Sunday, January 04, 2009

Israel Sends Season Greetings to Palestine

It is amazing that Israel can deny people the most basic human rights -- that is, the right to food, water, shelter, security and dignity, blame it on the very people they are oppressing, and act surprised and victimized when people, sorry, i mean terrorists, strike back. It is the malevolent policies of Israel that result in rockets raining down on Sderot.

The propaganda we hear is typical of a belligerent regional power bent on destruction and oppression, and reminds me of the propaganda our departing administration has spewed about fighting terrorism in Iraq. The two regimes go hand in glove, though it is difficult to tell which is the hand and which the glove. Of course, like Saddam and the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the situation is all the fault of Hamas. All talk is about how a truce must be implemented- Hamas must stop what it is doing immediately while Israel bombs entire apartment blocks, a mosque (or two), a university, and ambulances rushing the injured to hospitals. And the argument goes like this: Israel is the most tolerant nation of all, they desperately want peace, but they are surrounded by enemies. Israel has shown tremendous restraint. What other nation would allow a terrorist group to send rockets into their territory without responding with force? No mention of the fact that the rockets are inaccurate and largely ineffective. No mention that the rocket attacks are often in retaliation for the state sponsored terrorism of Israel. No mention that Israel broke the most recent truce. It is Hama’s desire to kill that must be stopped- rather than Israel’s actual killing. It is Hama’s refusal to passively accept Israeli oppression that must be deterred. Forget autonomy, forget self-determination, forget justice, it is obedience that counts. For all the talk of peace and a peace process, Israel, like all colonial powers, only considers peace if the opposition comes to heel.

There is no mention of the fact that Israel has been systematically starving the civilian population of Gaza for two years, with Dov Weinglas actually saying in February 2006, "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not make them die of hunger." The hospitals of Gaza have been deprived of medicines and equipment for so long that the hospitals can no longer meet the minimum daily needs of the Palestinian civilian population, never mind a population under a bombing attack. People are dying for the lack of medical care. Children, not terrorists, are malnourished, and now dying under American supplied bombs. There is never a questioning of this “tolerant” Israeli position of collective punishment. To hear Condoleeza Rice explain it, you’d think it was Israel under the bombs. It’s a lot like blaming a murder victim for standing in front of the gun. At least she’s not calling it the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” Perhaps she recognizes it’s the same old death throes of the past 60 years.

Talk of peace is cheap. Providing real security for your citizens requires more than the ability to drop bombs. Shock and Awe does not deter. The war on terror ensures terror for years to come, and the ignorant cry, “Why do they hate us so?”