• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

‘Operation Pillar of Defense’ – Was a Crime

The conflict in Gaza may have come to an inauspicious end last night following a ceasefire agreement, but there is little reason to rejoice for the Palestinian people. Although a ground assault of the Gaza Strip was narrowly avoided, still well over 1,500 air strikes by F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters and drones have further devastated the impoverished territory, leaving more than 140 Palestinians dead – mostly civilians, including at least 34 children – while five Israelis also died.

The diplomatic efforts that led to relief from eight days of bombing, death and suffering are of course to be welcomed, but a tentative truce is far from a guarantee that a new cycle of violence will not erupt again soon. Still the same questions remain over Israel’s war of dispossession against the Palestinian people, its illegal occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land, and the ever-distant prospects of Palestinian statehood.

There were many disturbing parallels between the current round of violence and the previous three-week invasion of Gaza during the winter of 2008-9. Although the death toll this time was significantly less than the reported 1,284 Gazans and 13 Israeli’s killed during the war against Hamas four years ago, other memories of that fateful conflict were quickly revived over the past week.

There were the same obfuscations and counter-claims over the causes of the renewed upsurge in violence, in which Israel again played the decisive role – not least in its extra-judicial assassination of a Hamas military leader. There was the same plea from the Israeli government that it is merely defending itself, despite its illegal occupation of the Gaza Strip that is still recognised as such by the United Nations, and despite the incredible imbalance in bloodshed and military response between both sides. And there was the same impunity given to Israel’s actions by the Western powers, the same weak response from the United Nations, and the same distortions of truth and reality from the corporate media.

The true reality in plain English was that the latest siege of Gaza – jeeringly dubbed ‘Operation Pillar of Defense’ – was a crime against the Palestinian people, a cruel attack on a defenceless civilian society, and another flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. The now infamous quote of Israel’s interior minister, who pushed to “send Gaza back to the middle ages” and destroy its infrastructure, openly reflected Israel’s master plan to subject the entire population to severe forms of collective punishment, whether or not it is prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Professor Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, states that Israel has “tried to fool the world” into believing that it enacted a good faith withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Israel in fact still retains absolute control over what goes in and leaves Gaza’s border, and maintains “an open season of a license to kill at will, with no accountability and no adverse consequences, backed without question by the US government”.

Herculean efforts to survive

The 1.6 million people of Gaza, one of the most crowded and impoverished places on earth, have now endured a blockade for six years that is suffocating its stateless residents both socially and economically. This has included, at times, a strict rationing of food in which Israeli authorities calculate how many calories would be needed to avert a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe. According to arecent NGO report, 10 percent of children under five in Gaza have stunted growth due to prolonged exposure to malnutrition. The unemployment rate in the coastal enclave stands at 58 percent among young people aged between 20 and 24, while 39 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. In the conclusion of the most recent UN Country Team report on the future of Gaza, it stated that residents will be forced to strengthen their “on-going Herculean efforts” to maintain essential services and ensure that Gaza is even a “liveable place” by 2020.

There can be no talk of freedom or justice for Palestine so long as Israel is given political immunity, financial assistance and diplomatic support by other Western states for its military campaigns of destruction. Israel’s actions are dependent on the billions of dollars that pour into its army’s coffers from US ‘foreign aid’, which in turn is spent on buying up arms from the US defence industry. The UK government and other EU member states also supply millions of pounds worth of arms to Israel that are inevitably deployed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, while they reward Israel’s acts of aggression with economic trade preferences.

As fully 75,000 troops remain massed on Israel’s border, it is high time that the international community assumed responsibility for securing justice for the Palestinian people. The Israeli government will never lift its blockade, dismantle its illegal settlements or withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza so long as it is given impunity and held unaccountable for its longstanding war crimes. But where is the international voice of the men and women of goodwill throughout the world? Only the relatively few campaign groups and engaged individuals raise their voice above the fray, or stand in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian families who seek only an end to the penury and repression that dominates their lives.

The Palestinian struggle for statehood and independence is now inextricably linked with its struggle for sustainable economic development and the securing of basic human rights. So there can be no peace between Israel and Palestine – and no security for Israeli civilians – until the needless poverty, inhumanity and economic injustice is addressed in the torn region. Now more than ever, the burden of responsibility for opposing Israeli’s atrocities rests with emergency mobilisation, global public outrage and a huge groundswell of popular support for the people of Palestine.

Adam Parsons is the editor at Share The World’s Resources. He can be contacted at adam(at)stwr.org.

More articles by:

Adam Parsons is the editor at Share The World’s Resources (STWR), www.sharing.org

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 16, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
How Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Backfired on Erdogan
Chitrangada Choudhury – Aniket Aga
How Cotton Became a Headache in the Age of Climate Chaos
Jack Rasmus
US-China Mini-Trade Deal: Trump Takes the Money and Runs
Michael Welton
Communist Dictatorship in Our Midst
Robert Hunziker
Extinction Rebellion Sweeps the World
Peter A. Coclanis
Donald Trump as Artist
Chris Floyd
Byzantium Now: Time-Warping From Justinian to Trump
Steve Klinger
In For a Dime, in For a Dollar
Gary Leupp
The Maria Ramirez Story
Kim C. Domenico
It Serves Us Right To Suffer: Breaking Down Neoliberal Complacency
Kiley Blackman
Wildlife Killing Contests are Unethical
Colin Todhunter
Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!
Andrés Castro
Looking Normal in Kew Gardens
October 15, 2019
Victor Grossman
The Berlin Wall, Thirty Years Later
Raouf Halaby
Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins
Robert Fisk
Trump and Erdogan have Much in Common – and the Kurds will be the Tragic Victims of Their Idiocy
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal in the Levant
Wilma Salgado
Ecuador: Lenin Moreno’s Government Sacrifices the Poor to Satisfy the IMF
Ralph Nader
The Congress Has to Draw the Line
William A. Cohn
The Don Fought the Law…
John W. Whitehead
One Man Against the Monster: John Lennon vs. the Deep State
Lara Merling – Leo Baunach
Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Not Falling Prey to Vultures
Norman Solomon
The More Joe Biden Stumbles, the More Corporate Democrats Freak Out
Jim Britell
The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables
Howard Lisnoff
More Incitement to Violence by Trump’s Fellow Travelers
Binoy Kampmark
University Woes: the Managerial Class Gets Uppity
Joe Emersberger
Media Smears, Political Persecution Set the Stage for Austerity and the Backlash Against It in Ecuador
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Wins Nobel Peace Prize, But It Takes Two to Make Peace
Wim Laven
Citizens Must Remove Trump From Office
October 14, 2019
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
Class Struggle is Still the Issue
Mike Miller
Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?
Patrick Cockburn
As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis
John Feffer
Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency
Dean Baker
The Economics and Politics of Financial Transactions Taxes and Wealth Taxes
Jonah Raskin
What Evil Empire?
Nino Pagliccia
The Apotheosis of Emperors
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A Passion for Writing
Basav Sen
The Oil Despots
Brett Wilkins
‘No Friend But the Mountains’: A History of US Betrayal of the Kurds
John Kendall Hawkins
Assange: Enema of the State
Scott Owen
Truth, Justice and Life
Thomas Knapp
“The Grid” is the Problem, Not the Solution
Rob Kall
Republicans Are Going to Remove Trump Soon
Cesar Chelala
Lebanon, Dreamland
Weekend Edition
October 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
CounterPunch in Peril?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail