When bombed by Israel, the besieged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip will receive no more compassion from the West than in previous times. The expression “Israeli response” will once again be used to justify their immense suffering. The current outpouring of sympathy for Israel should make anyone with a little heart shudder. Not because it isn’t horrible to see Israeli civilians dying and suffering in such large numbers.
But because the Palestinian civilians of Gaza have regularly suffered, for decades, Israeli aggressions which cause them much greater suffering, without ever arousing even a fraction of the concern currently expressed by politicians or Western public opinions. The West’s hypocrisy in the face of Palestinian fighters who kill and injure hundreds of Israelis and hold dozens more hostage in communities around and inside the besieged Gaza Strip is striking.
This is the first time that the Palestinians imprisoned in the coastal enclave of Gaza have managed to launch an attack in Israel on a scale that vaguely reflects the savagery that has regularly befallen them since they were put into custody. cage, more than 15 years ago, when Israel began its land, sea and air blockade in 2007.
Western media describe as “unprecedented” the manner in which the Palestinians in Gaza managed to escape from their open-air prison and go on the attack, as well as Israel’s most abject failure in this matter. intelligence since the Yom Kippur War, where he was also caught off guard, exactly 50 years ago.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas, which nominally runs Gaza’s open-air prison, of starting “a cruel and evil war.” But the truth is that the Palestinians did not “start” anything. They managed, after decades of struggle, to find a way to cause some damage to their executioner.
Inevitably, for the Palestinians, as Netanyahu also noted, “the price to pay will be heavy,” especially for civilians. Israel will inflict on the prisoners the harshest punishment for their impudence.
You will see how little compassion and concern the West will show for the many Palestinian men, women and children that Israel will still murder. Their immense suffering will be obscured and justified by the expression “Israeli response”.
The real lessons
All current analysis that focuses on Israeli intelligence “mistakes” distracts from the real lesson to be learned from these rapidly evolving events.
No one really cared about the Palestinians in Gaza subjected to the Israeli blockade which deprived them of basic necessities. The few dozen Israelis held hostage by Hamas fighters pale in comparison to the two million Palestinians held hostage by Israel in an open-air prison for nearly twenty years.
Who was concerned when it became known that the Palestinians in Gaza were being subjected to a “starvation diet” by Israel, which allowed in only a small amount of food, just enough so that the population did not die entirely? made of hunger?
Who cared that Israel bombed the coastal enclave every two or three years, killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians each time? Israel calls this “mowing the lawn.” The destruction of large areas of Gaza, in order to return the enclave to the Stone Age, as Israeli generals boasted, became an official strategy known as the “Dahiya doctrine.”
Who was alarmed when Israeli snipers shot at nurses, young people and people in wheelchairs who came to protest the Israeli siege? Several thousand people had to have amputations because these snipers were ordered to shoot protesters in the legs or ankles.
Western concern over the deaths of Israeli civilians at the hands of Palestinian fighters is heartbreaking. Haven’t hundreds of Palestinian children died over the past 15 years during Israel’s repeated bombing campaigns on Gaza? Do their lives not matter as much as those of Israelis – and if not, why?
After so much indifference for so long, it is hard to bear to see the horror suddenly spilling over into Western governments and media because the Palestinians have finally found a way – similar to Israel’s inhumane policies towards them. suffered for decades – to respond effectively.
The masks fall and everyone sees that what tries to pass off as moral concerns in Western capitals is in reality pure racism.
Volodymr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, embodies this hypocrisy. Last weekend he published a lengthy tweet condemning the Palestinians as “terrorists” and offering Israel his unwavering support.
He affirmed that “Israel’s right to defend itself is indisputable,” adding: “The world must be united and united so that terrorism does not succeed in subjugating or suppressing life anywhere and at any time.”
Such an inversion of reality leaves you speechless. Palestinians cannot “subjugate life” in Israel. They do not have this power, although a few have managed to escape their cage for a short time. It is Israel that has subjugated the lives of Palestinians for decades.
It appears that not all forms of “terrorism” are equal in the eyes of Zelenskiy or his patrons in Western capitals. Certainly not the state terrorism of Israel which has made the lives of Palestinians an ordeal for decades.
Why does Israel have the “indisputable right” to “defend itself” against the Palestinians whose territory it occupies and controls? Why does Russia not have the same right to “defend itself” when it strikes Ukrainian cities in “response” to Ukrainian strikes aimed at liberating its territory from Russian occupation?
Israel, by far the strongest warring party, is devastating Gaza “in response,” as the BBC says of the latest Palestinian attack.
How will Zelenskiy or his ministers condemn Moscow when it fires missiles “in response” to Ukraine’s strikes on Russian territory? If Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation of Gaza is terrorism, as Zelenskiy claims, then isn’t Ukrainian resistance to the Russian occupation also terrorism?
Nowhere to run
Israel is so used to being covered by its allies that it allows itself to tell bigger and bigger lies. Last weekend, Netanyahu told Palestinians in Gaza to “ leave immediately » because Israeli forces were preparing to “act with all necessary force”.
But Netanyahu knows well, as do his Western accomplices, that the population of Gaza has nowhere to flee. Nowhere to hide. The Palestinians are locked in Gaza and Israel is besieging them by land, sea and air.
The only Palestinians capable of “leaving Gaza” are the armed factions who escaped from the prison to which Israel keeps the key, and who are accused of being “terrorists” by Western politicians and media. The Western governments so horrified by the Palestinian attack on Israel are the same ones that remain silent when Israel cuts off the electricity to the prison that is Gaza, again as part of its so-called “response.”
The collective punishment of the two million Palestinians in the Gaza enclave, who depend on Israel for electricity because Israel surrounds them and controls every aspect of their lives, is a war crime.
Strangely, Western officials understand that it is a war crime when Russia bombs power plants in Ukraine and thereby cuts off electricity. They are clamoring for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. So why are they unable to see that Israel is doing the exact same thing in Gaza?
A daring escape
There are two immediate and opposing lessons to be learned from what happened in Gaza.
The first is that the human mind cannot be caged indefinitely. The Palestinians of Gaza have never stopped imagining new ways to free themselves from their chains.
They built a network of tunnels, most of which were spotted and destroyed by Israel. They fired rockets that were invariably shot down by increasingly sophisticated interception systems. They protested en masse against the heavily fortified fences, topped with pylons, with which Israel surrounded them, before being shot down by snipers.
Today they staged a daring escape. Israel will subject the enclave to massive bombings, only “in response”, of course. However, the Palestinians’ thirst for freedom and dignity will not be diminished.
Another form of resistance, undoubtedly even more brutal, will emerge. And the main culprits for this violence will be Israel and the West which so generously supports the Jewish state, because Israel refuses to stop martyrizing the Palestinians whom it forces to live under its thumb.
The second lesson is that the lenient support Israel enjoys from its Western patrons does not encourage it to realize the aforementioned fundamental truth. The rhetoric of his current government, made up of fascists and Jewish supremacists, is undoubtedly particularly detestable, but there is, in any case, a broad consensus among Israelis of all political persuasions that we should not stop oppressing Palestinians.
This is why the so-called opposition will not hesitate to support the military shelling of the besieged Gaza enclave, and to kill even more Palestinian civilians to “teach them a lesson”, the lesson being that the Palestinians must accept , once and for all, to be treated as inferiors and to live in prison.
The “good Israelis” – opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz – are already in talks with Netanyahu to join him in an “emergency unity government.”
What “urgency”? The urgency of dealing with Palestinians who demand the right not to live as prisoners in their own homeland.
Israelis and Westerners can continue their mental acrobatics to justify the oppression of Palestinians and deny them any right to resistance. But their hypocrisy and duplicity are not lost on the rest of the world.
Chronicle of Palestine