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Gaza genocide will only stop if the political & military cost to Israel is too high

Free GazaAt least 425 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli blitzkrieg on Gaza, including 80 in the last day alone, and nearly 80% of the dead are civilians, 20% of them children. This is the result of launching the world’s fourth military power against 1.8 million Palestinians already blockaded in the largest open-air prison on Earth.

What is really sickening about this is the attitude of Obama (and Cameron) in blaming the victims for resisting aggression whilst backing Israel with impunity whatever the scale of their utterly unjustified civilian killings. US and UK leaders point the finger at Hamas’ firing rockets into Israel as the trigger for the Israeli attack, without which all this appalling bloodshed would never have happened. That is a concoction of fantasy.

The real cause of this latest Israeli violence is the breakdown of the US attempt to negotiate a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio in the spring. The collapse of that ‘last chance’ for settling differences in this unending conflict led to the formation of a ‘national reconciliation’ government between Fatah and Hamas.

Hitherto both Israeli and US policy had depended on their remaining bitterly divided. Netanyahu refused point-blank to accept this, leading to attacks on Palestinian civilians by armed West Bank settlers and killings by the Israeli army, including two Palestinian teenagers shot dead by the Israeli army in May, almost ignored in the Western media.

Then after the kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers, which Hamas insisted it had nothing to do with, Israel arrested more than 500 activists and killed more than half a dozen, in addition to a Palestinian teenager burned alive by settlers. Israel also ramped up attacks on the Gaza Strip which killed Hamas activists. It was only after all these killings that Hamas resorted to rocket attacks which after the deal in 2012 had fallen to the lowest level for 12 years.

Since then much has been made in the Western media about Hamas rejecting a deal to end the bloodshed. But that ‘deal’ was a contrivance of Netanyahu and his Egyptian ally Sisi which the Palestinians could never accept. After their endless sufferings the people of Gaza could never accept a long-term deal which did not include the lifting of the illegal blockade which has reduced so many to hunger and destitution.

Gaza remains an occupied territory when its border, coastal waters, airspace and power supply are all controlled by Israel. The pretence that Israel is protecting itself against unprovoked attacks from beyond its borders – which the US and its allies parrot like a mantra – is risible. The hypocrisy whereby the US and UK continue to ignore the Israeli occupation, now in its 48th year, is stifling. But there will never be peace until these profound decades-long injustices are reversed and the illegal Israeli occupation is turned back to the 1967 borders.


  1. Robert says:

    We all know the issues, we also know that two factions want to have a war, the people in the middle are the ones who suffer the innocents.

    It’s time that the United Nations got it’s act together or bloody well disband

  2. Gerry says:

    What a silly, partisan and wretched article this is. using stupid words like genocide… dont you realise, Michael, that what the Middle East needs is LESS extremism, LESS hyperbole, LESS partisanship?

    Hamas was democratically elected by Gazans, true. Hamas is also a huge part of the problem, and not part of any progressive solution.

    Hamas is the local arm of the Muslim Brotherhood which itself is part of the global islamic fundamentalist movement which has social, gender, cultural and sectarian politics far to the right on the political scale.

    We need – somehow – to marginalise these hard-right extremists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, AND their mirror image the hard right Israeli settler movement.

    That – and social democracy or socialism- is the key to ending the cycle of violence and misery in Israel/Palestine, not your silly one-sided ahistorical prose…

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