Sunday, 13 July 2014

Gassing Gaza: Is Israel ‘defending’ itself once again?

“When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying someone else's land. That's not defence. Call it what you like, it's not defence.”
Professor Noam Chomsky

President Obama wants to broker a ceasefire, but what is the credential of the US to play the role of an impartial broker? This is the country that has armed Israel to the teeth, it continues to finance their existence and turn a blind eye to the creeping colonisation of the remaining territories of Palestine; with unrestrained access to the US media, the Zionist narrative is fed to the American masses, who above all, stand by Israel, no matter how many Palestinian civilians are killed and maimed, whilst the Israeli casualty figures barely reach double figures.  

Let us put aside the point of US neutrality to act as a peace maker. The issue is - brokering a ceasefire could only take place, if both sides had something to negotiate. This conflict is not a fight between two armies; it’s a one-sided massacre of civilians and the destruction of their livelihood and properties, accomplished efficiently with US made weapons. Therefore, the brokering process is essentially about getting the Israelis to halt their war machine, even if Hamas were to continue to fire the rockets, the Israeli casualties will remain close to zero. 

As usual, the Zionist apologists will point out the home-made Hamas ‘rockets’ as the cause. If you want to identify the cause, then examine the sequence of events, and the long-term Israeli strategy to suffocate the Palestinians, in the concentration camp of Gaza. Not to mention the Zionisation of the West Bank, where the illegal settlements (theft of land) continues to grow, in flagrant breach of International Law. This process is to facilitate the right of return for the Jews, whose ancestors may have lived there, and concurrently the dispossessed Palestinians within the last 100 years are still seeking their right of return. Many still have the keys to their houses, now occupied by thieves, known as ‘settlers’. In addition, the impact of these so-called rockets have been magnified beyond all proportions, and then recycled continuously through the Zionist dominated media, to justify the carnage.

As we entered the 5th day of the conflict in the month of Ramadan, the UN managed to issue the most ridiculous statement with no provisions for any action; the statements suggests the conflict is a two-way battle, both parties should share the responsibility equally, but the facts on the grounds show otherwise.     

“The Security Council members expressed serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides.”

Well so far only the Palestinians have suffered 140 casualties and no deaths of Israelis reported, therefore, the statement should have reflected that, placing much greater burden on Israel to ensure protection and welfare of civilians in Gaza. It then goes on to say the following.

“The Security Council members further called for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”

This can only apply to Israel, whose army and the civilians are beyond the reach of the Palestinians in Gaza; the IDF has been busy destroying houses, killing civilians, cutting off power supplies to essential services like hospitals. During the previous incursion into Gaza in 2006, Israel prevented medical aid getting through and firing at ambulances, by the end of the operation, 1500 Palestinians had been killed, whilst Israel suffered only 17 casualties.    

The Zionist dominated media narrative, along with the voices of western leaders, tells us the following about the Israeli incursion:

It’s not a war crime despite the deliberate killing of defenceless civilians, and the wanton destruction of their properties; it is not terrorism despite the killing of non-combatants; it is not a collective punishment of a population, even though it is acting in retaliation for the actions of a few, and it is not a one-sided massacre, even though over 99% of the victims are the Palestinian - Israel the victim, is simply defending itself.

Acting in self-defence means, it is a preventative measure and not a full scale offensive like that taken in a war situation. Given the failure of these Hamas rockets to inflict any casualties or real damage, and many of the missiles are intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome system, the ‘defensive’ measures taken by Israel by bombing Gaza, are well beyond what is required, because Israel’s  intention is to wage a war, and subdue the Palestinian will for existence.  As the Palestinians are suffocating in the Gaza concentration camp under siege, they will naturally retaliate with crude weapons, and this in turn has become a basis for the Israeli slaughter, in the name of self-defence. Since when did the Israeli Defence Force ever carry out a defensive operation after the end of the 1973 war? Lebanon to Gaza has been a one-sided carnage of cities and the civilian population. 

So why has Israel attacked Gaza? Professor Noam Chomsky answered this question during the previous incursion into Gaza, and I think the answer is still applicable now.

“The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenceless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.”

Finally, the Arab clowns sitting as heads of state, collectively the impotent Arab league, which has never managed to erect anything. The Arab ‘leaders’ are paralysed and speechless; they could not even muster a protest. It’s uncomfortable to confront the Israelis through the US and over the last 30 years, the Arabs have become accustomed to fighting each other, so much so, it kind of evokes the pre-Islamic stories of tribes fighting for 40-years, just over a camel.

So what does the future hold? The Arab Spring has come and gone, the new Caliphate (ISIS) has mysteriously emerged from nowhere, and I suspect that too will vanish or prove to be just as hollow with the passage of time.

Yamin Zakaria (
Published 13/07/2014
London, UK

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