By Gilad Atzmon Jan 14th, 2009 at 23:55
Haaretz reported today that IDF Senior officials "believe that Israel should strive to reach an immediate cease-fire with Hamas, and not expand its offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group in Gaza."
This shouldn't take us by great surprise. Though Israel has proved beyond doubt that it is rather capable of conducting large-scale genocide, it also proved that its military forces do not have the answer to Islamic resistance. The Israeli chief military officials admitted as well that "Israel achieved several days ago all that it possibly could in Gaza." The IDF, so it seems, finished its role in Gaza. It turned its neighbourhoods into piles of rubble. Relentlessly, it even murdered the civilian population in broad daylight by means of air raids and attacks from warships. Images of white phosphorus artillery shells bursting over schools and hospitals are now part of our collective memory. Tanks firing into schools loaded with evacuees seeking refuge from the bombing of their buildings is now the image associated with the Hebraic soldier and yet, the Israelis failed to achieve any of their objectives. I must admit that it must take a special talent to be an Israeli general. As much as they are good in committing war crimes, they somehow fail in everything else.
The Israeli politicians initially swore to “destroy Hamas”, they then lowered their expectations, they promised just to destroy Hamas' rocket launching capabilities, all the while reassuring their excited Israeli voters that this time the Jewish State will fight till the bitter end. Seemingly, their promises fell too short once again.
Hamas is still there; its support within the Palestinian street is stronger than ever. But it is not only the Palestinian street. Hamas' message of defiance is spreading all over the Muslim world and beyond. Last week I was marching in London together with another 100,000 protesters. The support for Hamas was all around. It was on placards, flags, headbands and loudspeakers. Not only is Hamas far from being defeated, its rocket launching capability seems to be unaffected. Day after day Hamas combatants manage to remind Israelis in Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot that they actually live on stolen Palestinian land. Give Hamas the necessary time and the ballistic message will be carried to every corner of stolen Palestine.
Israel is desperate for an exit strategy. I learned today that Defence Minister Barak is looking for a week long <humanitarian ceasefire. Please do not hold your breath, the notorious mass murderer didn't change his spots all of a sudden. Being a veteran general, Barak realises very well that his soldiers on the ground need a break and they need it now. Being that they are gathered together in a few scattered open areas, they are currently exposed to Hamas' snipers and mortar fire. In the last few days, Israeli forces started to suffer a growing number of causalities. The attempt to step up the battle into Gaza's neighbourhood met with some severe resistance. The Israeli army is stuck once again.
If this is not enough, within a few days Obama is going to reside in the White House and the Israelis are not totally convinced that the new American president will blindly support their murderous strategy. Defence Minister Barak realizes that his window of opportunity might be closing down. He realises that IDF soldiers may have to dig in Gaza city outskirts without achieving any of the war's military objectives. Barak needs a few days of ceasefire to create a new reality on the ground. He obviously prefers to hide behind a humanitarian effort. This is far easier than admitting that once again the IDF was caught unprepared. Olmert aids, however were stupid enough to admit the lie. Apparently one of them <slammed Barak earlier on today suggesting that "Hamas sees the scenes and hears the voices, these comments are a shot in the arm for Hamas and its leaders."
As things stand, IDF soldiers are now stranded in Gaza. Don't misinterpret me, they are still capable of spreading death and inflicting carnage, yet they cannot win this war. The IAF ran out of ˜military" targets a week ago and the artillery is probably facing the same situation. As news floods in it becomes evident that once Israeli soldiers leave their armoured vehicles and Merkava tanks they are subject to the mercy of Hamas. I have read today on Ynet that some IDF soldiers reported that they "don't really see the enemy", "we get hit and we do not know by who and how."
As things stand, Hamas is becoming a symbol of heroic persistence. Its combatants on the ground fight almost with bare hands against America's most lethal technology. Similarly, Hamas'political leadership has managed to set itself as the key to any possible resolution of the current conflict. The hope that Hamas would be toppled or discredited proved to be just another Jewish wet dream. Hamas is now becoming a widely accepted entity by the international community. It is regarded as an elementary ingredient in any possible solution. Israel, on the other hand, is seen for what it is for real, a murderous criminal state involved in genocidal war crimes of the worst order.
However, there is a new reality that we have to bear in mind. The damage Israel is leaving behind in Gaza is horrific. It has flattened neighbourhoods; it has spread white phosphorus in populated areas. As if this is not enough, the many tons of bunker buster bombs which Israel was using day and night have shaken the foundations of every building in Gaza and the question looms large as to whether Gazan houses that are still standing will be safe to live in. EU officials raised the question today wondering who is going to pay for the reconstruction of these eradicated towns, camps and villages.
In an ideal ethical world, Israel would have let the Gazans go back to their land. But ethics and Israel are very much like parallel lines. They somehow never meet. As much as it is clear that Palestinians will come back to their land, it won't be Israel that that will welcome the inevitable returning Palestinians.
Someone will have to rebuild Gaza, and the only name that comes to mind is the democratically elected Hamas. Such a huge project maintained by Hamas will be the right answer to Israel's criminal war and its murderous objectives.
Stop the Massacre of Palestinians in Gaza
on January 15th, 2009 at 12:47
The whole world watches as the Palestinians in Gaza are being massacred. The justification for watching the slaughter is that Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks on Israelis. But what of Palestine's right to defend itself against further incursion by Israeli tactics? The massacres of non-combatant women, children, aid workers, medical staff, United Nation refuge workers etc. are excused away as inevitable and acceptable casualties of war.
If all the nations of the world were to apply these justifications for their military actions, the whole world would become lawless, unsafe and barbaric. It would be a world ruled by bullies. The strongest would dominate and dictate to the rest of the world.
The footprints of the ongoing slaughter in Gaza are all too obvious. America attacks by bombing incessantly and obliterating their opponent's civilian infrastructure before sending in their invading forces. The Clinton administration did this in Yugoslavia and Bush has done it in Iraq. Today's Israeli invasion of Gaza follows the American military strategy.
One might ask why a small nation like Israel would dare to defy the Secretary General of the United Nations and almost all civilized nations on the planet by continuing the slaughter. The obvious answer is that Israel has the support of America in this activity. That is, Israel dares its massacre of the Palestinians in Gaza because the Bush administration condones and/or has orchestrated it. But, does Israel have the same support from President-elect Barack Obama?
Obama's silence on the issue of the slaughter can be construed as tacit approval of the Bush policy. Today, he has finally spoken out and was reported in the Guardian News and Media Limited to have said:
The loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel is a source of deep concern to me, and after January 20, I'm going to have plenty to say about the issue.
Is the issue of ongoing killing of innocent civilians not pressing enough to speak out now? Is this because the lives of the goyim are being taken at a ratio of 100 for each Israeli killed? The casualties on both sides are not acceptable! They need to be stopped now! Were 100 Israelis dying for each Palestinian killed, what would Obama's response be?
Many of the Arab leaders are maintaining silence about the Israeli targeting of schools, hospitals and UN refuge centres as they slaughter Palestinian civilians in Gaza. This massacre cannot go on. Cowardice will not be rewarded. The quiet ones are slaves to their bully masters. Their nations could be the next targets of Israeli/American aggression, or that of other nations. Hamas leaders have now declared that it is open warfare on Israeli schools, hospitals and refuge points. Whilst it is understandable for Hamas to feel that way, it would be wholly unacceptable for them to carry out their warfare in that manner just because the Israelis have. Then their behaviour would be the same as Israel's. This war has terrorized the civilians on both sides – it must stop now!
Those responsible for destroying Iraq and spilling blood are now rewarding themselves with the highest civilian honour that can be bestowed by the American government. This just proves yet again that to the victors go the spoils. After Yugoslavia was destroyed by the West, Milosovich, who must have believed that he was trying to defend his own country, was being tried as a war criminal when he conveniently died in a Western prison. Saddam Hussein was tried, convicted and gruesomely executed for being a war criminal. Hussein must have also believed that he was defending his country. Were the vanquished to have been the victors, would Blair, Howard and Bush be tried, convicted and executed for war crimes?
The media has been silenced on the Gaza war. Israel has denied foreign journalists access to the war zone. The New York Times has expressed its concern over this, but Ethan Bronner's January 7, 2009 article, "Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza," has clearly been restricted. Reading between the lines, he is declaring that Israel is antagonistic to free speech and the Western press. One Australian journalist for the Seven Television Network claimed that things are so horrendous in Gaza that he would not show pictures or discuss the horrific scenes that he had witnessed.
The BBC has reported that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has finally stated:
This is a humanitarian crisis. This is the darkest moment yet for the Middle East and it affects the whole of the world.
How could it have taken Brown so long to speak out? How could it take Obama so long to object?
Whilst Obama could be viewed as only tacitly complicit in the massacre, this excuse is obscene. Obama is actively responsible for what is occurring. He has spoken publicly on many other issues, yet remained silent on the Gaza slaughter, claiming there is only one president at a time. His latest stance of wait until "after January 20" is even more appalling than his prior silence. In effect, he is saying that the massacre can continue for two more weeks! It can wait because the humanitarian crisis is not important enough to worry about now!
However, Obama has not only tacitly condoned Bush's approval of the slaughter, he is very actively involved, because Obama has selected Robert Gates as his proposed Secretary of Defence. Gates is Bush's Secretary of Defence! Bush and Obama are of opposing political parties! To realize the absurdity of this, imagine the outrage if Gordon Brown removed Labour member John Hutton from Secretary of State for Defence from his Labour cabinet and appointed Tory Leader David Cameron to the post! By choosing the opposition party's Secretary of Defence, Obama is proclaiming that there is not a single Democrat suitable for taking the position, and therefore he must take the opposition's choice to fill this cabinet position. This means not only does he approve of Bush's war policies, but that he also intends to continue along the lines of his predecessor.
The growing anger directed at Israel for this ongoing massacre is boiling over. Since there are no strong stances being taken by world leaders to stop this incursion, one shudders to think at the escalation this is inviting. Fury is mounting against Israel, which is putting innocent civilians in Israel and around the world in severe danger.
The political hypocrisy is exposed to the world.
The mounting suffering must stop now!
January 7th, 2009