It is with increasing frustration that one hears about Israeli atrocities in the West Bank, only through the skewed lens of the corporate-owned media. For example, The New York Times reported that two Israelis were stabbed to death in an act of terrorism by Palestinians, and a Palestinian was shot to death by Israeli soldiers in an act of self-defence.
It is vitally important to look beyond the biased viewpoint of the corporate media. The West Bank is part of Palestine, and is occupied illegally by Israel, and has been for forty years. According to international law, an occupied people have the right and responsibility to resist their occupiers. The half-million Israelis settlers living in the West Bank are there illegally, as part of the occupation, and so should be aware that their personal safety is in jeopardy.
Equally frustrating are the stories coming out of the Gaza Strip, recently decimated by U.S.-provided bombs, dropped by Israel. Incredibly, Israel still seems to believe that by chanting the mantra of ‘national security’ it can kill men, women and children by the thousands, and the world will say nothing. Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu stated that what he refers to as the ‘terror tunnels’, actually used mainly to smuggle into Gaza much-needed supplies that Israel forbids, needed to be destroyed, and that is why he had to bomb the entire strip. This brings up an interesting question: if Israel has the right to invade Palestine, why doesn’t Palestine have the right to invade Israel?
It’s also interesting to note that Egypt, with its corrupt, illegitimate leader, is also fearful of tunnels under its border with Palestine. In order to close those, it is building a moat, on the Egyptian side of the border, to prevent illegal tunnel crossings. It seems far more reasonable for a country to prevent a border crossing by blocking access on its own side of the border, but Israel apparently isn’t accountable to international law, or even common reasoning.
Israel, and its purse-string puppet, the U.S., try to make mountains out of the proverbial mole hill of Hamas ‘rockets’. They talk about 4,000 of these ‘rockets’ raining down on Israel, with only the U.S.-provided Iron Dome to protect Israeli citizens. These statements, too, need further scrutiny. Dr. Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors, noted Palestinian rights activist and persona non grata in Israel, refers to these ‘rockets’ as ‘enhanced fireworks’, hardly on a par with the sophisticated, deadly weaponry that the U.S. freely provides to Israel.
And what of the Iron Dome, and the money the U.S. spent to build it, and continues to spend to maintain it? In the 2008 – 2009 Israeli attack on Gaza, pre-dating the Iron Dome, an estimated 1,000 ‘rockets’ were fired into Israel, resulting in three civilian deaths and $15,000,000 in property damage. In Israel’s most recent savage massacre of Palestinians, 4,000 of these so-called ‘rockets’ were fired, resulting in seven civilian deaths and $15,000,000 in property damage. Israel is known for, among other things like unspeakable cruelty and racism, its civil defense system. If 1,000 ‘rockets’ caused three deaths, one could suppose that four times that many rockets would cause four times as many deaths (12). That it resulted in only seven may be seen as a sign of the success of the Iron Dome, but why then, one must ask, was the amount of property damage the same? Could it be that the civil defense system, coupled with the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of Palestine’s ‘enhanced fireworks’, and not the much-flaunted Iron Dome, was actually responsible for the low death rate? Why did the dollar amount of property damage remain the same? Would not the Iron Dome have also protected buildings? Realistically, it is estimated that the Iron Dome disabled about 10% of the ‘rockets’ fired by Palestine into Israel.
So one wonders why this is viewed as a conflict by equal parties, when one has the full power and might of the largest and most powerful military system in the world behind it, and the other has no army, navy or air force. In October of this year, when Sweden became the first member of the European Union to recognize Palestine, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said that part of the reason for doing so was to make Palestine’s “status more equal with that of Israel in peace negotiations….” Although negotiations are and always have been a farce, and nothing more than a cover for Israel to steal Palestinian land and oppress and kill Palestinians, the gesture at least acknowledges what the U.S. refuses to recognize, and that is the astronomically unequal status between Israel and Palestine. And it is rumoured in international circles that Sweden’s recognition of Palestine is just the first of many yet to come.
The world is finally recognizing what Israel and the U.S. simply don’t want to see: one nation, Israel in this case, can only violate international law for so long before the global community decides to act. One nation, the U.S. in this case, can only mouth hypocritical platitudes about its support for human rights and self-determination for so long before it is no longer taken seriously, and is seen as only an imperial nation whose elected officials are more beholden to lobby groups than constituents. And even the weak, spineless Mahmoud Abbas, the alleged leader of the Palestinian Authority, who is little more than Mr. Netanyahu’s obedient pet, has become rebellious, and actually accused Israel of genocide. Now if he will only apply to the International Criminal Court, and join the many other United Nations organizations Palestine is now eligible for, he may be held in less contempt by his own people, and supporters of Palestinian rights around the world.
Change is happening; Israel is becoming more and more isolated as its horrific cruelties are exposed, and its lame excuse of ‘national security’ is seen as the blatant lie that it is. The U.S. can only protect it for so long, and time seems to be running out. As in South Africa a generation ago, the tide of public opinion has begun to flow in the direction of justice, and this is not good news for Israel or the U.S. However, it is long overdue for Palestine.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).