Palestine holds strong in the face of U.S.-backed Israeli terror campaign
- Palestine holds strong in the face of U.S.-backed Israeli terror campaignGaza ceasefire deal shows Palestinians' will to resist
November 21, 2012
An Egyptian boy leads protesters in chanting slogans against the Israeli invasion of Gaza.
Washington feared uprisings in Egypt, Jordan and other countries in the region.
BY RICHARD BECKER
A ceasefire agreement
between the Hamas-led Palestinian government in Gaza and Israel was
announced today, Nov. 21, in Cairo by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr.
Clinton made an
emergency trip to the Middle East with the aim of brokering a truce, a
clear sign of the Obama administration's fears that the continuation of
the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza was endangering U.S. imperialist
interests in the region.
Read Richard Becker's important book 'Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire.'
Since Israel's latest intense bombing
campaign began last week, Clinton, President Obama, and Republican and
Democratic congressional leaders have repeatedly expressed all-out
support for the Israeli side, while pointedly ignoring far higher
The House of
Representatives "passed" a resolution expressing its "unwavering
commitment" to Israel. House Resolution 813 was introduced at 12:04 p.m. on Nov. 16, and declared adopted at 12:05 p.m. the same day!
Since Nov. 14, at least
146 Palestinians have been killed, more than 1,000 wounded, and much of
Gaza's infrastructure and public facilities destroyed by a coordinated
air, sea and land-based bombardment. On the Israeli side, there have
been five killed and more than 100 wounded.
To hear U.S. officials
talk, you would think it was the other way around. But despite their
obscenely pro-Israel rhetoric, it was also clear that Washington was
fearful that a new Israeli ground invasion of Gaza might provoke
rebellions in Egypt, Jordan and other neighboring Arab countries, and
possibly lead to a wider war.
Despite the death and
destruction inflicted by Israel, and despite the fact that they have no
air force, navy, armored units or anti-aircraft defenses, the
Palestinian forces have not been defeated. Virtually all news reports
from inside Gaza reflect a strong determination to resist among the
The terms of the
temporary agreement reportedly call for a halt to the fighting, an end
to Israeli targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders, and undefined steps to lift the Israeli blockade that has inflicted massive suffering on the 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza.
Lifting the blockade is a critical issue for the people of Gaza. Whether there will be any real
movement toward ending the blockade remains in doubt, as does the
durability of the truce as a whole.
ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE: USING FOOD AS A WEAPON
While Israel withdrew
its settlers and bases from Gaza in 2005, it has kept the area
surrounded and blockaded ever since. As result, half of all school
children are malnourished and two-thirds of infants are anemic. Eighty
percent of Gaza’s population are refugees -- those driven out of other
parts of Palestine by the Zionist military forces in 1948 and their
After the Hamas party
won the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election, Israel imposed a complete blockade on Gaza, with the support of the United States,
European Union and the client government of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. That the aim of the blockade was to make the people of Gaza suffer was
highlighted by an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz the following month. It reported on a meeting of top Israeli government officials
where the top advisor to then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Dov Weisglass, said: "It's like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner but won’t die." According to the Haaretz report, the
assembled officials "rolled with laughter," at Weislglass's grotesque
THE MYTH OF ISRAEL AS VICTIM
In the 1960s, the Black
Panther Party had a saying about racist cops justifying their routine
killing and brutalizing of Black people by "masquerading as the victim
of an unprovoked attack." It is a description that perfectly fits
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his predecessors going
back to the creation of the Israeli state in 1948.
In the U.S. corporate
media, Israel is invariably depicted as the "victim." Its brutal and
cowardly military assaults are justified as "retaliation," inferring
that Israel's actions are "self-defense." Over and over, since the early 1950s, successive Israeli governments have staged provocations to
prompt responses that could then be used to justify massive attacks
while presenting Israel as the "victim of an unprovoked attack." The aim has generally been to gain new territory and/or crush any state or
movement perceived as a threat to Israeli military domination.
This familiar pattern
was repeated in November 2008. The murder of five Palestinian civilians
on the day after the 2008 U.S. election broke a ceasefire and set in
motion a train of events that led to an all-out assault on Gaza by the
Israeli military. A vast array of weaponry, including white phosphorous
and depleted uranium munitions, was unleashed on a trapped population.
More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, while Israeli forces had 13
killed -– a ratio of more than 100 to 1.
This time, the fatal
shooting of a mentally disabled young man on Nov. 5 and a 12-year-old
boy on Nov. 9, both killed by the Israeli army inside Gaza, set off the
new round of fighting. Then, on Nov. 14, Israel assassinated a top Hamas leader, Ahmed Al-Jaabari, the very same day that he had been presented
with a proposal for a long-term ceasefire by a joint Israeli-Egyptian
These provocations were
no doubt approved at the highest level of the Israeli government. The
extreme right-wing Netanyahu-Lieberman government desired a new conflict both to further devastate the Palestinian infrastructure in Gaza and to advance their political prospects in the January 2013 Israeli election. That hundreds of Palestinians and some Israelis as well would die in
order to achieve these objectives was incidental to the Israeli leaders.
Whether the present ceasefire holds and for how long can't be known at this point. The only real long-term solution to the crisis is an to end to colonial
occupation and real self-determination for the Palestinian people,
including the right to return to their homeland.
Read also Protests take place throughout U.S./Israeli attack on Gaza
Throughout the latest U.S.-backed Israeli assault on Gaza (Nov.
14-21), protesters took to the streets throughout the United States and
of course around the world. Below are reports and photographs covering
just some of the protests that took place in the United States.
Emergency Protests: Stop Israel's War Against Gaza
The ANSWER Coalition is initiating and joining protests nationwide against the Israeli war against Gaza.
What you can do Donate to support the struggle for Palestine
The ANSWER Coalition has stood by the
Palestinian people and their struggle, and has tirelessly fought to make it a central issue in the anti-war movement. Please make a generous
donation to support our work.
Learn the history of Palestine
How old is the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict? Could the most powerful state in the history of the world be a mere puppet of the Israeli lobby? Richard Becker's "Palestine, Israel
and the U.S. Empire" sheds light on the colonial history of the state of Israel, its relationship with U.S. imperialism
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