Imperial Israel

Israel is at it again. Israel has announced, via Twitter no less, that it is sending ground forces into Gaza City once more. Yet again, innocent people will die, and Israel will justify its abhorrent acts against the Palestinians.

Israel loves to claim that they are only protecting their sovereign territory from rocket fire by Hamas. It is true that Hamas are firing rockets into Israeli territory, which is something that they should stop doing. They are targeting civilian areas, for which there is really no justification.

However, as spectators to yet another futile war in the Middle East, we can, to an extent understand the frustration of the Palestinians. Israel has steadfastly refused to stop building settlements on Palestinian land. They continue to push Palestinians into smaller and smaller pockets of land, which are difficult to navigate. The separation of Gaza and the West Bank is not acceptable to most Palestinians, which makes coordinating a national strategy almost impossible.

Israel has taken land that has belonged to Palestinian families for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, pushing the owners off their lands. They are in the process of building a fence that often divides Palestinians from their land, on which they have olive trees and other crops used to support their families.

Israel has refused to allow much of the West Bank access to water from nearby rivers. In Gaza City, Israel has imposed an embargo that is causing untold misery among the Palestinian people, including embargos on food, medical supplies, and building supplies. They have succeeded in creating a ghetto for the people of Gaza in which the quality of life has deteriorated demonstrably.

Israel is involved in piracy on the high seas, as witness its boarding of a peaceful vessel containing relief supplies for the Gazans. Israel killed at least seven people, including an American Turkish citizen. This vessel was not yet in Israeli waters, which makes this an act of international piracy, which should really be punished in the Hague.

I cannot fathom why Israel should be surprised that Hamas wants to hit out at Israel. What does any people do when their land is taken from them by force, when they are separated from family, friends and cropland by a wall, when they are subjected to continual invasions, and missile strikes? What do they do when one of their leaders is killed by a missile?

To hear many people, including the US president, state that Israel has the right to defend itself after they¬† have just killed a Palestinian leader, goes beyond the bounds of common decency. Are they really saying that Israel can take other people’s land by force, refuse people access to food, medical supplies, building supplies or other essential equipment, and those people should just sit back and take it? That if they try and fight back, they are the terrorists and criminals?

When did it become illegal, or a terrorist activity to want to defend your territory? Should Israel be given the right to take whatever they want, and any retaliation is considered an act of terrorism? Nonsense. People have the right to defend themselves against invasion.

I find it outrageous that the United States insist on continuing to support the Imperial aims of Israel. To hear people speak, one would believe that Israel was the only ally and friend that this country has around the world. Is Japan not one of our most important trading partners? Does it not dwarf the relationship that we have with Israel? What of our relations with the United Kingdom?,germany, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Canada? Are these relationships not important to us? Will this country put all of its international relations on the line to support Israel?

Israel is the aggressor in the region. The Palestinians have not taken Israeli land, it is the other way around. Netanyahu has stated his belief that Palestinians should go elsewhere, to Jordan for instance. Why should they? This is their land, their ancestors were born and died here. Israel is just trying to justify its taking of other people’s land by saying that they are being attacked. I dont see the huge armed forces of the Palestinians anywhere. Where are their aircraft, tanks, or ships?

Israel has managed to antagonize almost everyone in the region with its intransigence toward the Palestinians. They are the ones out of step. Turkey was an ally, and ever since the attack on the relief supply ship, they have turned against Israel. Egypt has indicated its support for the Palestinian cause. When Mubarak was in power, there was peace between the two. Jordan has indicated its frustration. Across the region, Israel has no friends. The few that it did have,it has managed to alienate. The United States is now one of its few friends.

There was a time when I had enormous respect for Israel, for the pluck in standing up to the entire Arab region. That started to change with Ariel Sharon and his incursions into Lebanon and the destruction of refugee camps in that country. Many people were killed needlessly in those incursions. Israel has proven intransigent, refusing to create a Palestinian state. To my mind, a number of things ought to happen to resolve this whole situation.

First, Arab nations must recognize Israels right to exist. Not to do so is just obnoxious and unnecessary. Secondly, Israel should take down their settlements, and the wall that separates Israel from the West Bank. Third, Israel should retreat behind the boundaries set before the 1967 war. Fourth, Israel, the United States and others should create a viable Palestinian state, on Palestinian land. They should allow movement of people and supplies between the West Bank and Gaza.

Fifth, they should allow people from Palestine to work in Israel. Sixth, I think that the world should give financial assistance to the Palestinians in setting up a viable, democratic state. Lastly, stop being obstreperous about allowing Palestinians the right of return. This is their land, they should have the right to live on it.

Without these conditions, it is highly likely that the misery in Palestine will continue, that Israel will continue to be ostracized in the region, that Palestinians will continue to fire rockets into Israel, to send suicide bombers into the region. It is within Israels power, and that of the United States to create a viable Palestinian state and stop the violent behavior from Israel.

Given my less than sanguine perspective on this conflict, I don’t believe it likely that Israel will do anything of the sort, nor do I believe that the United States will prevent more bloodshed. There are too many people in the United States that believe that Israel should destroy the Palestinians.

It is a great shame that any criticism of Israel is thought of as anti-semitic. True friends try and stop their friends from perpetrating immoral acts. I admire what many Israelis do and have done throughout history, but that does not mean that I will support acts of depravity against the Palestinians.

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