Saturday, January 03, 2009

The War on Palestinians

So, Israeli propaganda dominates the airwaves. Israeli officials are wheeled out to proclaim that their murder of nearly 500 Palestinians and the launch of over 800 strikes is a 'defensive action'. It is barely possible to watch the news as these officials trundle out lie after lie with straight faces, apparently convinced of their own lies. The lie that Israeli action is defensive being just one of a whole pack of lies which the Israeli government know will be almost impossible to disprove. Still, if nothing else, the propaganda offensive has been 'impressive'.

One thing must be kept in mind when watching any news coverage of this murderous attack on Gaza. International journalists are not allowed into Gaza to verify any of the claims of the Israeli government. Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot ban foreign correspondents, they remain banned. As a result, it makes it impossible to verify the claims of the government, a fact they are all to aware of. Take this morning's attack on a mosque in Gaza. On various networks, officials have been interviews and claimed that the strike was unfortunate, but that munitions are routinely stored in civilian locations across Gaza and, this implies, the strike was justified. One question is never asked: where is the proof? If the mosque contained munitions, why not provide the proof? Why not tell us where exactly these munitions were stored? Why? Because it is part of a blatant attempt to convince the people of the world that this mass murder, this attempt at ethnic cleansing, is in someway justified.

Every civilian death is seen as suspicious. Every civilian death is blamed on the Palestinian people. Oh, they say they blame Hamas, but by claiming that the Palestinians allow munitions to be stored on their properties, they are essentially saying that any Palestinian civilian that is killed is responsible for their own murder. It is ironic, nay perverse, that so often, the very same people who claim that the Palestinians (the victims) are at fault and that the Israelis (the perpetrators) are deserving of our sympathy, are the very same ones that proclaim that individuals should take the responsibility for their actions and not blame external factors. Why are Palestinians not deserving of this? Why, in this case, should the murderers not take responsibility for their actions? Which the victim suffer whilst the perpetrator has excuses made in their favour? It is the great double standard at the heart of much of the rhetoric that emanates from certain sections of the political spectrum.

And why should we believe what the Israeli government says anyway. Their propaganda has already been exposed for what it is only this morning. Footage that was uploaded on YouTube to prove the accuracy of the Israeli assault has now been revealed as a disgraceful piece of propaganda. Instead of missiles being loaded onto the targeted truck (as the Israeli government claimed), oxygen cylinders were being prepared for distribution. As a result of this action, eight Palestinians were killed. And yet, this video clip is being used as an example of how the Israelis are so careful in their targeting. And, given the lack of journalists in Gaza, one wonders how many other examples are waiting to emerge from the woodwork.

Despite the horrors that are being conducted in Gaza, one must remember that these are the actions of a corrupt elite that are in power in Israel. They are not representative of the people of Israel. The Communist Party of Israel and Hadash have been organising demonstrations in Tel Aviv in protest against the assault on Gaza and the continuing siege. There have been reports that over 10,000 people have taken to the streets in protest against Israeli action. And their bravery in expressing their right to free speech is underlined when considering the disgusting language of some of the extreme elements in Israeli political life:

Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman said that "in the same way that the Israeli government knows that it is impossible to stop the operation in Gaza until Hamas is eradicated, [the government] must act against those Israeli citizens who are not loyal to the State of Israel."

"The demonstration in Sakhnin in which ten thousand protesters are participating proves that their loyalty is to Hamas and to those who want to destroy Israel."

Ironically those that really seek to destroy Israel are quite possibly the Israeli government themselves. After all, does anyone seriously believe that these attacks will put a stop to the extremists in Gaza? Does anyone really believe that the children who witness the deaths of their mothers, fathers, brother, sisters at the hands of Israeli rockets, will not turn their hatred on Israel? It would be foolish to think that they wouldn't. Each rocket that lands in Gaza produces another extremist. Another person intent on destroying Israel. Another suicide bomber intent on killing Israeli civilians. Until the Israeli government realises this simple fact, the cycle will continue. Unless, of course, that is what they want. To keep the people of Israel living in fear. Well, they may just get their wish.