Let's be clear. The Israeli government, with full buy-in from the Bush administration and Congress, is quite comfortable collectively punishing all Palestinians in Gaza for political gain. And if you don't yet believe that is exactly what is happening, check out reports from the ground in Sameh Habeeb's Gaza Today blog. Secretary of State Rice is apparently comfortable with the loss of large numbers of women and children as well, based on her statement today that civilian losses were unavoidable. Read that to mean that murdering women and children in Gaza has the full approval of the United States government. The Author sincerely hopes this unfortunate woman will never hold another job again, the damage she has done is deep and lasting. This recommended article contributed by citizen journalists to Global Voices asks the question: How many deaths in Gaza is enough?
But then, politics and oil are at the core of this dispute. A previous post examines the role of the "Jewish Lobby" in the U.S. which was revealed in detail in John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's fine book (read this review in the London Review of Books).
There is, however, pressure growing. It is not what Israel expects. According to Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, "About 30,000 took to the streets of Paris to call for an end to Israeli attacks in Gaza, with many demonstrators wearing Palestinian keffiyah headscarves and chanting 'we are all Palestinians', 'Israel murderer' and 'peace.'" A great post in The Galloping Beaver notes that " A crowd of 12,000 gathered in London's Hyde Park carrying placards marked 'Gaza: Stop the massacre' and chanting 'free, free Palestine.' In the western German city of Duisburg, 10,000 people marched." The world is watching and will remember.
Why the Palestinians are FightingRather than engage in an original recitation, The Author defers to some of the leading Jewish intellectuals in Europe and America who signed a letter that was published in England's The Guardian newspaper on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Israel. I discovered this powerful, open letter on Informed Consent: Global Affairs, in a post by Barnett R. Rubin. IC:GA is one of the blogosphere's real treasures and is often associated with another of its distinguished authors, Juan Cole. The entire letter can be found here. I have extracted the verbiage regarding the history of the current conflict.
In July 1948, 70,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in Lydda and Ramleh in the heat of the summer with no food or water. Hundreds died. It was known as the Death March...In all, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. That did not end the ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956. Many thousands more when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Under international law and sanctioned by UN resolution 194, refugees from war have a right to return or compensation. Israel has never accepted that right.
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