1. Some pundits view the Israeli invasion as an act by the Israeli Government to fend off defeat in a coming election. Is Israel's democracy so fragile that the government has to resort to war to legitimize and ensure their re-election? I can imagine if Brown and Cameron are fighting an election in Britain and the former decides to severely punish the Iraqis ( can there be anything more severe than what the Iraqis are going through now?) should another one of their boys get killed by a roadside bomb. Create a siege mentality - paint a scenario of 'it's them against us' and you'll have a clear run. Foreign adventures are always very useful. President Clinton in 1998 bombed the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical company in Sudan to cover the stain on Monica Lewinsky's dress - to stave off an impeachment.
2. The Israeli Army allege that they're killing Hamas. Indeed that's their explicit objective - but they don't care very much if they just happen to to kill civilians while they're targeting Hamas. Sderot, a Jewish settlement, was subjected to rocket attacks from Gaza. In the last 7 years only 3 deaths occurred. As to the deaths of the Gazans,who is counting? Of course civilians should not be the target but this game of tit for tat will not end for as long as the Gazans, led by their democratically elected government are starved and trapped like animals in a cage by the Israeli Authority.
After the Oslo Accord of 1993 Gaza was 'created' as a semi-sovereign entity. In 1994, Israel built the 60 km long barrier, completed in 1996 which effectively stopped the Palestinians from seeking work in Israel. (By the way, cheap Filipino and Thai labourers are employed instead). These labourers were the main source of income.
As a result, according to an American study, 60% of Gaza's population are living below the poverty line. According to a UN Report, acute malnutrition in Gaza is on the same scale as the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. More than half of Palestinian families are surviving on only one meal per day. This is their punishment for using their democratic right in electing Hamas.
3. That the dismantling of Jewish settlements and the removal of 9,000 Jews by Ariel Sharon from Gaza in 2005 was an act of goodwill and a show of commitment to the peace process. This Gaza Disengagement Plan is an act of blatant hypocrisy. Gaza is of no relevance to the Zionist project, it has no religious or historic value to the Jewish people (Jonathan Cook. 2006). Israel was just getting rid of an unwanted population of 1.3 million people on an unwanted strip of land. 'It was driven by political and ethnic arithmetic' (Cook, 2006). . Although there were 5.2 million Jews to 4.9 million Palestinians living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, sooner , rather than later the Jews will be outnumbered because of the latter's higher rate of birth. 'Disengagement' and the Wall would create a kind of cordon sanitaire and the Jews would not become a minority in Greater Israel.
4.That the Israelis cannot be blamed for this War. That the ethos of the peace process is "always that Israelis and Palestinians cannot possibly live in peace ...... there must be a 'permanent' separation .........has heightened sectarian tensions between Israel and the Palestinians." (Brendan O'Neil) However consider this. Joseph Weitz, director of the Jewish National Fund's Land Development had this to say in 1940.
It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both peoples .. There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, to transfer all of them, save perhaps for Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one tribe. The transfer must be directed at Iraq, Syria and even Transjordan. For this goal funds will be found.
This has become chillingly true today. They are getting there.
Juan Cole (2009) makes a comparison between the plight of the Iraqis to that of the Palestinians. In Iraq ' it's imperial occupation for specific purposes '. For Israel it is both an army occupation and a settler movement. Cole further said : Conflict between colonizer and colonized has only ended in one of three ways: 1) The expulsion of the colonists, (the French), as in Algeria; 2) integration of the colonists into a nation that includes the indigenous population, as happened in South Africa; or 3) the expulsion of the indigenous population, as with "The Trail of Tears" in nineteenth century United States.
What then will be the fate of the Palestinians? How do we measure our culpability?
1.3 billion Muslims in the world and most of us are putting our heads in the sand.