America and Occupied Palestine: Free-Fire Zones

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America and Occupied Palestine: Free-Fire Zones
by Stephen Lendman
Cops in America are killing people at a record pace, according to a London Guardian investigation – revealing three fatalities from police violence on average daily, a rate if maintained to reach 1,100 by yearend. 
US city streets are battlegrounds. African Americans suffer most proportionately compared to whites and Latinos, despite comprising only 13% of the population, an indictment of a racist rogue state, murdering its most vulnerable, helpless against killer cops. 
Rarely ever is one held accountable for cold-blooded murder. A badge is a license to kill with impunity. 
The Guardian said of the 547 Americans killed by cops this year through June, 478 died from gun-inflicted wounds, 13 from Taser shocks, 16 struck by police vehicles and 19 while in police custody, including Freddie Gray. Baltimore police severed 80% of his spine from his neck, according to an autopsy report.
So-called “justifiable homicides” are nearly always cold blooded murders. Federal, state and local authorities do nothing to stop it. 
Police in America are militarized. Washington provides them with enormous amounts of lethal firepower nationwide – combat weapons, related equipment and supplies, used as intended to kill and terrorize.
Cops mostly only used pistols decades earlier. Now they have machine guns, riot guns, other automatic weapons, stun grenades, planes and helicopters, armored vehicles, Humvees, night vision equipment, assault-friendly gas masks, combat gloves, tactical body armor vests, advanced combat optical gunsights, and more.
The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention bans use of tear gas in warfare. It’s used on US city streets for crowd control called riot control despite its noxious effects. It impedes breathing severely, causes eyes, nose, mouth and lungs irritation and damage, chest pain, vomiting, even death. It’s used with intent to cause bodily harm.
Like US combat troops, police are trained to kill. A thin line separates them. The enemy abroad is whatever country Washington attacks. The one within is America’s most vulnerable, terrorized by cops sworn to serve and protect.
Israel operates the same way with one major exception. Heavily armed military forces occupy Palestine. They’re deployed throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Multiple daily raids terrorize Palestinian neighborhoods – never with just cause. Soldiers, police and other security forces kill with impunity – officially authorized by Knesset legislation and Netanyahu cabinet members.
They approved use of .22 caliber Ruger sniper rifles for crowd control, falsely claiming they’re not lethal weapons. 
They’re terror weapons when used against people. They can kill or seriously injure. Bullets fired can penetrate skulls and soft flesh. Claims otherwise conceal Israel’s dark agenda – upping the stakes against defenseless Palestinians, including young children.
PLO secretary-general Saeb Erekat said officially authorizing live ammunition “dehumanize(s)” Palestinians – giving security forces wide latitude in deciding what constitutes a “threat.”
Any fabricated pretext suffices. Expect more Palestinian deaths to follow, more injuries, more arrests, more imprisonments, more endless brutality – for the “crime” of stone-throwing, legitimate protests and other nonviolent activities, virtually never rising to the level of a threat, always in response to Israeli brutality – legitimate self-defense Israel calls “terrorism.”
Its way to curb violence and disorder is by inciting both – pitting heavily armed soldiers and other security forces against Palestinian youths and children, armed at most with slingshots. 
Israel calls extrajudicial executions defending national security. International law calls them cold-blooded murders.
A Final Comment
A typical one-sided New York Times article headlined “Israel Acts to Combat Violence in Jerusalem,” ignoring its full responsibility for instigating it, blaming Palestinians for its high crimes.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein voiced strong opposition. Netanyahu and other extremist cabinet officials ignored him. The Times falsely claimed he approved using live fire on defenseless Palestinians.
It quoted Netanyahu calling stones “murderous objects” instead of denouncing his Big Lie. It falsely attributed the death of an Israeli man to stones thrown at his car during the Rosh Hashana period, causing him to lose control and crash – ignoring police reports saying cause of death wasn’t determined.
Throughout nearly half a century of illegal occupation, anything goes has been official Israeli policy – perhaps worse than ever ahead with security forces officially authorized to use live fire against any Palestinian man, woman or child called a threat – true or false.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.