Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’
Of course I am happy about the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. After eight days of pounding Gaza’s population, and the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians, any cessation in hostilities is welcome. While I am fully aware of the horrors faced by friends in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, this attack has been so much worse for the people of Gaza just four years after operation ‘Cast Lead’, and of course also for people in the south of Israel. During the eight days173 Palestinians were killed (113 of thom civilians, 38 children and 13 women)
and 6 Israelis (no children) were killed. In the year preceding the onslaught, 64 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, 5 in the West Bank, and no Israelis. Since the first rocket fell on Israeli soil in April 2001, 59 Israelis were killed and 4,717 Palestinian.
Meanwhile, the US gave Israel 8.2m dollars per day. The reality of the death of children and the devastation in Gaza has been whitewashed in the western media as all social networks report.
The conflagration could never achieve its aims – the Israeli military did not stop the rockers and the rockets did not stop the Israeli military attack. But I cannot help thinking about the inevitability and imbalance of it all. There are many often forgotten but worth retelling facts about Gaza, as the Israeli (Jewish) blogger Eyal Clyne documents. The Gaza ‘Strip’ is an artificial space created by Israel after its establishment in 1948, when Israel chose not to incorporate it. Most Gazans are 1948 refugees, not allowed to return to their homes. Gaza was forcibly governed by Egypt until it was occupied by Israel in 1967, when a third of it was confiscated to build military camps and Jewish settlements. Read the rest of this entry »
The elections in Israel make us certain of the victory of the Israeli racial state. Livni, Netanyahu or Lieberman - the result is the same even though one speaks about ‘dialogue’ towards a ‘two state solution’, one speaks of ‘no dialogue’ and one speaks of conditioning citizenship on an oath of loyalty… In a sense, I agree with Gideon Levi who wrote in Haaretz a couple of weeks ago ‘Let Netanyahu win’, arguing that only with an extreme right-wing government will the world understand Israel’s trajectory towards a ‘final solution’ to the Palestinian question - more land, fewer Arabs - and will start to put real pressure on Israel military regime. Only with a governmetn intent on no surrender, might the Un ited States (although I am not holding my breath) close the military aid tap. Only then might Israel be forced to recognise that the time for a two-state solution has long gone. As David Theo Goldberg writes: ‘Debates, such as they are, about a two-state solution are a distraction. Israel has given no indication beyond soft rhetoric that it has any intention (ever?) of enabling a viable, sovereign, economically and politically independent Palestinian state, centered either in the West Bank or Gaza, hostile or peaceful. Landlocked, the West Bank would have to depend either on foreign countries (including Israel) or on an increasingly distant Gaza for its lifeline to a world beyond Israeli constraint. The legacy of relying on foreign countries, of course, is one of dependence and economic control, not self-determination and political viability’ (’Final death blow to the two-state solution?’ www.threatofrace.org).
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To be published in Metro Eireann, 15 January 2009.
What a start for the new year!! On 27 December, the Israeli Defence Forces launched an attack of unprecedented scale on the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli government, the attack was in response to unyielding Palestinian rocket and mortar fire into Israel since the end of the Egyptian negotiated ceasefire. Israeli F16 planes bombed more than 400 targets through the densely populated Gaza Strip, which Israel pulled out of but kept it under siege ever since, killing, at the time of writing, about 721 people, at least 169 of them young children, 46 women and 6 medical personnel, and injuring some 3200. Rather than succeed in stopping the rocket attacks, since the attack started Palestinian militants continue to fire short and long range rockets, some landing in major Israeli towns and cities. Only on the thirteenth day of the attack has President elect Barack Obama spoken for the first time about his plans to organise negotiations between Israel and Hamas, something Israel has rejected since Hamas was democratically elected.
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The war in Gaza is entering its seventh day with the Israeli ground surge in force as I write. I feel entirely helpless and nearly immobilised by rage.
But reading Ilan Pappe’s ‘Israel’s righteous fury and its victims in Gaza’ in Electronic Intifada helps to make sense of the murderous attack. My work on the commemoration of the Nakba by Israelis links me to the need, as Pappe, argues, to historicise this conflict from its inception, and the Zionist ideology which has engendered ethnic cleansing and the dehumanisation of Palestinians ever since 1948 and before.
Pappe writes: ‘Israel is engulfed once more with righteous fury that translates into destructive policies in the Gaza Strip. This appalling self-justification for the inhumanity and impunity is not just annoying, it is a subject worth dwelling on, if one wants to understand the international immunity for the massacre that rages on in Gaza’.