It’s a touching moment. Two friends embrace warmly before signing a declaration to end the war in Gaza.
The only problem is that Hamas is absent, and one of the parties is not at war – at least, not in Gaza.
So, one must ask, why is the US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, signing an agreement with Tzipi Livni to stop the war?
Part of the agreement is to ensure smuggling of rockets into Gaza cannot be resumed once the Israeli army pulls back. This will require some form of international force on the border to prevent new tunnels being dug, and to check all traffic in and out of Gaza for potential contraband. Is the US preparing to send troops to Israel for this purpose? It seems unlikely. With two war fronts already, the US can ill afford to send more of its military to police the Gaza Strip.
America’s involvement seems to be nothing more than an “all pals together” meeting. After all, Tzipi Livni can now go home knowing she has the support of the nation with the most powerful military in the world behind her.
In reality, that doesn’t mean much. The truth is that Israel, with its modern military, just took on a band of resistance fighters with a few machine guns, mortars, and homemade rockets. Its politicians may be strutting about like local farmyard cocks, preening themselves, and declaring victory in time for national elections, but if Israel’s leaders really believe they have beaten Hamas then they’re decidedly myopic.
To the rest of the world, Israel has once again declared its callous indifference to the slaughter of civilians en masse, the massacre of children, and the committing of war crimes copied from its big brother, America, in a vain attempt to quash resistance to its determination to hold onto Palestinian lands seized in 1967.
Let us not forget, the bulk of families existing in Gaza today are the descendants of refugees forced from their homes during the ethnic cleansing of 1948.
Yes, it was a long time ago. A long time to be wandering in the wilderness, living in refugee camps, and with no access to the outside world, continually under the thumb of a military occupation.
Israel and America today signed a Memorandum of Understanding; an outline agreement for the prevention of arms smuggling into Gaza from Egypt. Hamas, democratically elected to power as the Palestinian government, use the rockets in their fight for freedom from an Israel that, along with the US and Europe, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Hamas government.
Will there be peace in the Middle East on these terms?
No, of course not, and neither Israel nor the US believes it. The real truth is that the Israeli government, and the administration of George W Bush, consider the Palestinians expendable. They’re surplus to requirements. Much as Olmert, Livni and crew – and a large majority of the Israeli people – wish they would just go away and not bother them any more, its obvious they’re not going to. So, until the Palestinians agree to whatever Israel demands, it’ll keep them penned in ghettos and refugee camps where they can be controlled. When they get out of hand, as has happened in Gaza, its a relatively easy matter to bomb them into submission again.
Israel has no desire whatever to commit to a two state solution in the region. Why should it? After all, to do so would mean giving up large tracts of land in the West Bank, land already occupied by Israeli settlements that continue to expand even while peace negotiations are under way. The philosophy is to keep the Palestinians subjugated, they are after all reliant totally on the Israelis for their welfare, and beat them up once in a while when they become too militant.
It’s a situation that will continue indefinitely so long as the United States supports Israel in its militaristic stance. How long that’s likely to continue will depend on the influence of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) remaining strong with the US government. It’s unlikely to wane in the foreseeable future.
Will a President Barack Obama champion the Palestinian cause against the Israelis?
It’s about as likely as the Pope converting to Islam. After all, the first person Obama named for his administration was Rahm Emanuel, his Chief of Staff. Emanuel comes from a long line of Jewish militants. The family took its surname to honor an uncle, Emanuel Auerbach, who was killed by Arabs during a skirmish in Jerusalem long ago. Rahm’s father was an active member of Irgun, responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, and the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948. Irgun was named as an Israeli terrorist organization by the New York Times, the Times of London, and the BBC, among others.
Emanuel’s background bodes ill for Palestine. Nevertheless, whilst a devout orthodox Jew, he and his family are members of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel, a modern orthodox congregation in Chicago. The name means “People of Peace – Children of Israel”.
It remains to be seen whether the advice he gives Obama on the Middle East conflict reflects “People of Peace”, or the blatantly militant, “Children of Israel”.
Filed under: Gaza