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Written on January 18, 2008, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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Now that the pressure is on Israel to make peace, I notice the way the ongoing marginalisation and destruction of Hamas-run Gaza seems to be tacitly accepted by the West, and it appalls me.

The focus of Jewish paranoia and anger is falling more and more intensely on the inhabitants of this God-forsaken piece of land who dared – in free and fair elections, lauded at the time as a model for the Arab world – to elect Hamas. Now they are being crushed, thoroughly, relentlessly, and cruelly, with the world looking on, doing nothing. We do not say a word, we just observe. It’s just like the 1940s.

For the terrible crime of political self-determination, and for the greater crime of refusing to accept their occupier and oppressor’s moral superiority, the people of Gaza are cut off from power, water, medical supplies, attacked with tanks, warplanes and troops. Even on days when nobody is killed, warjets scream across the sky, creating sonic booms. Unable to leave, they die of perfectly avoidable illnesses. Children and adults are malnourished. The Gazans are living in a significant hell, created by Israel, that hugely wealthy, sophisticated, military Theocracy, on the basis that they dare to resist.

A word on the so-called terrorists: the crude, home-made rockets they fire into the adjacent Israeli towns rarely damage buildings, and extremely rarely cause loss of life. The rockets are a symbol, the unmistakable sign of non-capitulation, the nose thumbed at the bully; and this is the main reason the Gazans are hated, and bombed, and shelled – for refusing to be cowed. The Israelis also use methods you cannot see to destabilise Gaza. Wound up, disenfranchised, frustrated young men are armed to the teeth, factionalised, and encouraged to shoot one another – one of the central strategies of Israel being to keep the Palestinians divided and weak. Israeli agents infiltrate as much as they can, using bribery, blackmail, threats, and holding family members hostage to exert pressure on key individuals.

Every day of the recent meetings in Jerusalem, “peace” talks brokered by the West, the military pressure on Gaza was unabated. Abbas, and his party Fatah have abandoned Gaza to Hamas, in the belief that then they can have the remaining West Bank territory. This is repugnant hypocrisy to many Palestinians, who had so little faith in the compromised and corrupt Fatah leadership that they failed to elect them. Bear in mind that “fundamentalist” Hamas were not elected for their Islaam, but because they were a “clean” alternative to the failures of the previous regime.

My own view is that the contemporary Israeli psyche is predicated upon the fear and loathing of the other, in an exact mirror of their own treatment by (mainly Christian) others over the past 2,000 years, and particularly during the 20th century under Nazism. Now, with “peace” forced upon them, Israel sees its chance to cleanse their Holy Land of those inconvenient indigenous Arabs diminishing, and it even faces the awful spectre of dismantling its strategically placed hilltop settlements as part of the peace deal. Israeli anger and fury, bottled up for so long, continues to boil and seethe; and denied retribution upon the whole of the Palestinian population, they sure as hell aren’t giving up on the Gazans.

Even as Bush and Blair preach peace, with all the vanity of their future legacies to guide them, there are daily killings of “militants” who are often civilians, children, mothers, while the entire population suffers endless collective punishments. The Gazans are not just in a prison, they are the inmates of the latest concentration camp. All the time other nations accept this scapegoating and the supporters of Israel allow this to happen in the name of peace, they are guilty of supporting the worst kind of inhumanity. Call it what you will, I call it fascism.

I agree with the great actor and humanist Peter Ustinov who said many years ago that the Jews were the first victims of the Nazis, the Palestinians the last; and I pray for some kind of enlightenment in the ranks of the powerful, that we might see an end to this awful brutality.

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This thing has 3 Comments

  1. Parkylondon
    Posted 18 January, 2008 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    A profound, deeply moving and unerringly accurate summation of the situation in Gaza. One of the best pieces of writing you have done. Thank you.

  2. Indigobusiness
    Posted 18 January, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Madness.

    I saw a headline that thudded through my consciousness like a lead weight:

    -Olmert Declares War on Civilians-.

    Would that the world were run by true leaders, with sensibilities akin to Ustinov.

  3. Comfort Addict
    Posted 19 January, 2008 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Well said, Deek. As someone whose mother was Jewish, I despise the actions of the Israelis. They forget what was visited upon them and visit it on the Palestinians, who are just trying to have a good life.

    I love the Ustinov statement, too. I have often wondered how the world would be different had the powers that be not felt compelled to create Israel as consolation for the horror of the Holocaust. Yet, we can’t go back.

    I think that the hope comes from the bottom, not the top. Humane, decent people in Israel must lead their fellows and their leaders to a new policy. It will not come easily but I believe that it is the only way.

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