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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Israel: might makes right « Previous | |Next »
July 4, 2006

It wasn't so long ago that Israel disengaged from Gaza and talked about withdrawing from most of the Occupied Territories. That made Gaza a semi-autonomous sovereign territory. Today the Israeli army has invaded the Gaza Strip, while in the West Bank it has arrested a third of the Palestinian government: 64 legislators, cabinet ministers and officials, members of Hamas all. Doesn't that make the Israeli commitment to recognizing an independent Palestinian nation a sham?

The pretext given for the invasion was a raid led by the Hamas military wing on June 25, in which two soldiers were killed and one captured from an army post close to the Gaza Strip. Preumably Israel aims to create a new political reality based on nullifying the Hamas victory in the January elections.

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Bill Leak

I say pretext because the Israeli military intervention looks premeditated and planned. It is more than reprisals" and "retaliation" that justifies the suffering the Israeli army is now inflicting on the Palestinian population for the "escalation" by the Palestinian militants. Israel's is a disproportinate response. The reasons?

By taking members of the Hamas government hostage Israel has shown its indifference to democratic elections and the development of a Palestinian state. Israel has allowed the Israeli military to inflict a policy of collective punishment against the impoverished civilian population. The Israeli defence force has destroyed Palestinian property and infrastructure that serves the basic needs of 1.4 million innocent civilians in Gaza eg., vital road bridges, the main power station and factories.Since Gaza's public water supply is pumped by electricity the taps, too, are dry, and there is no sewage system.

The US has continued to offer protection to Israel for these kind of activities despite them contravening articles 3 and 33 of the Geneva convention, which prohibit collective punishment, reprisals against protected persons, and the destruction of private properties belonging to individuals, groups, organisations or official bodies.The US says that "Israel has the right to defend itself". Don't the Palestinians also have that right? If Hamas is to be held account for its words and actions. The same applies to Israel.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:56 AM | | Comments (8)
Comments

Comments

Overall we agree with this analysis.

The other issue to also consider in tandem is that the Palestinian polity has been poorly served by its political leadership. Fatah is notoriously corrupt, and which may explain the big turnout for Hamas which could be interpreted as a protest vote of Fatah. Also, Hamas is a violent militia, which has no real capacity to renounce its militia history or philosophy, and turn its attention towards nation building.

WeekByWeek,
yes the Palestinian people have been poorly served by their political authority and leadership in terms of nation building.

I understand that conciliatary moves between Fatah and Hamas appeared imminent – to be followed, perhaps, by renewal of talks between the PA and Israel. The raid on the Israeli military outpost suggests that Hamas is split between its military and governing wing.

However it is hard to see what Israel can gain from dismantling the Hamas led by Ismail Haniyeh, and is still supported by the Palestinian people.

Gary,I see again the in depth analysis of the mythical Palistinian State is again off and running.
For mine there is going to be no Palistinian State not never, nada,niet,buckly's.It is all sophistry.This is the pre-cursor to the showdown with Iran that is in the pipeline.Hamas is Irans proxy in the initial stage of what's going down,the softening up of the belly of the beast.Anyone who thinks there is going to be a viable Palistinian State wholly independent of Israel has failed their history lesson,and should start again.The abduction of the Israel soldier was a gift or was it?Oh no Phill not the dreaded conspiricy theory?Umm either that or there are now some rich Palistinians sunning themselves in a Calfornian or Costa Rican resort mayhaps.Hey Gary please don't faint,as much as Iran is entitled to build nuclear weapons,Iran having them is tantamount to letting toddlers play with hand grenades.The Jews will not allow Iran to have the bomb and this is what this latest turn of events is about.
phill.

The Palestinian people are suffering because they voted in an apparently free and fair democratic election. Isn't that what the invasion of Iraq was meant to achieve?

Perry,
I have to admit that I'm puzzled by the Western powers who poured billions of dollars into building Palestinian institutions, only to cut them off after a democratic election when they the EU and the US declared a Palestinian Authority governed by Hamas as untouchable adn beyond the pale.

What is to be achieved by a policy of starving the Palestinian people? How does that help Palestinian self-determination to become a reality?

Phill,
The Israeli Government's position is that the European Union's funding to help the Palestinians should not give the democratically elected Hamas Government "recognition or legitimacy".

Yet the Israeli Government also insists --and at the same time---that the Palestinian Authority must be held "responsible" for the capture of Israeli soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit.

Is this not a contradiction?

Gary,of course it's a contradiction.But then everything about the whole peace process is a contradiction.I could care less if it was Mother Teresa or the damn Pope himself as President of the Palistinian people, "A State"it is never going to happen.And whats more for all the blather from Bush/Blair and who ever follows them, they know it.
Israel being the only super power in the region can stall the peace process for as long as it takes,untill a whole new generation of Palistinians except the fact Palistine as it was known when it was carved out by the British,will only be found in old dusty library books.Of course WW3 may change all this who knows?
Phill.

gary, i totally agree with your analysis of Israel's cowardly attack on the Palestinians. the abduction of an Israeli soldier is merely an excuse to destroy what is left of Gaza.