Israel Under Attack?

Israel’s latest military incursion has followed the same pattern as so many previous assaults. We have witnessed six or seven days carnage poured upon a besieged , civilian population from sea, land and air while the U.N. and western governments stand by , allowing Israel to act with impunity and western media give full voice to Israeli government spokespersons claiming they are acting in self defence, that they are the victims. There then follow calls for a ceasefire that are prefaced by recognition of Israel’s right to security. The actual sequence of events are conveniently ignored amidst talk of tit for tat attacks and Israeli response to attack.

Israeli attack on Gaza concentration zone
The only research on the breaching of ceasefires/truces was carried out by Prof. Nancy Kanwisher of Massachusets Institute of Technology. This covered the period 2000-2008. During this time 79% of all truces / ceasefires were interrupted when Israel killed Palestinians, 8% when Palestinians attacked Israelis and 13% when both sides resumed hostilities on the same day. The longer the cessation of hostilities held, the more likely they were to be restarted by Israel. Of the 25 periods of non-violence lasting longer than 1 week, Israel unilaterally interrupted 24 of them.  Of the periods of more than 9 weeks, Israel unilaterally ended all of them.

Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in 2008 after 9 months of relative calm. This murderous, three week assault on Gaza  killed 1 400 Palestinians, wounded over 5000 and destroyed homes, infrastructure and civilian institutions.

The history of Israel has been a history of violence towards it’s neighbours. The State of Israel was established in 1948 by expelling the indigenous people of Palestine who became refugees displaced in various camps throughout the middle east. In 1956 Israel attacked Egypt. In 1967 Israel attacked Egypt, Jordan and Syria and occupied parts of these countries as well as Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. In 1982 Israel attacked and occupied parts of Lebanon. In 1987 and 2001 Israel brutally suppressed the legitimate resistance to occupation by the Palestinian populations in Gaza and the West Bank. In 2006 Israel once more invaded Lebanon and imposed the medieval siege of Gaza.

Israel’s present murderous attack is no different. The chain of events, conveniently ignored by the mainstream media, is as follows;

After several weeks of relative calm, on November4th- Israeli soldiers shot a young, mentally ill Palestinian who had wandered towards the border fence. For several hours the Israelis would not allow Palestinian medics access to the young man. It is believed that this delay caused his death. This event triggered a single rocket to be launched into Israel which caused no casualties or damage. November 8th – Four Israeli tanks and a bulldozer entered Gaza to demolish Palestinian buildings. The Israelis opened fire fatally shooting a 13 year old boy who was playing football. November 10th – Israeli forces again targeted Gaza. Five Palestinians were killed, two of whom were playing football and two of whom had run to the scene of the incident to help. 49 other Palestinians were wounded including 10 children. Later that day an anti tank rocket was fired at an Israeli army jeep that had crossed into Gaza. 4 Israeli soldiers were wounded. November 11th- Amid talks of a truce, 6 more Palestinians, all but one civilians were wounded and another killed by Israeli air strikes and troops on the ground. November 12th – continued Israeli air strikes and two rockets from Gaza landed in Israel. November 13th – two more Israeli air strikes on Gaza and a truce , brokered by Egypt agreed. November 14th – with the truce still holding, Ahmad al-Jabari who had agreed the truce on behalf of Hamas and who only hours before had received a draft proposal for a long term peace agreement was assassinated along with his son by an Israeli air strike and Israel unleashed it’s full onslaught on Gaza by land, sea and air.

It should always be borne in mind that Palestinians as an occupied nation have the right, under the Geneva Convention to resist, including by force, the occupation. Israel, as an occupying power is obliged by the Geneva Convention to withdraw. Israel has no right to defend territories it controls or is colonising.

There are no military solutions to the present situation. Israel can stop the rocket attacks in the short term by agreeing to a ceasefire and lifting the Siege of Gaza. In the long term Israel must end the occupation, remove the illegal settlements, allow the right of return to all ethnically cleansed from their lands in 1948 and 1967, free all the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons and grant full rights to all living in Palestine / Israel regardless of religion, creed or race.

Original piece here

 

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Israel and Settler Society by Lorenzo Veracini

The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis.

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