Israeli children and Palestinian children
A Tomb In Israel
The Second Anniversary of Israel's destruction of Gaza and its slaughter of more than 1,440 Gazans is upon us.
As you will recall, Operation Cast Lead, as it was called by Israel, was the massive military onslaught of the Gaza Strip between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, when George Bush was a lame duck and before Barak Obama took office, that resulted in world wide accusations of war crimes against Israel.
You will also recall that Gaza is a small strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea, completely encircled by Israel, and that all the exits and entrances to Gaza are controlled by the Israeli army and navy. You will recall that when the attack began the borders were sealed, leaving Gazans no way to escape.
You are aware that much of the state of the art arsenal Israel used against the people of Gaza is supplied at no cost by the United States, that as the assault was getting started the US government dispatched an emergency arms shipment to Israel that included some weaponry never before used in warfare, like the Dense Inert Metal Explosive, or DIME bombs, that shred to bits everything in a 30 yard radius.
You will remember that the invasion was investigated by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which gave the job of leading the investigation to Richard Goldstone, a South African Jewish judge with long experience investigating human rights abuses and war crimes in South Africa, Yugoslavia and Rwanda. And that his report is harshly critical of Israel, that its charges were overwhelmingly against Israel, that it accuses Israel of war crimes and possibly even crimes against humanity, of using Palestinian children as human shields, of deliberately targeting residential areas, hospitals, schools, ambulances, of shooting Palestinian civilians, old people, children, pregnant women, who had their hands in the air or were waving white flags, and that it accuses Israel of showering Gazans with bombs loaded with white phosphorus, which ignites on contact with air, sticks to the flesh, is nearly impossible to extinguish, and keeps burning through a person's muscle tissue until it reaches the bone.
There are many good articles reviewing the massacre on the websites of Palestinian activists and their supporters, among whom a growing number are Jews who have become disgusted with what Israel has become.
And what has Israel become?
Or the question might be, has it become anything? Was it always as it is now?
I quote here from a letter written by David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister:
"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make peace with Israel. That is natural: We have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?" (1)
I suppose you know, too, that that is not even an accurate representation of the Bible. The Biblical story is that God gave Palestine to the Jewish people but then kicked them out because they never obeyed his commands, and that, according to the Bible, they are supposed to wait for word from him before going back.
I am assuming you know that Gaza remains one large human prison, its borders still controlled by Israel, which doesn't permit in any of the supplies needed to repair the destroyed factories, bakeries, dairies, hospitals, homes, or schools, and that you know what goes on in the rest of Palestine, too, that you have ventured beyond the near blackout in the US media, that you have seen beyond the automatic and uncritical support of Israel by US politicians who live in constant fear of the Israeli Lobby, which has proven its ability to flood individual US election campaigns with money and defeat anyone who doesn't profess loyalty to Israel.
I presume you know that the UN now lists 4,255,120 Palestinians as living in refugee camps, who were either evicted from Palestine in 1948 or are their descendants, and that this does not include millions more who have fled the hopelessness of the camps for other countries.
I think you know that there are now, thanks to the internet, many media sources that, unlike the New York Times and MSNBC and all the rest, report on the daily killings, dispossessions, and imprisonment of Palestinians.
And it's logical to assume that you know that even what land the Palestinians do still control is now split up by Israeli walls and cordoned-off by Israeli-only roads and military check points so that each little piece is cut off, one from another, so that Palestinians can't even go from one area to the other, can't even go to their own fields and olive orchards in many cases.
And I guess you know by now that Palestinians control only 22 percent of historic Palestine, and that they control a little less of it every day.
(1) Breakthrough: A New Perspective On The Israel-Palestine Conflict, by Richard Forer, p 289.