Friday, November 16, 2012

Gaza: Here we go again

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


Gaza: Here we go again

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a terrorist attack for a terrorist attack. Sit back ladies and gentlemen for the next round of hypocrisy as Israel plays the victim card, forgetting the fact that it has stolen Palestinian lands, that it continues to bulldoze Palestinian homes, expel people from their lands and loots Palestinian resources. If your home is taken, what do you do?

The underlying background to these conflicts is that, pure and simple, crystal clear and perfectly straightforward. The borders of Israel as drawn up by the UNO back in 1948 were the recognised borders of the State of Israel under international law and it is within these borders that the State of Israel has the right to exist.

What Israel has done since then is to systematically steal Palestinian lands, throw people out of their homes, take their farms, desecrate their cemeteries and force their people to live in ever-smaller residential areas, pockets looking like concentration camps separated from Israel by a Berlin Wall.

Now Israel is about to justify an invasion of Gaza by claiming that it was attacked in terrorist strikes by HAMAS. If Israel was serious about Gaza, then why, when it withdrew, did it impose an inhumane blockade, meaning that every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip is dominated by Israel and not by the Palestinian Authority?

True, HAMAS has been launching rocket attacks against southern Israel for months, on and off. But then again, Israel has been flouting international law, without so much as a blink from the international community, for years. Not for months, for years. Beatings, bulldozings, theft of property, illegal detention, torture, murder, terrorist strikes, phosphorous bombings of schools, strafing of funerals in a "well, they shouldn't have been there, should they?" policy and they expect the Palestinians to do what exactly? Stand back and applaud?

And if Israel is serious about not wanting to harm civilians and about surgically downgrading HAMAS' war machine with precision strikes, let us look at NATO's precision terrorist strikes across the globe and let us ask why is Israel then attacking positions where civilians are concentrated where there is no HAMAS apparatus?

So let us all be serious and cut through the BS because nobody is easily fooled any more. We have access to the Internet, we have social networks, we all have our sources in the field and we know perfectly well what is going on, those of us who do not read our daily dose of lies in our squeaky-clean corporate "mainstream" or "bought" media, you know the ones who told us Gaddafy was bombing his people and who forgot to reveal that NATO has been supporting terrorists for the last few decades.

Let us condemn all attacks and all violence, all terrorist strikes, all murders, all violations of international law, all illegal acts against the person and against property and the bottom line is that Israel has far further to go than anyone else in the region.

Let us also not tar all Israelis with the same brush and remember that a substantial number of Jews are against Zionism, against Israel's government policy and many give up their free time working as volunteers for Palestinian humanitarian causes. But let us hold Israel accountable for the situation it has created through years of abuse and let us demand that the international community ceases to use two sets of weights and measures.

Because does Israel's own adage, "an eye for an eye", not justify, in a way, what HAMAS is doing?