence, Israel invaded Gaza with eight tanks and four bulldozers. Would it really surprise you, then, that the Palestinian response was to blow up a tunnel along the Gaza-Israel frontier (injuring one Israeli soldier, by the way, hardly a proportionate one.)

I fear that the facts cannot be summarized in sound bites, so please bear with me. Not being an expert, myself, I shall quote (and cite) two sources: War Times (“The first casualty of war is truth”) and Friends of Sabeel, an organization of Palestinian Christians dedicated to nonviolent struggles for Palestinian rights, and add a quote from a Gershon Baskin article in the Daily Beast..

I encourage you to fact-check, then challenge you to report the facts as you have confirmed them. Here are a couple of good places to start:

“Nearly four years after Operation Cast Lead, which left 1,400 Palestinians dead, Israel has launched a new assault, killing Hamas leader Ahmad Jabari. In the week before the air strikes began, Israeli attacks killed at least six people in Gaza, and since the aerial bombardments started on Wednesday, at least 10 have died, including a three-year-old child, an infant of 11 months, and a 65-year-old man.

“Although the media and the U.S. State Department describe the attacks as retaliation after several days of rocket fire from Gaza, the sequence of events actually began on Nov. 8th, when Israel invaded Gaza with eight tanks and four bulldozers, shooting and killing a 13-year-old boy who was playing soccer. Palestinian fighters then blew up a tunnel along the Israeli border, injuring one Israeli soldier. On Nov.10th an Israeli shell killed two children in a soccer field, and Israel fired shells at a tent where mourners were gathered for a funeral, killing two more civilians. The following day Israeli attacks killed another Palestinian civilian, and the Israeli transportation minister called for cutting off water, food electricity and fuel to the 1.7 million people in Gaza.” Friends of Sabeel


“Israel's attacks against the Gaza Strip are being committed with U.S. weapons given to Israel as military aid by the U.S. taxpayer. These weapons are being misused by Israel in violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act to commit grave human rights abuses of Palestinians.” War Times

Israel’s pride in the assassination of Ahmed Jaabari should be noted, as there is a deeper consideration than his role as a military leader of Hamas.

In a November 15 article titled, “Assassinating The Chance For Calm”, Gershon Baskin of the Daily Beast wrote,

“Yesterday morning, hours before Israel assassinated Ahmed Jaabari, my counterpart in Hamas presented the draft [of a new peace proposal] to Jaabari and to other Hamas leaders. Senior Hamas leaders on the outside had already seen it and had instructed him to check the reactions to it in Gaza. I was supposed to receive the draft yesterday evening to present to Israeli officials who were waiting for me to send it to them.

That option is now off the table. Jaabari is dead and so is the chance for a mutually beneficial long term ceasefire understanding. Why did Benjamin Netanyahu do it? The cynical answer already offered by Aluf Benn in Haaretz is elections consideration.

Way to go, Bibi! No more pesky negotiations with which to deal. Make ‘em eat lead. Better still, Depleted Uranium!

All right. I’ve done a little homework. Now it’s your turn. How you use what you learn is up to you. But I would admonish you to keep in mind that the first rule of journalism is to tell the unbiased truth.

Daniel Zwickel ben Avrám
1329 E. 32nd Street, Oakland
(925) 439-7638

P.S. You’ve undoubtably seen the map designed to strike terror in the hearts of Jews everywhere. Here is one example:

Of course, what you will not see is a map depicting their relative military stength. Well, here’s a handy reference map to put things in better perspective:

How ’bout them apples.