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:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail