Gaza 2014

22israel-cnd1-superJumboGaza 2014

What if the Children Dying in Gaza Were Jews?

Because Ms. Power and the government she represents support Israeli apartheid and simply do not value the lives of Palestinian children the same way they value the lives of Israeli children.

Israel-Gaza Conflict: What Has Israel Achieved in 26 Bloody Days?
Hamas is stronger, the Jewish state looks shifty and heartless – and the world’s eyes are on Gaza

When I was a correspondent in Jerusalem between 1995 and 1999, I came to believe that there was another reason, to do with the political psychology of Israelis, which explained why they fought these bloody but futile wars. This was put well by Uri Avnery, the Israeli writer and peace activist, who wrote that the Israeli army is filled with “teenagers who are indoctrinated from the age of three in the spirit of Jewish victimhood and superiority”. The same is true of much of the rest of Israeli society. Israelis genuinely feel they are the main victims deserving international sympathy, even when 1,400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli shells and bombs compared with just three Israeli civilians and one Thai worker killed by Hamas’s rockets and mortars.

Every opponent of Israel, however puny, is treated by Israeli governments and much of the Israeli media as representing an existential threat. Any retaliatory violence is therefore justified, whether the targets are Palestinians, Lebanese or the 10 Turks killed on board the flotilla of boats trying to bring aid to Gaza in 2010. This sense of permanent persecution, born of pogroms and the Holocaust, is understandable but makes Israelis peculiarly vulnerable to demagogues manipulating their sense of threat. Israeli spokesmen have triumphantly pointed to polls showing that 90 per cent of Israelis currently support Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, but this lack of contrary opinion about a venture so unlikely to do Israel much good is, in reality, a sign of weakness in a nation.

The Hannibal Protocolisraeli-6

The Experts’ Verdict: Every Israeli Missile Strike is a War Crime
by Jonathan Cook

The current fighting in Gaza illustrates this point in dramatic fashion. Some 95% of the 64 Israelis who have been killed during the current fighting are soldiers; some 75% of the nearly 1,500 Palestinians who have been killed are civilian.

“Regional Allies”

The longer America’s War for the Greater Middle East drags on, the more apparent it becomes that Washington has done a lousy job of picking allies.

Consider Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, for example. The United States seeks to reduce the prevalence of violent Islamic radicalism. The governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia actively promote it. It’s time to stop pretending otherwise.

Then there is Israel. U.S. interests and those of the Jewish state have long since diverged. To ensure the security and well-being of its citizens, the government of Israel vigorously employs its military muscle to preempt perceived threats and ensure Israeli control of vital terrain and resources, now and in perpetuity.

In practical terms, that implies double standards when it comes to, say, possessing weapons of mass destruction. It also means skepticism regarding any “peace” agreement except on terms manifestly favorable to Israel. From an Israeli perspective, this makes considerable sense.

Yet to satisfy Israel’s prerequisites for peace, nearby Arab states will have to become little Canadas — not only “friendly” but also demilitarized, economically accessible, and with open and undefended borders. That seems highly unlikely.

Through action and inaction, Washington serves as Israel’s willing enabler. By providing arms and technology, the United States guarantees Israel’s “qualitative edge,” a euphemism for unchallengeable regional supremacy. The United States also provides Israel with diplomatic cover, for example, tacitly accepting manifestly illegal Israeli actions such as settlement expansion in the West Bank.

With what consequences? Becoming party to the Arab-Israeli conflict on Israel’s side creates unwanted complications for the United States. It also exacerbates that previously mentioned tendency to overstate the importance of the Greater Middle East in the hierarchy of U.S. strategic interests.

The chief U.S. interest in the region lies in promoting stability. Anything else falls into the category of “nice to have.” In that regard, the United States has a profound interest in responding to the grievances of the Palestinian people promptly and comprehensively. Yet the government of Israel will respond to those grievances in due time and on Israeli terms. In the meantime, the persistence of those grievances provides either a genuine cause of or a pretext for anti-American and anti-Western attitudes across much of the Islamic world.

When it comes to waging the War for the Greater Middle East, Israel belongs in the same category as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan: As allies, all three are unhelpful.