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Ramzy Baroud: Gaza Bombing Case

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  • ummyakoub
    Truth is Least Pertinent in the Gaza Bombing Case By Ramzy Baroud - Oct 20, 2003 It matters little whether the mastermind behind the killing of three Americans
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 20, 2003
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      Truth is Least Pertinent in the Gaza Bombing Case

      By Ramzy Baroud - Oct 20, 2003

      It matters little whether the mastermind behind the killing of three
      Americans
      in Gaza on Wednesday, October 15, was a Palestinian group or Israeli
      intelligence. What's of relevance, however is that the Palestinian
      people, their
      leadership, resistance and aspirations will wholly bear the brunt of
      the
      incident.

      Censuring the weakest party - that unable to withstand the cruel
      scuffles and
      accusations of the ever-hasty media - is an attribute that has
      infected the
      ongoing Middle East conflict for decades. To illustrate, despite its
      vehement
      racism and palpable inhumanity, Palestinian parents, were, and are
      still being
      customarily accused of recruiting their own children for 'martyrdom'
      for the
      sake a cheap return: some funneled dollars provided by Arab
      governments or for
      the sake of merely blemishing Israel's image. With the inimitable
      trickery of
      the charismatic, mostly US media, such utterances, possibly purported
      by an
      unknown right wing Israeli fanatic, rapidly transform themselves to
      define a
      critical stage, and serve as a satisfying rationalization offered,
      even
      championed by top officials on Capital Hill.

      With that in mind, the proclamation of Palestinian factions - already
      discredited and branded terrorist by Washington - disavowing the
      killing of the
      diplomats in Gaza, will gain no empathy.

      Nevertheless, Palestinians very much could have been the
      perpetrators. They are
      fumed and anger often stipulates, even demands vengeance. To
      comprehend such a
      value, one must see this equation, not from an American newspaper
      editorial
      point of a view, utterly textual and out rightly judgmental, but from
      the
      tatters of a tent, pitched by a Palestinian refugee in Rafah, made
      homeless once
      again, purely for being a Palestinian that has the misfortune of
      dwelling next
      to an Israel settlement that was built illegally in Gaza.

      In 'a wave of destruction' - as described by Amnesty International -
      that
      extended from October 9 to 12, and yet was repeated again a few days
      later, 1240
      Palestinians lost their homes. Amnesty, recalling similar practices
      in the last
      three years, branded the 'wanton destruction unlawful and constitutes
      a war
      crime.'

      Relief teams affiliated with the United Nations' agency, UNRWA,
      counted 114
      'refugee shelters' that were completely erased by Israeli army
      bulldozers, and
      117 sustaining varying degrees of damage. UNRWA also disclosed that
      in Rafah
      alone, a small town under every definition, 7,532 individuals were
      made homeless
      as a result of similar Israeli raids in the past three years. While
      physical
      destruction, despite its severity is amendable, human life is not. 15
      Palestinians, including several children were killed and scores more
      were
      wounded in the Israeli 'incursions'. The statistics are downright
      disconcerting
      in the latest 'war crime', deemed inexcusable by many governments and
      rights
      groups across the globe, with the exception of the United States', the
      self-proclaimed 'honest-broker', who classified the onslaught under
      Israel's
      right for 'self-defense'.

      "This is part of defending themselves," an anonymous senior official
      from the
      State Department told the Israeli daily, Haaretz. Earlier in the day,
      Richard
      Boucher, the department spokesman echoed the same sentiment, with the
      ominous
      addition of comparing the refugees to terrorists.

      Lacking shelter, food and water, the Rafah refugees don't lack good
      judgment.
      They are well informed, like most Palestinians about those supplying
      Israel with
      its vast assortment of weaponry, the bulldozers that routinely
      demolish their
      homes, down to the bulletproof vests that soldiers wear during their
      barbaric
      nightly raids on the weary civilians. The several billion dollars of
      annual US
      military 'aid' to Israel have systemically targeted the civilian
      infrastructure:
      factories, homes, schools, mosques and churches for many years, a
      fact that
      Palestinians, who have mourned at countless funeral processions,
      burying the
      victims of these weapons, know too well.

      Palestinians are growing wary of such duplicity. They can know longer
      justify or
      tolerate the bizarre use of American vetoes at the UN Security
      Council, the last
      was on October 14, hours before the car explosion in Gaza. It was John
      Negroponte who thwarted an endeavor to bar Israel from completing its
      apartheid
      wall, which has already ingested much of the West Bank. Just
      recently, the US
      vetoed another draft resolution calling on Israel not to physically
      harm
      Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. What is now being
      referenced as
      the 'Negroponte Doctrine' -an automatic US veto of any 'anti-Israeli'
      resolution
      at the council- is a blank check for Ariel Sharon's government to
      proceed with
      its anti-peace policy, with its boundless territorial objectives,
      fences, walls,
      illegal settlements and remorseless assassinations.

      Yet the objectives of the right wing government of Israel entail
      more. There
      remains Gaza, although sliced up, riddled with settlements, military
      compounds
      and checkpoints, and degraded with untold poverty, still provides a
      somewhat
      safe haven for resistance factions that managed to adapt to the
      harshness of the
      bloody 'incursions' of Israel. Without forcing Gaza into submission,
      Israel
      remains partly ineffectual in obliging its detested peace 'vision' on
      the
      Palestinians. A large-scale invasion of Gaza however is apt to
      produce thousands
      of casualties, if not trigger a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe.
      To invade
      Gaza, Israel is in need of even a greater American commitment, a
      mandate,
      boundless enough that would provide a political shield for Sharon and
      his
      henchmen to overlay any damaging international outcry.

      Because of this, and because of the Israeli attempt to instigate
      direct US
      involvement on the ground, the Israeli intelligence very much could
      have been
      the perpetrators of the killing of the three Americans in Gaza. While
      the style
      of Palestinian bombings are all but a mystery, death by remote
      control is the
      Israeli intelligence's most ideal assassination method, used with
      profusion and
      precision during the current al-Aqsa Intifada.

      Palestinian factions rarely if never, deny responsibility for their
      bombings, no
      matter how tactless they may appear. On several occasions, more than
      one faction
      claimed credit for the same attack, purportedly to perplex the
      Israeli army and
      defuse its responses. The utter denial of any connection with the
      attack on the
      US diplomats in Gaza - which was made by all major Palestinian
      resistance groups
      with unambiguous wording - is a noteworthy indicator that the
      Palestinian
      resistance might in fact be innocent of masterminding the deadly
      blast. The
      patent, albeit perpetual Israeli plot to get Palestinians in direct
      military
      strife with the United States - one can hardly forget how Israeli
      intelligence
      'leaked' information alleging that the Democratic Front for the
      Liberation of
      Palestine (DFLP) was the group behind the September 11 attack - is
      all too
      clear, even to the most radical elements in the Palestinian
      resistance.
      Palestinians groups have proved cunning enough not to lend Israel a
      helping
      hand.

      The real culprits may never be caught, even if a few Palestinian
      youngsters with
      bruised faces 'confess' to carrying out the attack. Alas, it matters
      little who
      the real architect of the sophisticated bombing was. Israel and the US
      government's verdicts are already out, and the PA, to distance itself
      from any
      blame, is 'hunting' for 'terrorists' among the refugees in Gaza, who,
      according
      to Arafat, 'not only committed a criminal act,' but have
      also 'betrayed the
      cause of their own people.'

      In times like these, evidence, motives, truth and due process are
      purely
      ornamental vocabulary, and sadly, the least relevant of all.

      ===================
      -- Ramzy Baroud is a Palestinian-American journalist and editor-in-
      chief of The
      Palestine Chronicle online newspaper. He is the editor of the
      anthology:
      "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion."

      http://www.iap.org E-mails: iapinfo@...

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