|Some of the tools of the trade in Gaza. Source: Guardian *|
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired
"We will not accept any initiative that does not end the blockade on our people and that does not show respect to their sacrifices.”
It seems Hamas, the elected government of Gaza that according to international observers was elected in a fair and democratic election, is putting up a ferocious struggle against one of the world’s most heavily equipped and technologically advanced armies financed and armed by the US taxpayer. I couldn’t help thinking about US government officials whining about Putin arming ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine as I write this. US made F16’s are bombing a civilian population of almost two million that has no air defense, no tanks and no sophisticated weaponry.
The death toll according to today’s reports has caused the Zionists some concern. Some 32 Israeli soldiers have been killed and three civilians in Israel, one of them a Thai worker. The Zionists import much of its workforce from third world countries much like the Arab regimes do and in all these countries, many of them suffer extreme discrimination especially African immigrants. Palestinian deaths “…rose by 72 to 693 killed, with more than 4,200 wounded. The dead included 166 children and 67 women…” according to the Gaza Ministry of Health quoted in today’s Wall Street Journal.
The statement above is from Hamas spokesperson Khaled Meshaal. Ending the blockade of Gaza by the Zionist regime as well as freeing Palestinians in Israeli jails are major issues for the Gazan government. Hamas is willing to take a break in the fighting but not without addressing the incredible economic savagery inflicted on Gazan’s by the blockade which is also supported by Egypt’s dictatorship led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
John Kerry, husband of the US heir to the Heinz fortune, is in the area trying to push a cease-fire brokered by the Zionists, the Egyptians and the US. Kerry refuses to talk to any representatives of the elected Gazan government as the US and the Europeans have attached the dreaded “T” word to them. Once a group is labeled a terrorist organization by the US government they are out of the dialogue, unless of course they are “terrorists” that serve US corporate interests as bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and many others have at one time or another. The “terrorism” of the IRA was well publicized in the British media when I was young while the far more violent and destructive “terrorism” of the British state (over 500 years I might add) was not.
Hamas recognizes this set up for what it is and refuses to agree to a truce coming out of this den of thieves. The group rejected last week’s cease fire proposal from Sisi, as it wasn't consulted about an issue affecting its constituents and that “the offer didn't go far enough to lift Egypt's and Israel's economic siege of Gaza or free Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.”, the WSJ adds. Everyone wants us to accept a cease-fire and then negotiate for our rights. We reject this.". says Hamas spokesperson Meshaal. This is a reasonable position unless of course, it is coming form a “terrorist” group.
The US government has consistently defended the murderous actions of the Zionist regime from the blockade to theft of land, destruction of homes and family farms and the importing of the semi-fascist settlers of various nationalities whose only claim to Palestinian land is that god gave it to them a few thousand years ago. Why should the Gazan government trust the US or Israel? As these developments unfold, the U.N. Human Rights Council voted to “open an inquiry” in to Israel's invasion of Gaza and as is always the case, the U.S. was the only country of the 47 member group that voted against it. It should be noted that neither, China, Russia, Iran, Turkey and other countries label Hamas a terrorist organization. This term is very useful. British colonialism in its last violent gasp in Kenya refused to refer to the Mau Mau uprising that drove them from the country as a rebellion as the Geneva convention would have afforded them certain rights of war. The British Crown also referred to American revolutionists as terrorists.
This heroic stand by the people of Gaza and its government will be applauded by the vast majority of the world’s working class. The savagery of the invasion has already caused some countries to break trade relations with the Zionist regime and also has increased divisions in Israeli society as workers and leftists fought fascists in the streets of Tel Aviv; this is a positive development. There have also been demonstrations all over the world.
As earlier commentaries have pointed out, the Zionist regime and its racist philosophy are a catastrophe for the Jewish people and there have been and will most likely be more attacks on innocent Jews in response to Israel’s slaughter. The Zionists welcome this as they appeal then to the Jews of the Diaspora warning them that anti-Semitism is alive and well and their only safe haven in Israel. But the anger directed at innocent Jews in other countries is not the same as the traditional Anti-Semitism of Europe, it is a response to the Zionist regime and it genocidal actions.
What will undermine these attacks is if more Jewish organizations and prominent individuals speak out and condemn the Zionists. Where are the influential and wealthy Jews of Hollywood here? The Irish Republicans war against the British troops didn’t have its roots in anti-English feeling, and nor does the present day anger at Jews who remain silent or support the treatment of Palestinians that has gone on for years.
Hamas and the Palestinian people are fighting for the right to their land, their culture and religion. The US media is so controlled and censored that so many Americans believe that Jews and Muslim have been fighting like this for centuries, this is not so. The European Jews that dominate Israeli life also look down on the Sephardic Jews, the Arab Jews that have lived in the region for centuries. Ari Shavit, considered a Jewish leftist from what I understand, wrote in his book, “My Promised Land” that “many Oriental Jews are not aware of what Israel saved them from, a life of misery and backwardness in an Arab Middle East.” Yet Jews held important posts in Arab/Muslim society, they fared much better than in Christian Europe.
There is a history of racism in Israel that, as many writers point out is ignored by US Jews, many of whom pounce on any hint of anti-Semitism in US society. Larry Derfner writing in the Jewish Forward in 2013 gave an example:
The Anti-Defamation League and the rest of the American Jewish establishment owe Jesse Jackson a big apology. They put the man through the wringer, they made him apologize in every possible forum for his “Hymie” and “Hymietown” remarks back in 1984. Yet look at the kinds of things Israeli leaders — senior government ministers, chief rabbis — get away with without ever having to apologize, without ever being punished in the slightest.
Just last week, Naftali Bennett, the fresh new face of right-wing Orthodox Judaism, said in a cabinet meeting how he didn’t like these releases of Palestinian prisoners. “If you catch terrorists, you simply have to kill them,” he was quoted in Yedioth Ahronoth as saying. The head of the National Security Council, Yaakov Amidror, told Bennett, “Listen, that’s not legal.” Bennett replied: “I have killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there is no problem with that.”
Derfner reminds the reader of Netenyahu’s comment in 2007: “Bibi Netanyahu bragged in 2007 that the cuts he’d made to child subsidies had brought a “positive” result, which he identified as “the demographic effect on the non-Jewish public, where there was a dramatic drop in the birth rate.”
Imagine the scandal if an American political leader boasted publicly that his cuts to child subsidies had reduced the “non-Christian” birth rate. Imagine the ADL’s reaction. But in Israel, in 2007, from the mouth of a once-and-future prime minister — nothing.”
Imagine indeed. Kerry is paid by the US taxpayer, the same group that pays for the F16’s, to go negotiate with Netenyahu who but not an elected official of Gaza. These kind of statements can be said of Palestinians or blacks in Israel by political figures or other important persons without fear.
I compliment Hamas and the Palestinian people for their heroic struggle against a vicious and brutal opponent. I cannot condemn them and the entire government of Gaza for not putting the fate of 2 million people in the hands of John Kerry, Benyamin Netenyahu or Sisi. They know better.
Here in the US workers and the middle class are facing a war of our own against the same John Kerry and his class. Millions have lost homes, jobs, and public services. Wages and benefits have been savaged as the thugs that run this country borrow money in order to pay for US capitalism’s wars on behalf of US corporations. Detroit retirees have just voted to cut their own pensions. This is a mistake.
Like the Palestinians, we have no alternative but to fight back and one source of funds can be found by cutting all economic aid to the Zionists, no more money, no more planes, tanks and no more spare parts. We must build a united workers movement and not allow ourselves to be divided along race, gender or religious lines; it a recipe for disaster.
As an earlier blog pointed out, a decaying US capitalism, like British colonialism and other empires of history can no longer provide guns and butter, provide a decent standard of living at least to a considerable section of society at home and maintain military global dominance. We have to pay for this.
There no solution to the situation in Israel/Palestine on a capitalist basis just a there is no halting environmental catastrophe on a capitalist basis.
*Flechette Shells: B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation, describes a flechette shell as "an anti-personnel weapon that is generally fired from a tank. The shell explodes in the air and releases thousands of metal darts 37.5mm in length, which disperse in a conical arch 300 metres long and about 90 metres wide".
For a democratic social federation of states in the Middle East and the world.