Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The Israeli military said its assassination of the Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, marks the beginning of an operation against Gaza militants. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)
Operation Cast Lead Redux
A familiar script is being played out in front of the world’s eyes. After US Presidential elections and before national elections Israel is launching air strikes and threatening a ground invasion on the beleaguered Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated regions in the world, 1 million of whom are refugees from the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. The Israeli government says its attacks are only in “self-defense,” to put an end to militant rocket attacks when in fact the assault only re-energizes the cycle of violence and increases extremism and barely dents the capability of militant groups. Such operations are only meant to perpetuate the status quo, helping neither innocent Israelis or Gazans. As UC Irvine professor Mark LeVine notes,
It is deja vu all over again of the worst kind. Israel’s latest assault on Gaza will kill dozens and perhaps hundreds of civilians in a hail of hellfire from the ground, sky and even sea. Hamas will fire hundreds of rockets, likely killing a few Israeli civilians and terrorising tens of thousands of residents of the south of the country, but otherwise achieving little beyond helping to justify even more Israeli carnage in Gaza and who knows how many new housing units in the West Bank.
Outside of the benighted territory of Palestine/Israel sides will be chosen – at least for the cameras. The US will give “full-throttled support” for its ally. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president will feign outrage, bring home his ambassador, and otherwise stay safely out of the way. The Arab League and the UN Security Council will meet and make strongly-vaguely worded pronouncements. Or not. It really doesn’t matter.
Meanwhile, death, destruction and hopelessness will continue until yet another truce is declared. Each side – or rather, the worst elements of each side, will declare “victory” and arrogate even more political and economic power to themselves. And then the whole process will begin again.
Gazans, stuck between two occupying regimes: a suffocating Israeli apartheid program of siege and occupation and an authoritarian and stupid Hamas regime are again bearing the brunt of Israeli military violence. See: Pictures of Israel’s Offensive in Gaza.
In the USA, the mainstream media is swallowing, hook, line and sinker the Israeli narrative that it is just “defending” itself when in fact the story is more nuanced. The recent operation dubbed “Operation Pillar of Defense” broke an informal ceasefire,
Israel is threatening to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip after breaking an informal ceasefire with a series of ongoing deadly attacks. On Wednesday, an Israeli air strike assassinated Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing. The bombing continued throughout the day and night, killing at least 13 civilians, including a baby and a mother pregnant with twins. More than 100 Palestinians were also wounded, and the toll is expected to rise. At least three Israelis were killed today when Palestinian rockets hit a residential building in the town of Kiryat Malachi, the first Israeli fatalities since the latest fighting began. Israel says it has launched the strikes to prevent Palestinian rocket fire, but the latest round of violence began last week when Israeli troops killed a young boy in Gaza. The situation has escalated since Saturday, when Palestinian militants fired at an Israeli military vehicle near the Israel-Gaza border. After Palestinian militant groups agreed to an informal truce on Monday, Israel broke two days of quiet on Wednesday.
Watch Amy Goodman’s interview with reporter Mohammed Omer, who is on the ground in Gaza:
Islamophobes Love Dead Palestinians
Of course nothing seems to give more joy to Islamophobes than dead Palestinians. It’s a running theme that was there before the recent conflagration of violence and will be there afterwards and so it is no surprise that they are cheerleading Israel’s assault.
Finally. Godspeed to the beleaguered Jewish state. A decade of rockets into Southern Israel and now daily rocket attacks into homes and schools, in concert with an American president who supports jihad.
In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, defeat jihad.
Robert Spencer, frolicking in fantasy land is on the record denying that Israel ever ‘harms civilians,’ terming it “propaganda,” he also puts “Palestinian” in scary quote marks (implying they aren’t real),
They [international media] aid and abet the “Palestinian” propaganda about Israelis harming civilians.
There will surely be more kooky pro-Israel-attack-on-Gaza spin to come from the Islamophobic looniverse. We’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime keep the innocents in your thoughts and prayers. The two state solution is dead and all we are witnessing is a waste of lives, time and energy.
Update I: Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza by Glenn Greenwald
“Most USA media outlets are petrified of straying too far from pro-Israel orthodoxies. Time’s Middle East correspondent Rania Abouzeid noted this morning on Twitter the typical template: “Just read report in major US paper about Gaza/Israel that put Israeli dead in 1st sentence. Palestinian in 6th paragraph.” Or just consider the BBC’s headline. Worse, this morning’s New York Times editorial self-consciously drapes itself with pro-Israel caveats and completely ignores the extensive civilian deaths in Gaza before identifying this as one of the only flaws it could find with the lethal Israeli assault: “The action also threatens to divert attention from what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly described as Israel’s biggest security threat: Iran’s nuclear program.”
In what I know will be a fruitless attempt to avoid having this discussion subsumed by that tired script: I will recommend several outstanding, truly must-read pieces written by others over the last 24 hours in lieu of my own reciting of the various arguments. Begin with this article by Yousef Munayyer in the Daily Beast setting the crucial context for the rocket attacks from Gaza; then read this Daily Beast news-breaking account from Gershon Baskin, who details how the provocations from the Israelis were geared toward disrupting an imminent peace deal with Hamas (“The assassination of Jaabari was a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of a long term ceasefire”); also vital is this time-line of events leading up to the rocket attacks from Gaza, with ample documentation from Ali Abunimah; and finally, there is this very succinct but poignant summary of what Israel has done over the last three weeks.”
Update II: Israel ‘s military offensive “Pillar of Defense” in Hebrew is (עמוד ענן, Amúd Anán), named after a Biblical Hebrew war story about God terrorizing Egyptians, (h/t: Jack)
“By the way: the IDF ‘translates’ the name of the military operation (עמוד ענן, Amúd Anán) as ‘Pillar of Defense’ for English speaking audiences, but if you look up עמוד ענן in the Hebrew Bible, it really is the cloud of God smiting the enemies of Israel before it.
What if they were Muslim?”