Yet again, Israel has unleashed war on Gaza, without provocation, and in defiance of all international norms. Israel’s claim that theirs is a defensive war, to thwart rocket fire on part of Hamas, is patently false. Nearly 100 Palestinian civilians have been killed and 400 injured, and Israel has been bombarding densely-packed civilian settlements as well as target media centres. Among the Palestinian dead are two babies, less than a year old.
Belying Israel’s claims, the unequal and one-sided nature of the war can be gauged from the fact that just four Israeli civilians have been killed and 30 injured in Hamas attacks. The sophisticated weapons deployed by Israel are in stark contrast to the primitive rockets used by the Hamas. The assassination of Ahmed Jaabari, the head of the military wing of Hamas, seems to have been aimed at scuttling ongoing truce talks.
Repeating a pattern from four years ago, this attack on Gaza comes after a US Presidential election and before an election in Israel. The motive of reaping an electoral harvest from a war on Palestine is rather obvious. Israeli citizens have reportedly put out ads in papers declaring ‘No to the election war.’
The newly re-elected US President Obama has supported Israel’s war in the name of its ‘right to self-defence,’ as has the EU. Yet again, the US and EU have supported Israeli war crimes, reinforcing Israel’s sense of impunity.
Israel’s latest war on Gaza may also be part of its preparation to launch a war on Iran. By attacking Gaza, it seeks to test the Arab waters, to see the impact of the Arab Spring on countries like Egypt. So far, Egypt’s new leadership has behaved much in line with its predecessor, the Mubarak regime. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has recalled Egypt’s ambassador to Israel (which Mukarak had also done four years ago), but has avoided breaking off relations with Israel. Reportedly, Morsi called Obama, only to be told by Obama to control Hamas.
A former CIA analyst has revealed how Washington think-tanks, echoing Israeli ideologues, refer lightly to periodic attacks on Palestinians, as ‘mowing the lawn.’ This kind of racial discourse reveals that Israel’s occupation and wars on Palestine ultimately have the genocidal motive of ethnic-cleansing.
The Indian Government, shamefully betraying India’s long-term solidarity with Palestine, has chosen to remain neutral and call for peace, without outright condemning Israeli aggression. The Indian people, however, have responded all over the country with solidarity actions for Gaza, demanding an end to Israel’s war and a principled stand by the Indian Government.
Israel’s war on Gaza is a war on humanity, and Palestine’s struggle is a courageous struggle for liberation from colonial occupation. Anti-imperialist forces the world over must protest Israel’s war on Gaza, and support the Palestinians’ aspirations for freedom.