The looming escalation between Israel and Gaza

Found a very good editorial in the Guardian.  The author predicts a violent escalation as a result of the current Israeli humanitarian crimes against the people of Gaza.  I agree with his views and believe that it is the purpose of Israel to provoke Hamas into increased rocket attacks… actually, any rocket attacks would be an increase, since Hamas has obeyed a ceasefire for a long time now.  It is other factions that are attacking Israel.  Here are a few paragraphs from his editorial:

“There is, it seems, an unbridgeable gap between the western world’s apparent recognition of the dangers of Palestinian suffering and its commitment to do anything whatever to stop it. This week the collective punishment of the people of Gaza reached a new level, as Israel began to choke off essential fuel supplies to its one and a half million people in retaliation for rockets fired by Palestinian resistance groups. A plan to cut power supplies has only been put on hold till the end of the week by the intervention of Israel’s attorney general.

Article continues

Both moves come on top of the existing blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel since last year’s election of Hamas and the confiscation of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxes it is obliged to pass on as part of previous agreements. And instead of being restrained by the US or European Union, both have deepened the crisis by imposing their own sanctions and withdrawing aid. The result has, inevitably, been further huge increases in unemployment and poverty. But far from discouraging rocket attacks, they have risen sharply – though the ratio of Palestinian to Israeli deaths has been running at more than 30 to one, compared with four to one at the height of the intifada five years ago.

The UN’s senior official in Gaza, Karen Koning-Abu Zayd, yesterday branded Israel’s intensification of the Gaza siege as a violation of international law: despite its withdrawal two years ago, Israel continues to control all access to the Gaza Strip and remains the occupying power both legally and practically. Not that the situation is much better in the occupied West Bank. Despite the US and Israel’s fatal backing for the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and his emergency government of a non-existent state, Israeli demolitions, land seizures, settlement expansion, assassinations, armed incursions, segregated road-building and construction of the land-grabbing separation wall continue apace in the territory where Abbas’s nominal writ supposedly runs.

There are now 563 checkpoints in the West Bank, squeezing this already constricted piece of land into apartheid-style cantons, and making free movement or normal economic activity entirely impossible. All this is in contravention of international law; much of it directly violates UN security council resolutions, such as resolution 446 against Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. But, whereas the occupied people face sanctions and international isolation, the occupiers pay no penalty at all. On the contrary, they are aided and armed to the hilt by the US and its allies.

Given the speed at which Israel continues to create facts on the ground, it’s no surprise that even Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, warned a few days ago that the “window for a two-state solution” could be closing. But it is of course her government that has underpinned this takeover at every stage. And having preached democracy as the salvation of the Middle East, the US and its allies demonstrated what that meant in practice when it greeted the winners of the Palestinian elections with a political and economic boycott.

Unless Hamas recognised Israel, renounced violence and signed up to agreements it had always opposed, the western powers insisted, the Palestinian electorate would be ignored. No such demands, needless to say, have been made of Israel. The US and Israel then went one step further, funding and arming a section of the defeated Fatah leadership in an attempt to overthrow Hamas’s administration. When that failed, the US encouraged Abbas to impose an unconstitutional administration of his own and blocked any power-sharing with Hamas, which is the precondition for Palestinian advance.

Instead, the US is gearing up for a peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, from which Hamas is excluded and which almost nobody believes offers any prospect of real progress towards a settlement. Its main appeal to the Bush administration is perhaps that it can be seen to be doing something about the Israel-Palestine conflict at a time when it needs to corral its Arab allies for the coming confrontation with Iran. For the Palestinians, it’s maybe just as well that the Israeli government is resistant to any timetable for statehood – let alone serious negotiation on Jerusalem, refugees and final borders – as any agreement that such a weak leadership could now secure would not stand a chance of being accepted by its people.”,,2202895,00.html


3 Responses to “The looming escalation between Israel and Gaza”

  1. 1 joelsk44039 November 2, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Another B-S article about the mean Israelis and their contravening “international law” and maintaining “occupation” of Gaza.

    The Palestinians are a completely pathological society that has been constantly brainwashed for three generations into believing that they are a “people,” that the Jews have “stolen” their land and that they are deserving of their own country. Well, they NEVER have been a people, until it became convenient for them (1964); the Jews NEVER forced them to leave (except in a few rare documented instances) and in most instances, the Jews paid super-inflated prices for land purchases; and lastly, there are many, many peoples in the world much more deserving of a country of their own, including the Kurds, and the Tibetans.

    Why the world remains so focused on the Palestinians is a testament to the longevity of Antisemitism and Jew hatred, and is completely understandable when you look at who is paying for their “public relations” — the Arab oil countries — who also finance anti-American terrorism.

  2. 2 theradicalmormon November 2, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I beg to differ. Here are a few quotes to counter your baseless assertions.

    “Palestine became a predominately Arab and Islamic country by the end of the seventh century. Almost
    immediately thereafter its boundaries and its characteristics – including its name in Arabic, Filastin –
    became known to the entire Islamic world, as much for its fertility and beauty as for its religious
    significance…In 1516, Palestine became a province of the Ottoman Empire, but this made it no less fertile,
    no less Arab or Islamic…Sixty percent of the population was in agriculture; the balance was divided
    between townspeople and a relatively small nomadic group. All these people believed themselves to
    belong in a land called Palestine, despite their feelings that they were also members of a large Arab
    nation…Despite the steady arrival in Palestine of Jewish colonists after 1882, it is important to realize that
    not until the few weeks immediately preceding the establishment of Israel in the spring of 1948 was there
    ever anything other than a huge Arab majority. For example, the Jewish population in 1931 was 174,606
    against a total of 1,033,314.” Edward Said, “The Question of Palestine.”

    As for land ownership:

    “[The Ottoman Land Code of 1858] required the registration in the name of individual owners of
    agricultural land, most of which had never previously been registered and which had formerly been
    treated according to traditional forms of land tenure, in the hill areas of Palestine generally masha’a, or
    communal usufruct. The new law meant that for the first time a peasant could be deprived not of title to
    his land, which he had rarely held before, but rather of the right to live on it, cultivate it and pass it on to
    his heirs, which had formerly been inalienable…Under the provisions of the 1858 law, communal rights of
    tenure were often ignored…Instead, members of the upper classes, adept at manipulating or circumventing
    the legal process, registered large areas of land as theirs…The fellahin [peasants] naturally considered the
    land to be theirs, and often discovered that they had ceased to be the legal owners only when the land was
    sold to Jewish settlers by an absentee landlord…Not only was the land being purchased; its Arab
    cultivators were being dispossessed and replaced by foreigners who had overt political objectives in
    Palestine.” Rashid Khalidi, “Blaming The Victims,” ed. Said and Hitchens

    As to the idea you present that the Palestinians were not a people before it was convenient for them (?):

    “In 1936-9, the Palestinian Arabs attempted a nationalist revolt… David Ben-Gurion, eminently a realist,
    recognized its nature. In internal discussion, he noted that ‘in our political argument abroad, we minimize
    Arab opposition to us,’ but he urged, ‘let us not ignore the truth among ourselves.’ The truth was that
    ‘politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit
    it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them
    their country, while we are still outside’… The revolt was crushed by the British, with considerable
    brutality.” Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle.”

    And Ghandi in 1938 said:

    “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the
    French…What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct…If they
    [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the
    shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb.
    They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs… As it is, they are co-sharers with the
    British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I
    wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable
    encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can
    be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.” Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in “A
    Land of Two Peoples” ed. Mendes-Flohr.

    Back to the issue of ownership of the land:

    “In 1948, at the moment that Israel declared itself a state, it legally owned a little more than 6 percent of
    the land of Palestine…After 1940, when the mandatory authority restricted Jewish land ownership to
    specific zones inside Palestine, there continued to be illegal buying (and selling) within the 65 percent of
    the total area restricted to Arabs.
    Thus when the partition plan was announced in 1947 it included land held illegally by Jews, which was
    incorporated as a fait accompli inside the borders of the Jewish state. And after Israel announced its
    statehood, an impressive series of laws legally assimilated huge tracts of Arab land (whose proprietors
    had become refugees, and were pronounced ‘absentee landlords’ in order to expropriate their lands and
    prevent their return under any circumstances).” Edward Said, “The Question of Palestine.”

    Just a few things to chew on there amigo. Historical issues in Israel is a place that there are a lot of misconceptions and fabrications. It’s time a few of those are cleared up.

  3. 3 theradicalmormon November 2, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    For more on the refugee situation imposed upon the Palestinian Arabs see the following (It is fairly obvious here that the Jews did indeed force Palestinians to leave):

    “Israeli propaganda has largely relinquished the claim that the Palestinian exodus of 1948 was ‘selfinspired’.
    Official circles implicitly concede that the Arab population fled as a result of Israeli action –
    whether directly, as in the case of Lydda and Ramleh, or indirectly, due to the panic that and similar
    actions (the Deir Yassin massacre) inspired in Arab population centers throughout Palestine. However,
    even though the historical record has been grudgingly set straight, the Israeli establishment still refused to
    accept moral or political responsibility for the refugee problem it- or its predecessors – actively created.”
    Peretz Kidron, quoted in “Blaming the Victims,” ed. Said and Hitchens.


    “During May [1948] ideas about how to consolidate and give permanence to the Palestinian exile began
    to crystallize, and the destruction of villages was immediately perceived as a primary means of achieving
    this aim…[Even earlier,] On 10 April, Haganah units took Abu Shusha… The village was destroyed that
    night… Khulda was leveled by Jewish bulldozers on 20 April… Abu Zureiq was completely demolished…
    Al Mansi and An Naghnaghiya, to the southeast, were also leveled. . .By mid-1949, the majority of [the
    350 depopulated Arab villages] were either completely or partly in ruins and uninhabitable.” Benny
    Morris, “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949.

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