Monday, February 2, 2009

War on Gaza: Israeli Action, Not Reaction

By Nicola Nasser 

U.S. and European diplomats are reiterating the Israeli propaganda justification: "What would any normal country do if they were threatened by rocket fire? They would act." U.S. President Barak Obama was the last western leader to uphold this Israeli claim. "But Israel is not a normal country, it is an occupying country," former Palestinian - Israeli member of Knesset Azmi Bishara said. Moreover what country would tolerate an eight -year siege and not consider it an act of war without any national reaction? Why should western diplomacy judge Palestinians in Gaza as universally abnormal......

More recently, the Palestinian reaction managed to develop some locally - made primitive rockets in self - defense, and to smuggle in some "Grad" systems, which Israel used in addition to the tunnels under the Gaza - Egypt borders as justification for military action, while imposing a media blackout to hide the horrible humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza as the result of its eight - year old blockade of the territory, which left the besieged Palestinians with one of two choices: Either to starve slowly to death or die instantly en masse in "Operation Cast Lead." Israel imposed siege, in itself an act of war, as a collective punishment against Gazacivilians. U.S. and European strong advocates of Humanitarian Intervention, led by French foreign ministerBernard Kouchner, who call now for such interventions in DarfurMyanmar and Zimbabwe and who did intervene militarily for humanitarian reasons in CambodiaRwandaBosnia and Kosovo, have kept mum on Gaza.


Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt hit directly at the root cause of the Gaza conflict. "They will dig tunnels out of desperation and there will be no way of stopping all these tunnels if you don't open up the border," he said. Bildt was joined by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who urged ending "Gaza's economic isolation by reopening the crossings that link it to the outside world." European leaders seem to have finally awakened to the real equation of cause and effect in the conflict. However they are calling for opening Gaza border crossings as a sideshow, as the effect and not as the root cause of Palestinian reaction, as a prerequisite for a "durable and sustainable" ceasefire and not as an obligation that Israel must abide by in its capacity as the occupying power under international law, as merely a humanitarian outlet for the besieged civilian population and not as a national right of the Palestinians in Gaza Strip in the context of the Israeli unilateral military redeployment from the coastal strip in 2005.


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