By Mickey Z.
Aug 9, 2014
Obviously, there’s a wide range of opinions (and variations on each of those opinions) when it comes to anything related to Israel and Palestine (in particular, Hamas) but to cultivate a truly nuanced perspective requires a lot more evidence and context than we’ll ever get from the corporate media.
It doesn’t make me a supporter of Hamas if I point out how imbalanced the media coverage is and has been. It doesn’t make me a hater of Israel when I remind you of what’s not being said.
So, in the interest of provoking a more informed discussion, I’d like to share some of the crucial but neglected fact. Simply put, I feel it’s impossible to have a useful debate on the conflicts if you haven’t factored in the following realities:
- Like all occupied people, Palestinians have the right -- under international law -- to armed resistance.
- Even when Israel isn’t bombing them, “Gaza’s population continue to face devastating results of the blockade imposed by the Government of Israel. Gazans are deeply suffering with an unemployment rate of 38.5 percent as of the last quarter of 2013, which is an increase of more than 10 percentage points compared to six months earlier, causing widespread poverty. At least 57 percent of Gaza households are food insecure and about 80 percent are now aid recipients.”
- Since its creation, Israel has regularly violated international law and ignored dozens of United Nations resolutions, for example: UN Resolution 242 (Nov. 22, 1967) which emphasizes “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and that member states have a commitment to abide by the U.N. Charter, and calls for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied” during the June 1967 war.
- Three billion U.S. taxpayer dollars go to the Israeli military each year -- $8.5 million per day -- with the requirement that 74 percent of that money be used to buy weapons and equipment from U.S. defense corporations. The United States provides no military aid to Hamas or Palestine.
- When the United States needed a proxy to do so, Israel has supported and armed neo-Nazi governments in Central America, even when this meant working with a company run by unrepentant Nazi, Klaus Barbie (a.k.a. “The Butcher of Lyon”).
- Since 2000, for every Israeli child killed, 12.3 Palestinian children have been killed by weapons purchased from U.S. defense corporations, using U.S. taxpayer money. Before you write this off with excuses about “human shields” or “collateral damage,” please consider this Jan. 1, 1948 diary entry from Israeli Founding Father and its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, concerning the so-called Arab problem: “What is necessary is cruel and strong reactions. We need precision in time, place, and casualties. If we know the family, we must strike mercilessly, women and children included. Otherwise, the reaction is inefficient. At the place of action, there is no need to distinguish between guilty and innocent.”
- Lastly, there’s this: Israel helped create Hamas. No, seriously, Israel helped create Hamas to destabilize the PLO. Really… even the Wall Street Journal publicly admits that Israel helped create Hamas. (FYI: Hamas was democratically elected in the Palestinian legislative election of 2006.)
I’d understand, of course, if someone described this post as “anti-Israel,” so let me clarify: I’m not praising or supporting Hamas. I’m also not singling out Israel as unique in its behavior. Rather, I’m clarifying that Israel’s government is as Machiavellian as every other government.
No state (or corporation) is guided by a “moral code” and it’s dangerous to believe so. Accepting this ugly truth is a powerful step towards better comprehending -- and challenging -- geo-political realities.
The information presented above may or may not change your perception of this long-standing conflict but I like to hope it’ll inspire some deeper analysis and a more useful response than: “Israel has the right to self-defense.”
Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on a couple of obscure websites called Facebook and Twitter. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.
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