Israel-Palestine: Light at the end of the tunnel? – Whippersnapper


A pro-Palestine march in Paris.

Whippersnapper is a brand-new political commentary and analysis blog run by and for young people. It was founded yesterday (January 1) by its two 16-year-old editors, Adrian Burbie and Ché Applewhaite, who aim to showcase a wide breadth of young people’s views and get young people interested in news and politics. Let’s have a look at one of their inaugural articles, by Janith Peiris:

What is happening to the Middle East and why is there so much violence across the region? Obviously, I, a 16 year-old, have no hope of answering such a broad question in less than 1,000 words, so let us attempt to shed some light on the unspoken injustices and horrors of war that accompany the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Operation Protective Edge came into force on the 8th of July. With over 2,257 dead, including 519 children, the toll was remarkably high considering that 69 -75% of the casualties were innocent, which the UN, Gaza Health Ministry and human rights groups such as Amnesty International verified. Furthermore, 66 soldiers died. It should be noted also that the kidnapping and murders of the three Israeli teenagers, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah, confirmed on 30 June (18 days after their abduction), that sparked the invasion of Gaza aka Operation Protective Edge, weren’t caused by Hamas. Rather, it most likely that an extremist militant organisation called the Qawasameh clan was responsible for their murders, a small but important distinction to make, meaning that the war itself was almost unjustified, considering that the Knesset (Israel’s legislature) implored the international community to see the invasion as an act of self-preservation to destroy the terror tunnels that threatened Israeli citizens.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been lately making very right wing, almost far-right, decisions in an attempt to win domestic support for the impending general election.

For the full article, visit the Whippersnapper blog site – and please pass on any encouraging comments you might have. Let’s get these writers off the starting-line at speed.

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6 thoughts on “Israel-Palestine: Light at the end of the tunnel? – Whippersnapper

  1. Michelle

    Hi Mike,

    I have commended them and left this comment with a quote from a longer article on the not so well reported sequence of events leading up to the current situation in Gaza – links should be checked one references the Office for the Coordiantion of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occuppied Territories –

    “In May, on the day commemorating the Nakba – the Palestinian Holocaust of expulsion by Israel in 1948 – there were demonstrations in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank. Israeli troops opened fire with live ammunition, killing two unarmed Palestinian teenagers. The incident was captured on closed circuit TV, and after initial denials the Israelis fell into sullen silence, not admitting the murders but unable to plausibly continue to deny them.

    The kidnappings:

    Some days later, on 11th June, Israel bombed Gaza, killing two Palestinians – one of them a ten year old boy. The very next day, three settler teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank. Israel, without providing any proof whatsoever, immediately blamed HAMAS for the kidnappings – though HAMAS denied any involvement. Despite knowing – from a phone call made by one of the kidnapped teenagers – that they were almost certainly dead, Israel lied (even to the parents, as they later testified), and launched a massive and aggressive “search operation” in the West Bank. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested, including over sixty released as part of a previous prisoner swap for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Nine Palestinians were killed, and houses demolished and looted. During this time Abbas’ PA security forces worked in close collaboration with the Israelis.

    Much later, the teenagers were found dead – only a short distance from where they were kidnapped – and by tourist guides at that. Apparently the “thorough” search wasn’t thorough enough to check the neighbourhood of the kidnap. In response, the Israeli government immediately announced three more settlements in the West Bank.

    Let me mention at this point that all these settlements are clearly illegal under international law.

    Meanwhile, in Israel and the West Bank, ultra-right racist Jewish organisations had been hard at work, stoking up anti-Palestinian hatred. Straight from an anti-Arab demonstration, six of these ultra-right Jews attempted to kidnap a Palestinian boy but failed – because the nine-year-old boy’s mother began hitting the attempted kidnapper over the head with her cellphone. Can you imagine the paeans in the media if it had been an Israeli mother protecting her son from Arabs? I think you can.

    It wasn’t enough deterrence. The next day they returned, successfully abductedMuhammad Abu-Khdeir, poured petrol into his mouth, and burned him to death.

    Even at this stage, HAMAS did not retaliate. Despite being repeatedly attacked, falsely accused of the kidnap of the teenagers (even the Israeli police later admitted HAMAS had had nothing to do with the kidnappings), it still did not retaliate. The nineteen-month ceasefire was still on.

    The Qassams begin:

    The facts show that Israel, as one article laconically states, had to work quite hard to get HAMAS to end its ceasefire. That finally happened on 7th July, when it bombed a HAMAS group in a tunnel inside Gaza. This group had had nothing to do with attacking Israeli positions.

    Between 01:00 and 16:00, the bodies of 5 members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) were recovered from a tunnel dug near Gaza International Airport in the southeast of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. They were identified as: Ibrahim Dawod al-Bal’awi, 24; ‘Abdul Rahman Kamal al-Zamli, 22; Jum’a ‘Atiya Shallouf, 26; and Khaled ‘Abdul Hadi Abu Mur, 21, and his twin brother, Mustafa. Another three members were recovered alive, but one was in a serious condition.

    Only then – after being repeatedly attacked in the West Bank as well as Gaza – did HAMAS retaliate; and the retaliation was by the Qassams, which, as we have seen, are utterly useless for all practical purposes.”


  2. amnesiaclinic

    They are certainly to be highly commended for starting their blog to try to understand and make sense of an insane world.
    Pity the hasbara trolls were so quick out of the starting blocks to try to ‘justify’ the unjustifiable.
    Good post Michelle.

    1. Michelle

      Thanks – well I thought I had left the same comment on their new blog but it has not appeared on their web site, tried a couple of times now. Not sure if it is their comment options or their own filter. Hope they don’t let the trolls deter them from some honest commentary / analysis.

      1. Adrian Burbie

        Hi Michelle,

        Thanks for your support. Your comment should be appearing there; last time I checked, it was. If it isn’t appearing for whatever reason, be assured that this is not because we have deleted/censored/filtered it. It will be a technical problem with BlogSpot.

        Adrian (Founding Editor)

  3. Michelle

    Thanks Adrian, I’ve just checked again and my comment doesn’t show through my interface to your brave blog which says there are 10 comments (I can see 10, but not mine).

    Perhaps BlogSpot has a filter, though not sure why with that particular comment as I have already placed a link to it in a running commentary I have about not arming Israel on one of Google’s other web medias Google+, you might find some of the links, especially about arms (disclosure – I have been arms trade researching for Campaign Against Arms Trade) and Palestine in that ongoing post useful:

    Please note, I am not anti-Israeli, I am very concerned about the safety of peoples both sides of wall but as you are aware the media is very biased so I am just one of the little dots on the electronic landscape trying to bring a broader view to a terrible, manipulated situation.

    All the best with your endeavours, Michelle Thomasson

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