Written by Soraya Misleh – PSTU
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 15:28
Since the beginning of the new Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, called “Protective Edge”, 184 Palestinians have been killed.
The wounded ones have totaled more than 1,200. Most of the victims are women and children. It is the largest attack made by the occupying forces since 2008-2009, when around 1,400 Palestinians were murdered in Gaza, in the operation called “Cast Lead”, between December 27 and January 18. In November 2012, during only eight days, the death toll reached 150. The data elucidate that the Israeli modus operandi in relation to the Gaza Strip is recurrent. As well as the pretexts and the methods used. Therefore, it is important to situate historical and politically the reasons for this new wave of massacres in Gaza.
Gaza, situated in militarily occupied Palestinian territory since 1967, is the most densely populated area in the world: in just 360km2 1.5 million Palestinians live, most of them internally displaced because of eviction from their lands and homes, especially as of May 15, 1948, year of the State of Israel creation (for the Arabs, the nakba, the catastrophe). Gaza can be considered a great open-air concentration camp. A deadly blockage is imposed by Israel since 2006, when Hamas democratically won elections to rule the region.
A year earlier, around eight thousand Jewish settlers, living in illegal settlements there, were removed under the command of the then, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – not for nothing nicknamed “Butcher”, who had already presented a wide range of services rendered to the Zionist project of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. It did not compensate, financially speaking, to keep an occupying force in the region to secure the presence of only eight thousand Jewish settlers. From then on, the way was open for turning Gaza into a primary target of the Zionist intent to continue their policy of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. The election of Hamas – and the false argument that Hamas was a group of extremists who wanted to throw the Jews into the sea – was the whitewash which was needed to solidify this policy. Despite the criticism that it may be made towards Hamas it is worth reiterating that they were democratically elected and what it does, to face the Israeli offensive is the resistance against a criminal occupation, obviously, without the same firepower.
Brief historical background
In addition to its geopolitical position, Gaza would be a strategic location for Israel to go ahead in a direct way with its policy of ethnic cleansing, which is a foundational element of the creation of the state as ethnically homogeneous: in other words, an exclusively Jewish state. Today, there is already enough documentation to demonstrate that there were deliberate plans of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people so that such a project had a successful result. The last and most aggressive of them is the referred to as Plan Dalet. In that plan the Palestinian villages that should disappear from the map to give way for the new state were mapped. In only six months since it was implemented in May 1948, around 500 of those villages were destroyed and 800,000 Palestinians expelled from their land. It was necessary to promote simultaneous immigration waves of Jews over there and evict the native inhabitants to guarantee a Jewish majority in those lands – until November 29, 1947, the year when the General Assembly of the United Nations recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab one, without consulting the Palestinians inhabitants, the percentage of Jews was no more than 30%. This proportion continued even after immigration waves. The immigration waves, that began in the late nineteenth century, when it arises the Zionist movement, whose father was the Austrian called Theodor Herzl, sought to ensure the land settling and the conquest of labor, together with the refusal to providing employment to the Palestinians. With the decisive support of the United Kingdom (UK), which began to hold command over Palestine as a spoil of the First World War (1914-1918), it was possible to carry out his project. Improper use of the terrible Holocaust perpetrated in Europe during the Second World War (1939-1945) contributed to the committing of a new injustice and crimes against humanity, this time in Palestine. Since then, Israel would have a new and preferential ally, the United States that has become a world power since then. Arab governments, allies of imperialism, are also accomplices in the nakba, as demonstrated throughout history. The imperialist countries, responsible for this tragedy, must be denounced for its continuity. Excessive rhetoric, ineffective or no action at all in face of the arbitrary acts committed by Israel on a daily basis are the backdrop for this new wave of massacres in Gaza.
The pretext and the facts
The pretext this time was the death of three young settlers in the West Bank, Palestinian territory militarily occupied by Israel also in 1967. Despite Hamas has denied being responsible for the deaths of the teenagers and despite their death is surrounded by uncertainties, Israel has condemned the entire population of Gaza to a collective punishment, a true genocide. What the mainstream media does not disclose is that – as in previous offensives – Israel was responsible for the antecedents. Last May, Israel killed in cold blood two young Palestinians. Their names: Nuwara Nadim and Abu Muhammad Al-Thahir.
They comprise a long list of victims of the crimes committed by the Zionist state in recent months and years. What is not also disclosed is that the young Jews were transiting between an illegal settlement and another and were killed in a region where fundamentalist settlers often attack violently the Palestinians. In other words, the responsibility for their deaths is Israel, who placed them there to continue its project and has been spreading the culture of hatred – in a region where until 1948, according to reports from Palestinians who lived through the nakba and who were children at that time, “Jews, Christians and Muslims played together without labels”. After the death of the young Jews it started the persecution of Palestinians in the West Bank – one of them, Mohammed Abu Khdair, only 16 years old, was burned alive after torture. Many houses were invaded and demolished and the list of Palestinian political prisoners – currently totaling about 5000, including children – have grown up without any proof that they have participated in the action, as it is also customary in Israel.
In the strategy of continuing the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, another failed “peace negotiations” and the pursuit to destroy the unity between Fatah and Hamas also explain the attacks on Gaza, as well as an internal crisis in the Israeli government. As in previous offensives, political gain is in the calculations. Unfortunately, most Israelis support these criminal actions, sold to them as actions perpetrated in their defense against terrorists. In order to ensure this support, Israel has been skillful in their propaganda of dehumanization of the Palestinians.
What we see, however, is a growing world outrage, with hundreds of demonstrations around the globe, and a heroic resistance by the Palestinians in different parts of the territory. There are prospects that the new wave of massacres triggers the start of a third intifada (uprising). In a context of popular revolutions in the Arab world started in late 2010 and ongoing – inspired by the long and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people – the new uprising may be the yeast to revive and expand the movement against the imperialism allied dictators throughout the region – dictators who guarantee the maintenance of the occupation and apartheid in Palestine. Gigantic demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza in Yemen, in Syria, in Egypt, among other countries, show it. The Palestinian issue is the epicenter.
On the other hand, it also grows the movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. In Brazil, solidarity with the Palestinian people must strengthen that call. The country is the second biggest importer of military technology from Israel in recent years. The same technologies used currently in true human laboratories in which the Palestinians of Gaza have become. It is fundamental to demand that Brazilian government and all democratic governments immediately break those agreements with Israel, as well as diplomatic relations. It is urgent to isolate economically and politically the Zionist state and surround Palestinian with solidarity. If today the meaning is of an emergency about it, as well as the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people is a continuing act, it is necessary that solidarity does not finish after the end of this new massacre. But that it continues until Palestine is free and guarantees the return of the 5 million Palestinians living abroad, many of them in refugee camps, to their homes and properties. Until justice is done, and this will only occur in a single state, secular, democratic in all the historic Palestine territory, with equal rights for all those who want to live in peace with the Palestinians.