War is Peace: Orwell’s Nightmare

By Eileen Fleming

On March 5, 2008, 404 House members beat the drum for more war by citing Iran and Syria as the main sponsors of Palestinian terror in the passing of House Resolution 951 citing the "more than 4,000 rockets and mortar shells [that] have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other terrorist organizations… [and claims] the Government of Israel’s military operations in Gaza only target Hamas and other terrorist organizations."

Apparently, those running House of Representatives perceive the 982 Palestinian children who have been killed by Israeli forces, since 2000 are card carrying members of Hamas, but reality is:

"The majority of these [Palestinian] children were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes. Sixty-four percent of children killed during the first six months of 2003 died as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks, or from indiscriminate fire from Israeli soldiers," according to IfAmericansKnew.org.   

In Orwell’s nightmare, 1984, the Party slogan "War is Peace" and "Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past" are life in the 21st century USA for the 404 congressional reps who have convinced themselves that history never happened.

Not a word in HR 951 mentions the fact on the ground that human rights have been denied the 1.5 million human beings in the open air prison of Gaza nor Israel’s persistent blatant disregard of international law and the 65 UN resolutions that have targeted Israel.   

IfAmericansKnew.org also reported that "aside from the core issues—refugees, Jerusalem, borders—the major themes reflected in the U.N. resolutions against Israel over the years are its unlawful attacks on its neighbors; its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians, including deportations, demolitions of homes and other collective punishments; its confiscation of Palestinian land; its establishment of illegal settlements; and its refusal to abide by the U.N. Charter and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War."

Big Brother would be in his glory in the America of today, for the Industrial Military Media ‘Security’/Surveillance Complex persists to spin the fallacy that Israeli forces withdrew from [Gaza] in 2005, but reality is that the drama in Gaza was made for television.

The colonists/squatters/settlers the world witnessed being removed were financially compensated and resettled in other illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israel never gave up complete control of all air, land and sea borders to Gaza and the Jewish apartheid state birthed the world’s largest open air prison inhabited by 1.5 million human beings which gives credence to Big Brothers mantra that "Ignorance is Strength."   

All right thinking people of good will condemn and deplore the targeting of any civilians and grieve over the loss of any life taken by any independent militant, terrorist organization or army of any state or nation.

HR 951 cites "the near-daily rocket fire [that] has been targeted primarily and intentionally at civilian communities in Israel, such as Sderot and Ashkelon, making life in such areas agonizing…[and] that these unprovoked rocket and mortar attacks have murdered over a dozen Israelis, inflicted hundreds of casualties, produced thousands of cases of shock and posttraumatic stress, especially among children, and caused severe disruption of daily life."

None of those who voted yes for HR 951, apparently have ever read the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem’s reports among which affirm that since the year 2000, 1,259 of the 2,679 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip were not participating in hostilities when they were killed, and 567 were minors, nor have a clue of the trauma inflicted upon the children of Gaza who are denied electricity for hours every day and often days on end.  

"Israeli deaths are "terrorism," while Palestinian deaths are merely an unfortunate consequence of the fight against "terrorism." But the two are intricately linked, and what happened in Jerusalem [at the Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav on March 6 are] a direct consequence of what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for decades," reported the Electronic Intifada.

That west Jerusalem school is the ideological cradle of the most militant of all the Jewish settler movements-Gush Emunim- and, according to the Electronic Intifada, "unlike other sects in Israel which sought exemption of their students from military service, Gush Emunim encouraged its followers to join the army and become the armed wing of religious nationalist Zionism. Gush Emunim settlers…founded the most extreme and racist settlements in the Occupied West Bank, including the notorious colonies in and near Hebron whose inhabitants have made life miserable for Palestinians in the city and forced many of them out of their homes. It is the militant settlers of Gush Emunim who still honor Baruch Goldstein who murdered 29 Palestinians in Hebron in February 1994. It is in Hebron that the Gush Emunim settlers spray "Arabs to the gas chambers" on Palestinian houses." 

In June 2005, I made my first and last trip to Hebron, the most painful place I have ever been. My guide was Jerry Levin, who in the 1980’s had been CNN’s Mid East Bureau Chief in Lebanon. Jerry later became a full time volunteer with CPT/Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron. He once told me, “every time I get ready to return to Palestine, everyone asks me, ‘Aren’t you afraid?’ I reply, ‘Of what, the Palestinians? No way! But when it comes to the Israelis soldiers, you bet I am!’"

In 2005, Hebron contained 450 Israeli settlers and three thousand Israeli forces. The eighteen- to twenty-one-year-olds patrolled the streets with their weapons at the ready and turned us away at one of the many checkpoints. Jerry quipped, "Most of the soldiers don’t like the CPTs. Whenever they won’t let us through, we just go another way, and always, eventually, get where we want to go." 

I was nauseated the entire day for the oppression was visceral. The narrow, winding stone streets that for centuries had been trod by Palestinians were eerily empty in many areas except for the open air market street and another where apartment buildings were on one side Israeli, and the other Palestinian. The only connection to the other side of the street was a thick deeply sagging netting strung over head. Huge rocks, shovels, electronic equipment, furniture, and all manner of debris had been flung upon it and I wondered if I would be underneath when it gave way.

Jerry told me, "It gets cleaned out about every year or so. Come back in a few months, and this netting will be much closer to your head. The settlers just throw whatever they want onto the netting; they do whatever they want and get away with it. The CPT’s run interference by non-violent resistance; we get the children and woman to where they need to be going and back again. Sometimes, the settlers curse and stone us all; it keeps it interesting."

We then walked to a desolate area and Jerry pointed out all the empty and formerly Palestinian homes that the settlers had painted graffiti and Stars of David on. It was not a nightmare, but reality when I saw spray painted on a now empty, but formerly Palestinian home, "GAS THE ARABS."  

I told Jerry Hebron was hell on earth and he replied, "You haven’t seen anything, until you see Gaza."

– Eileen Fleming is a reporter and editor; she is the author of “Keep Hope Alive” and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory". She is also the producer of "30 Minutes with Vanunu." She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com

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