Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

The Freedom Flotilla is one of the most important direct actions of my lifetime. With its desperately-needed supplies and range of people from all over the world, representing sheer human decency, it sends a message of disgust to Gaza’s oppressor and, above all, reaches out unreservedly to the people of Gaza.” –John Pilger, 8 May 2010

The latest Israeli outrage has still come as a shock to a world long inured and desensitised to violence but tragically it was all too inevitable. Whenever the latest orgy of violence is unleashed by the belligerent, rogue state that is Israel, it receives a mild rebuke with a knowing nod and wink whilst it gets its wrist slapped from the EU and seldom, if ever,the US.
However as long as it is given full military, diplomatic and legal support by the United States, Israel can continue to display it’s abject contempt for International Law and give a two fingered salute to the rest of the appalled world.

Attacking a humanitarian aid ship in international waters is a grave act of piracy and such actions are utterly illegal. Launching a military attack on a defenceless boat is unimaginable in its sheer viciousness and undiluted thuggishness.

Israel’s shameless moral delinquency is stunning and the linguistic gymnastics that its silver tongued propagandists conduct as they try to defend the indefensible is stomach churning.

We have been here before.
The Israeli PR machine has gone into hyper-drive as they desperately try to excuse the inexcusable, as they have cynically attempted before, by spinning a pernicious tissue of lies, untruths and distortions by farcically shifting blame from the aggressor to the victim.

The list of Israeli outrages is long . A recent one was Operation Cast Lead, the violent, deliberate assault on the civilian infrastructure in Gaza in Jan ’09. The Israeli Human Rights Organisation, BetSelem has assessed those killed in Operation Cast Lead and of the 1387 killed, more than 1000 were civilians and 427 were women and children.

In Operation Cast, Lead Amnesty International has illustrated how Israel used anti-personnel weapons like flachettes and white phosphorus and how Israel targeted schools, hospitals, UN buildings in that orgy of violence.

The Shabra and Shatlia Massacres, The Lebanon War which resulted in 20,000 killed, launching mortar attacks on a UN Compound in ’96 killing in excess of 100 civilians, dropping one tonne bombs on apartment blocks in Gaza during the Intifada killing a dozen children and breaking tentative ceasefires in the process, deliberately shooting children, deliberately killing journalists, killing young international solidarity campaigners like Rachel Corrie….the bloodstained list of crimes is endless.

Democracy, we are repeatedly told, is the preferred political model that the US wants the world to adpot. Except when the people make the mistake of voting the wrong way as the people of Gaza did by electing Hamas to office.

If you vote the wrong way, you are routinely punished. This has happened repeatedly in history since the end of WW2 when the United States hegemony as a global “Hyperpower” went unchallenged, not least in 1973 when the democratically elected government of Chile was outed at the behest of the CIA. Similarly, the US supports and encourages the inhumane siege of Gaza as the long suffering people of Gaza made the fatal error of voting the wrong way.

The siege of Gaza is analogous to the siege of Warsaw. Whilst it is in vogue to draw parallels to the Holocaust and to what is happening in the Occupied Territories you have to be careful not to trivialise the Holocaust. It is instructive though that an Haaretz journalist quoted an IDF officer who said that “shocking it may sound, the IDF should study how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto”.
This should inform us the mindset of the military strategists in Israel who are shaping policy, a cruel, inhumane policy that relies on the indiscriminate use of violence, which is causing so much pain and suffering for the long oppressed Palestinians.

Israel has flouted international law before by ramming humanitarian aid ships containing journalists before however conducing an armed commando raid on a defenceless civilians and brutually murdering 10 humanitarians, some of whom were of concerned senior citizens is a new low.

Gaza, is in effect the world’s largest prison and is subject to a cruel, illegal medieval siege that has resulted in what the Red Cross calls “A full blown humanitarian crisis”. According to the UN, a shocking 80% of the population is reliant on humanitarian aid.

We should not lose sight of this humanitarian tragedy despite what Israel and it’s many apologists claim in the mainstream media as the media laughably strives for “balance” nor the the grim reality of the past 30 years. Israel, which is supported diplomatically, economically and militarily by the US – unwaveringly – has consistently obstructed and sabotaged any and every peace imitative to emerge which requires Israel to return the land that it has illegally occupied since June 1967. This includes the 1976 Syrian proposal to the UN and when Ehud Barack walked away from negotiations in Egypt in 2000 and everything else that has been mooted in between. Remember the much vaunted road map ? That was quickly eviscerated into nothing viable, where the Palestinians were begrudgingly offered South African style Batustans.

The Goldstone report which chronicled a horror list of Israeli war crimes during Operation Cast Lead was rejected by the US Senate. This is due to a combination of the reach and influence of the Israeli lobby along with the nefarious needs of the oil lobby and the military industrial complex which Eisenhower warned about which views Israel as a US Military Base in the Middle East “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.”

It will be illuminating to see if Obama condemns this murderous outrage or will he bow in a humiliatingly subservient fashion to the various lobby groups which funded his election campaign. The Israeli lobby – as outlined extensively and carefully with 100 pages of footnotes in this excellent book http://tiny.cc/ub9e4 exerts disproportionate influence in Washington and I am sure they are already spinning and briefing Senators, Congress, the media and the Democratic Party as to how they want the US to respond to this obscene atrocity.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” Edmund Burke famously observed.
When watching a harrowing documentary about Gaza, the comedian Frankie Boyle recently wrote :

A few years ago I watched a documentary about life in Palestine. There’s a section where a UN dignitary of some kind comes to do a photo opportunity outside a new hospital. The staff know that it communicates nothing of the real desperation of their position, so they trick her into a side ward on her way out. She ends up in a room with a child who the doctors explain is in a critical condition because they don’t have the supplies to keep treating him. She flounders, awkwardly caught in the bleak reality of the room, mouthing platitudes over a dying boy.
The filmmaker asks one of the doctors what they think the stunt will have achieved. He is suddenly angry, perhaps having just felt at first hand something he knew in the abstract. The indifference of the world.
‘She will do nothing,’ he says to the filmmaker. Then he looks into the camera and says, ‘Neither will you’. “

The brave souls of the Freedom Flotilla did attempt to do something.

They demonstrated the capacity of the human spirit to try to change the course of history and actually took it upon themselves to do something for suffering people. They did not shrug their shoulders and sigh indifferently, wondering what they could do to make a difference. They did not stand idly by and let evil triumph .

Let their deaths not be in vain.
For they have highlighted the unconscionable evil that is happening in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, land illegally occupied since the 1967 Six Day War and UN Resolution 242 requires that all land is returned. Once again the mask has slipped and the rogue state of Israel is depicted in the harsh light of day as the barbarous state that it is for the whole world to see.

Imagine the chorus of disapproval and voluminous outrage if an officially designated enemy such as Iran committed this atrocity ? I think you can imagine the bellicose demands for Iran to be attacked by US Cruise Missiles if it dared do such a deplorable thing.

Just as with apartheid South Africa and Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, states which are beyond the moral pale, should be shunned , ignored and boycotted until they decide to adhere to basic human rights and respect international laws.

Finally, watch out for the weasel words of Islamic terrorism or worse, “anti-semitism” when legitimate criticism of Israel is conveniently conflated with anti-semitism as a crude and cynical method of stifling much needed debate about a rouge state.

To invoke the charge of anti-semitism in criticising a pariah state is offensive to the millions of people who were systemically murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. By a tragic twist of fate, a Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein was on board the Freedom Flotilla as she recognised oppression, injustice and the cost of sitting idly by and ignoring it.
Imagine how depraved and unconscionably sad it would be if the Zionist Commandos of IDF murdered her? Would her relatives be “anti-semitic” if they condemned her death ?