Remember Gaza — Stephen Lendman


Smoke billows following an Israeli airstrike on Jala Tower, which housed offices of Al-Jazeera TV and Associated Press as well as residential apartments, in Gaza City, on May 15, 2021. — Xinhua/IANS

Decades of Israeli war on Palestinians will long be remembered as one of history’s great crimes — notably its terror-bombing and shelling of residential areas.


THE late Palestinian/American scholar/intellectual/activist Edward Said once called “serious public discussion” about Israeli crimes of war, against humanity and genocide against Palestinians the last taboo, adding:

“Abortion, homosexuality, the death penalty, even the sacrosanct military budget can be discussed with some freedom.”

“The extermination of native Americans can be admitted, the morality of Hiroshima attacked, the national flag publicly committed to the flames.”

“But (decades-long Israeli) oppression and maltreatment of the Palestinians is virtually unmentionable, a narrative that has no permission to appear.”

While cracks in the wall of silence appeared after Said’s remarks, one-sided US/Western support for Israel remains rock-solid.

It’s because of Zionist lobby power in the US.

Operating as unregistered foreign agents, AIPAC and over 50 other Zionist groups have exerted enormous influence on all things Israel in the US.

Said also once said “virtually the entire Senate can be marshalled in a matter of hours into signing a letter to the resident on Israel’s behalf.”

The (fantasy) notion of Israeli democracy as an “oasis of Western modernity in the political desert of the Middle East, is virtually impregnable.”

Zionist power claims the “right to intervene in everybody’s business.”

It waged war on Said. Its officials asked Columbia University where he taught to dismiss or censure him for criticising Israel.

Along with calling Oslo a Palestinian Versailles, he compared Occupied Palestinians to “inmates in an asylum or prison” — while denouncing PLO leadership for betraying their own people.

He favoured a one-state solution, saying there’s no way “for Israel to get rid of Palestinians or for Palestinians to wish Israelis away.”

“I see no other way than to begin now to speak about sharing the land that has thrust us together, sharing it in a truly democratic way, with equal rights for each citizen.”

What exists now is a “bloody impasse.”

Whether one state or two, Israel is nuclear armed and empowered with an array of other state-of-the-art terror weapons.

Palestinians have little more than sticks, stones, crude rockets, their bodies and will.

They’re powerless against apartheid Israel without world community help.

Calling AIPAC Washington’s “most powerful single lobby,” Said said it “inspires an awed fear and respect across the political spectrum.”

“Who is going to stand up to this Moloch on behalf of the Palestinians, when they can offer nothing, and AIPAC can destroy a congressional career at the drop of a check book?”

After a 10-year battle with cancer, Said passed away in September 2003 at age-67.

He was gone years before the first full-scale preemptive Israeli war on Gaza — from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009.

What’s going on now is the fourth one, along with perpetual violence throughout the Territories at greater or lesser intensity to cow Palestinians into submission to Israel’s will by brute force and intimidation.

Decades of Israeli war on Palestinians will long be remembered as one of history’s great crimes — notably its terror-bombing and shelling of residential areas.

Strategic bombing aims to destroy an adversary’s economic and military ability to wage war.

It targets its war-making capacity and related infrastructure.

Terror bombing is another matter altogether.

It’s against civilians to break their morale, cause panic, weaken an enemy’s will to fight, and inflict mass casualties and punishment gratuitously — in flagrant breach of the UN Charter, Nuremberg Principles, Geneva, and other international laws.

Israeli crimes against Palestinians have been committed without punishment for nearly three-fourths of a century.

Nothing suggests this reality will change ahead, clearly not any time soon.

Because Israel has been unpunished for the highest of high crimes throughout the post-WW II period — and has one-sided US/Western support — it feels empowered to wage slow-motion genocide against Palestinians as grievously as Nazi Germany’s extermination of Jews.

According to unnamed IDF officers, the Netanyahu regime has enough targets in Gaza to keep waging endless war on the Strip.

They’re mostly residential buildings and other civilian structures — targeted on the phony pretext of shielding Hamas, despite no evidence suggesting it.

Criticism of Israeli aggression by the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) ignored ties by some of its members with the Jewish state.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif slammed the hypocrisy, his candid remarks pulling no punches.

He took part in a virtual OIC meeting on ongoing Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

Here’s what he said in full:

“Allow me to begin by thanking you for organising this timely meeting as we witness the most heinous crimes being perpetrated against our brothers and sisters by Zionist forces in Occupied Palestine.”

“Innocent men, women and children are being massacred by the deadliest and most sophisticated weapons.”

“Homes are being demolished while their residents are trapped inside.”

“Whatever remains of the infrastructure in Gaza—including power and water supply—is effectively destroyed.”

“We are facing blatant and systematic violations of human rights, humanitarian law and international law.”

“The massacre of Palestinian children today follows the purported ‘normalisation.’ ”

“This criminal and genocidal regime has once again proven that friendly gestures only aggravate its atrocities.”

“The sole aim of Israel’s hypocritical gestures is to divide Muslims and isolate the people of Palestine.”

“Make no mistake: Israel only understands the language of resistance and the people of Palestine are fully entitled to the right to defend themselves and to defy the bullying of this racist regime.”

“These barbaric acts have proven once again that the only peaceful path to peace in Palestine is the holding of a referendum among all residents of Palestine, including displaced Palestinians and refugees.”

“It must not be forgotten that Palestine is not only an Arab or Islamic issue, but also an international dilemma.”

“The crimes committed against the innocent Palestinian people over decades weigh heavy on the conscience of humanity.”

“The international community therefore has a duty to condemn the Israeli regime in the strongest terms and compel it to end the destruction and siege of Gaza.”

“We should continue to work actively in the United Nations to urgently convene an emergency session of the General Assembly to address this issue.”

“(T)he abhorrent approach of some Western governments in equating victims and culprits compels us to look at our shortcomings in pressing our common cause.”

“We should devise an ‘institutionalised’ legal and political campaign against this apartheid Zionist regime at regional and international levels.”

“A professional international watchdog should be established to monitor and report on the crimes perpetrated against Palestinian people.”

“These crimes must be documented and reported with the aim of bringing culprits to justice.”

“We should also pass domestic legislation and a resolution by this organisation recognising that Israel is an apartheid regime.”

“(T)he criminal acts of Israel should be recognized as genocide and crimes against humanity by both domestic legislation and OIC resolutions.”

“(M)ember-states should extend the jurisdiction of their national tribunals to include the prosecution of criminals perpetrating war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in the Palestinian occupied territories.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as always, extends its hand of friendship to all of you.”

“We are prepared to set aside all differences and unite in defending the rights of the people of Palestine by resorting to every legitimate political and legal tool.”

Zarif and the Islamic Republic are on the right side of this issue — in stark contrast to US-led Western support and encouragement for the highest of Israeli high crimes.

The same goes for too many Arab states, siding with Israel, looking the other way, and/or showing indifference toward long-suffering Palestinians.

Their liberating struggle goes on against a ruthless occupier.

Weeks after Israel’s summer 2014 Protective Edge aggression on Gaza, UK activist Karma Nabulsi perhaps spoke for people worldwide, saying:

“In our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians.”

Their struggle is ours.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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