Monday, May 31, 2010

The Tragedy of Gaza

Posted by parallel

The Gaza Strip is a 25 by 5 mile concentration camp holding about one and a half million impoverished Palestinians, half of whom originally fled from the Israelis during the 1949 war. According to Wikipedia, “The UN, Human Rights Watch and many other international bodies and NGOs consider Israel to be the occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza's airspace, territorial waters and does not allow the movement of people or goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea.” There are three land crossing points, the one into Egypt is still controlled by Israel, thanks to the $28 billion bribe to Egypt from the US.

After the population of Gaza elected Hamas in 2005 and their Palestinian victory in 2007, the Bush administration secretly signed off on a deal to funnel arms and money to Abbas to remove Hamas from Gaza by force. It is apparently OK for the US to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries if it doesn’t like them, like Gaza above or Mosadeqh's overthrow in Iran in 1953. Does anyone doubt Iranians still remember that? It must be legal as our President can designate anyone, even
Americans, a “terrorist” without trial and order them assassinated. That can’t be illegal as we are a nation of laws.

Anyway, Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is now in its fourth year and they only allow basic foods and basic medicine in. No building materials to allow them to repair the buildings Israel flattened, not even such dangerous materials as powdered coffee. No trade to give them hope of eventual recovery, no material for the 100 new schools they require, certainly no exit to their requisitioned farms in Israel.

According to the CIA, 44% of Gaza’s population is fourteen or younger. The Fourth Geneva Convention, article 33, makes collective punishment a war crime. When Nazi Germany did that, perpetrators were punished. When Israel does it, our legislators are so afraid of AIPAC they turn a blind eye.

The people of Gaza are virtually helpless to do anything about it. When they resist this daily humiliation, and armed robbery, in the only ways available to them, they are labeled terrorists. Israel ignores all international condemnations such as Goldstone’s 600 page report for the UN. Obviously, international opinion can be safely ignored as long as Israel has America’s veto power on the UN Security Council. Might is right and we are a nation of laws.

Although Netanyahu recently boasted that Israel controlled America’s foreign policy and can get away with claiming they would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East, it recently surfaced they offered to sell nukes & missiles to S. Africa’s then apartheid government (birds of a feather?) A number of people object to Israel’s apartheid policies and their lethal collective punishment of countless innocent children.

The latest result, now making headlines, was for a group of people concerned when the United Nations, among others, described the humanitarian situation in Gaza as "grim" and "deteriorating" decided to try and actually help. Their small flotilla of ships carrying aid was boarded by Israeli commandos in international waters. For any other country that would be an act of war or piracy. Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, called the unarmed passengers Al Qaeda and stated “There was no question of easing the blockade.”

News is sparse as Israel has blocked most communications (a long history of blocking communications - remember the USS Liberty?) and it will be interesting to see the spin they and the US media put on it. It seems the passengers were mainly European, with a number of prominent activists and even an 85 year old survivor of the Holocaust. Breitbart reports 19 passengers killed and 36 wounded, many of them Turks, but this needs confirmation.

If pre-emptive strikes are legal, what can be wrong with a friend shooting up a few unarmed ships carrying Al Qaeda intent on providing aid to the “cockroaches” (as the settlers call Palestinians.) Maybe the President has secretly designated all Gazans as terrorists, even the kids, so it would be legal to exterminate them all. We are a nation of laws who would never condone anything illegal. The $5 billion/year from Congress to Israel confirms they have done no wrong, right?

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