Editorial: Crimes Against Gaza
So, let’s be clear about what is transpiring before our eyes in Gaza. It most recently started when the Palestine Authority and Hamas declared that there would be a unity government. This was a significant breakthrough after years of hostility between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-led government in Gaza. Almost immediately the Israeli government expressed outrage, attacking this agreement and proceeding to take a very threatening posture.
The next big event was the disappearance – and subsequent murder – of the three Israeli boys. The Netanyahu government, without a shred of evidence, immediately accused Hamas as being behind this. The Israelis then began a rampage throughout the Occupied West Bank allegedly searching for the children and the kidnappers. Leaders of Hamas were placed in jail and the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of Palestinians were thrown into complete chaos. The Netanyahu government understood precisely what it was doing: It was aiming to provoke a response by Hamas that would then give Israel the opportunity to engage in an armed assault on the largest open-air prison on this planet: Gaza.
Rockets were fired out of Gaza at Israeli targets and this was enough for the Netanyahu government to justify airstrikes followed by an armed incursion. We now witness the horror of hundreds of Palestinians being murdered as a result of the Israeli aggression.
The Netanyahu government did not want the Palestinian unity government to succeed. They were well aware that the creation of a unity government would help the Palestinian cause internationally. That is not what the Netanyahu government wishes. They wish for a weak, powerless Palestinian regime to capitulate to the desires of the Israeli government. Carrying out this armed aggression against Gaza is aimed at creating just that situation.
Here in the U.S., members of Congress have stumbled over themselves to support the Israeli aggression. There is nothing that the Israelis can do that will lead to a condemnation by Congress. The Israeli government can kill any number of civilians and the Congressional majority will applaud it. The Israeli government can starve the Palestinians in Gaza and the Congressional majority will figure out a way to declare it actually humanitarian. The Israeli government can only do this because they see the Palestinians as animals rather than as human beings.
This must stop now and it will only stop when you, along with your friends and family, pick up your phone and call your elected representatives, or when you send them an email telling them that U.S. support for the slaughter in Gaza does not have your support.
Do it now. There is no time to wait.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a racial justice, labor and global justice activist and writer. He is a Senior Scholar with the Institute of Policy Studies and a former president of TransAfrica Forum. Follow him on Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.