Erdogan told a Cairo University audience that "Israel would be held to account for the children among 40 people dead in three days of air strikes on Gaza." The Turkish leader leveled this significant charge:
"Everyone must know that sooner or later there will be a holding to account for the massacre of these innocent children killed inhumanely in Gaza."
To Israel's claim that its military assault on Gaza is no different than the rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, Orthodox Jewish blogger Jeremiah Haber has a statistic that puts the two sides' firepower in perspective: "IDF rockets and missiles have killed more innocent [Gaza] civilians in the last three days [of this current assault] than all the Hamas rockets combined in the last eight years!"
Little of this perspective is seen or heard in mainstream U.S. media, but alternative media outlets are growing in number and influence. CounterPunch was up this week with an eloquent and sobering essay by Jennifer Lowerstein, a faculty associate in Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her essay, Death in Gaza: Deja-Vu, includes a description of the impact of the Gaza assault.
"All the sounds and sights and smells of slaughter verify the damage and danger of aerial assaults and targeted killings; apartment buildings still buzzing with human activity when missiles pierced through their ceilings offer up their dead and wounded to the deafening skies.
"Progressive US President Barak Obama and his allies applaud Israel's masterful techniques of preventive war as self-defense; its sophistication at using state of the art weaponry against mosques, homes, markets and schools; re-emphasize at press conferences the right of Israel to defend itself against the human cattle they have justly corralled into densely packed camps to be bound and slaughtered or starved and transferred elsewhere."
The alternative media web site, Mondoweiss, provided its viewers with a valuable example of one journalist, Associated Press Washington correspondent, Matthew Lee, who challenged the conventional pro-Israel perspective of Washington's policy shapers.
In the short clip below, Lee engages in a lively exchange with State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.
An invaluable web site is produced by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU). Since the start of the Gaza assault, IMEU uses facts to refute Israel's claim that it is waging a war against militants, not civilians. In a November 18 report (the numbers are now higher), the IMEU provides this analysis:
"Although Israeli officials stress that the Israeli military carries out 'surgical strikes' and goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, evidence documented by human rights organizations shows that Israel has repeatedly and deliberately used disproportionate force -- a war crime -- as a tactic to kill enemy fighters, minimize the risk of injury to Israeli soldiers during military operations, and to establish 'deterrence.'"
In recent years, the Israeli military has formulated its "deterrence" as the "Dahiya Doctrine."
"A central tenet of Israeli military policy is 'deterrence.' This is embodied in the so-called 'Dahiya Doctrine,' which dictates the use of overwhelming and disproportionate firepower and the targeting of government and civilian infrastructure during military operations. It received its name from the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut, a stronghold of Hezbollah, which Israel destroyed almost completely during its assault on Lebanon in the summer of 2006.- Advertisement -
"In October 2008, Gabi Siboni, Director of the Military and Strategic Affairs Program at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a quasi-governmental think tank with close ties to the Israeli political and military establishments, published a policy paper entitled 'Disproportionate Force: Israel's Concept of Response in Light of the Second Lebanon War.'
"It stated: 'With an outbreak of hostilities [with Hezbollah], the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy's actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.'"
The Dahiya Doctrin e was developed by Israel to maintain its control of the Middle East, which it likes to describe as a "dangerous neighborhood."