This subject is notoriously hard.
After trying to understand media coverage of the latest mass carnage we have concluded the cynical politicians in the Middle East need this war in Palestine like a neurotic ritual. Hamas and it's Arabic/Islamist supporters must know on some level that a theocratic discriminatory Israel with it's nuclear weapons can never be undone, and therefore it's platform to remove Israel is an extreme nonesense.
That is this side of Armageddon. Our last two posts on the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should make that clear.
Now we ask who substantially broke the truce first? We discount the headline below as tendentious, but not the AFP text below via Rupert Murdoch'si?? The Australian.
We discount the marginal militants operating perhaps without official Hamas support sending their nuisance fire crackers over the border. More chance of a shark attack here in Australia than causing injury with those? Similarly we discount the local Jewish organised sophistry drawing the veil of rhetoric back to 2001 and 6000 rockets, always the victim, despite Israel's modern airforce and huge death toll in Palestine. We note the tightening of the ruthless strangling blockade of Gaza by the Israeli Defence Force in November as the nervous ending of the truce period approached.
We note the huge democratic support for Hamas in Gaza.We note Israel presenting more like German guards of a Warsaw Ghetto and wonder if they get the irony of that.
We note, as Fairfax's Paul McGeogh has, the Kadima politician running for election in Israel (Livni) who looks to us more German than Israeli-Jew, and seeks to out hawk political dinosaurs in Likud (Netanyahu). Similarly Defence Minister, has been, Labor political rival (Barak).
We note the Israeli hawks having a brief window to act before the next US presidency replaces ruthless hawk George W Bush, where there is a chance however small of a change in approach.
We note the religious nutters on various sides and especially the provocations of some Israeli squatters who claim a free pass from God to steal Arabic land. And especially of some Arabs who treat women like cattle rather than their equals.
In effect all these are striving for a one state solution - Israel for the land by creeping conquest of squatters and military strike, with ghetto like open air prison for Palestinians. And Hamas by creeping demographic numbers and help of upset neighbours with their own Palestinian domestic sympathisers. The King of Jordan was filmed giving blood yesterday via SBS television. The West including Australia and the USA talk about a two state solution but it's not happening folks. It's a fantasy.
And we have our own domestic symapthisers with Palestine even if Fairfax appear to not have reported the 1000 plus street protest in Sydney's CBD a few days back while News Corp have done so.
Truly the Palestinian people are cannon fodder and hostage for cynical politicians. Truly the Jewish population in southern Israel of moderate disposition are hostages of a much reduced kind too. Israel desperate to prevent an effective delivery system of military grade weaponry into Gaza. Hamas desperate to break the blockade for humanitarian but surely also less honourable purposes (?).
Is Israel's military violence proportionate or disproportionate? Depends who you ask. Depends what's at stake. An Iranian A bomb on a donkey cart? Or is this a nightmarish fantasy like Saddam's non existent WMD? Who the hell knows? Is the Israeli Right in a neurotic Holocaust loop? We wonder.
The cynicism and political/religious blindness, fear and loathing is literally killing innocent and not so innocent people on a daily basis. It really will take someone as brilliant as Barak Obama to solve this, along with lots of other balls to juggle. May God have mercy on them all. And on the world itself given the nuclear dimension. Finally and most importantly may those killed rest in peace in this latest Horror.
Postscript # 1
We made a small edit having conflated Israeli with Jewish in describing politician Livni, the latter term being a religous not nationality/ethnic descriptor as such.
Secondly we add this Greens media release dated 31 December but circulated on their list 2nd January 09
Sent: Friday, January 02, 2009 6:37 AMSubject: [Greens-Media] Israel's Gaza attack condemned – let supplies pass
31 December 2008
Israel's Gaza attack condemned – let supplies pass
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has added her voice to the call for a cease
fire in the Middle East and for Israel to end its assault on Gaza.
"The bombing of Palestinian people must stop now," Ms Rhiannon said.
"The Sydney rallies in support of the Palestinian people held in
recent days send a clear message to Australian political leaders that
the only appropriate response to Israel's repeated air strikes on Gaza
is forthright condemnation.
"Public opposition to Israel's actions are critical to help ensure the
bombing raids are not followed with a full scale military invasion.
"It is vital that international pressure is placed on Israel to allow
essential materials particularly medical supplies to be immediately
delivered to Gaza's 1.5 million people.
"There is no excuse for bombing civilian targets like universities, TV
studios, mosques, government buildings and police stations.
"Terrorism is the killing and maiming of civilians, so these Israeli
attacks are clearly acts of terrorism on a massive scale.
"UN General Assembly President, Miguel D'Escoto Brockman has indicated
that Israel has contravened Geneva Conventions by targeting civilian
"Israel's actions are defined as 'war crimes' in legislation governing
the International Criminal Court.
"While killings have occurred on both sides, 360 Palestinian people
have died in three days of Israeli rocket attacks. The number of
Israeli people killed in Palestinian attacks over the past eight years
has been a fraction of that number.
"Political leaders of all countries have a responsibility to pressure
Israel to stop the killings," Ms Rhiannon said.
From the office of Ian Cohen MP via a reader
From: Ian Cohen MP
To: Independent Australian Jewish Voices
Sent: Friday, January 02, 2009 7:30 PM
Subject: Re: Gaza Media Statement
to Aust Independent voices
I have read and happy ot support the statement to be produced as a member of
the NSW Parliament and a person of Jewish descent.
Thanks for your humanitarian efforts
Ian Cohen MLC
Parliament of NSW
>>> "Indep Aust Jewish Voices" 01/02/09 3:49 PM >>>
We have drafted the following letter and are planning to post it on our IAJV
website and also send it to the major newspapers including the Australian
Jewish News. We invite your signature. If you wish to add your name, please
send an email response to us by 10 am Monday morning January 5.
Only individuals who explicitly respond will be identified with the letter
which will not in any way identify IAJV or signatories of earlier
Here are links to a few relevant background articles.
Tom Segev, Haaretz. December 29
Amira Hass, Haaretz, December 28
Gideon Levy, Haaretz, December 31
Richard Falk, The Nation, December 29
Gush Shalom statement, December 30
Peter Slezak and Antony Loewenstein, ABC Unleashed, December 31
Peter Slezak and Antony Loewenstein, Online Opinion, January 2
We are Australian Jews who join thousands in Israel and around the world
condemning ongoing Israeli military attacks on Gaza. Together with Israeli
peace group Gush Shalom, we condemn the current war as "inhuman,
superfluous" and "abominable".
While Israel has the right to protect its citizens and to demand an end to
the crime of Palestinian rockets that target civilians, this cannot be used
as a pretext for the grossly disproportionate military assault on Gaza
because it was Israel that violated the fragile truce on November 4, 2008.
Furthermore, Israel ignored Hamas' diplomatic initiatives to re-establish
the cease-fire since it expired on December 19.
The crude home-made rockets have caused relatively few Israeli casualties.
By contrast, Israeli bombardment has caused around 400 deaths and 2,000
casualties including a large proportion of women and children. The
bombardment has included civilian targets such as a university, television
station, factories, mosques, ministry offices, parliament and refugee camps.
Since Hamas is a legitimate, democratically elected political party that
controls the government, security-related institutions are also civilian
targets including police departments and uniformed officers.
History has demonstrated that military punishment has never broken the
spirit of a people or produced peace. On the contrary, the assault on the
population of Gaza will only inflame hatred of Jews and of the State of
Israel while doing nothing to protect the lives of Israelis. Above all, it
will undermine the prospects of joining with peace-seeking Palestinians to
negotiate a lasting, just solution to the conflict.
The war on the population of Gaza comes after the Israeli blockade that had
already created a severe humanitarian crisis under which the Palestinians
suffered from lack of food, electricity, medicines, hospital equipment and
other basic necessities of life. The blockade was condemned by the UN as a
violation of international law and, like the massive Israeli air-strikes,
constitutes illegal collective punishment prohibited by the Geneva
We call for an immediate end to attacks on civilians by Palestinians and
Israelis. However, since Palestinians have no means of self-defence against
the most powerful military force in the Middle East, we particularly call on
Israel to end its brutal assault on the vulnerable Palestinian people of
Gaza and to reconsider its rejection of the UN Security Council's call for a
Israel has refused to accept Hamas' consistent offer of negotiations since
its election win in 2006. There can be no solution to the conflict without
Israel being a willing partner to dialogue.
Independent Australian Jewish Voices