November 17, 2012
The Arab-Israeli conflict is escalating again and innocent civilians are dying. It is unfolding according to a decades old script in which the Israeli attacks on Gaza are in self-defense. This narrative, in which Israel always sells itself to the west as a democracy in a sea of Arab fanaticism ("civilised Israelis v Islamist terrorists") is a false narrative.
The latest episode flows from Israel's targeted assassination of Ahmed Jaabari, the commander of Ezedin al Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, who's prevented attacks on Israelis for the past five years. Rockets were then launched from locations around Gaza and reach the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Gaza is now under military attack.
Recall that in the winter of 2008-9 Israel's Operation Cast Lead, coupled with the blockade of Gaza, was meant to root out "the infrastructure of terror" from Gaza and eradicate the Hamas threat. It did nothing of the sort. It left up to 1,400 Palestinians and Hamas remained in control. In the summer of 2006 Israel went to war against Hizbullah in order to eliminate its missiles and weaken its political position in Lebanon. That offensive failed as well: Its failure indicated that military operations will solve not the Palestinian problem.
We have the usual good guys (Israel) v the bad guys (Hamas ) scenario by the western media and governments with its implicit denial that the Palestinians have the legal right to resist violent occupation, Israel's targeting a population of civilians, and Israel’s efforts to deny them self-determination. The right wing Israeli aim--ie., Likud--- is to create a Greater Israel through the colonisation of the Occupied Territories.
The Netanyahu government is dead-set against allowing the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own and wants them to accept permanent Bantustan status under Israeli rule instead. If the two-state solution collapses’ then Israel will ‘face a South-African-style struggle’. What happens to the unconditional US support for Israel then?
Both houses of Congress overwhelmingly voted for resolutions in support of Israel's "inherent right to act in self-defence".The two houses of Congress expressed:
unwavering commitment to the security of the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognises and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defence to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.
So Israel is the innocent victim of indiscriminate terror attacks by Hamas and Hamas is not democratically elected. This is taking pace on the eve of a Palestinian bid for greater recognition at the United Nations and with an Israeli election around the corner.