UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was right when, after saying that “All the evidence points to Israeli artillery as the cause” (of the attack on the UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp where more than 3,000 Palestinians were taking shelter from Israeli bombs and shells), he added the following. “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.” But there is, I say, something as shameful – the complicity of America’s corrupt political system in Israel’s war crimes.
Initially the mainstream media attached great significance to the fact that the U.S. had “condemned” the attack, the implication of the first reports being that it had condemned Israel. It did not. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said only that America “condemned the shelling of the school.” She did not name Israel. Body language is all important and when I watched and listened to her speaking I thought she delivered the condemnation as a dismissive, throwaway line. What I mean is that her body language said to me something like, “What I’m saying is not really important but I have to say it.”
From President Obama himself there were just more empty words – another call for an immediate ceasefire. I imagine the unspoken response of Israel’s leaders was something like: “We know you had to make that call, Mr. President, and you know that we are going to ignore it.”
Obama’s hypocrisy was on display (again) when he announced new sanctions on Russia. He said, “We stand up for rights and freedoms around the world.” What he didn’t add was “with the exception of the rights and freedom of occupied and oppressed Palestinians.”
I thought Chris Gunness, the spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), hit most of the right notes when he said: “It is beyond belief that in the 21st Century children, women and civilian men should be subjected to this kind of outrage. It (Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip) is an abomination, a barbarity that needs to end… The world should hang its head in shame.”
My own thought is that it’s President Obama and other so-called leaders, not the world, who should be hanging their heads in shame.
That said I still believe (perhaps naively) that Obama himself would like to use the leverage America has to try to cause Israel to be serious about peace on terms the Palestinians could accept, but he can’t because policy for the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel is controlled by a Congress that is answerable not to the American people but the Zionist lobby and its mad Christian fundamentalist allies.
In my analysis no president will ever be free to put America’s own best interests first by confronting the Zionist monster (a terrorist state) unless and until lobby funding is taken out of American politics. What America needs most of all is some real democracy.
On BBC Radio 4′s Today program Britain’s new foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said this. “I have explained to Israeli ministers, not only Netanyahu, that the world is rapidly turning against Israel.”
That made me wonder what would happen if all of Israel’s Jews and all members of Congress could be compelled to watch a lengthy compilation of film and video footage of the death and destruction Israel has delivered to the Gaza Strip. Would it make them understand why the world is turning against Israel and cause a change of hearts and minds in Israel and Congress?
Probably, almost certainly, not.
Since I wrote the above and sent it to other sites there have been two probably connected developments.
One was a statement from White House spokesman Josh Ernest. He said:
“The shelling of a UN facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible. It is clear that we need our allies in Israel to do more to live up to the high standards they have set for themselves“.
That was criticism and even condemnation of Israel for one of its actions. But again it was only words.
The other was an announcement that Hamas and Israel have accepted an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire for 72 hours. The question at the time of writing is this. Will it hold and, if it does, will Israel allow negotiations in Cairo to address both its security concerns and Hamas’s need and demand for an end to the siege (Israeli occupation by remote control) of the Gaza Strip…?
If agreement is not reached on both issues the war will be resumed.
Dan Gillerman, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, has let a cat slip out of the bag. In an Al Jazeera program he said that Israel was enjoying “unprecedented” support from around the world. Why unprecedented? Because, he stated, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were fully supporting Israel’s efforts to destroy Hamas. He also said that during his period at the UN (from 2003 to 2008) he couldn’t count the number of times Arab ambassadors and other Arab dignitaries had said to him: “Go, go. Don’t stop.”