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By Mohammed Nurhussein, Black Star News —

The audacious attack by Hamas deep inside Israeli territory has claimed so far more than 1,200 Israeli lives. Twenty-two Americans have also died in the attack.

The attack has been widely condemned throughout the Western World with the media playing round the clock video images of the Hamas atrocities on innocent civilians. U.S. politicians from the President and Republican candidates down are in competition to outdo each other on their “unwavering support for Israel,” “standing with Israel,” and so on. Republican presidential aspirant Nikki Haley said her message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel was, “Finish them, finish them.”

Very little is said about the context behind this conflict nor is it mentioned that the Hamas militants had targeted the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) overrunning three military bases, capturing armored vehicles which they drove back across the border, and killing 169 soldiers including 23 officers, which must have been an embarrassment to the mighty, technology-driven IDF.

No one with a shred of humanity can remain indifferent after seeing the video images of the dead Israeli civilians including children and watching the anguished families of the dead and missing. Such attack on non-combatants is to be unequivocally and roundly condemned.

At the same time, the mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians by the relentless aerial bombing of Gaza does not elicit such basic human empathy for the victims and their families. They are invisible, stripped of their humanity. The collective punishment is a war crime according to international humanitarian law. IDF cynically tells the world that it warns civilians to get out before the bombing when they know the civilians have no safe place to go amidst the collapsing high rise residential buildings all around them.

Gaza has been under air, land and sea blockade ever since Israel withdrew its troops in 2005. This has left the tiny Palestinian enclave with population of 2 million—half of whom are children, yes Palestinians have children too—trapped in what the UN and humanitarian agencies describe as an “open air prison.” In addition to the air strikes by day and night, Israel has imposed further tightening of the siege- blocking food, water, electricity or fuel from entering Gaza, thus using food as a weapon of war, tantamount to a genocidal measure.

Israel has gone to war 5 times using its powerful American equipped and funded air force, laying waste to residential areas in retaliation to Hamas provocations and attacks. The pounding of Gaza by air strikes have been ostensibly aimed at dismantling Hamas power infrastructure but each time, these actions left death and destruction in their wake leaving thousands of innocent civilians dead. The current campaign has so far killed 326 children.

The Palestinians have endured 75 years of humiliations starting with the “Nakba” when Palestine was ethnically cleansed leading to the expulsion of 700, 000 Palestinians from their homes and destruction of 400 Palestinian villages. Illan Pape’s book on the ethnic cleansing is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the genesis of current conflict.

Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights came under Israeli occupation after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The Oslo Treaty which carried the promise of a two state solution with Israel withdrawing to the pre-1967 borders with some modifications was scuttled with the intensified program of settlements in the West Bank, leaving a tiny fraction of what would have been the future state for Palestinians with East Jerusalem as their capital.

Netanyahu and his Jewish supremacist cohorts in his cabinet have now accelerated the building of settlements and have not made a secret of their intention to annex the entire West Bank as part of the Jewish state. There are now over 700,000 settlers in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas has been reduced to nothing more than an auxiliary to the Israeli security apparatus. Palestinian towns have become ghettos surrounded by settlers who descend on them to mete out their violence on the Palestinians, burning their farms, while Israeli security forces demolish homes of Palestinians. Children ages 12 to 17 are incarcerated in Israeli jails by the hundreds each month according to Defense for Children International-Palestine.

The life of Palestinians is fraught with daily indignities such as going through endless check points, their movements closely monitored. The human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Israel’s own B’Tselem have declared Israel an Apartheid state.

The United States which had presented itself in the past as an honest broker between Palestinians and Israelis over a succession of administrations, sponsoring a sham endless “peace process” has since abandoned the pretense and has become a party to the conflict thereby becoming complicit in the continued occupation, ethnic cleansing and stealing of Palestinian land. For Shame.

Source: Black Star News 

Featured image: Screenshot: Palestine Israel war YouTube


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.