The ongoing pounding and bombing of the Gaza Strip by Israel following the Oct. 7th assault on Israel by Hamas militants, is excessive and is genocidal in intent.
Israel was taken completely by surprise as Hamas operatives swept into areas bordering the Gaza Strip, flying in on hand gliders or just by knocking down the separation fence using tractors. For sure the scenes of young people being killed in cold blood at the music festival, as well as old people and children in kibbutzes, touched the heart of any decent human being.
But what was the context for this outburst of violent mayhem? Any intelligent person with an inquiring mind would want to find out. Not, unfortunately, our governments and media in theWest. They don’t want to talk about that and have taken steps to censor the speech of those who do speak out in favor of the Palestinians.
In Germany, raising a placard supporting the Palestinian cause gets you arrested and taken away. An Israeli Jewish woman was recently filmed doing just that in Berlin, and within two minutes twoGerman police showed up and arrested her, hustling her and her sign away in a van. She was released soon afterwards. Germany has adopted this policy of not allowing anyone to criticize Israel and its actions out of its Holocaust guilt.
In the US, the government and media constantly declare their unwavering support of Israel and turn to look the other way when Israel commits excesses as it is now doing in Gaza. Already more 6,747 Palestinians have been killed in the bombing of Gaza, including at least1,500 children. Buildings are being reduced to rubble, as Israel pounds Gaza, driven by the humiliation of having been caught off guard and unprepared. As usual, Palestinians are those who suffer the most in this disproportional conflict.
Watching the coverage of US television networks of the Gaza war is painful. They constantly interview Israeli relatives of the victims of the Hamas attack, but seldom take the time to interview the victims of Israel’s brutality in Gaza. The coverage is just so lop-sided that I must turn away or switch over to Al Jazeera English or Sky News for more balanced coverage.
Two state-solution dead?
So why this sudden outburst of Palestinian rage? The Gaza Strip has been described as the largest open-air prison in the world, with more than 2 million Palestinians stuck there. There is no functioning airport from which to fly into and out of Gaza. And no one living there can hop on a bus to visit relatives in the West Bank or in Egypt.
Critics like to point out that Hamas manages to smuggle in weapons through the vast network of tunnels it has built in the area. Yes, but where does that leave most of the civilian population who are not affiliated to Hamas?
Israeli settlements continue to expand in the occupied West Bank, despite a cap on them having been agreed to many years ago. And these settlers are not nice liberal Jews. Many of them are fanatic Orthodox Jews that move from Brooklyn, New York, and go around theWest Bank armed to the teeth, killing and harassing Palestinian natives who have lived there for generations. And they also steal Palestinian lands and water.
The rule of the Palestinian Authority, led by its moribund president Mahmoud Abbas, does not have much to show for its security cooperation with Israeli authorities. The humiliating Israeli roadblocks in the West Bank are still there, and the Jewish settlements continue to pop up as fast as mushrooms.
No one talks any more about the two-state solution, where Palestinians and Israelis will live side by side, in peace, in separate and fully independent nations. Extremist Israeli politicians such as prime minister Benjamin Netanhayu and his right-wing coalition, are much to blame for this.
Most Israelis want to believe that if they just ignore them and close their eyes hard enough, those peskyPalestinians will just disappear. As the Oct. 7th attack showed, that is not going to happen any time soon.