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November 21, 2012

Gaza: Never ending aggression by Zionist Israel

The Canadian Charger

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On November 19, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) issued a press release in which it expressed alarm about the lack of a call by political parties for a cease fire in the Gaza conflict, noting that only the Liberals had done so, "almost as an afterthought," since the substance of the Liberal's statement focused on Israel's security concerns. "We should be advocating diplomatic solutions and cease fires and not excusing violence as a way to resolve differences," said CJPME President Thomas Woodley.

CJMPE called attention to the declaration by Other Voices, a group of people living in Sderot and other Israeli communities near Gaza.  Other Voices wants to see “creative action that will take the civilians out of the circle of violence.”  The organization “is in constant contact with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who believe as we do, in non-violence and mutual respect that will bring about the much anticipated change.”

The next day, David White, National Director of CARE, called on Gaza and Israel “to act in thinking of the interests of the population of Gaza and south Israel, in conformity with their obligations under international law and to stop current hostilities.”

So how can we understand the current conflict between Israel and Gaza?

Basically, it is difficult to identify a starting point.  As Jewish peace activist Uri Avnery, an anti-Zionist Israel critic, pointed out in Straight Goods, “Conflagrations along the Gaza Strip don’t start.  They are just a continuous chain of events, each claimed to be in ‘retaliation’ for the previous one.”  To understand this chain, it is necessary to go way back, to Hamas’ formation.

When Hamas started, it was with at the very least Israel’s toleration, as Israel saw it as a divisive force among Palestinians, a force that might weaken Fatah.  The Israeli strategy was a brilliant success.

The success was so great that Hamas won the Palestinian election, which was then subverted by Israel and the West.  Instead, Fatah was installed, but Hamas seized power in Gaza. 

Hamas made life unbearable for Israel in sustaining their Zionist Jewish colonization in Gaza.  There were few colonies there, and so Israel pulled out.  If they had pulled out in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, it would have given that body some recognition, but instead the pull-out was unilateral.  Essentially, Israel was driven out by Hamas, and Hamas got full credit with the Palestinians for this.

During the presence of the Jewish colonists in Gaza, there were attacks, and rocket and other assaults continued, sometimes accelerating, following the 2005 pullout. Israel retaliated and initiated attacks.  It also maintained control of Gaza’s borders and imposed a severe siege by sea, land and air. The only border which was available to the people of Gaza was with Egypt, and Egypt was pressured by the US to keep it closed most of the time. As a result tunnels were constructed to provide for contraband movement from Egypt. 

Israel has severely limited mobility to and from Gaza and has even limited food supplies.  Dov Weisglass, who was Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s bureau chief, said, “The idea is to put Palestinians on a diet, but not to let them die of hunger.”  Israel determined the caloric needs for the population in order to establish what should be allowed in.

Essentially Gaza was and is a pressure cooker, and every now and then there is bound to be an explosion. In the most recent situation, Palestinians in Gaza hit an Israeli jeep along the border to retaliate for the death of a boy during an attack from the air.  The attack on the jeep triggered tank shells and attacks from the air by Israel and rockets from Gaza.  Egypt arranged a truce.

The truce came to an end when Israel assassinated Hamas commander Ahmad Ja’abari.  That is when the current shower of rockets into Israel and Israeli attacks on Gaza resumed.

Will Israel invade Gaza again?  There will be some reluctance this time, as it would not be the kind of walk in the park that there was in Cast Lead in 2008.  Gaza’s forces are better armed and better trained.  They have already demonstrated that with their rockets, now capable of hitting deep into Zionist Israel.

So what about another cease fire?  Both sides have set terms.  Gaza wants an end to the blockade, and Israel wants a guarantee that there will be no hostile acts from Gaza.  It is unlikely that these terms can be met, certainly not unless both are.  Perhaps the sides will settle for less. 

Avnery provides the only real solution:

“But the real remedy is peace.  Peace with the Palestinian people.  Hamas has already solemnly declared that it would respect a peace agreement concluded with the PLO—i.e., Mahmoud Abbas—that would establish a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, provided this agreement were confirmed in a Palestinian referendum.  Without it, the bloodletting will just go on, round after round.  Forever.” 

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