Alister Rutherford, who has recently returned from a visit to Nablus, reflects on the latest Israeli onslaught against Gaza.
There is an inevitable sense of déja vu with the latest Israeli murderous assaults on Gaza. The media here in the UK and the USA parrots without any checking the Israeli version of events. Which is always the same – Israel is only responding to rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Often this is qualified as Hamas rocket fire, just to make sure we all know who is to blame. And of course, right on cue, our hapless Foreign Secretary, William Hague, duly appears on the wavelengths to blame Hamas for starting this round of violence. President Obama spreads the same message in the USA.
Yet even a cursory look at the evidence shows that no Israeli had been killed due to rocket fire from Gaza, before the start of the latest escalation of Israeli assaults on Saturday 10th November. Yet prior to then, at least two Palestinians had been killed by Israeli soldiers. On Monday November 5th Israeli forces shot and killed 23 year old Ahmad Nabhani. Then on Thursday November 8th another Israeli force invaded southern Gaza, in the course of which they killed a 13 year old boy, Ahmed Younis Khader who was playing football in front of his house. So much for targeted killing! How much coverage did these unjustified killings of innocent Palestinian civilians get in the western media? Where was William Hague and President Obama? No word of blame was uttered against Israel for these two murders. Yet when Palestinians in response to these killings do attack Israeli forces, Israel then unleashes hell on the whole of Gaza in a supposed right of self-defence. And our brave western media just laps it all up. The initial killings of a child and a young man by the Israelis cast aside in the rush to blame Hamas. For more information on the timeline for the recent Israelis attacks see these two articles, here and here. For an analysis of the biased coverage provided by our own BBC see here.
It is a rather strange kind of self-defence that causes the deaths of children including Omar Masharawi, the 11 month old baby referred to in the title of this post. Yet another triumph for the much vaunted precision bombing of the Israeli airforce! For of course this latest attack on Gaza has nothing to do with self defence. It was, as is the case with all Israeli wars, a war of choice. The nearness of the elections in Israel may have been a factor in the timing of the Israeli attacks. Perhaps though, it was the prospect of a long term truce agreement with Hamas that prompted Israel to attack. Many observers are of the view that Israel does not want peace. A long term truce agreement would weaken the power of the military in Israel and more importantly put greater pressure on Israel to enter into serious negotiations with all Palestinians, including Hamas. Not what most Israelis really want. Much better to keep up the pretence of an existential threat to Israel in order to justify their unwillingness to enter into negotiations to bring about a two state solution. Israel is doing everything possible, with its relentless expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to make a two state solution impossible. So Israel has every reason to avoid negotiations. And what better excuse than a little war of aggression against Hamas. So a few innocent civilians, including children, get killed. So what, in the greater scheme of things – securing a greater Israel, preferably free of all Palestinians. This is alas, what out leaders in the UK are supporting by offering diplomatic cover to Israel. Things do not look good. For a more detailed analysis of why Israel chose to attack now, see these two articles by Jerry Haber and American Jewish writer, here and here. Finally for an Israeli perspective on the deaths of the three Israelis in Kiryat Malachi, see this article by Larry Derfner from +972 magazine.
From Alister’s blog