By Dan Lieberman
The tepid response of world leaders to Israel’s ferocious attack on a defenseless Gaza conveys a helpless feeling to all world citizens – brutality rules and we are all vulnerable to attack. EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, commented that “the EU is very concerned by the events in Gaza.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted as saying he "strongly condemns the irresponsible provocations which led to this situation as well as the disproportionate use of force."
Are world leaders totally ignorant of the events leading to the massive destruction of Palestinian life? Are they unaware of Israel’s provocations and shrewd manipulation of the facts which allowed them to seem innocent and carry out a diabolical plan to destroy the Palestinians? The facts are:
For two years Israel has illegally blockaded Gaza. The densest area of the world, which contains 1.5 million people, has received less than a quarter of the volume of imported supplies they received in December 2005 and has not been permitted to export many goods. A totally paralyzed economy has tried to exist with reduced fuel supplies, electrical outages and a lack of spare parts, all of which has caused hunger and severe psychological damage. Include impacts on sewage treatment, waste collection, water supplies and medical facilities.
Despite a truce between Hamas and Israel, the Israel military continued its attacks on West Bank Palestinians. Some of the provocations:
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, over the last two weeks, from December 4th – 17th, two Palestinians, including a civilian were killed by Israeli forces, ten Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire and three others were wounded by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Four fighters with the Palestinian resistance, and an unarmed woman were wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. (Dec. 19, IMEMC News)
A report has Israeli forces invading Salfit, Hebron, Bilin, and Khan Younis, injuring four Palestinians, and taking 18 civilians into custody during December.
Settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron destroyed Palestinian property and attacked Palestinians after Israel Defense Forces evicted them from a building of disputed ownership. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other Israeli figures branded the settler attacks as a "pogrom" against the Palestinians.
How did Hamas react to these provocations – quite normally.
In order to continue the truce, Hamas issued two responsible demands (1) Israel halt its devastating economic blockade of Gaza, and (2) Israel observe a truce in the West Bank as well as Gaza.
When Israel refused to meet these humanitarian demands, Hamas refused to continue the truce, as it had promised and as Israel knew would happen. Rocket fire by militants, not clearly identified with Hamas, sent mortars and rockets into Israel. Despite the intensive barrage, not a single Israeli was killed or wounded.
So, world leaders, what do we note?
For two years the people in Gaza have been starved and left destitute by Israel actions. Israeli attacks on innocent Palestinians continue. Despite no Israelis being harmed, Israel used these harmless and rocket and mortar attacks as an excuse to obliterate the defenseless Palestinians.
Inaction of world leaders to Israel’s diabolical scheme of using deadly provocations (similar to continuing West Bank settlements) to invite retaliation, and then using harmless retaliation as an excuse for more deadly actions is paralyzing. Equally paralyzing is the lack of realization of the average American to the truth of the situation.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, considered a US ally in Beirut, described the Israeli attacks as a "criminal operation" and "new massacres to be added to its full record of massacres." If the United Nations, European Union and the US administration cannot listen to the Middle East region’s leaders and prevent these atrocities against the Palestinian people, what hope do the democratic and peace loving populations of the world have against tyranny and aggression?
– Dan Lieberman is editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter.
Dan’s many articles on the Middle East conflicts have circulated on websites and media throughout the world. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.