Gaza Is in Our Hearts

Perhaps the greatest of all historical ironies — reflected in hypocrisy assuming gargantuan proportions — rests with how those who were so horribly victimized by the Holocaust essentially hold a Gestapo outlook toward Palestinians today.

Good and evil have traded places, an astonishing transition brought about by concretizing the “Never Again!” reaction to what European Jewry experienced under Hitler to such a dogmatic hard line, myopically advanced by an increasingly extremist Israeli leadership, that much of Israel’s population simply can’t recognize what’s plainly evident to most of the rest of the world.

Namely, that its constant refusal to accede to the moral imperative of a unitary Palestinian homeland — always brutally rejected with the facile “threat to Israel’s existence” rationale — objectively makes the Jewish state our planet’s worst, most unyielding human rights violator at this moment in time.

As it has been, unconscionably, for the past sixty years.

It’s that crazed one-sidedness, the bastard product of errant emotion and worse politics, that made Israel think it was correct to dispatch helicopter-borne commandos, with guns blazing, onto a humanitarian aid flotilla peacefully moving through international waters at night.

It’s why Gaza is cruelly, illegally blockaded in the first place, as collective punishment for its populace freely voting to be represented by Hamas, which has resulted in vengefully savage deprivation having to be endured within one of the most densely-packed locales on earth.

The impact of that vengeance should offend everyone.

In late 2009, 60 percent of Gazans were “food insecure,” as determined by the UN’s World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Organization.  An additional 17 percent were deemed susceptible to food insecurity.

The UN Relief and Works Agency notes:

The number of Palestine refugees completely unable to secure access to food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationary and safe drinking water…has tripled since the imposition of the blockade in June 2007.

Two-thirds of those facing hunger are children, who suffer escalating levels of malnutrition and stunted growth. Anemia among infants aged 9 to 12 months reaches 65.5 percent, according to a World Health Organization appraisal.

Due to the blockade, there’s been virtually no reconstruction of homes obliterated in the 2008-09 Israeli attack upon Gaza. The UN Development Program points out that, a year after that assault ended, at least 20,000 Palestinians were still displaced from the almost 3,500 homes the Israeli aggressors destroyed. Less than 20 percent of schools had been rebuilt.

Let’s not forget that Gaza is where globally outlawed white phosphorus descended,  bringing fiery death to noncombatant civilians screaming in terror below, as just the most egregious portion of the many war crimes that Israel was documented by Human Rights Watch, and others, to have engaged in during Operation Cast Lead.

What’s especially galling is how Israel, and its unabashed apologists, invariably resort to the use of one odious charge against their critics, no matter how valid their complaints actually are, to attempt to obviate their credibility.

They’re always said to be anti-Semitic ranters, never mind how much blood of innocents sickeningly covers Israeli hands!

When people of good will and conscience from all corners of the earth arrive at the same outraged conclusions, based on an insistence that morality not be chopped to pieces by double standards, they’re simply dismissed as Jew haters.

But, right along, both within Israel and elsewhere, countless progressive Jews have been at the forefront of principled protest.   They clearly appreciate that the surest way to spread the most viral, true anti-Semitism is for Israel to continue policies that make Jews seem to fully conform with the worst stereotypes that have often been maliciously hurled their way.

This much should be very evident:

The most reactionary elements of the Israeli Knesset and the ultraconservative Netanyahu clique can’t be right while all those incensed multitudes protesting in streets and public squares in far-flung countries are wrong.

Reality reveals the precise opposite.

The key difference in all this is that Israel’s retrograde leaders have Gaza in their bomb sights, and squeezed within the stranglehold of a dreadful embargo, while those calling for an end to the terrible depredations and denials imposed upon it, and on all Palestinians, hold Gaza in their hearts.

Universal solidarity supporting eminently just causes may see passionately desired success temporarily deferred, but the fine impulses behind the best human sentiments invariably triumph.

Of this we can be assured…

Freedom is coming to Gaza, and a fully independent Palestine will unquestionably rise!

Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the '60s. Read other articles by Dennis.

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  1. Ismail Zayid said on June 10th, 2010 at 2:47pm #

    Dennis Rahkonen refers, here, to the historical irony and the hypocrisy practiced by Israel and the people who were subjected to the horrors of the Holocaust, essentially holding a Gestapo outlook towards the Palestinians today.

    Professor Arnold Toynbee, the renowned British historian, expresed a similar concern in his great work on history: “The History of the World”:

    “In A.D. 1948, the Jews knew from personal experience, what they were doing; and it was their supreme tragedy that the lesson learned by them from their encounter with the Nazi gentiles should have been not to eschew but to imitate some of the evil deeds that the Nazis had committed against the Jews.”

    Similarly, he stated in a lecture at McGill University, in 1961, addressing a largely Jewis audience: ” The Jewish treatment of the Arabs in 1947 was as morally indefensible as the slaughter by the Nazis of 6 million Jews. He also pointed out: “The most tragic thing in human life is when people who suffered impose suffering in their term.”