The Point Where the Inhumanity Becomes Clear

“This is the point where the inhumanity becomes clear” — so said John Ging of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to reporters on January 5th, 2009 as he spoke about the worsening situation in Gaza. His comments were illustrated by video of continued Israeli bombing and graphic pictures of wounded men, women and children flooding the overwhelmed hospitals of Gaza. Seventy-five percent of the region is without electricity, food and medicines are in increasingly short supply thanks to the Israeli-imposed blockade that preceded the invasion and the invasion itself. Yet most of the world’s governments are either silent or, even worse, calling for a continuation of the assault.

As I write, I am listening to an Israeli military spokesman telling an Al-Jazeera reporter that the reason for all of this bloodshed is Hamas. Hamas, he says, “is running a con game on the people of Gaza.” According to the bloody logic of Israel, Tel Aviv has no blame in the mass murder being perpetrated on the people of Gaza. This is despite the fact that Israeli weapons are what is killing the Palestinians. This is despite the fact that the bombs and rockets rained on the people of Gaza are considered legitimate weapons while the rockets launched by Hamas’ military wing are labeled weapons of terrorists. At the risk of redundancy, how can anyone genuinely believe this? How can anyone call the Israeli rockets that kill more civilians in one stroke than all the thousands of rockets fired into Israel anything but weapons of terror?

This is a war. It may be a very lopsided war, but it is a war. The longer it goes on, the more innocents will die. The longer it goes on, the more Palestinians will side with the resistance in all its forms, including Hamas. The longer it goes on, the likelihood that it could spread heightens. Israel most likely hopes it can end Hamas’ rule in Gaza and force Palestinians to acquiesce to the peace plans contrived in Tel Aviv and Washington. Hamas and its allies are probably hoping for a scenario where they bring the IDF to a stalemate, somewhat like the situation that occurred with Hezbollah during the summer of 2006. Speaking of Hezbollah, if Israel achieves its goals in Gaza, does it plan to revisit Lebanon in a sequel to that 2006 war? Would Israel open a second front on its northern border if Hezbollah began an effort to support the resistance in Gaza? On January 6th, 2009 the Lebanese media reported that the Israeli Air Force was intensifying its reconnaissance flights over southern Lebanon, an area considered to be a Hezbollah stronghold. In addition, Major General Amos Yadlin, the head of Israeli military intelligence, told Israel’s cabinet that a response from Hezbollah to Israel’s onslaught in Gaza was a possibility. Hundreds of IDF reservists have been called up and sent to the Israeli-Lebanese border. On January 8th, AP reported that Hezbollah rockets had been fired into Israel from Lebanon and that Israel had returned fire. Hezbollah denied any involvement.

Despite the fact that the powder keg of the middle east is on fire once again, Tel Aviv has shown no intention of agreeing to a ceasefire. Indeed, it continues to ignite even more powder. This can only mean that they believe their forces can destroy the supply routes used by Hamas and other Palestinians and weaken the resistance to such a point that Tel Aviv can neutralize the Palestinian rulers in Gaza just like those in the West Bank. If this occurs there may no longer be war, but their peace will be one that insures another battle. The current talks Egypt is holding with representatives from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas seem to indicate this to be almost certain. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council continues to prove its subservience to Washington by refusing to demand a ceasefire in the conflict. This from the same body that used the lies of the Pentagon and White House as a reason to approve an attack on Iraq in 2003.

Let’s go back to those civilians Tel Aviv and Washington claim Hamas hides behind. Besides the quite obvious physical fact that Hamas members are Palestinians before they are anything else and therefore live in Palestine, the other fact is that the IDF, too, lives among its civilian population. After all, they are all Israelis and most of them go home after their work day unless they are stationed on a border or involved in a war. Israeli military facilities, like those of most every nation, are situated near and in civilian areas if for no other reason then the fact that civilians work at them in a variety of support and other functions. The very nature of Hamas and other resistance factions since the dawn of guerrilla warfare is that they are like fish in the sea. This is not only because they have the support of the people but because they need it to exist. If Hamas is holding the Gazans hostage, then Tel Aviv is holding the entire population of Israel hostage by its refusal to negotiate with Hamas and its deception and lies in its negotiations with other more moderate Palestinian groups. Furthermore, the current Israeli offensive places Israeli civilians in an almost certain future danger as it places Gazans because sooner or later the battle will once again shift back to Israel itself in the form of bomb attacks.

This is, once again, the point where the inhumanity becomes clear. Political agendas are important and the right of the Palestinian people to a nation is accepted by most people in the world. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, Israel — the nation with the second most say in the matter– has made it their national purpose to deny this right, except under terms that amount to continued occupation. So, instead of honest and lasting attempts to work towards a Palestinian state, Israel (with the monetary and moral support of Washington and other western governments) invades, destroys, and lies its way towards a future that frustrates Palestinian hopes for a nation while simultaneously weakening the Israelis’ ability to keep theirs. After all, wars and occupations are never permanent and rarely destroy the will of those being warred against. Indeed, the history of the Palestine-Israel seems to indicate that they only multiply the opposition. How many more years will it take before Tel Aviv understands this?

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground and Tripping Through the American Night, and the novels Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator's Tale. His third novel All the Sinners, Saints is a companion to the previous two and was published early in 2013. Read other articles by Ron.

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  1. bozh said on January 8th, 2009 at 11:02am #

    ron jacobs, a good piece. moreover, israelis also hide in tanks, helicopters, and aircraft.
    we are seeing now the old world order made clearer. most ‘jews’ forever dwell on the nth tsunamis and not on the first; by far most damaging.
    so by placing the history of the judeochristian-palestinian conflict at a convinient time, the criminals are trying in sheer desperation to tell, and tell, and tell but never show or prove that the conflict started october ’08.
    it is easy to tell and tell but let them shows us or prove to us that israelis are not criminals; criminals of the old world order.
    differing only slightly from the nazi version of the old order. thnx

  2. Suthiano said on January 8th, 2009 at 11:34am #

    Israelis pick up the discourse wherever they please, and then dismiss contrary stories by attacking the sources “credibility”, or even better, by shutting down the opportunity for dissenting voices.

    Every bit of rhetoric used by the Israelis has already been used by the British, the South Africans, the Americans, the Spaniards etc… their trump card is the “antisemitism” accusation. This creates self-censorship in most westerners who feel guilt over Holocaust. Same westerners already associate themselves more with the Jews than with the Palestinians, and can thus be easily swayed to accept Israeli propaganda.

  3. Bob said on January 8th, 2009 at 6:26pm #

    I’ve always wondered, which is worse? The moral bankrupt who hides behind a human sheild, or his “superior” who disregards it and runs right over the sheild?

  4. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 9th, 2009 at 5:43am #

    And this just in: Bombs Hit Gaza as UN Urges Truce.