|AFP Photo/Marco Longari|
London's Telegraph has reported that Israel's IDF has killed more children, more than the total of Hamas fighters killed, during the latest outbreak of carnage in Gaza.
Well over 1,000 people have been killed by IDF forces.
The Israelis have bombed hospitals, and paramedics,--and grade schools,-- even those under the protection of the UN, serving as shelters for civilians. Drones and snipers, tanks, have pushed deep into Gaza, and it is as though the population of Palestinians is being squeezed in a vise. The Israeli government seems incapable of hearing about, or assuming any responsibility for bombing UN monitored facilities, or other civilian structures. They have become deaf to accusations.
There is always cruelty and sadism performed by the occupier over a subject people; and it exists in the hearts of those who cheer and pull up lawn chairs, to watch high explosives turn Palestinians and their dwellings into rubble and blood. Israel's barking voice, Netanyahu, its strange leader, has admitted recently that there will be no two state solution, There was never going to be such an agreement. And really it must be concluded that all Israeli negotiations have been examples of bad faith,--a deception undertaken in order to steal Palestinian land. It was always about building more settlements for Israelis, while cornering the Palestinians into ghettos, into places where water is scarce, where farmers come under sniper fire as they try to till their land, where fishermen are harassed and bottled up close to shore.
Most Americans are unaware of the harsh and arbitrary limitations placed on foodstuff that is allowed to enter Gaza. Israel puts a stranglehold on the allotted calories that each person is Gaza is expected to consume. They have bragged about putting Palestinians "on a diet". This is no joke. It has been calculated scientifically; and this stingy allotment of nourishment has been coldly calculated.
The worst element of the massacre is that Netanyahu manufactured his obscene case for bombing and ground invasion; and it turns out that he was in too much of a hurry to wait for Israeli police to get to the bottom of the investigation into the killing of the three Israeli teenagers. The fact persists, that Netanyahu manipulated events and prolonged uncertainty about the kidnapped kids, even though he had been informed, privately, that they were killed soon after being taken.
The Israeli leader drove his country into its present tantrum of destruction. And it turns out that political Hamas, the party elected to govern Gaza, was not responsible for the deaths of the Israeli teens.
These events have come to shatter a relatively quiet period in Gaza, that has existed for a while between Hamas and the Israeli authorities. But now, the terrifying destruction of civilians cannot be called war; for it is primarily a slaughter. It is murder. No comparison exists between the arsenal of US arms, that Israel has, and the homemade rockets Hamas uses. What an occupied people has done, is to resist, to face the colonial power that will not allow their underlings any foothold of sovereignty, or any allowance of dignity. Colonial Israel doesn't offer them even second class citizenship; it will only administer the lives of its subjects.
Netanyahu did not let out that the kidnapped teenagers were dead; and he stirred up anxiety and public dread, and used the uncertainty as a pretext to commence attacks on Hamas , in Gaza, on July 1st, before an investigation could have properly identified the perpetrators. And this was prior to the Hamas retaliation, with its rudimentary, unguided rockets.
Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were killed in a car that was abandoned later by their kidnappers; and their bodies, as reported by The Guardian, were found in a valley near Hebron.
Following the discovery of the bodies the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, blamed Hamas for the murders, warning the militant group will pay a heavy price for the deaths. "Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay ... [They] were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts," Netanyahu said in a statement.But Netanyahu went with collective guilt, once more, which he managed to heap upon Hamas and the people of Gaza; and he never intended to rein in the revengeful power he was unleashing. At the funeral of the slain Israeli youths, he cried out, "They sanctify death, we sanctify life...They sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion. That is the secret of our strength."
But the Prime Minister was painting a target on Gaza again.
But needless to say, the duly elected government in Gaza is not using those whom it serves as human shields; and Palestinians love their children as much as Israelis love their own kids. And yet the corrosive propaganda would have us believing the absurd. Chris Hedges recently wrote that Israel cannot seem to self-correct:
When all this does not work, when it becomes clear that the Palestinians once again have not become dormant and passive, Israel will take another step, more radical than the last. The “process of destruction” will be stopped only from outside Israel. Israel, captive to the process, is incapable of imposing self-restraint.When Palestinian leaders reject passivity, and respond as soon as the community is attacked, Netanyahu calls them terrorists.
What kind of terrible judgment is being enacted when Israel's huge fragmentation bombs obliterate whole families? How will killing four little boys who are playing on the beach,--all of them wiped out by an Israeli airman who takes special care to pick them off, --how will this settle accounts with God? After Israel saturates Gaza with a deluge of blood, how will the garden grow? They are clearly insane if they think the climate will improve.
This kind of behavior is in no way moderated by self-reflection. A different leader with a different mindset, whose goals were really expressions of compassion, could have included some remorse for the tragic killing of the other teenager, 17 year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The Palestinian boy was forced to drink gasoline, and then burned to death, by a couple of Israeli teens, who thought they were exacting revenge for the deaths of young Frankel, Shaar, and Yifrach.
The opportunity was never grasped by Netanyahu (who called the killing of Khdeir "loathsome"). But the Prime Minister was focused on ending a great many Palestinian lives; and he did what he could to whip up the rage of the Israeli public.
by Hilmy Salem
We can resist the sectarian kingsWith a single turn in the opposite direction.But given how nimble we areThe strong ones trembleEvery time two people exchange a smile.But for those who trade in doubtBefore love, and after it,Our gift to them: a crutch.
--translated from the Arabic by Dima Hilal and Idra Novey