Five years ago, the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to dupe us into supporting an illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq.
A few days ago, Israel trotted out only an infinitesimally more credible excuse — the Hamas rockets case — as justification for its own murderous shock and awe in Gaza, a long-planned campaign perniciously aimed at ousting a “regime” that came to power via popular, democratic vote.
Yes, such rockets exist, but they’re little more than slingshots against Israel’s incredible military might, and they’re used out of desperation by Palestinians who’ve never been accorded the democratic space within which to gain redress of their eminently just grievances.
Israeli apologists have presented absurd propaganda about those devices.
We’ve been asked, for instance, what would we do if rockets were being launched on our homes in New York or Texas, from Canada or Mexico?
The proper answer is that, if those two nations had been unlawfully occupied or embargoed by the United States for 60 years of relentless oppression and repression, and if all attempts at peaceful change had been forcefully prevented or scuttled by the U.S., then such attacks would be an understandable, indeed a justifiable attempt at gaining intolerably deferred liberty.
Our appropriate response wouldn’t be to bomb the hell out of the nearest Canadian or Mexican city, but to collectively look into mirrors and earnestly ask ourselves, “What have we done wrong to incur their wrath?”
And then act to correct the situation.
Conscientious Israelis acknowledge that the Hamas rockets rationale is fraudulent. For instance, Jerusalem Post writer Larry Derfner has noted, “We don’t want to see how people in Gaza are living, we block it out of our minds — which, I suppose, is natural for a society at war, but which also keeps that war going longer than it might if we would recognize that Gaza is getting so much the worst of it.
“The [Palestinian] Kassam [rockets] have terrorized the 25,000 people in Sderot and its environs, but have caused very, very few deaths or serious wounds. By contrast, Israel has terrorized 1.5 million Gazans, locked them inside their awfully narrow borders, throttled their economy, and killed and seriously wounded thousands of them . . .
“This is crazy. Israel is the superpower of the Middle East, but because we still think we’re the Jews of Europe in the 1930s, or the Israelites under Pharaoh, we spend a lot more time fighting our enemies than we might if we looked at the whole picture, not just our half of it . . .”
As Gazan hospitals and morgues fill beyond capacity because of an ongoing air assault that cruelly began at precisely the hour when countless children were heading home from school, we’re expected to believe that small craters mostly in empty Israeli fields constitute this terrible episode’s chief sin.
Bugs bothered by sporadically impacting, glorified fireworks cobbled together in backyard garages are ludicrously supposed to be the primary problem, not human limbs and lives shattered by the most destructive weapons that military science can produce!
At any point during the past six decades, Israel could have had peace, simply by assenting to the great moral imperative of our time, namely the Palestinians’ right to their own, unitary, sovereign homeland.
Something which Israel continues to resist tooth and nail.
Two years ago, in Southern Lebanon, Israel engaged in similar bombings in civilian areas. Then, too, it maintained that only “terrorist” targets were being hit. As impartial observers finally ascertained the truth, clear evidence of enormous civilian carnage surfaced.
The Israeli leadership lied then, and it’s lying now.
There’s a veritable holocaust occurring in densely packed Gaza. Think Guernica, or the Warsaw Ghetto, with all the searing irony that comparison involves.
Apart from being an ethical travesty offending all decent hearts, it’s an unpardonable outrage to especially Arab/Islamic peoples around the world.
Witness the angry demonstrations in cities across the planet.
It takes no extraordinary analytical prowess to appreciate that, when the White House ridiculously blames what’s currently happening on “thugs” in Gaza, and when moderate Arab states adopt an accommodationist position pleasing the U.S. and Israel, a profound Arab/Islamic radicalization billows and swells.
New Osama bin Ladens are being born as innocents in Gaza are getting ripped to death by American-made Hellfire missiles, dispatched toward fleshly targets by Israeli pilots.
In fact, the almost certain, counterproductive outcome of Israel’s action makes us necessarily suspect that secret motives mistakenly judged by Tel Aviv to be worth the risk are actually at play.
Three possibilities spring immediately to mind:
1) Obscenely using de facto genocide to give the present Israeli government a “tough” image before upcoming national elections.
2) Roping Barack Obama into a harder pro-Israeli stance than Tel Aviv fears he’d otherwise take.
3) Creating a manipulated, intensely propagandized situation that would enable a desired Israeli attack on Iran.
Whatever the most deeply hidden reality, Israel’s gargantuan crime must be universally condemned in the strongest possible terms . . . and halted at once!
Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the ’60s.