By Stuart Littlewood – London
What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow? Would Gazans enjoy the same freedoms as other nations? Would they be able to open their sea port to foreign ships and rebuild and operate their airport? Would they be able to import and export and carry on trade and develop their economy and prosper like other countries?
Would they be allowed to exploit and develop their offshore gas field? Would their fishermen be allowed to fish in unpolluted waters? Would their young people be able to come and go and take up places at foreign universities?
Would Israel clear out of Gazan airspace permanently? Would the Israeli navy cease its piracy and stay out of Palestinian territorial waters? Would you and I be able to visit Gaza direct?
Fat chance. None of this would suit Israel. So Gazans would be no better off. Their tormented half-existence would continue.
There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank. Yet the illegal Israeli occupation there continues and so does the ethnic cleansing, the land theft, the illegal settlements, the colonization, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the throttling of the economy, the abduction and ‘administrative detention’ of civilians and the massive interference with freedom of movement. Nothing has changed for West Bank Palestinians who DO NOT fire rockets. There is no sign of an end to their misery.
The bloody assault on Gaza therefore has much more to do with Israel’s ambition to expand racial dominance in the Holy Land than crude and erratic rocket-fire. Hamas and the Palestinians holed up in Gaza are simply in the way of the Grand Plan and have to be removed or totally subdued.
The international community needs to keep their eye on the ball – the big issue – which is the ending of the occupation and Israel’s withdrawal to recognized pre-67 borders as required by international law. In short, they need to stop wringing their hands and start delivering justice, which is long overdue.
Palestinians in Gaza will hardly wish to give up armed resistance until they receive copper-bottomed guarantees of a normal life unmolested by Israel… and see concrete evidence of it.
– Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.