Who is “barbarian”?  Who commits genocide?

Who is “barbarian”? Who commits genocide?

On France Culture, on a midday newscast, journalist Thomas Cluzel presented the ongoing conflict by describing the actions of the Israeli army as “brutal”. On the other hand, those of Hamas, on October 7, were described as “barbaric”. This vision of things corresponds, unfortunately, to what the French media want to impose on us. We must see the habit of supporting Israel and, for years, the criminalization of Muslims.

Certainly, 150 Palestinian women and children were released but, at the same time, the Israeli army carried out mass arrests in the West Bank! Even freed Palestinians know that overnight they could be arrested again. A 14-year-old boy has just been released: he was arrested last May for throwing a stone: such an act is classified by the military authorities as a “terrorist act”. In France, not a single journalist is surprised by the arrest of the children. Ahed Tamimi, usually flamboyant, cut a sad figure when she left prison; she had been beaten and threatened to kill her father, also imprisoned, if she spoke. As of November 30, Israel detained 8,600 Palestinians, more than 3,300 more since October 7.

In the West Bank, the settlers who now continue their criminal actions under military uniform – because they are often part of the mobilized reservists – are carrying out the ethnic cleansing dreamed of by the right. Since the start of the year through October 7, the army and settlers had killed approximately 200 Palestinians in the West Bank; since the Hamas attack, assassinations have doubled. The olive harvest period, so important for the Palestinians, was accompanied by increased violence on the part of the settlers, always protected by the army. Already, this period was an opportunity for settlers to attack Palestinians in their fields, killing, stealing and burning olive trees. In 2019, there were 19 Palestinian deaths, this year, 321 killed. In Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem, army raids are daily and always deadly. Yesterday, in Jenin, the Israeli army killed two children, one with a bullet in the chest, the other with a bullet in the head. Palestinians from the West Bank who were going to work in Israel are now prohibited from entering and Gazans who were on Israeli soil during October 7 were expelled to the West Bank at the start of the war in Gaza. Checkpoints are now closed; traffic and economic life are virtually stopped; in towns and villages, the streets are empty, people are hungry and afraid, and lock themselves in their homes.

In Gaza, we will not forget that, from October 11, the Israeli army used white phosphorus near the Gaza port, as confirmed by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. This chemical weapon, banned by the UN in 1983, burns at 816°, right to the bone. Cutting off electricity, fuel, water and food supplies is contrary to simple humanitarian rules and clearly shows that Israel is not only targeting Hamas but the entire Palestinian population. The systematic bombing of bakeries also says a lot about Israeli intentions. How would this relate to the right to defend oneself? As of November 30, 62 journalists, mainly Palestinians, 4 Israelis and at least 3 Lebanese, have been killed; they are targeted because Israel does not want images of its war to circulate around the world. No problem in Israel: TVs do not transmit images of the war; thus, the citizens of Israel will not doubt that they are waging a just and clean war. …/…

In Israel itself, Palestinians are now under close surveillance. When they wanted to hold a rally in Nazareth, the leaders of the Hadash and Balad parties were arrested; Arab students are expelled from Israeli universities; a history teacher at a Jewish high school who spoke about the past history of Palestinians and the obligation to respect international law was arrested on November 10. Arab Israeli workers say they are under surveillance by their Jewish colleagues! The State of Israel, a colonizing state, is drifting towards fascism.

In mid-November, at the initiative of a Lyon lawyer, Maître Gilles Devers, more than 500 international law lawyers filed a complaint against Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and genocidethat’s to say ” actions committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. » South Africa also filed a complaint. The last investigation opened by the ICC dates from March 2023 against Putin but an investigation was also opened in March 2021 against Israel for crimes committed on the Palestinian territory since 2014; everything is dragging on since the United States and Israel have not signed the treaty establishing the ICC. And we also wonder how investigators could access Gaza! While it is important to remember international law, we must have no illusions: Israel, supported by the United States and the entire “West,” has a free hand. Until when ?

What is the future of Gazans?

Many Western leaders have, from the start of the fighting, recalled the two-state solution which is, indeed, the solution planned by the international community; but, for decades, the United States and the European Union have forgotten the Palestinians and, ultimately, allowed Jewish colonization to take place in the West Bank. Today, will we wage war against the 700,000 armed settlers who are installed illegally on Palestinian lands? After all, we are waging war on more than two million Gazans! But do we see the United States sending military contingents to liberate the West Bank for the Palestinians? By imagining this scenario, we realize that, in our world, the life of a Palestinian is definitely not worth the life of a Jew. As for President Biden suddenly remembering the Oslo Accords, we must remember that these agreements were only transitional and placed 60% of the West Bank under Israeli control. We know that Rabin’s assassination in 1995 was the death of agreements that were already too unbalanced. The following year, Rabin became prime minister…

We will also not forget, if we are very attached to international law, that resolution 192 passed by the UN in November 1947, granted 54% of Palestine to the Jews, who were much less numerous than the Arabs. , and 46% to Arabs. However, the internationally recognized ceasefire line of 1967 grants 78% of the territory to Israel. The Israeli conquests of 1948-49, particularly the Galilee, were endorsed by the international community. So, Netanyahu wants to complete the Zionist project: conquer what remains of Palestine. Will this project rally “the West” in the name of the war of civilizations?

Netanyahu’s plan: Greater Gaza

Journalist Jonathan Cook, British writer and journalist, who has lived in Nazareth since 2001, presented on the excellent site Middle East Eye, the Israeli project to transfer the Gazan population to Sinai. This plan dates back to at least 2007, after Hamas’ victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections and its takeover of Gaza. From this time, American President Bush put pressure on Egyptian President Mubarak who did not want to lose control of Sinai. In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood government sent a delegation to Washington; the Americans proposed to Egypt to cede a third of Sinai in two stages to settle the Palestinians there. Morsi refused. In summer 2014, during the Israeli operation “Protective Barrier”, the project took shape; it would consist of transferring the Palestinians to 1,600 km² of Sinai, or five times the territory of Gaza, under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli right then launched the slogan “Sinai is Palestine”. During Trump’s “deal of the century”, the plan was taken up again, with the Gulf States responsible for financing it. According to a document from the Israeli Intelligence Ministry, after their expulsion, the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza would first be housed in tent cities, before cities could be built in the north of the peninsula. Israel would present its project as a “win win” since Gazans would have a calmer and more prosperous life.

In addition, a military “sterile zone”, several kilometers wide, would prevent any return to Gaza. In the longer term, Israel would encourage other states – particularly Canada, European countries such as Greece and Spain, and countries in North Africa – to absorb the Palestinian population of Sinai. We can guess that the Egyptian government, whoever it may be, sees in this only an amputation of the national territory and, undoubtedly more serious, a cause of unrest in the entire country. Today, Marshal Sisi is no more favorable than his predecessors to this so-called solution, but Egypt’s considerable debt weakens him in the face of pressure from the American president who can promise a partial cancellation of this debt. All is not lost: Sissi knows that the Egyptians would rise up en masse and the Gazans are very aware of the danger. Let us not forget that some Gazans are children and grandchildren of the Palestinians who, in 1948, were already driven from their villages to make way for the State of Israel, this was the Nakba. This is why they do not want to leave Gaza, Palestinian land. We even saw, during the ceasefire, Palestinian families, surprised in Egypt by the Hamas attack on October 7, return to Gaza, despite all the dangers hovering over this land.

The Israeli government feels all-powerful. On November 11, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared: “What we can do in Gaza, we can do in Beirut,” without any American or European leader reacting. Will the “West”, which has already allowed the Nakba of 1948 to take place, accept a second one through its support for the criminal policy of the State of Israel?

Martine Sevegrand