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Nowhere is Safe

Life in Gaza Under Attack

by ROBERT FANTINA

Apartheid Israel has been bombing the Gaza Strip for several days now. News of the horrific terror Israel is perpetrating on the Palestinians is becoming somewhat easier to find, thanks mainly to social media. This writer has a friend, Walid Mohammed, who lives in Gaza; he has communicated some of that horror via Facebook, although his time to do so is limited, since electricity is not always available, and he must often flee Israel’s bombs.

Mr. Mohammed has been hit by shrapnel, but fortunately is still alive. He tells this writer that he is not safe; there is nowhere that is safe in Gaza at the present time.

It is easy to relax in the comfort of our homes, read about bombs falling halfway around the world, and then tuning in to an analysis of the World Cup. However, for the more than 1,000,000 people in the Gaza Strip, often referred to as the largest prison in the world, due to Israel’s illegal blockade of the entire area, ignoring the reality of those bombs is not quite so easy. Mr. Mohammed has told me the following:

* Israel is using internationally-banned ‘DIME’ bombs. ‘DIME’ stands for ‘Dense Inert Metal Explosive’. These bombs contain chemicals that cause long-term damage to people.

* There is an air strike at least every three minutes. Imagine, that often, having to huddle your children together, run out into the street where you think you might be safer, knowing there is no bomb shelter, no area (hospital, mosque, etc.) that is safe from Israeli bombs.

* Whole families are being murdered in their homes.

* Mr. Mohammed’s area has been without water for nine days. He and the rest of the people in that area need to go to another area, and fill bottles with water. However, walking to the other area is fraught with risk, even greater than remaining at home, which is risky enough.

Israel continues to insist that it is targeting Hamas, which it, the U.S. and some other political entities have deemed is a ‘terrorist organization’. Yet Hamas is a political party, one that was democratically elected in 2007. So, as many people in the U.S. are members of the Democratic or Republican Party, people in Gaza may be members of the Hamas party. So Israel can say it is targeting Hamas every time it hits any target at all, because perhaps members of the innocent Al-Batash family, or the Ghannam family, or the Hamad family, all killed by Israeli bombs, may have been members of the Hamas Party. The fact that one member of the Al-Batash family was one-year old didn’t seem to matter to Israel. He, too, had to die.

Mr. Mohammed expressed to this writer his feelings on picking up the mangled, mutilated, bloody body of that child. Words cannot adequately describe his horror, heartbreak or rage as he cradled that poor young victim in his arms.

Without any corroborating evidence, Israel says that Hamas hides weapons in homes, mosques, health centers, etc. Therefore, it justifies its bombing of those building by saying weapons are hidden there. However, like the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ that former U.S. President George Bush told the world Iraq had, there is no evidence that Hamas, or anyone else, is hiding weapons in private homes, hospitals, or mosques. But like Mr. Bush, Israel does not believe that facts are needed to support extreme statements.

One wonders how Israel justifies all this. Does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his murderous minions think that Palestinians will simply decide that living under their cruel bondage is acceptable? Do they think that the brutal murders of men, women and children will be forgotten? Does he expect to bulldoze and bomb his way all across Palestine, until its people are all dead, its culture extinguished, and its national aspirations a thing of the past?

Unfortunately for Mr. Netanyahu, this is not the case. Although some governments, notably the United States, dance to whatever tune Israel happens to sing, and ignores horrific human rights abuses perpetrated by Israel, and much of the mainstream media also tells the world whatever it thinks Israel wants to hear, social media is changing the game. The ‘Boycott, Divest and Sanction’ (BDS) movement is growing worldwide, more and more countries are shunning Israel, either commercially or artistically, and many nations are advising their companies not to do business with Israeli companies that operate in the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s generations-long oppression of the Palestinians is no more sustainable than South Africa’s oppression of the black population was. The United States, Canada and a few other countries are on the wrong side of history. The tragedy is the suffering of the Palestinians, suffering that, sadly, will continue, as they and people of conscience around the world resist Israel’s barbaric cruelties.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).