Dichotomy of Oppression and Liberation: Why Colonizers Do Not Prevail

Gaza reel under new massacres carried out by the Israeli army. (Photo: Anas al-Sharif, via Social Media)

By Jamal Kanj

In the dichotomy of oppression and liberation, there has never been a case throughout history where a colonizer or an occupier prevailed.

Mr. President, you lied when you “saw” images of decapitated Israeli babies.

You lied when you prematurely absolved Israel of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital massacre and then enabled Israel to target more hospitals and ambulances.

As of November 5, Israel attacked additional healthcare centers, namely: Al Shifa Hospital, Al-Quds Hospital, the Indonesian Hospital, and Al Nasser Hospital in the “safe” south, killing and maiming civilians seeking “safer” shelters. 

You lie, Mr. President, when you deny Palestinians the right to mourn their own victims.

You lie when you dehumanize Palestinians by portraying them as human shields only to rationalize Israeli barbaric murdering of children.

You lie when you call Israel’s war against the people of Gaza, the “Israel-Hamas” war. This war is a continuation of the 75-year-old Israeli war on Palestine.

Your Secretary of Defense was dishonest stating that your administration “mourn Palestinian civilians while you stand alone in the international community, not only in opposing the ceasefire but also by replenishing Israel’s arsenal to murder more Palestinian children.

Your Secretary of State is ingenuine, claiming that your administration is “committed to the protection of civilian life” when a Palestinian child is being killed every 10 minutes.

You lied, Mr. President, when you told us two weeks ago more aid trucks would be allowed into Gaza.

The Strip received 400 to 500 trucks daily before the latest Israeli war.

For almost four weeks, the number of trucks that entered Gaza were less than 20% of what is needed daily. 

Unfortunately, you now appear to be serving as a means for Israel to quell international outrage through false promises of delivering food, water, fuel, and medical supplies to 2.3 million people.

This is while Israel is further tightening the siege and extending it to natural resources, targeting solar panels that produce electricity to hospitals and bombing drinking water storage tanks.

At present, the only resource that remains relatively accessible to the people of Gaza is the air, although at times, it is mixed with the searing stench of Israeli phosphorus bombs.

Mr. President, your biggest lie was claiming that Israel has the right to defend itself. Would you extend the same right to Russian forces in Ukraine?

Self-defense is a right for the occupied, not the occupier. 

Occupation and blockade constitute an act of aggression. A power that maintains a system of aggression is not entitled to claim self-defense.

An occupier that annexes land and moves its civilian population into an occupied territory in violation of the Geneva Convention, is the party that uses its civilians as human shields, rendering it ineligible to characterize its war as self-defense.

The US and Europe condemned what they described as Russian horror in Ukraine. 

It took no time for the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged Russian war crimes. Biden called Vladimir Putin a “murderous dictator” and “pure thug.” 

Meanwhile, twenty months into the Ukraine war, the “pure thug” war had resulted in the loss of 9,600 civilians, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In Gaza, however, in just twenty days, the same mathematical number, not proportional, of Palestinians have been killed by the more “civilized” Benjamin Netanyahu.

While Biden labels Putin a “murderous dictator,” he proposes to award the more efficient Israeli murderous machine an additional $14.3 billion, and opposes a ceasefire to satisfy Netanyahu’s insatiable ravenous lust for vengeance.

Israeli politician, Moshe Feiglin, detailed Israel’s veracious craving for revenge in his interview on Israeli TV, saying “We still have not revenged in a biblical way… did not burn Gaza to ashes … Do not leave a stone upon stone in Gaza. Gaza needs to turn to Dresden.”

Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu Eliyahu, even exceeded the diabolical “biblical” revenge, suggesting on November 5, that “one of Israel’s options in the war in Gaza is to drop a nuclear bomb …” because “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.”

The juxtaposition of Gaza and Ukraine exposes the blatant American and Western double standards. 

In proportion to the Ukraine population of 44 million, 190,000 civilians need to die in Ukraine to match what Netanyahu had done in twenty days—not twenty months. Contrary to what the West may want us to believe, the abject disregard of Palestinian vis-à-vis Ukrainian or Israeli life reveals the deep-seated racism toward non-westerners.

Israel has so far dropped 25,000 tons of explosives over a 140 square mile area, equivalent to two Hiroshima size nuclear bombs. At the same time, 11,000 American-made and financed ordinances have murdered more than 10,000 civilians, 70% of whom are children and women. 

In this war the principle of proportionality between civilian and military targets shows that murdering civilians is the main Israeli objective.

This is evident in the more than 200,000 damaged homes, 203 schools, 53 mosques, three churches, 16 hospitals, civilian convoys, bakeries and water outlets.

Eleven thousand bombs translate to dropping 78 explosives over each square mile area. Even more striking when considering that approximately 80% of the bombardment is concentrated in an area covering 40% of Gaza, north of wadi Gaza. This means 157 bombs on every square mile, or one bomb per 4 acres populated with approximately 16,500 residents.

The population density becomes even more dire in the refugee camps.

Refugee camps house Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed from historical Palestine in 1948.

One of the targeted camps is Jabalia, a prototype of the Palestinians’ refugee camps in the strip. 

I have been to Jabalia, the most densely populated area within the most overcrowded piece of land on earth. The camp has a population of 117,000 living over 0.54 square miles.

Homes typically house four to five families of various generations. Hovels built wall against wall; alleyways barely wide enough for single file individuals to pass between homes.

The camp has been the site of at least three massacres, at the time of writing. More than four hundred people were killed or are missing under the rubble of their homes, and 777 injured.

It is crucial to note that Israeli acts of brutality targeting civilians do not occur in a vacuum. 

It followed an Israeli ground offensive from the prior weekend, which was met with fierce resistance. 

The military made insignificant advances and lost more than 20 elite infantry soldiers. Facing heavy losses, Israel reverted on October 31 to softer targets to inflict the highest level of pain by dropping six bombs – one ton each over one block area in Jabalia refugee camp.  

Within seconds, fifteen homes were swallowed by a large crater. 

Israel’s “agency of lies” alleged that its raid targeted a Hamas combatant. Yet it left 400 civilians – dead or injured – and 15 homes leveled, for supposedly one person of interest. 

Israel’s principles of proportionality in war give Israel the right to kill and maim 400 human beings because there might be one value target. Similar heinous crimes were repeated in Al Magazi, Nusierat, al Bureij and Shati camps.

Deliberate targeting of civilians is part of the psychological warfare in Israel’s undeclared strategy since its creation in 1948.

Civilians have consistently borne the brunt of Israeli murders in every war waged by Israel.Unfortunately, the tactic to cause pain targeting women and children will likely persist as long as Israel remains an exception to international law, and granted its citizens to escape the same pain.

The only possible deterrence to Israeli civilian massacres would be copying Israel’s psychological warfare strategy by exposing Israelis to the same carnage of war. 

Israel is a militarized society with 630,000 soldiers, active and reserve. Almost every Israeli home has an active or reservist army soldier.

The Palestinian Resistance should order Israelis to evacuate Tel Aviv to safer areas further north, and then replicate Israeli strategy, koshering the targeting of homes of Israeli officials, government buildings, offices, telecommunication centers, hospitals, ambulances used by the government, banks, universities, airports, police stations, transportation centers, highways, schools, banks, and the buildings where they suspect the presence of an Israeli combatant.

These are just a small number of targets Israel uses to justify the killing of civilians.

Despite all this, and after failing to force the U.S. foreign aid welfare queen to agree to a humanitarian pause, the American Secretary of State parroted Israeli objections, claiming a ceasefire “would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did.”  Almost rephrasing the same position taken by another U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, during the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 when she compared the Israeli bombs murdering Lebanese children as “birth pangs” and that “a ceasefire would be a false promise if it simply returns us to the status quo.”

In the 2006 war on Lebanon, much like today, Israel rejected any ceasefire until the release of Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah. 

The then Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, was allowed to murder the Lebanese  until exacting a satisfactory level of pain on civilians and the country’s infrastructure. In the end, no Israeli prisoner was released without a negotiated agreement meeting Hezbollah’s demands.

Similarly, Anthony Blinken’s demand for the release of Israeli prisoners without a negotiated agreement that secures the freedom of Palestinian hostages held by Israel appears as delusional as Condoleezza Rice’s stance in 2006.

Concerning the post-war governance of Gaza, Blinken has no vote, now or then, regarding the future of Gaza. If it wasn’t Hamas, another group will emerge from the same deplorable conditions that gave birth to Hamas 35 years ago.  

Most Palestinian fighters today, whether from Hamas or other factions, were born or grew up during the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Their entire lives have been shaped by living in the largest open-air prison, and their deepest aspiration has been to break free from this confinement, as they demonstrated during the raid on the prison’s guards on October 7.

To that end, Israel, and the US could succeed in eradicating Hamas as much as the US was triumphant in removing the Taliban in Afghanistan, or Israel’s lofty objectives to eliminate the PLO in 1982, or Hezbollah in 2006.

National movements might evolve becoming more hardened due to circumstance and conditions as with the rise of Hamas and Islamic Jihad during the first Palestinian Intifada in the late 1980s.

In the dichotomy of oppression and liberation there has never been a case throughout history where a colonizer or an occupier prevailed, and a national movement eradicated by brutality or murdering women and children.

(A version of this article was originally published in Al-Mayadeen TV)

– Jamal Kanj is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle

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