What is new in the current massacre in Gaza?

PALESTINE
Written by Waldo Mermelstein, PSTU – Brazil
Friday, 22 August 2014 21:49
 

The first peculiarity is that the monopoly of mainstream media has been broken. [1] The Internet social networks forced the mainstream media coverage to report on reality.

Simultaneously, the images dissemination of the civilians horrible massacre, public opinion has started to change, forcing even more strongly that the traditional coverage broadcasted, albeit partially, the Palestinian side. It were unleashed during the attack the largest peaceful demonstrations in the world since, maybe, the crowds that packed the major cities of the world in the preparation of the Iraq invasion.

This visibility of the conflict appears to have also contributed to significant and important change of opinion among the Jews themselves on the Palestinian issue. Although most of the Jewish communities in the world still maintain their solidarity with the policies of Israel State, a small but growing and noisy minority among the Jews of the world have spoken out against barbarism, as from different political positions.

In the United States, there are important signs of change: two surveys pointed out to a reduction among the general population in providing support for Israeli actions. According to one of the surveys, the Gallup, 42% approve the Zionist action and 39% does not, while among women, nonwhites, those with less education and young people, the majority condemns Israel’s actions. For young people 18-29 years, the opposite ratio is of 51% to 29%! [2].

The so-called Palestinian Authority (PA) increasingly co-participates in the occupation, channeling, international investments, including Israeli, to exploit the Palestinian workforce. It is remarkable the corruption and the favoring of the circle connected to Abbas. Moreover, its repressive forces trained by the Americans play the role of police to prevent the confrontation with Israel. This combination of investments and strong repression caused some calm. Shortly after the first Israeli attacks in the West Bank to arrest hundreds of political activists linked to Hamas, then part of the Palestinian national unity government, it crumbled any “calm”.

On July 23, 2014, in the evening, tens of thousands of Palestinians marched toward the Qalandia checkpoint, in front of the Separation Wall, trying to go to Jerusalem. Although the action had been brutally put down [3], it has shown that a reunification can be ongoing, a revival, as of the rank and file, of the Palestinian movement. The Palestinian “Authority” policy, accomplice in the insulation of Gaza Strip in relation to the West Bank, is seemingly starting to sink. This is other great and auspicious news.

The so cherished hopes among Palestinians nurtured since the Oslo Agreements in 1993-4 that their State might come alongside Israel were buried by the Zionists relentless and constant ethnic cleansing policy. Recent survey shows that the number of Palestinians who are in favor of a one-state solution with equal rights for all its inhabitants including the restitution of the refugee rights increased to two-thirds. [4]

Resistance

The other surprise has been the resilience of the Palestinians against the fourth most powerful army in the world, which is equipped with the very best of military technology, supplied by the United States. The secret is pretty simple: everyone knows in Gaza, since their childhood that resistance is the only option left by the occupier, as the territory is, within the boundaries of what was the historic Palestine, the most brutally oppressed sector since 1947-1948. Its population suffers, since the 1950s, periodic Zionist raids and several massacres, widely known to the generations rose in the region. This unbearable situation gives people the certainty that without resistance the siege will not end and, furthermore, this resistance provides the high morale of its youth so that they bravely resist the invader. [5]

At the time of the first Intifada (1988-1993), the occupation troops were ordered by their commander, Yitzhak Rabin, to “break the bones” of young people who were throwing stones.  The same Yitzhak Rabin said that the solution to Gaza was “that it was sunk into the sea”. In other words, the permanent Zionist goal is to make an ethnic cleansing or a total genocide in the area. Since this is not possible, it remains the argument of Arnon Sofer, one of the leading demographers of the country, an adviser to Ariel Sharon in the “separation” policy when he predicted that the demographic balance between Jews and Palestinians in the territory of historic Palestine and determined that “if we want to stay alive, we have to kill and kill and kill, every day, every day “[6]. Since this is not possible because it would generate a worldwide commotion, the Zionists periodically carry out punitive expeditions, attacking indiscriminately, men, women and children, in the purest style of the colonial troops or the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Gaza started being isolated from the West Bank and from the world in the 1990s.  As of 2005, Tel Aviv carried out the farce of the “disengagement”, when withdrawing its settlers from the Gaza Strip and blocking the territory totally, controlling everything that comes and goes there. The occupation prevents the fishing, destroyed the infrastructure, making the water almost impossible to drink, 70% of the population lives on international aid and with less than a dollar a day.

The Extreme-Right

Other long- standing issue in Israel, the racism against Palestinians, has taken unprecedented dimensions, also including The Israeli Jews who dare to protest against barbarism. High dignitaries of State and government have incited fascist actions, such as the one committed against Mohamed Kader, kidnapped and burned alive. Rabbis [7] parliamentarians [8] and intellectuals [9] have advocated the murder, rape and other forms of extreme racism against Palestinians in the mainstream media and press. According to a recent article by Ilan Pappe condemning the massacre [10], an important historian such as Benny Morris has even said in public to the newspaper Haaretz in Hebrew that the Israeli army actions so far demonstrate “weakness of spirit and mind (sic)” and asked for much more destruction in the future. … A thing that, when finishing this article, it seems that the government is making, with few brave people protesting loudly.

The fascist right is not a small sector in the country. It has representatives in the government and has a wide social foundation among the 500,000 West Bank settlers, besides those who inhabit Israel.

Pacifists in Israel have always been a minority and have been reduced drastically in the last 30 years with the growth of the settlements, the Russian immigration and the acceptance of openly murderous policies deployed by all governments, be they of Laborists or rightists as of the second Intifada in 2001. Among them, are included those who claim to be Zionists leftists, who differ from the mainstream for being willing to offer “more concessions” to the Palestinians. However the usurped national rights restitution to the Palestinians cannot be subject to any “concession” but an unconditional solidarity, starting by the end of the West Bank and Jerusalem occupation and the Gaza blockade, reaching the most fundamental rights, such as the right of return of refugees.

Left Zionism

It is only taking this attitude, which means the recognition of the main subject [the Palestinians] in the struggle against militarism, oppression and exploitation, that the pacifists and the Israeli Left will be able to forge a solid alliance against the growing movement towards the Right in their own ranks. If they do not break this umbilical cord with Zionism, they will remain as a tiny minority unconnected to the needs of the exploited and oppressed Palestinian majority. Nor may they be an alternative to the most exploited Jewish workers and those from the Arab countries, when and if they change their largely favorable positions in favor of tougher policies against the Palestinians.

A sample of this attitude was the proposal of “Peace” in Geneva in 2005, sponsored by sectors of the Zionist left, which only “offered” some symbolic concessions on the topics of the refugees and the territories, but maintaining the “recognition” of the Jewish character of Israel, the permanence of most settlers in the West Bank and the assurance that a hypothetical Palestinian state would be demilitarized [11]. In other words, it would be established a not-viable buffer Palestinian State and the maintenance of the institutional and ‘de facto’ discrimination against the Palestinians within the 1948 borders, not to mention the lack of solution for the 5 million of refugees.

Another example: in the notice to attend the demonstration in Tel Aviv on July 26, to which I would certainly have gone if I had been there, and which was attended by thousands of people, it read: “start to negotiate with the acknowledged Palestinian leadership of the West Bank and Gaza, to end the occupation and the blockade and to achieve the independence and the justice for both peoples in Israel and Palestine “[12]. But even understanding the difficult conditions to which they are subjected, both the State pressure and the overwhelming majority of the local Jewish population influenced by the militarist environment, placing the end of the occupation and the end of the blockade as something to be negotiated is mistaken. Probably the movement had been under pressure to make a deal to enable a broader action that would accommodate as many positions as possible in an already very small sector of the population. Incidentally, it neither prevented them of being attacked by the fascist groups.

These differences may seem subtle, but the focus change makes a lot of difference. There will be no peace without justice. If the so called Leftist Zionists are really intending the peace, they must break with Zionism and to ally themselves with the Palestinians inside and outside the borders of 1948 to fight for a single state in the historic Palestine. Now, after many years, this reality is more pressing than ever, and can open the dialogue with some of them, who are willing to make a sincere assessment of these 65 years of existence of the “Jewish and democratic state”. In a sentence, it is about rebuilding the unity between the struggle for self-determination of the oppressed nation with the social struggles against exploitation.

Certainly, the situation is changing. It is not clear the outlines of what will arise with these changes. Our hearts are filled with bitterness before the countless dead and wounded, with hundreds of lives destroyed. Nevertheless, we hope that one more chapter of this historic tragedy can be able to produce new social and political players as from the resistance against the Zionist barbarism throughout all Palestine and that it can be able to definitely change this history which has lasted over 65 years.

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[1] For an analysis on the situation in Gaza after the offensive “Cast Lead” see (https://www.academia.edu/1930285/As_perspectivas_da_luta_palestina_apos_o_massacre_em_Gaza)

[2] http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/gaza-and-u-s-public-opinion/

[3] http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/25/turning_point_largest_west_bank_protest

[4] http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.601938

[5] http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=715567

[6] http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74 &jumival=10942

[7] http://davidduke.com/45336/

[8] http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/07/israeli-mp-mothers-of-all-palestinians-must-be-killed/

[9] http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.606542

[10] http://electronicintifada.net/content/family-one-thousandth-victim-israels-genocidal-slaughter-gaza/13648

[11] http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n01/ilan-pappe/the-geneva-bubble

[12] http://maki.org.il/en/?p=2710

 
 

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