Palestine and Israel: The Current Cease-Fire


As the U.S. –provided bombs have temporarily stopped killing Palestinian children, the world breathes a sigh of relief, and turns to such important issues as the wedding of Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt. Yet for the people of Palestine, both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, such earth-shattering issues as that must still take a back seat; survival trumps everything else.

Israel has oh-so-generously agreed to stop bombing Palestinians, reopen some borders, and extend Palestinian fishing rights to six miles, from the current three. Although, in practice, Israeli terrorists, generally referred to as IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers, shoot Palestinians as soon as their boats leave shore. None of the current concessions should be considered some magnanimous gesture; this is only allowing the most basic of human rights that every living being is entitled to. Additionally, Israel has made these concessions on paper before, most recently in 2012, but has not adhered to them.

The stated goals of Israel have mostly been achieved: tunnels used to smuggle in goods that Palestinians desperately need, but that Israel forbids them to have, were destroyed. But the most important goal of Israel, that of destroying the newly-formed Palestinian government that united Fatah with Hamas, was not met. The estrangement between Hamas, the governing body in the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, the puppet-government of Israel and the U.S. in the West Bank, was often cited by Israel as a major impediment to any lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, a peace Israel has no interest in achieving. By blaming Hamas for the murder of three settlers, Israel justified its brutal crackdown, first in the West Bank, with mass arrests, including arrests of children, home invasions and general terror, and then its open genocide in the Gaza Strip.

That the government of the Gaza Strip resisted cannot be criticized; a people under brutal occupation have not only the right, but also the responsibility to resist. Yet, like the school boy who, when asked, ‘Why did you hit him?’ responds with, ‘Because he hit me back’, the U.S. and Israel only saw Palestinian resistance as aggression, and Israeli aggression as defense. But that myth, so widely accepted for decades, has begun to unravel, thanks in large part to social media. And it is social media that must be utilized to assure that the horrendous suffering of the Palestinian people is now alleviated.

This writer has a young friend in the Gaza Strip who, miraculously, survived the most recent massacre. His house is gone, a victim of Israeli bombs; three younger brothers were badly injured, and several cousins killed. During the onslaught, he and his family went days without food or water; the desperation he felt was clearly conveyed to this writer, the few times he was able to be in contact. Now his concern is rebuilding his life, and that of his family, community and nation. He is currently seeking employment as a ‘fixer’, a person working with journalists to introduce them to people to interview, provide language translation, and generally assist them in their research, interviews, filming, etc. He is one of the lucky ones; since he speaks English, and has lived his life in the Gaza Strip, he will, hopefully, get such work. But due first to the brutal blockade, and secondly to the horrendous bombing and invasion, there is little employment to be found in the Gaza Strip. International aid is desperately needed immediately.

Some countries have volunteered assistance. Among others, Venezuela is sending several million dollars, and Turkey is sending a ship to provide electricity. But the question remains: will Israel allow this aid to enter? In the past, promises to open borders have not been kept, and the global community has been silent.

Governments throughout the world have had little to say protesting Israeli genocide, but their citizens have been more vocal. They have used Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to broadcast, often in graphic pictures, the horrors that were being perpetrated by a powerful country on its weakened colony. And now, with a cease-fire in effect, the world’s citizens must assure that Israel does not prevent the aid so desperately needed in Palestine from getting there.

Additionally, as people look to the Gaza Strip, their view must not be deflected from the West Bank, where arrests of children, arbitrary checkpoints, Israeli-only roads, illegal settlement building and house demolitions continue to be commonplace occurrences. Israel’s goal of demoralizing the Palestinian people into submission has not been successful, despite its herculean efforts. The resiliency of the Palestinian people is truly remarkable, and they are entitled to the respect and constant encouragement and support of human-rights advocates the world over.

Should Palestine look to that self-proclaimed beacon of freedom and human rights, the United States, for assistance? Palestinians might just as well await the arrival of Santa Claus. The desire for the welfare, independence and dignity of Palestine is as real in the U.S. government as is the jolly fat man who drops through chimneys bringing toys once a year. The U.S.’s elected officials (one hesitates to refer to them as ‘representatives’) are beholden only to the lobbies who donate so generously to their reelection campaigns, and not to anything as mundane and tawdry as the ‘will of the people’, or even basic human dignity. And the Israeli lobby is very generous to those who dance to its tune, and U.S. elected officials are very willing to dance for it.

But it wasn’t governments that brought about an end to apartheid in South Africa. It wasn’t governments that accomplished the end of the Vietnam War nearly forty years ago. It was people, the world over, who said ‘enough’. And those atrocities were ended without the means of social media, an excellent tool now available to all. The international community must demand relief for people in the Gaza Strip, and justice for Palestine. The stakes are too high, the cost in blood too extreme, for this to be ignored.

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

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

November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate
Julian Vigo
A Brief Genealogy of Disappearance and Murder
John R. Hall
Stuck in the Middle With You
Barbara Nimri Aziz
McDonalds at 96th Street
David Rovics
At the Center of Rebellion: the Life and Music of Armand
Weekend Edition
November 20-22, 2015
Jason Hirthler
Paris and the Soldiers of the Caliphate: More War, More Blowback
Sam Husseini
The Left and Right Must Stop the Establishment’s Perpetual War Machine
Mike Whitney
Hillary’s War Whoop
Pepe Escobar
In the Fight Against ISIS, Russia Ain’t Taking No Prisoners
Ajamu Baraka
The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement
Andrew Levine
The Clintons are Coming, the Clintons are Coming!
Linda Pentz Gunter
Let’s Call Them What They Are: Climate Liars
Paul Street
Verging on Plutocracy? Getting Real About the Unelected Dictatorship
Nur Arafeh
Strangling the Palestinian Economy
Patrick Howlett-Martin
The Paris Attacks: a Chronicle Foretold
Vijay Prashad
Rebuilding Syria With BRICS and Mortar
Brian Cloughley
Why US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the Biggest Threat to World Peace