Israel is now openly engaged in infrastructure warfare, the wanton
destruction of the basic platforms of human survival. The bombing of the electric
power plant has thrust the world’s most densely populated area into darkness;
cutting off the vital flow of energy to hospitals, assistance centers, and the
pumping stations which provide the city’s water. At the same time, Israel
has bombed large sections of the main roads, government buildings, water lines
and bridges. The Associated Press said, “Israeli tanks and bulldozers
crossed the Gaza Strip and began razing farmland east of Khan Younis”.
“Razing farmland” is critical in understanding the real motive
behind the current aggression. The attack is directed against Palestinian civilians,
not terrorists and not Hamas. Israel is purposely destroying the means for continued
human survival in Gaza.
We can now see that the practical application of the Israeli axiom, “to
destroy the terrorist infrastructure” actually means the gratuitous decimation
of civilian life-support systems.
Officials from the World Food Program, which feeds 600,000 people in the West
Bank and Gaza, have warned of an impending humanitarian crisis saying that Palestinians
are already living on one meal a day and that there has been a steady increase
in malnutrition, anemia and kidney problems from poor nutrition.
At a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, Dr. Riyadh Mansour,
the Permanent Observer of Palestine, said that the Israeli invasion “was
clearly premeditated and planned” weeks if not months before the capture
of the Israeli soldier. Mansour added that the bombardment and military assault
were clearly designed to “punish and terrorize the civilian population.”
Members of the Security Council quickly moved to pass a resolution condemning
the Israeli invasion but were blocked by the United States. As long as the US
occupies a place on the council, Israel’s attacks on Palestinian civilians
will go unpunished.
The unfolding crisis in Gaza was predicted by Uri Davis, Ilan Pappe, and Tamar
Yaron in July 2005. Their statement reads:
“We believe that one primary, unstated motive for the determination of
the government of the State of Israel to get the Jewish settlers of the Qatif
(Katif) settlement block out of the Gaza Strip may be to keep them out of harm's
way when the Israeli government and military possibly trigger an intensified
mass attack on the approximately one and a half million Palestinians in the
Gaza Strip, of whom about half are 1948 Palestine refugees. The scenario could
be similar to what has already happened in the past - a tactic that Ariel Sharon
has used many times in his military career - i.e., utilizing provocation in
order to launch massive attacks.”(Justin Podur, znet)
Clearly, Israel’s motives for the invasion have little to do with the
abduction of Gilad Shalit by Hamas militants. In fact, Israel has stubbornly
refused to negotiate for the release of the 19 year old corporal; preferring
instead to carry out its carefully considered plan for making life untenable
in Gaza. This suggests that the invasion is actually another attempt to ethnically
cleanse the land of the native people by cutting off their access to vital food
The strategy for purging the land of its indigenous people is a recurrent theme
in Israeli politics dating back to the inception of the state in 1948. Former
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon summarized it this way: “You don’t simply
bundle people into trucks and drive them away. I prefer to advocate a positive
policy, to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce
people to leave.”
Sharon, of course, is advocating a form of “transfer” which “creates
the conditions” that will drive people off the land rather than marshalling
armies to achieve the same goal. This is what is presently taking place in Gaza.
Regime Change in Ramallah
Israel’s attacks on the democratically-elected Hamas government have
been instructive but not surprising. Soon after the January elections, Israel
resolved to remove Hamas from power regardless of the cost. Apart from the daily
assassinations and incitements, Israel has spearheaded a blockade of food, medical
supplies and financial resources to the desperate people in the occupied territories.
Israel has also supplied Mahmoud Abbas’ loyalists in Fatah with truckloads
of weapons in a conspicuous effort to destabilize the government and promote
internecine warfare. The move has weakened support for Abbas and made him look
like an Israeli agent. (His smiling appearance with Olmert in Jordan soon after
the bombing of 7 family members on a beach in Gaza, has done nothing to restore
Abbas credibility among his people)
At 2 AM on Sunday morning the Israelis bombed the offices of Palestinian Prime
Minister Ismail Haniya; a chilling reminder that the territories are ruled from
Tel Aviv not Ramallah. Just a day earlier, Israeli Special Forces rounded up
64 members of Hamas including legislators, cabinet ministers, and officials.
The illegal arrests have been roundly criticized by leaders across the political
spectrum, and particularly harshly by Aengus Snodaigh, member of the Irish Parliament.
Snodaigh said that the arrest of Hamas government officials "demonstrates
the true nature of Israel’s commitment to ‘not so democratic’
values” and that “Israel was one of the most despicable and abhorrent
regimes on the planet.”
Snodaigh backed up his claims noting that (according to the UN Secretary General
for Public Affairs) the “in the month prior to the capture of the Israeli
soldier at least 49 Palestinians, including 11 children, were killed by Israeli
forces and 259 injured.” It should also be added that since Israel withdrew
from Gaza in September of 2005, they have fired between 7,000 to 9,000 heavy
artillery shells into Palestinian civilian areas.
Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz confirmed that the arrests “had been
planned several weeks ago” which proves that Corporal Gilad Shalit’s
capture has been used as a mere pretext to execute Israel’s broader policy
objectives. (Ethnic cleansing and transfer)
Ironically, the arrest of Hamas’ officials could be beneficial to the
cause of Palestinian liberation. After months of trying to topple Hamas through
roundabout methods, Israel has taken a more direct route by simply arresting
those who they oppose. This underscores an important point about the realities
of life under occupation. There is no democracy under occupation because all
the crucial aspects of sovereignty have been foreclosed. No Palestinian leader
controls his borders, air-space, military, resources, commerce, or even food
and medical supplies. What good does it do to create the impression that Palestinians
are free by conducting elections?
The West Bank and Gaza are giant concentration camps. Elections create the
unfortunate illusion of democracy and normality. It is a cynical public relations
hoax intended to assuage the world’s conscience and put people to sleep.
By arresting government officials, we can see that Palestinian democracy only
exists when it suits Israel’s interests. It is a complete sham.
The reality of occupation is evident by the facts on the ground and in the
photos now appearing from Gaza of bombed-out buildings, traumatized children,
bereaved parents and utter hopelessness.
Israel has robbed the Palestinian people of their freedom. The elections were
a fraud. The issue continues to be occupation, and occupation alone.
Read from Looking Glass News
warns: free soldier or PM dies
Israeli lives worth more than Palestinian ones
a Nation to Rescue a Soldier
Abducts Palestine’s Democratically Elected Leaders
claims"provocation" as warplanes buzz President
Rogue Nation Committing Genocide
punishment in Gaza
"retaliation" and BBC double standards in Gaza
Glossary of Dispossession: Hiding Behind Words