by Ramzy Baroud
six months have passed since the Israeli army ceased pounding the tiny
stretch of land that is the Gaza Strip. Since then,
Gaza continues to appear on the news once in a while, as a recurring subject of human misery.
The tireless efforts of British MP George Galloway, and the courageous endeavors of the Free Gaza movement have managed to push
Gaza back into the spotlight, even if momentarily and with political context which is lacking at best.
Aside from that, the three-week Israeli onslaught in
starting December 27 – and the catastrophic conditions endured there –
have served the purpose of a footnote in many news reports. The event
is generally cited as such: “
Israel moved against Hamas in
to quell the firing of militants’ rockets, resulting in the death of
such and such number.” Hamas, according to media conventional wisdom,
is the “militant group that ousted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’
forces in a bloody coup in mid 2007.”
ones worse fears have actualized, where the post-Gaza massacre world
and the one which existed prior are exactly the same.
is trying to prove that political and military might overpower all
human rights reports combined, and that public opinion - which turned
Israel as it wantonly killed and wounded thousands – will eventually turn back in
Israel’s favor. One does not need to be an expert in the art of propaganda to predict the public relations model that would allow
to deceive millions into believing that the belligerent state is in
fact a victim in a sea of hostile Arabs hell-bent on subjugating the
Jewish State. Thus it was hardly a deviation from the script when
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a most shrewd term to
depict his governments’ refusal to respect international law regarding
the dismantling of Jewish settlements in the
West Bank, all considered illegal under international law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention. He said during his recent trip to
Germany that the
West Bank will never be “Judenrein” a Nazi term meaning “cleansed of Jews”.
And once again,
is resorting to its traditional propaganda (such as equating
Palestinians with Nazis), drawing on people’s historical sympathies,
guilt and ignorance of false analogies.
Israel’s National Security Advisor Uzi Arad is in fact reviving the discredited Israeli rhetoric that
has no partner in peace, in comments made to Israeli newspaper Haaretz
on Friday, July 10. He questioned whether there is in fact a
Palestinian leadership that is capable of delivering peace with
Israel. If such a Palestinian state would exist, say in 2015 – according to
Arad – it would be a “fragile structure. A house of cards.” But he chose to omit that
Israel purposely besieged and weakened the democratically elected Palestinian leadership in
Gaza, while painstakingly propping and legitimizing Abbas. using with astounding mastery, the carrot and the stick metaphor.
Israel can cleverly spawn a dependent, weak leadership, and accuse the
Palestinians of not being a worthy peace partner; only Israel can
murder thousands of Palestinians and demand security from its very
victims; only Israel can caution of a Nazi past, yet cage Palestinians
in concentration camps, punish them for recklessly subscribing to the
wrong God, or foolishly falling into the wrong race.
It has six months since the unprecedented and savage war against Palestinians in
and here we are making the same argument, referencing the same deceit
and quoting the same outrageous claims. During those same months,
unsubstantiated Israeli accounts were countered with carefully composed
reports by highly regarded organizations, such as the Red Cross, among
Gaza neighborhoods “look like the epicenter of a massive earthquake,” said a recent Red Cross report, entitled: “
Gaza: 1.5 million trapped in despair.”
human rights envoy, Richard Falk summed up Israeli behavior in more
direct terms, on Thursday, July 9. “There will be no peace between
these two peoples, until
Israel shows respect for Palestinian rights under international law,” Professor Falk said.
Israeli leaders however pay no heed to international law. In fact there is little evidence that
Israel’s history was shaped, in any respect, by international standards, neither those pertaining to war nor peace.
only understands the language of politics and power. It is a state that
has been constructed, and sustained upon Machiavellian wisdom. Advisor
is perhaps the most visible manifestation of the logic that propels the
Israeli state. In his recent interview, he demanded that once a state
deal is reached with the Palestinians,
Israel should be granted a NATO membership as a “quid pro quo”. To counter nuclear threats by others, he said,
Israel must have “tremendously powerful weapons”. Considering that
Israel already has nuclear arms, one has to wonder to what other “tremendously powerful weapons”
Arad is referring.
must’ve been encouraged by US Vice President Joe Biden who said in a
recent interview with ABC’s “This Week” that “If the Netanyahu
government decides to take a course of action different than the one
being pursed now (by the
US and its allies), that is their sovereign right to do that.”
Once again, it is the brute logic that “might makes right” pursued by those with the bigger guns, that continues to menace the
Middle East, with
Gaza being the most devastating example.
One must remember that
never heeds to statements, and is hardly moved by reports and random
condemnations. Only pressure, constant and focused, will grab the
attention of Israeli policymakers. Only the language of an
international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions will
translate in Tel Aviv to a legible political language. As for
civil society must not wait for President Obama or any other to save
the slowly starving population, but must take every possible and urgent
effort to help an oppressed yet proud community to redeem its basic
rights and freedom.
Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an author and editor of
PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers,
journals and anthologies around the world. His latest book is, "The
Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle" (Pluto
London), and his forthcoming book is, “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter:
Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press,