More commentaries on bombing Gaza

2 Jan

As this blog has previously explained, the much heralded ‘vision for change’  of the Obama Presidency is unlikely to see any significant alterations to US foreign policy when it comes to the Middle East. Currently in Hawaii for his vacation, the incoming President has remained silent on the attack in Gaza. This silence was commented by Mark Perry, the Washington Director of the Conflicts Forum group as sounding, “like complicity“. Lest one should forget, the then Presidential hopeful has repeatedly stressed that  he would ensure that Israel remain America’s closest ally in the region if he gets elected.

The White House, as expected from the Bush administration, has continued to support  Israel’s criminal action and squarely laid the blame on Hamas. It insisted that it is not eager to see any ceasefire, unless it is ‘durable and sustainable‘; and that Hamas has to take the first initiative in stopping rocket attacks into Israel.

This view is contradicted by commentator/ novelist, Titus North, also an adjunct Professor in the University of Pittsburgh Political Science department, who explains, ‘

… We must condemn Israel’s attack on Gaza. I know that it is customary for many to equally condemn both sides whenever violence flares up in the conflict, but there is nothing equal between the two sides. The Palestinians have for decades been subjected to occupation, disappropriation, assassination and siege, always with massive suffering to civilians, and are expected to accept it without lifting a finger. Should the Palestinians put up any resistance, Israel feels free to launch any scale of attack, secure in the knowledge that at most it will be subject to calls for “restraint” and condemnation of violence on “both sides.”…’

Paul Craig Roberts, in a more scathing attack on the West, in particular, the UK and America, wrote, ‘

… For the US and UK governments, Israel can do no wrong.  Israel doesn’t have to stop withholding food, medicine, water, and energy, but Hamas must stop protesting by firing off rockets.  In violation of international law, Israel can drive West Bank Palestinians off their lands and out of their villages and give the stolen properties to “settlers.”  Israel can delay Palestinians in need of emergency medical care at checkpoints until their lives ebb away.  Israeli snipers can get their jollies murdering Palestinian children…’

Nir Rosen, a Beirut-based journalist and author of ‘The Triumph of the Martyrs: A Reporter’s Journey into Occupied Iraq’, noted that Israel is making the same mistake with Hamas as with Hizbollah. He considered Israel’s and the US’s use of  ‘terrorism’ label to equate Hamas and militant factions as ‘an excessive use of legal jargon‘ which ‘actually undermines the fundamentals of what is truly legal and diminishes the credibility of international institutions such as the UN. The law becomes the enemy of those who struggle‘.

He also explained why the rocket attacks from Gaza are not aimed at ‘the expectation that such violence will destroy or defeat Israel.

When the native population understands that there is an irreversible dynamic stripping them of their land and identity with the support of an overwhelming power then they are forced to resort to whatever methods of resistance they can muster…’

Tariq Ali’s ‘The Gaza Ghetto and Western Cant’, sheds light on the conflict, as well as on Hamas, to which, it should be noted for:

… not dispatch of suicide bombers, to which a range of competing groups resorted, but its superior discipline—demonstrated by its ability to enforce a self-declared ceasefire against Israel over the past year‘.

Moreover, the real aim of destroying Hamas, is simply because of its resistance:  ‘…The real grievance of the EU and US against Hamas is that it refused to accept the capitulation of the Oslo Accords, and has rejected every subsequent effort, from Taba to Geneva, to pass off their calamities on the Palestinians. The West’s priority ever since was to break this resistance’.

Omar Barghouti is critical of the UN, arguing that the organisation has not only chosen to report lower casualty rates, but also only consider children and women as victims (not men)  who were killed or injured in the air strikes.

Jonathon Cook, a journalist who has been reporting on the Palestinian issue, believes that the ‘real goal of the slaughter in Gaza’ is merely to ‘beat Hamas into submission‘. Therefore, the airstrikes are aimed at ‘the tunnels, Hamas’s treasure chest, and it has killed substantial numbers of ordinary policemen, the guarantors of law and order in Gaza. Latest reports suggest Israel is now planning to expand its air strikes to Hamas’s welfare organizations, the charities that are the base of its popularity…

He notes, ‘… Israel apparently hopes to persuade the Hamas leadership, as it did Arafat for a while, that its best interests are served by cooperating with Israel. The message is: forget about your popular mandate to resist the occupation and concentrate instead on remaining in power with our help…


One Response to “More commentaries on bombing Gaza”

  1. Biff January 4, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    I think it would serve Jonathon Cook to be more descriptive in his reporting. Hamas’s treasure chests, the tunnels, are also used to smuggle in qassam rockets. And why couldn’t those Hamas policemen, the guarantors of law and order, stem the tide of qassam rockets being fired into Israel after a cease fire had been agreed to?

    Don’t shield us from the truth because we can handle it.

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