The unequal “war” between Israel and Palestine
As operation “pillar of defence” continues, the unequal nature of the conflict between Israel and Palestine becomes clear. The onslaught on Gaza was started even though there had been relatively little rocket fire in the preceding days, as this timeline of events demonstrates. It has also emerged that Habari was assassinated just hours after receiving a proposed ceasefire agreement from the Israeli government.
Since the attack began Israeli spokespeople have reiterated time and again that this is about “defending” Israel from aggressive rocket attacks from Gaza. Certainly, Palestinians in Gaza regularly fire missiles into southern Israel. They are carrying on their resistance against the Israeli state which has imprisoned them in Gaza, subject to a total blockade that deprives them of basic supplies.
Meanwhile Israel is continuing to build its “security fence”, a massive construction dubbed the ‘apartheid wall’ which cuts through Palestinian land in the West Bank and annexes more territory to Israel. Once completed it will be approximately 700km – some 560km longer than the infamous Berlin Wall that imprisoned the people of East Germany.
How to respond to these aggressive actions, in the face of an international community that continues to support Israel financially and militarily? Since the Palestinians have no army or air force with which to fight back their resistance is reduced to the relatively indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel. There is a list on wikipedia of the attacks by Palestinian “terrorists” here. Note the results of nearly every single missile fired into Israel – “no damage, no casualties”, “no injuries reported”, “No harm was caused” and so on. Clearly these actions are more symbolic than anything, a regular reminder that only a few miles from the apartment blocks of Israeli cities there are a people that are slowly being strangled to death by the Zionist state.
With a looming election in January the ruling Likud party have cynically launched this offensive to show the electorate they are “tough” on the Palestinians. But this is not a limited strike of a few rocket launching facilities. Their actions are much more murderous.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai was quoted in Haaretz newspaper saying that “the goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages… only then will Israel be calm for 40 years.” Of course, Israel will not be calm for 40 years as long as it continues to oppress the Palestinians, but at least Yishai and his colleagues can hope to win an election in a few weeks time, with votes paid for by the blood of Palestinian children and civilians.
But the cynical background to Operation Pillar of Defence is nothing new, most recent offensives against the Palestinian people have coincided with elections.
If Israelis were serious about ending the rocket fire then they would seek to alleviate the terrible conditions in Gaza, allow the Palestinians control over their borders, stop building the west bank apartheid wall and release the prisoners, many of whom are children who are abused and tortured by Israeli guards. As it is, like any colonial occupation force they understand only the logic of “security” and violence without end.
The mentality of the oppressors is clear by their obvious loathing for the Palestinians.
Usually when a war is begun, the military powers take great pains to hide their true feelings behind a smokescreen of official-speak and strange military jargon. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were conducted under an apparent concern for human rights and democracy, we were reminded regularly by western military and political figures that this was a humanitarian issue and the conflict an unfortunate but necessary way of resolving these problems. With the Israeli state at least their unbridled hatred of the Palestinians is clear.
The IDF twitter feed has not held back with regular threats and gloating whenever a strike is successful. This is the first war where the aggressors have live tweeted their actions on the popular social networking website and so far Twitter has done nothing about the threats and pro war messages coming out of the IDF headquarters. The Israeli establishment is glorifying its military’s capacity to inflict terrible damage and slaughter on an almost helpless people. After all, it was not too long ago when a senior Israeli government official threatened to inflict a holocaust on the Palestinian people.
“The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah [holocaust] because we will use all our might to defend ourselves” Matan Vilnai. Israel’s deputy defence minister, 2008
Finally, several pictures are circulating on the internet which demonstrate the unequal nature of the conflict, below are some of the most informative of the unequal nature of the conflict.
Please join and the support the global solidarity demonstrations for the Palestinian people.