17 July 2014

‘Gaza’ and its many WTF moments

Over 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces over the past ten days.  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue ‘Operation Protective Edge’.  The UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay says that the Israeli action ‘may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians’; key word ‘may’.  When over half the dead are civilians, when residential areas are deliberately targeted, when Israel itself asks some 100,000 civilians to leave the area implying (rather late in the day) that Netanyahu knows who was going to die and who did die, Pillay’s ‘may’ is funny (if it weren’t scandalous). 

Now Netanyahu is a ‘hawk’ who will not be called that by the Western media that is so liberal in the use of that word and/or equivalents in describing those who are not friends with Washington. So when he says ‘no international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power,’ we know he means it.  We also know that he can count on Washington to back him to the hilt. 

All this is about ‘retaliation’; Israel ‘returning fire’.  If we go to the first stone thrown then we have to go back to the many wrongs done to Palestine from the creation of Isreal.  Let’s leave that aside.  What’s happening is but a re-enactment of Arab-Jew antagonisms. We’ve seen this play many times before.  The only difference is that the dead are new. Naturally so, because those who played part and fell victim are not resurrectable. 

If we want to shrink ‘relevant time’ to the first act of aggression and from there to the last sigh of the last person to die, Arab or Jew’, we can conclude that this is a tragedy. No prizes for that. Outside of non-partisan condemnation, lamentation of the body blows on humanity and such, commenting is warranted on how all this is being read the world over.  Let’s start with the USA.

Phillip Gordon, the White House Mideast Chief has asked, ‘How can Israel have peace if it’s unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation?’ There’s a lot more he can say, including comment on Washington’s long complicity in Israel’s considerable track record of perpetrating crimes against humanity, but this is better than nothing because the ‘something’ that does come from other parts of Washington is appalling. 

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says ‘No country should be expected to stand by while rocket attacks from a terrorist organization are launching into their country and impacting innocent civilian lives’.  The US military is the biggest terrorist outfit around and Psaki’s logic, if applied to Afghanistan (where in the midst of the tragedy unfolding in Gaza more civilians were killed in US attacks than were by Hamas in the ‘trigger’ that provoked Israel’s current onslaught on Palestinian civilians) would force Psaki to call for a counter-attack on her own country.  More important here is the fact that there’s no condemnation of Israel’s action.  It is then a green light and amounts to saying ‘do what you like by any means necessary’.  In other words Psaki is essentially eating Washington’s words about human rights, democracy, peace and justice to the point that ought to cause severe indigestion. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron, Washington’s assured echo, naturally echoed. A statement from his office declared that he ‘strongly condemned the appalling attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians’ and stressed ‘Israel’s right to defend itself from them’.  Defense, in Cameron’s book, includes indiscriminate fire, bombing and killing civilians, and dismissal of all that as necessary (not even unfortunate) collateral. 

The best comes from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: ‘Rocket attacks from Gaza are unacceptable’.  He urges Israel to exercise maximum restraint (Netanyahu obviously doesn’t hear Ki-moon and Ki-moon for his part doesn’t seem to worry too much on this count either).  This, however, is priceless: ‘I condemn the rising number of civilian lives lost in Gaza’.  One can lament the losses of course; condemnation has to be reserved for a deliberate act, not an outcome.  He does not condemn Israel.  He urges restraint.  Tells. 

Arab League General-Secretary Nabil al Arabi wants the UN Security Council to ‘adopt measures to stop Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip’. Talk about barking up the wrong tree. The US will veto anything that goes against what Israel wants to do and Washington has signaled as much in its missives on the issue.  

The Arab League does not see Arab aggression and thereby forfeits the right to whine.   Statements from countries like Iran, likewise, sound hollow because they focus on the Israel side of the aggression equation.
Egypt, now more of Washington’s pawn than when under Hosni Mubarak, has to be wishy-washy and was.  The country’s foreign minister said ‘Egypt condemns these hostilities, which led to the killing and injury of tens of Palestinians,’ and called on Israeli to stop ‘all collective punishment.’  No condemnation of Israel, note. 

Eamon Gilmore, Foreign Minister of Ireland has an interesting take: ‘I condemn unreservedly the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel which pose such a grave threat to the population. I equally condemn the mounting civilian casualties, including reportedly women and children, resulting from Israeli air strikes against Gaza.’  Again we see the strange condemnation of outcome and not action, Ban Ki-moon like).’  Ireland, with its 50-50 blame-apportionment does slightly better than Washington, which applauds the Israeli position.   

Germany conveniently wants to start with the firing of rockets into Israel, ignoring that country’s endless aggression on the people of Palestine.  Germany believes that a military confrontation must be averted.  Perhaps the news has not gone through to Berlin.  Rather late in the day to ‘avert’, what? 

Scotland is the voice of reason here.  Scotland calls on both sides to ‘de-escalate’ and offers help to civilians. Scotland puts Cameron and Barack Obama to shame, thereby. 

Nicolas Maduro President of Venezuela condemns Israel, inserting the term ‘disproportionate military response’ that others have missed.  However, Madura’s reference to the legality of Israel and the ‘heroism’ of Palestinians clearly shows that grief is politically frames, just like lamentation and salutation of one or the other parties are ‘contexted’ by the political prerogatives of the USA, UK, Egypt and Russia, for instance.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin appears to be concurring with Washington on this issue.  Putin is certainly nothing like Washington’s pup Cameron.  The motive here could be a general antipathy to people of the Islamic faith, after all Putin is as invested in ‘our ways’ as France with its anti-burqa laws is. 

And so we have it.  World leaders really don’t care about victims.  They don’t really lose any sleep over catastrophe or impending tragedy.  They are mouthing tired quotes from political scripts so old that it is dead boring to listen to them.  They might as well come up with a guidebook for the world on a wide range of topics including possible scenarios so that we won’t have to listen to them or look for their respective ‘takes’ on places like ‘Gaza’. 

Hypocrisy is not the preserve of world leaders, political commentators and prominent media outfits, though.  Right here in Sri Lanka we’ve seen ardent howlers at intolerance and violence, going silent on Israel, the ‘silent’ being mostly dollar-dependent NGO types. Others applauding Israel or else blaming Hamas include ardent BBS supporters and Islamophobes.  A facebook ‘status update’ speaks to this issue.

It's a WTF moment for me when I see people who never saw "both sides of the story" a couple of weeks ago during the incident at Aluthgama, now suddenly want us to look at "both side of the story" when Jews bomb Palestine cities killing innocent people including children who have nothing to do with the shit!! How come "both sides" that did not exist then, suddenly appear when you want to cover-up the atrocities of the god’s children!! WTF indeed. Bloody Hypocrites.’

Interestingly, those who refused to see a non-Muslim side of ‘Aluthgama’ are refusing to say a word about the Hamas side of the aggression equation. 

So there we have it.  This world might as well be called ‘Hypocrisy Unlimited’.  The more people talk, the more they shed their disguises and reveal their true selves.  That’s one positive that comes from tragedies.  Small consolation though.  



Fayaz Moosin said...

so far zero casualities on the israeli side and we are to believe that over 1000 bombs going off in crowded concentration camp thats gaza has produced only 200 victims.

a better comparison will gbe Mike Tyson( israel) punching a little girl (Palestinians) and then Tyson crying when she spits on him..

Fayaz Moosin said...

so far zero casualities on the israeli side and we are to believe that over 1000 bombs going off in crowded concentration camp thats gaza has produced only 200 victims.

a better comparison will gbe Mike Tyson( israel) punching a little girl (Palestinians) and then Tyson crying when she spits on him..

Shaik Ahamath said...

I am pretty sure that with the mindset of Israeli leaders, had the tables been turned in Nazi Germany, the consequent holocaust would have seen the genocide comprise of far more than 6 million Germans. The US’s unconditional support of Israel is mind boggling. There must be some truth in the former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinnon’s claim that all politicians, of both parties receive massive donations filtered through the influential Israeli Lobby only after they pledge support for Israel no matter what. McKInnon had apparently refused which probably explains why she is now a ‘former’ Congresswoman.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately when Hamas decides to attack Israel they do it with all their forces hiding either under ground in a web of tunnels under the town of Gaza or from within homes of Gazans. So UN says Israel has every right to protect it's citizens from incoming rocket attacks and kidnap attempts. When Hamas is using it's citizens as human shields it does not matter how careful Israeli forces are to prevent innocent lives being involved, as Hamas has made sure to involve them for the very reason that here is portrayed... to deligitimise Israel. They use their dead people to promote their death cause. Understand that Gaza has no value for human life. Israel is the only Democratic country in the Middle East.... where woman and men have equal rights of all religions.
Arab media as well as many western media today to my sorrow are about deligitimising Israel. Call it plain antisemitism. After all Israel is the only Jewish State..

Malinda Seneviratne said...

Israel forces are 'careful'...yeah right!!!!