FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Tragedy With Many Actors

by CESAR CHELALA

The Israeli attack on Gaza is another act in the human tragedy playing out on Palestinian land. This military extravaganza designed to appeal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s electoral audience, is replete with the usual off-stage catcalls to “starve them out”, “kill them off”, etc. However, we are not simple spectators at a Broadway play but witnesses to a drama of the basest variety. The recent cease-fire deal between Israel and the Palestinians can be permanent or just a temporary interval until the basic causes of the conflict are resolved.

The background to the strike against Gaza, to quote Jonathan Cook, winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism, is once again an Israeli-engineered confrontation “as pretext for a ‘retaliatory’ attack”.

As Cook states, “On November 12, as part of efforts to calm things down, the Palestinian militant factions agreed a truce that held two days – until Israel broke it by assassinating Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari. The rockets out of Gaza that followed these various Israeli provocations have been misrepresented as the Casus Belli. But if Netanyahu and Barak are responsible for creating the immediate pretext for an attack on Gaza, they are also criminally negligent for failing to pursue an opportunity to secure a much longer truce with Hamas.

We now know, thanks to Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, that in the period leading up to Jabari’s execution Egypt had been working to secure a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas. Jabari was apparently eager to agree to it. The peace activist had already met Barak to alert him to the truce, but it seems the defence minister and Netanyahu had more pressing concerns than ending the tensions between Israel and Hamas.”

President Obama is one of the main actors in this drama. He has repeatedly emphasized that Israel has the right to defend itself from the barrage of missiles thrown by the Palestinians, stating that any country has the right to do so under these circumstances. Perhaps it escapes the US President that the US has been raining missiles in other countries’ peoples, decimating families and killing hundreds of children in the process.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also one of main people responsible for the ongoing conflict. In a recent speech he stated, “There is no moral symmetry, there is no moral equivalence between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The terrorists are committing a double crime: they fire at Israeli civilians and they hide behind Palestinian civilians. By contrast, Israel takes every measure to avoid civilian casualties.”

Amira Hass, an Israeli journalist and Haaretz correspondent in the Occupied Territories, recently wrote: “Farmers on their way to sell vegetables in the marketplace, vendors of purified drinking water and people who just happened to live too close to the targets of Israeli air strikes were among the 34 Palestinians estimated to have been killed in Israel Defense Forces attacks in the past two days alone.

Just six of those casualties have been confirmed as members of militant groups.

Among the Palestinians killed in Gaza this week are the 12 members of the Daloo and Manzar families, including four small children, who died when an Israel Air Force pilot bombed their home by mistake, according to the IDF.

Between 94 and 96 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed between the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense and 6 P.M. Monday [November 19], at least 58 of them civilians and at least 18 of them children.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a stoic player, and tends to follow the line set by her boss, the President.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, also known as Special Envoy to the Middle East, is only a secondary character, although he firmly believes that he is one of the main ones. He only acts when a handshake with a powerful politician is needed. His actions have not yet yielded any positive result. His frequent flyer miles, however, have increased substantially during this long process..

Although a cease-fire was achieved, there will probably be many more acts in the Israeli-Palestinian drama. We can only hope that it will end up with peace and justice for all. The power of justice has myriad ways of overcoming the power of might.

Cesar Chelala, MD, PhD, is a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award for an article on human rights.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 22, 2017
Mike Whitney
Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas
John Grant
On Killers and Bullshitters*
Peter Linebaugh
Catherine Despard, Abolitionist
Patrick Cockburn
The Bitter Battle for Mosul
Ted Rall
Sue the Bastards? It’s Harder Than You Think
Yoav Litvin
The Emergence of the Just Jew
Kim Scipes
Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance
Norman Pollack
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
Fred Donner
Nixon and the Chennault Affair: From Vietnam to Watergate
Carl Kandutsch
Podesta vs. Trump
Ike Nahem
To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Tough Talk Won’t Fix Chicago
Paul Donnelly
Betsy DeVos and the War on Public Education
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
The End of an Alliance for Police Reform
Richard Lawless
Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered
Liaquat Ali Khan
Yes, Real Donald Trump is a Muslim!
Ryan LaMothe
“Fire” and Free Speech
CounterPunch News Service
Bloody Buffalo Billboards
February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail