By Mohamed Khodr
Day Four of the Gaza Genocide: Thus far–Total Deaths: 384; Total Injured 1,750; Today’s Latest Victims: 2 sisters aged 4 and 11.
"I don’t understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?" — as quoted in The Jewish Paradox : A personal memoir (1978) by Nahum Goldmann (translated by Steve Cox), p. 99.
In a just world Israel’s massive air strikes against the jailed impoverished and besieged population of Gaza would be considered a "crime against humanity." But this is Israel that exists in a parallel universe where U.N. Resolutions, International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and internationally recognized human rights are meaningless. No other nation on earth has the protection and impunity to launch devastating air strikes on crowded urban areas and inexplicably be supported by the western world as justified in its use of an overwhelming superior power to unleash American planes, bombs, missiles, and rockets upon civilians in the occupied territories and Lebanon.
During his tenure Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minister, launched the incomprehensible devastation against Lebanon, considered a disaster for Israel, and now against hapless Gaza deemed a "human catastrophe" by the United Nations. Although it’s been reported by Olmert himself that the attack on Lebanon was pre-planned four months prior to its commencement, we now learn that the human devastation in Gaza was pre planned for six months.
The alleged “truce” between Hamas and Israel was more adhered to and respected by Hamas than by Israel, the region’s sole “democracy” that akin to the French Revolution rules through a “reign of terror”. Israel’s continuous violations of this truce are well documented by the United Nations, International Human Rights Organizations, Israel’s human rights organization, B’tselem, as well as international observers and Palestinian human rights organizations.
In one such violation, according to Israel News (6/27/08), the United Nations recorded 7 incidents of IDF soldiers attempting to drive Palestinian farmers away from border fence by shooting at them.
Similarly Israel continued its euphemistic “extrajudicial assassinations” as it did in early November, 2008, killing at least six Hamas activists and injuring four civilians including a woman during its invasion of Juhr Ad-Dik. It also launched a drone missile attack on Khan Younis killing more Hamas activists. Incredibly the Israeli spokesman described this invasion and murders as intended to protect the ceasefire.
In a heartfelt and moving article that appeared in Haaretz (4/28/08), Bradley Burston wrote “Our Defense Forces, Our War Crimes, Our Terrorism.” In the article Mr. Burston describes the atrocity committed by the Israeli Defense Forces who fired the latest available modern shell into the home of a Palestinian mother who was preparing breakfast for her children aged 15 months, 3, 4, and 6 years old. All were killed instantly in the village of Beit Hanoun in Gaza.
Mr. Burston continues: “But the same crime, the same – let’s call it by its real name – atrocity, has been committed time and again, under the same circumstances, for the same reasons, with the same indefensible result.”
As is customary of Israel and the United States, Hamas was blamed for the massacre and a trumped up lie was pushed by the media that Hamas was carrying ammunitions near the home that accidentally exploded. Ehud Barak, Defense Minister, and master mind behind the current genocide in Gaza without any shame said: “We see Hamas as responsible for everything that happens there, for all injuries.”
During the eight years that the haphazardous inaccurate and primitive Qassam Rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, only 17 Israelis were killed in over six years. Compare this with a total of over 300 dead and 1,400 injured in one day of Israel’s current massive air strikes on Gaza.
This in addition to the two year total strangling and blockade of Gaza’s 1.5 million civilians deprived of the most basic needs to survive. Only Israel can get away with murder and use its media and public relations arsenal to blame the victims and spin the narrative.
How does Israel get away with war after pre-emptive war since its founding, at times in collaboration with western nations? In their landmark work, "The Israel Lobby", Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt provide the answer: it’s due to the financial, political, and media influence of the Israeli Lobby, especially in the U.S., but also in Europe. This lobby has provided the historical talking points adopted by western governments and media anytime Israel attacks Lebanon or the occupied Palestinians. The standard talking memo lists the following justifications: 1.To teach them a lesson to be quiet and not resist Israel’s militarism. 2. Remove terrorist regimes and establish pro democracy, i.e. Pro Israel, regimes. 3. Kill enough civilians to cause them to overthrow existing regimes. 4. And lastly, Israel has the right to defend itself.
Similar reasoning began the colonialism movement and America’s devastation of Iraq. Western politicians repeatedly mouth these justifications for murder while the media adopts Israel’s narrative and images of its suffering denying the humanity and worth of Palestinians.
Nevertheless, Gaza is bleeding while Bush, who received Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian medal, and Condi Rice, who received close to $400,000 of Jewellery from the “moderate” states of Saudi Arabia, Gulf Nations and Jordan, strongly support Israel’s “right to defend itself”—translation—massacre Gazans until Hamas is eliminated. Smart bombs and dumb politicians do not a peace make.
As for the anticipated Arab League Summit, the Arab nations are still arguing where to hold the summit, much less have an agenda, and much less produce a strong action oriented outcome. In total shame and embarrassment to the Arabs the European Union Foreign Ministers are already meeting to discuss the genocide of Gaza while the Arab Foreign Ministers haven’t convened a single meeting as of today.
Both Arab and American leaders know and understand the power and influence of Israel and its incredibly powerful lobby against those who dare cross Israel much less speak against its freedom to murder the dehumanized Palestinians. The world is paralyzed as Israel continues its killing spree in Gaza.
Israel’s former Prime Minister Moshe Sharett summarized Israel’s pension for militaristic expansionism when he said: "I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism." (Sharett’s Quote: Simha Flapan, “The Birth of Israel”, 1987, p. 51)
-Mohamed Khodr contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.