FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Palestine and Israel: The Current Cease-Fire

by

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).

More articles by:

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

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 28, 2017
Diana Johnstone
Macron’s Mission: Save the European Union From Itself
Jordon Kraemer
The Cultural Anxiety of the White Middle Class
Vijay Prashad
Modi and Trump: When the Titans of Hate Politics Meet
Jonathan Cook
Israel’s Efforts to Hide Palestinians From View No Longer Fools Young American Jews
Ron Jacobs
Gonna’ Have to Face It, You’re Addicted to War
Jim Lobe – Giulia McDonnell Nieto Del Rio
Is Trump Blundering Into the Next Middle East War?
Radical Washtenaw
David Ware, Killed By Police: a Vindication
John W. Whitehead
The Age of No Privacy: the Surveillance State Shifts into High Gear
Robert Mejia, Kay Beckermann and Curtis Sullivan
The Racial Politics of the Left’s Political Nostalgia
Tom H. Hastings
Courting Each Other
Winslow Myers
“A Decent Respect for the Opinions of Mankind”
Leonard Peltier
The Struggle is Never for Nothing
Jonathan Latham
Illegal GE Bacteria Detected in an Animal Feed Supplement
Deborah James
State of Play in the WTO: Toward the 11th Ministerial in Argentina
Andrew Stewart
Health Care for All: Why I Occupied Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s Office
Binoy Kampmark
The European Commission, Google and Anti-Competition
Jesse Jackson
A Savage Health Care Bill
Jimmy Centeno
Cats and Meows in L.A.
June 27, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
California Scheming: Democrats Betray Single-Payer Again
Jonathan Cook
Hersh’s New Syria Revelations Buried From View
Edward Hunt
Excessive and Avoidable Harm in Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Death of Democracy Both Here and Abroad and All Those Colorful Sneakers
Gary Leupp
Immanuel Kant on Electoral Interference
Kenneth Surin
Theresa May and the Tories are in Freefall
Slavoj Zizek
Get the Left
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia Wants to Reduce Qatar to a Vassal State
Ralph Nader
Driverless Cars: Hype, Hubris and Distractions
Rima Najjar
Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem – Not an Abusive Life-Long Mate
Norman Solomon
Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy?
Binoy Kampmark
In the Twitter Building: Tech Incubators and Altering Perceptions
Dean Baker
Uber’s Repudiation is the Moment for the U.S. to Finally Start Regulating the So-called Sharing Economy
Rob Seimetz
What I Saw From The Law
George Wuerthner
The Causes of Forest Fires: Climate vs. Logging
June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail