Family members shout in grief as they carry the body of two-year-old Palestinian Walid Abadleh, killed in the latest Israeli airstrikes, during his funeral in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis on November 15, 2012. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)
Israel’s assault on Gaza raises doubts that it has any interest in finding the lasting peace settlement it proclaims to want. Does the campaign have an alternative objective as part of a strategy to engineer a strike on Iran?
It’s probably the world’s most tragic never-ending story.For almost 65 years now, Israel has been bombing, maiming and humiliating the Palestinians, bulldozing their homes and placing Gaza in lock-down mode turning it into the world’s largest concentration camp.
In the latest outbreak of violence this week both sides are accusing the other, “You started it!”Who knows? At this stage, does it really matter anymore who started the violence?
On Wednesday 14th, an Israeli helicopter attack killed Hamas military wing leader Ahmed Jabari, triggering a violent reaction from Hamas which rained little rockets over southern Israeli towns, which in turn brought in more Israeli air attacks killing 19, injuring 100 and leaving six children dead.
Dejá-vù: it’s January 2009’s “Operation Cast Lead” revisited; this time they’re dubbing it “Operation Pillar of Defense.”
Clearly, Israel’s right-wing leaders do not want a peaceful agreement with the Palestinians.That’s why they’ve systematically sabotaged all possibility of reaching a two-state solution.
The last honest Israeli who tried to bring peace was Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, until he was gunned down in the streets of Tel-Aviv in November 1995; not by an Islamic fanatic, not by some mad Neo-Nazi, but by one Ygal Amir: an ultra-right-wing Zionist fanatic linked to both the fundamentalist Settlers’ Movement and Israel’s security agency Shin-Beth.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speaking before a special session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on October 24, 1995 (AFP Photo / Bob Strong)
Since then, Israel’s extreme right-wing Apartheidists have called the shots and will continue doing so even more now that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has merged with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu.Maybe this latest bout of Palestine-bashing is their way of celebrating their new Gross Partei…
‘Don’t worry about America…’
Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon is infamously quoted as yelling to his colleagues during a heated debate in Israel’s Knesset in October 2001, that they need not worry about American reaction to Israel’s Palestine-bashing because “we the Jewish people control America!"
Watching how US politicians file through powerful Pro-Israel lobbies, think tanks and organizations like AIPAC – American Israeli Public Affairs Committee -, the ADL and others, competing to give their most impassioned and dramatic pro-Israel speeches, one is tempted to believe Mr. Sharon’s candid words.
During the recent US presidential campaign both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each tried to give their most convincing Joe Biden-like “I-am-a-Zionist” speeches, to win over not just the Jewish vote and money in America, but also the Zionist vote which is represented by many non-Jewish born-again Christians.
So, when earlier this week US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice openly supported Israel and condemned Hamas’ retaliatory attacks describing them as “violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel", one can hardly be surprised.
It doesn’t really matter who sits in the Oval office; whether Democrat or Republican, the US will always unthinkingly and unreservedly support Israel every time it decides to play a new round of Palestine-bashing.
A smoke trail of a Palestinian rocket launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel is seen on December 29, 2008 from the Israeli-Gaza border (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)
Naturally, US and global mainstream media willingly oblige, having succeeded in drilling deep into the collective psyche the conclusion that “Terrorism” is always linked to “Islamic Fundamentalists”.
So, Hamas is made illegitimate before we even start discussions about a two-state solution.No matter that Hamas won the democratically held 2006 elections in Palestine; no matter that Israel itself was founded by violent terrorist groups like Irgun Zvai Leumi, Stern and Hagganah which later merged to become Israel’s – oh, so democratic! – Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
Those Zionist terror groups were led by Israeli founding fathers later to become prime ministers (and even a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate!) like Menahem Beguin and Isaac Shamir, who in their “freedom-fighter” days blew up hotels with dozens of people inside them, assassinated UN envoys, carried out hundreds of targeted assassinations, and imposed policies of genocide by killing and maiming hundreds of thousands, and then driving off millions of Palestinian men, women and children from their homes and land using the most barbarous terror tactics.
Israel’s logic in Palestine seems to run like this: if Israel steals lands and homes and livelihoods from the Palestinians, they have no right whatsoever to complain; and if they dare fight back, then they automatically become “terrorists”.America, the UK and most of the EU seem to agree…
Palestinian firemen extinguish fire from a building following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on December 29, 2008 (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
Good if I do it; bad if you do…
That’s why those countries have branded Hamas and Hezbollah “terrorist organizations”.
Basic political common sense, however, tells us that a nation’s armed forces – whether in the US, Russia, China, Brazil or Israel – must report to the civilian leaders of its Nation-State.But what happens if, like the Palestinians, you are not allowed to have a Nation-State?How can Palestinians defend themselves against Israel’s systematic terrorist tactics if they can’t have their own Nation-State and therefore no armed forces?That’s why Hamas and Hezbollah came into the picture to offer the prospect of some self-defense.
Sure, it’s easy to disqualify them as “terrorist organizations” but – using that same criteria – would the Western Powers today reclassify the French Resistance during world war two, for example, as a “terror organization”, simply because they refused to passively accept the German military invasion of their country?Should the Resistance have given up so as to avoid the Oberkommando in Berlin branding them as “terrorists”?
And what about the terror groups that assassinated Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last year or the ones wreaking havoc in Syria right now?“Freedom fighters”, I presume, because they violently oppose non-US friendly regimes?
The West must understand that you can’t have it both ways: either the French Resistance, and Irgun and Stern, and Hamas and Hezbollah, the Syrian and Libyan uprisings are all “freedom fighters” or, they should all be branded “terrorist organizations”.You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Syrian opposition fighters celebrating on the strategic Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain, on November 15, 2012 (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)
All options on the table…
Going into full Baby-Bush-warmonger-mode, recently an IDF spokesman threatened not just the Palestinians but the entire world saying that for Israel, “all options are on the table…”
Powerful words coming from the only nation in the Middle East that has an arsenal of nuclear weapons, and the behavioral track record that gives credibility to their willingness to use them.
So, Palestinians must brace themselves for ever increasing levels of violence in the days and weeks to come.Will this latest flare-up be used by Israel as an excuse to attack southern Lebanon where Hezbollah has its strong hold (and where Israel was routed when they last invaded Lebanon for the nth time in mid-2006)?
Are we seeing a crescendo of violence leading to armed attack on Syria in conjunction with Turkey/NATO and with the “Syrian Free Army” (aka, Al-Qaeda, CIA, Mossad, MI6)?
Is this all part of an Israeli strategy to “Secure the Realm” that has a unilateral military attack against Iran as Israel’s real and final goal?
More generalized violence in the Middle East will help to convince Obama (and the US military) to stop dragging their feet on Iran and to come on strong again in the region.
Israel is calling this latest shock and awe attack “Operation Pillar of Defense.” A Good Orwellian euphemism for Palestine-Bashing.
If Israel has decided to let all hell lose in the Middle East to set the stage for an attack against Iran, then it becomes clear that the violence should start (yet again!!) in martyred Palestine.
OK, so Israel starts a new Middle Eastern war in Palestine but… where does it end?