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Palestine Today: A Reality of Justice Denied
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Cast Lead, Gaza made a giant prison, and illegal settlements expose a lawless society and bogus democracy, arousing millions globally to demand justice.
On December 24, Mondoweiss co-editor Adam Horowitz wrote:
On December 23, Israeli forces shot and killed Salama Abu Harhish without warning while herding sheep and goats in Beit Lahya. Civilized nations don't murder nonviolent civilians in cold blood, this time leaving a widow and day-old unnamed baby.
What "democracy" thrives on violence, spurns peace, and wages preemptive wars like Cast Lead. Besides America, only Israel, a global menace like its Washington paymaster/partner, together with Britain the real axis of evil.
December 28 was Cast Lead's second anniversary, a three week continuing onslaught. Against Palestine, Israel's wars never end. The 2008-09 horror evoked memories of Franklin Roosevelt's December 8, 1941 moment, telling a joint session of Congress:
Historical analysis exposed America's real intent, its desire for war, its foreknowledge of the attack, its tracking of the Japanese fleet across the Pacific but not warning Pearl Harbor's commander to ensure surprise and public anger, and Roosevelt's imperial aims. Nonetheless, his powerful words expressed outrage about any nation attacking another preemptively, even if goaded to do it.
Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah remembered Cast Lead in his December 27 article headlined, "The Gaza massacre and the struggle for justice," saying:
Also targeted were schools, universities, hospitals, mosques, industrial and government facilities, police stations, fishing boats, agriculture and residential homes - all unrelated to military necessity in violation of fundamental international law.
Moreover, Israel was guilty of committing the "supreme international crime" against peace, an Israeli and American specialty though neither's been held accountable. As a result, justice remains denied, begging for redress.
As a result, peace is consistently avoided, justice denied, and atrocities continue daily. Cast Lead highlighted Palestinian victimization, decades of occupation, besieged Gaza, persecuted Israeli Arabs, and the diaspora population prohibited from returning, a right enshrined in international law.
It also exposes a lawless society and bogus democracy, arousing millions globally to demand justice. Failure insults victims and the rule of law. Yet international community silence endorses rogue state lawlessness. Impunity encourages continuity, an endless cycle of persecution, violence, slaughter and destruction, seeking new pretexts to sustain it or inventing them when don't exist.
Israel's Self-Destructive Politics
Last March 16, Haaretz writer Bradley Burston headlined, "Israel's Titanic Moment: Does Obama Want Bibi's Head," saying:
On December 28, Burston headlined, "Israel's government is turning into a settlement," saying:
Burston denounced Avigdor Lieberman, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, for "drill(ing) new holes directly into (the) ship of state," a man Newsweek called "Israel's most popular politician." Interviewing him last October, Lieberman:
On that issue, he's right because Israel spurns it, choosing violence over diplomacy, democratic values and equal justice. Eventually it's self-destructive as Burston believes.
It's no surprise that Haaretz believes "Lieberman must go," a December 28 editorial calling him "an opportunistic figure competing in the guise of a diplomat for the leadership of the Israeli right wing." [An earlier article presented a profile of his ultranationalist extremism.]
Haaretz believes that "If Netanyahu expects to be taken seriously....he must dismiss Lieberman immediately." Israel needs a legitimate foreign minister, not a fractious lunatic vindicating Israel's adversaries. Perhaps he should dissolve his coalition and call new elections, though shuffling the deck won't matter, given the the loyal opposition's makeup - as belligerent and hard-line as Netanyahu at a time Israel's Knesset is its most extreme ever.
Besides an array of extremist passed or proposed legislation, it sanctions racism and violence, including the December 28 attacks against Beitin village. Sandwiched between Bet El and Ofra settlements, the main road between Beitin and Ramallah is closed, forcing residents to travel 30 minutes to the city, not five by the main road.
On December 28, hundreds protested and were attacked by Israeli forces, using rubber bullets, pepper spray, and high-velocity tear gas rounds fired, from close range, directly at protestors as well as into nearby homes.
Near Jerusalem, Palestinians protesting against Israel's Separation Wall were also attacked. Nine arrests were made, including international activists and an al Quds correspondent. After release, they got several days to leave the country.
Further, protestors against occupation and separation from Al Masara and other villages were assaulted. Together with international activists, they faced sound and tear gas bombs. Sixteen year old Ali Hamdan was struck in the chest and injured. Others suffered from inhilation effects. At Ni'lin's weekly anti-Wall protest, confrontations there occurred, as well as at Nabi Saleh where one protestor was shot 13 times with rubber bullets, was seriously injured and hospitalized.
On December 29, Haaretz writer Amira Hass headlined, "Israel's Qassam strikes on Gaza," saying:
In fact, Israeli soldiers "nearly daily fir(e) on Gaza civilians, regularly wounding (or) killing them." Vilnai, however, claims "They started it, so we have the right to respond." Yet in January 1991, as GOC Southern Command, he signed an infamous military order, revoking exit permits granted years earlier. As a result, Gazans lost free movement under military closure, a policy deeply hardened today under siege.
A Final Comment
NGO Monitor (NGOM) is a Jerusalem-based pro-Israeli front group, disseminating propaganda and hate. It debases legitimate human rights organizations, independent journalists, other advocates for truth, equity and justice, and, on Cast Lead's second anniversary, the Goldstone and other reports exposing Israeli crimes of war and against humanity against Gazans.
Calling irrefutable evidence "unsupported allegations (and) false investigations," it demanded acknowledgement of "the degree to which (they're) unsupported."
By backing Israeli lawlessness, NGOM's audacity gives chutzpah new meaning. Moreover, it's staff defile the dead and injured, wanton destruction, and human misery. They represent a frontal attack on truth, decency, and reality of 1.5 million Gazans under suffocating siege, denied life, liberty, and for many the ability to survive. Punishing repression and daily assaults are shocking crimes, begging for redress, highlighted by remembering Cast Lead's slaughter. NGOM forgets and desecrates.
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This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on December 30, 2010.