Gaza has long been relegated to the lower levels of American newsworthiness, pushed out by the US economy and a frenzy over presidential nominees, but the sudden explosion of Palestinians over the Egyptian border should really be making headlines throughout the world. [1]

Such a long, drawn out, controversy between the West and Palestine results in bored apathy from those so well off they can have no comprehension of the suffering and human indignity being imposed on the people of Gaza. For many in the West the whole situation has become nothing more than a ‘perfect bore’.

Yet, the situation in Gaza is anything but boring.

A strip of land measuring twenty-five miles long and between three and seven miles wide, is home to some one and a half million people, mostly Sunni Arabs with a sprinkling of Christians. Eighty percent of them live below the poverty line.

Israel controls the long border to the east and north; Egypt lies to the south. The only exit from Gaza to Egypt was the Rafah Crossing, once operated jointly by Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, with European monitors on the Palestinian side. When the democratically elected Hamas government was rejected by Israel and the West back in January 2006, the Rafah Crossing was closed because European monitors were withdrawn from the region, ostensibly for ‘security reasons’.

This left the Palestinians of Gaza at the mercy of the Israeli government, who strictly controlled the only other border crossings.

A relatively small number of Hamas militants have been using northern Gaza as a base for firing home-made rockets into southern Israeli towns, and by using a process of collective punishment Israel has sought retribution for these acts by closing the only border crossings and refusing essential aid, medical supplies, and fuel for power stations.

Collective punishment is illegal under Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, but has been commonly practiced by the Nazi European occupying forces during WW2, Israel throughout its history, and the US forces occupying Iraq [i.e. Fallujah] from 2003.[2]

Article 3 (c) prohibits:

outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”

There can be little doubt the people of Gaza have suffered such atrocities at the hands of Israel.

The recent assault on the Egyptian border fences by Hamas who, realizing the plight of Gaza’s people, used explosives and diggers to remove the barriers, seems totally justified in the light of Israel’s intransigence.

Palestinians making use of this sudden access to Egypt have spoken of a wondrous sense of freedom after the open prison that is Gaza. Unfortunately, certain governments are unhappy at this ‘taste of freedom’ and are demanding that Egypt seal the border and herd the unfortunate people of Gaza back into their ghetto.

Who would dare to utter such an inhumane directive?

Washington, of course; who else?

The American government, both Republican and Democrat, is pressurizing Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to seal up the border and re-incarcerate the people of Gaza.

This is all part of American policy to support the Jewish nation however barbarous and inhumane their actions. It is the reason no peace policy in the region will ever provide a fair and just settlement for the Palestinians. It is the reason George W Bush, Tony Blair, Condoleeza Rice, and all who purr about an Israeli/Palestinian agreement within twelve months, are lying blatantly through their teeth.

The intention of the Western powers is to ensure Israel reigns supreme in the Middle East. Jewish influence now controls the corridors of power throughout the Western world. Bush’s invasion of Iraq was ‘Part One’ of the plan to subjugate Arab power in the region once and for all. Iran is now his biggest stumbling block, hence the arrogant, bellicose, rhetoric belied by his own intelligence forces but still peddled around the world with the support of Sarkozi, Blair, and Merkel.

Few truly caring westerners would not feel sympathy for the people of Gaza temporarily sprung from their prison this week. Such freedom will not be allowed to continue for long. Western power will see to that. Mubarak, himself a Sunni Arab, finds himself between the devil and the ocean. Allied to Western power, he cannot afford to alienate himself and his country, but surely his heart must bleed for the plight of his fellow Arabs.

Mubarak, however, also fears a Shia [Iranian] uprising of power in the region. His alliance with the US was surely with that in mind. He is a man torn, but as the saying goes, “He knows on which side his bread is buttered.”

Meanwhile, the people of Gaza along with all Palestinians caught up in this vast power-struggle, are the big losers.

But then, whenever there’s a power struggle it matters not the religion, ethnicity, or nationality of ordinary people. It is they who are the losers, never the wicked and powerful – those instigators of violence, suffering, and bereavement.

[1] BBC News report

[2] Information Clearing House

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