Towards Hell & Insecurity
By Nasim Zehra
The latest round of Israeli's 'search for security' is now unfolding before our eyes. Israelis have bombarded Gaza homes, government offices, Hamas and military training camps, Islamic university and mosques. Israel hopes to kill and maim Hamas members, their offices and training places. In the last 100 hours according to western media and UN reports Israeli F-16 fighters have killed more than 325 Palestinians in Gaza.
The six month old Hamas-Israeli truce ended mid-December. Hamas refused to renew the truce agreement arguing Isreal neither lifted the Israeli siege nor ended the intermittent killings of Palestinians. Israel pounds the Palestinians with bombs, mortar shells and bullets and complaints against Palestinian rocket attacks. In the last 100 hours the 250 crude rocket attacks fired from Gaza have killed one Israeli and injured 12.
The timing of the Israeli attacks is significant. Israeli elections are due mid-2009, the new US president takes over early January and the Palestinian president's term expires early January. In all three cases the destruction of Hamas is seen as a plus. In this transition period of the US president and the Israeli government especially no one will bear any political cost of the killings. And the new governments in Tel Aviv and Washington will take over in a 'more secure minus Hamas' environment. That is at least what is intended.
After showering continuous death and destruction on Gaza, Israelis are now intermittently allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza. Also the Israeli government is busy trying to paint its own version of what is happening.
Here is the text of the interview BBC's World Today conducted on December 29 with Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and posted it on its website.
Israeli Spokesman: I would really urge a word of caution about the statements about high civilian casualties in Gaza, I am not sure it is true. Hamas has established in Gaza over the last year or so a Taliban like regime - they have eroded independent institutions, civil society has come under the boot of Hamas…and it is very difficult to find accurate numbers
BBC: So you are saying don't believe the numbers coming out of Gaza.
Israeli Spokesman: Correct. They are questionable. Listen to what Hamas is saying like as if its only civilians are being hit and that we haven't hit a single Hamas gunman. It’s obviously not true.
BBC: But surely you have seen the images of men, women and children in hospitals - those wounded and those dead? Is Israel not concerned about the widening humanitarian crisis that is being created as a result of the bombardment?
Israeli Spokesman: Today some one hundred trucks will be entering Gaza with humanitarian support food stuff, medicines and so forth. We don't want to see humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
This Israeli fabrication does not fly in the face of facts. Neither does its concern for the Palestinian liberty and civil society! People see the truth that some sections of the Western and Arab media including the BBC are transmitting through airwaves. We know the latest round of Tel-Aviv-authored and executed carnage of the ill-fated, helpless but unyielding, Palestinians is underway.
Is there no one to protect and comfort those dying and devastating Palestinians, the young and old, the children, women? The answer is hardly anyone who can exert power at the national or global level. Otherwise there are millions whose hearts bleed for the Palestinians - the truly wretched of our earth, for the children of a lesser god…
There is an unbroken pattern to how the key members, the United States and Britain especially, of the United Nations Security Council, have dealt with Israel's security agenda. These members of the world's premier body set up to oversee global security have for over half a century plus pandered to, if not encouraged, Israel's self-destructive, regionally destabilizing and globally divisive 'security’ approach. Israel has killed at will, occupied at will, disenfranchised at will, rejected the UN at will, ignored international law at will and has systematically butchered Palestinian civilians at will.
Gaza, with a population of 1.5 million, was under Israeli occupation since 1967. After 30 years in 2005 Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza. Hamas won the elections in 2006. Nevertheless Israel continued to control the borders of Gaza. The elected government of Hamas in Gaza remains under military and economic siege. Movement of people and goods from and to Gaza remain dependant on Israel's view of its 'security.'
Behind the present Palestinian carnage is a political objective: to manipulate revival of al-Fatah, the defeated party of the Palestinian President's Mahmud Abbas. The Israeli and US plan is to disenfranchise the Palestinian people by completely destroying Hamas whom they had elected in a free and fair elections. Fatah lost to Hamas in Gaza and in the West Bank.
According to Western media reports al-Fatah lost the support of the electorate because of corruption and an ability to address the peoples' basic needs and also collaborating with the adversary, continues. The electorate also viewed Fatah as collaborating with Israel, the US and the status quo oriented Arab powers. Meanwhile, al-Fatah, which controlled the presidency and the security apparatus in Gaza, used the State apparatus against Hamas to politically weaken it. Hamas ironically elected yet targeted by the Palestinian State apparatus, fell back to organizing its own militant wing.
In 2007 al-Fatah-Hamas battling left almost 100 Palestinians dead.
A subsequent Hamas-Fatah ceasefire led to the acceptance of each other's government and presidency respectively. However political divides have not resolved but instead deepened the Fatah-Hamas divide. As the Fatah President seeks to extend his presidency in January the divide would get uglier.
This present round of Palestinian massacre is intended to politically annihilate the Hamas and its capacity to battle even if it is using home-made pipe bombs and crude rockets. The Israeli bombings is intended to neutralize their will to fight back the Israelis and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian state forces. These attacks are intended to psychologically break the Palestinian electorate. The Israeli government, according to the Israeli Defence Minister, hopes to create a changed "new security environment so that no one will be able to fire rockets" at Israel. Significantly for Tel Aviv its 'vision' of an 'ideal security environment' seeks political supremacy of the al-Fatah, the party already discredited in Gaza and West Bank.
If the past Palestinian response to such US-supported Israeli policies is any guide we may witness another round of Palestinian intifada - a third Palestinian Uprising. Soon we will know.
But there is something we already know. That over the decades Israel's intermittent bloodletting in Palestinian zones has set off tectonic global reactions. Since the late sixties peoples' reaction globally and especially within the Muslim world has been one of anger against the injustice. Other landmark historical events including the Iranian revolution and the US-funded covert war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan have led to the new framing of peoples’ support for the Palestinians. It ranges from viewing this as a Muslim cause to an American, Western and Jewish conspiracy to destroy the Muslims and Islam. The call for jihad, for suicide bombings the unIslamic and inhuman way of going after the "enemy of Islam" is now louder and more widespread. Connect the dots – the intermittent carnage in Palestinians lands - and a tit-for-tat battle continues.
Israel's search for security heavily contributes to global insecurity…we call it terrorism, suicide bombings militancy and so on. Will the Guantanamobays, civilian killings in Afghanistan, the unilateral drone attacks in Pakistan, the continued Israeli genocide of the Palestinians and no less an impotent UNSC help reduce global insecurity? Unlikely. For Palestinians hell on earth continues.
In the words of the UN Human Rights rappouerter Richard Falk, Israel is now conducting a "Palestinian genocide." Clearly of the many political factors that are increasingly reducing large chunks of the world to an earthly hell, Israel's search for 'security' via Palestinian bloodshed and occupation, is one principal factor.