Speaking to the Palestinians in the language of death, but still there is hope

When Israel rained death and destruction on the Gaza Strip four years ago, Chris Hedges wrote the following. “Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and Naval vessels to bomb densely crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks mosques and slums, to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armour, no command and control, no army and calls it a war. It is not a war. It is Murder. Images of dead Palestinian children lined up as if asleep on the floor of the main hospital in Gaza are a metaphor for the future. Israel will from now on speak to the Palestinians in the language of death.”

How right he was! What we have been witnessing since the targeted assassination of Hamas’s military leader is the proof (if more was needed) that the language of death is the only language Israel’s leaders have for speaking to the Palestinians. (In the Jerusalem Post, Gilad Sharon, Ariel’s son, wrote the following. “We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too).

Though not quite as savage as its 2008/2009 blitzkrieg, Israel’s current offensive is murder; and all Western leaders, taking their cue from President Obama, are complicit (by default if not design). All of their statements that Israel has a right to defend itself ignored the fact that Israel is a brutal, occupying power, and that its occupation (on-going colonization and ethnic cleansing by stealth), plus its blockade of the Gaza Strip, plus Israeli provocations, were the cause of the incoming rockets to which the Zionist (not Jewish) state was exposed.

At a bare minimum Obama could and should have expressed concern about the grotesquely disproportionate nature of Israel’s response to the rockets but he chose not to do so. Instead he fully endorsed Israel’s attacks with these words: “Let’s understand that the precipitating event here … was an ever-escalating number of missiles that were landing not just in Israeli territory but in areas that are populated, and there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”

And he seemed to be indicating that he wanted a reason to exclude Israel from any blame for future failure to get a real peace process going with these words: “Those who champion the cause of the Palestinians should recognise that if we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza then the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future.”

To judge from its latest statement even J Street, the “progressive” Jewish lobby group, is now critical of Obama’s do-nothing approach. In a letter titled “Enough of silence”, J Street’s head, Jeremy Ben-Ami, called for “greater leadership from the White House” in bringing an end to the current fighting and advancing peace talks with the Palestinians.

Page 1 of 2 | Next page