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Is There Hope for Palestine?Karin Friedemann for Salem-News.com
Israel's preferred outcome of their aggressive warfare would likely be to annex Gaza.
(BOSTON) - Israel is bombing Palestinians in Gaza again. Al-Awda reports that “on November 9, 2012 Israel's army killed a teenage child playing soccer in Gaza and then launched an unprovoked bombardment of the Gaza strip.”
The strip is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, 80% of whom are refugees denied by the Zionist state the right to return to their homes and lands of origin from which they were expelled by the Zionist occupation in 1948 and thereafter. Nearly half of the Gaza population are children who along with the elderly and ill remain completely deprived of food, water, fuel, electricity, humanitarian relief and medical supplies or facilities.
My heart cries out, but I am also experiencing a personal state of paralysis, because this is the same old thing that has already broken my heart before. In the modern age, you can watch people being massacred but you can’t do anything. In any case, you can feel like you can’t do anything about it. The pain just goes on and on because it never changes. It just gets worse and worse.
I feel very much like my country is a home overrun by mice, which become shameless and daring in their grotesque adventures when there is no cat around to patrol. Since the Democrats have vowed during their election campaign to back Israel no matter what they do, all forgiven ahead of time - who is going to be that cat?
I just can’t see how the US could possibly back out of the Israel partnership now, after things have come so far in terms of Israel taking over US military security and intelligence, and domestic spying - especially under Obama.
Israel's preferred outcome of their aggressive warfare would likely be to annex Gaza. It makes sense, looking at the map. Unless people make a lot of noise, Israel could probably do it too, because America’s Blacks and Latinos, Obama’s voter base, have no opinion on Palestine or Israel. They remain in a supporting position to Obama, and are making few demands. They remain misinformed by mainstream media.
British journalist and Middle East analyst Alan Hart suggests idealistically that in Obama's last year in office he may finally use his power as president to oppose Israel's defiance of international law. Alison Weir, of If Americans Knew, wisely comments:
“We think this is possible (and wish it could be much, much sooner) – but this will only happen if we build public support for this action!”
Noam Chomsky, on a recent trip to the Gaza Strip observed that "[Gaza] is a lesson for people from the West. If they can struggle on under really harsh and brutal conditions, it tells us we ought to be doing a lot more."
American Muslims for Palestine believes that the occupation leaders are using Palestinian blood for election purposes. “Each time the political climate in Israel reaches a dead end Israeli officials attack Palestinians for political gain in hopes of swaying the Israeli voter.”
British-Israeli commentator Gilad Atzmon notes also that, “in order to win the Israeli election, Benjamin Netanyahu feels the need to present the Israeli voter with a substantial pile of Palestinian corpses.”
“Israel is using the escalation in Gaza to try and thwart the PLO's bid for state membership of the UN, a senior Fatah official said Monday,” reports Ma’an News.
The Chinese government expressed support for the Palestinians to be represented in the UN, but Obama has rejected Palestinian UN membership categorically.
Israeli commentator Jonathan Cook says “Obama’s policy towards Israel and the Palestinians will be the same as in his first term, with policy determined by Zionist pressure and concern for future Democratic Party prospects.”
“The bombs that are falling on Gaza right now are paid for by US tax dollars, as unconditional military aid to Israel remains an unquestioned budgetary priority,” writes Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP).
Yet, a recent article by Akiva Eldar states that “American Jews seem to have lost interest in Israel.” Researchers from the California State University and the Hebrew Union College asked young American Jews whether they would regard Israel’s destruction as a personal tragedy. Fifty percent said they would not.”
Israeli columnist Ari Shavit noted in the newspaper Ha’aretz last week, “In the past, both the Zionist movement and the Jewish state were careful to be identified with the progressive forces in the world. … But in recent decades more and more Israelis took to leaning on the reactionary forces in American society. It was convenient to lean on them. The evangelists didn’t ask difficult questions about the settlements, the Tea Party people didn’t say a word about excluding women and minorities or about Jewish settlers’ attacks and acts of vandalism against Palestinians and peace activists.” Israel, Shavit added, assumed that “under the patronage of a radical, rightist America we can conduct a radical, rightist policy without paying the price.”
“No more.” admitted Thomas Friedman.
John Spritzler writes in a commentary, How Can We End the U.S. Government's Pro-Israel Foreign Policy? that “it's not just the Middle East that is at stake. The balance of power in the United States itself is at stake.”
International observers note: “The people of Gaza are being subjected to ongoing drone strikes, air strikes, tank shellings, and naval fire in this indiscriminate and disproportionate military offensive... We call on people of conscience around the world to stand up against this unlawful aggression against Palestinian civilians. The international community must take urgent action to put a stop to these violent attacks.”
Omar Baddar of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) writes, “There is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The military asymmetry clearly favors Israel, but the Palestinians are too resilient to ever accept living without their basic rights... The only way to resolve the Gaza problem for good is to reach a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that gives freedom and dignity to the Palestinians. That starts with ending Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, the single largest factor responsible for Israeli-Palestinian violence. Unfortunately, Israeli leaders seem to still be under the illusion that their military superiority can lead them to total victory, despite many decades proving otherwise.”
Karin Maria Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Karin is editor of World View News Service: groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/ and an op ed columnist for the Khaleej Times (Dubai). She blogs at: karinfriedemann.blogspot.com and mariahussain.wordpress.com.
She enjoys writing about Jewish and Middle East affairs and her occasionally outrageous personal advice column "Ask Maria." She has written for the Muslim Observer, Islamic Horizons and the Message magazine on local politics, the halal meat industry and women's issues. You can email Karin at this address: email@example.com
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