Sunday, March 02, 2008

A lesser Holocaust

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.
~Seneca, Roman thinker, mid-1st century AD

Israeli tanks and F-16’s continue their pummeling in Gaza, Palestine. The saturation bombing has left close to 60 dead in a single day [March 1, 2008: Source AFP]. Children, women, elderly and men. Journalists reporting from the occupied territory say that body parts lie strewn about the ghostly town and hospitals services are now stretched thin. Ambulances can’t fetch the wounded because there is no fuel. Israel has stopped essential supplies also. There is absolute mayhem.

Yet there is nary a word of condemnation. No one cares two hoots. In Washington, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe expressed regret for loss of civilian life but put most of the blame on the Palestinians. Thank you, Gordon. What more can one expect of this discredited administration. Meantime Israel says the air attack on Gaza is due to the continued shooting of homemade Qassam rockets by Hamas at the town of Sderot.

No one seems to care to ask the most important question: Why are these rockets being fired into Isreal? The answer, I surmise is simple: Because Isreal had led an economic blockade of Gaza since 2006. That is when Hamas came to power. All imports are banned. Exports of all form are banned. Initially medicines and basic foodgrains were allowed. Later Israel moved to stop even the bare necessities. All borders are sealed. Like ugly sadists, the likes of Ehud Barak, Israel's thuggish defence minister, waited and watched the pressure-cooker situation in Gaza. Human rights went up in steam.

In reality Hamas proposed a cease-fire in the past. It repeated the offer in December 2007. A cease-fire means – as the brilliant Israeli columnist Uri Avnery explains: the Palestinians will stop shooting Qassams and mortar shells, the Israelis will stop the incursions into Gaza, the targeted assassinations and the economic blockade. But Israel has its own devilish plans. They don’t like Hamas, so no talks with the folks -- albeit Hamas is democratically elected. Instead starve the population, squeeze them and when it doesn’t work – Bomb the hell out of them.

Before carrying out this week’s full scale assault on Gazan villages, Israel’s deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in the occupied strip with a ‘Holocaust’ [Source: Independent, UK - 29 Feb]. The comments came a day after Israeli occupation forces killed 31 Palestinians, nine of them children, one a six-month-old baby, in a series of air raids across Gaza. Although some pragmatic colleagues in the Olmert cabinet distanced themselves from Vilnai’s villainous remarks, no quick reprimands followed. Imagine the world reaction if Ahmedinejad says as much as: Let us have a Holocaust debate!

As I blog, news updates inform me that missiles keep flying into Gaza. Holocaust of the lesser kind – because no one likes to talk about it, lest it scandalizes the holy cow Israel – continues. The UN cannot convene because big daddy America won’t allow it to. The Europeans are shamelessly quiet. The rich Arab countries are busy in a scramble to make the grandest infrastructure in the world. Not to be left behind Dubai [which has made ‘Burj Dubai’, a 818 meter high building], Saudi Arabia is planning a ‘Mile High Tower’, 1,000 meters high. A few “billions” of dollars would be pumped into the endeavor. [Source: Forbes Mag]

Meantime Palestinians die – poor, helpless and unsung.

Pity.

Sameer