By Robert Fantina
Nov. 22, 2014 (TSR) – After fifty days of carpet-bombing the Gaza Strip, an agreement was negotiated that ostensibly ended, for the time being, Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians. However, like all agreements entered into by Israel, only the other side need adhere to it. Some examples will suffice:
- Israel agreed to allow farmers in the Gaza Strip to sell their produce in the West Bank. After announcing the opening of the borders for this purpose, the order to open was immediately rescinded, with no explanation, and no date for reopening them.
- Relief supplies were to be allowed freely in, to rebuild the horrific damage Israel inflicted. Yet this writer is in contact with several people in the Gaza Strip, and little but the most basic of supplies, and those in very limited quantities, are being allowed in.
- Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, illegal under international law like all of Israel’ actions in Palestine, was to be loosened, enabling fishermen to go beyond the Israel-imposed three-mile limit. Yet Palestinian fishermen even within the three-mile limit continue to be shot at and shot, and their boats sunk or confiscated.
Palestine, on the other hand, agreed to cease rocket fire into Israel, and this they have adhered to. Yet one must look a little more closely at Palestinian ‘rockets’, 4,000 of which were alleged to have ‘rained down’ upon poor, defenseless Israel. Dr. Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors, and a noted Palestinian human rights activists, refers to those rockets as ‘enhanced fireworks’. They are limited in their range, highly inaccurate, and almost completely ineffective. Yet it benefits both Israel and Palestine to refer to them as ‘rockets’. For Israel, it can tell the world with a straight face that its ‘national security’ is threatened by Palestinian ‘rocket’ fire. For Palestine, it can encourage its people by referring to these devises as ‘rockets’.
But what is life like now in the Gaza Strip? Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless; 80% of the water is not drinkable. Food is scarce. Moving around the strip is dangerous, since little has been done to begin to remove the rubble, because no equipment has been provided for doing so.
The invasion and bombardment served multiple purposes for Israel. A look at some of them is instructive:
- Kill as many Palestinians as possible, including children. Genocide is the eradication of an entire people, their history and their culture. Israel killed over 2,000 people, including over 500 children, in what was not indiscriminate bombing; Israel knew exactly who it was targeting when it bombed hospitals, press vehicles, private residences and United Nations refugee centers. Ostensibly, it was targeting members of Hamas, deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, which is, itself, the largest and deadliest terrorist organization on the planet. Yet Hamas is a political party, similar to the Republican or Democratic parties in the U.S., so Israel could say it killed Hamas members when it bombed a family and killed the parents and several children, if the parents were members of the Hamas party.
- Destroy the infrastructure. Because of the years-long, total blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel, a condition that the United Nations defines as occupation, getting anything repaired in Gaza is extremely challenging. So Israel bombed power plants, which may not be repaired for months or years, depending on Israel’s whim in allowing replacement parts to enter the country.
- Demoralize the people. This is probably the cruelest and most barbaric of Israel’s tactics. There can be nothing more demoralizing for parents than being unable to protect their children, and watching them being blown apart by Israel bombs, happily provided by the United States. Children seeing their friends and parents die suffer from horrible emotional difficulties as a result.
The home should be a safe haven, but the terror of having to run from it, to a destination no less unsafe, is unimaginable. Then returning, and finding the home in ruins, and needing to sift through the rubble to find a treasured toy is extremely damaging.
For young adults, who only want to obtain an education, date, marry and raise a family, having those options forever closed to them is discouraging beyond the imagination. And all this, when Israelis are living in opulent conditions, with water for their swimming pools when Palestinians have to ration theirs, with food, education and opportunities unlimited for Israelis, due to U.S. foreign aid. This only forces Palestinians to feel the greater loss by the comparison.
And then there is the almost universal condemnation by the international community when Palestine ever asserts itself. We must all believe what the media tells us: violence against Israelis by Palestinians is terrorism, but violence against Palestinians by Israelis is defense.
Yet logic tells us that an occupier (Israel) cannot ‘defend’ itself against the occupied (Palestine); occupation is aggression, and any additional violence is simply more aggression. The occupied cannot perform ‘terrorism’ against the occupier, since occupation by nature is terrorism. All the occupied can do is defend itself, and use whatever means it has at its disposal to shake off the occupation.
Palestine has little to use in its own defense. The international community mainly, but decreasingly, toes the U.S. party line, which in turn regurgitates whatever Israel feeds it, and that is a constant mantra of Israeli ‘defense’. The United Nations, which is, astoundingly, prevented from investigating Israeli war crimes in Gaza by Israel, is next to useless. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas generally waits for Israel to pull his strings so he can see what tune he is to dance to.
But what Palestine has on its side is justice. People the world over are becoming more and more educated about Israel’s lies, and Palestine’s victimization. Eventually, they will force their governments to comply, although this may not be the case in the U.S.; elected officials there listen not to their constituents, but to the lobbyists who finance their election and re-election campaigns.
What Palestine doesn’t have is time. After decades of illegal occupation, Israel has succeeded in stealing most of Palestine’s land. The world must act while there is still some of Palestine to protect, something which, by removing the illegal settlements, can be added to. Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that not one settler will be displaced; he must be proven wrong, as Palestinians are restored to the land that is rightfully theirs.