If Corbyn shouldn’t have referred to Hezbollah as his ‘friend’; and if one attaches equal value to each human life; and if war crimes are war crimes regardless of the address from which they originate—in other words, if facts rather than demagoguery serve as the basis of one’s moral calculus, wasn’t the Tory embrace of Israel incalculably worse?
These stories are reflections of the daily realities faced by the children of Gaza. But despite the mountains of information that shed light on these realities, the Israeli public continues to be completely impervious to the consequences of the war waged in its name. This indifference does not result in passivity; on the contrary, it is an active and integral component to the structural violence that dominates Gaza’s population.
But despite repeated challenges from us and others, Owen Jones, Richard Seymour and David Wearing – regarded as fiery, independent contributors to the Guardian – have maintained a discreet public silence.
We too are powerless. We have undergone a corporate coup d’état in slow motion. It is over. They have won. If we want to wrest power back, to make the consent of the governed more than an empty cliché, we will have to mobilize, to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience to overthrow—let me repeat that word for the members of Homeland Security who may be visiting us this afternoon—overthrow the corporate state. And maybe, once we have freed ourselves, we can free the people of Gaza.
He went on to say: “The Palestinian people’s resistance in Gaza today is admirable, it is fair and it is a struggle for all of us. We do not want a world where raw power can be abused, to kill those who struggle for justice.”
“The most important thing is what Hamas is doing and the policies it is adopting today. . . . Hamas has accepted the national reconciliation document. It has accepted a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders including East Jerusalem, dismantling settlements, and the right of return based on a long-term truce. Hamas has represented a clear political program through a unity government. This is Hamas’s program regardless of the historic documents. Hamas has offered a vision. Therefore, it’s not logical for the international community to get stuck on sentences written 20 years ago.”
The 1998 Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court’s founding charter, states that one of the critical ICC’s tasks is that “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished.” However, under pressure from the US and the European Community, the ICC has avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza. By doing so, the ICC is not living up to its mandate.
While the staggering scale and wickedness of Israel’s violence is treated with effective impunity – ‘it’s a sovereign state, after all’ – spineless editors and stenographer ‘journalists’ are still paying lip-service over ‘Israel’s security’, while agonising over whether ‘we’ should even be speaking with, or recognising, Hamas.
Such is the reality of Israeli terrorism, Western subterfuge, and the media’s sacrificing of truth over what’s repeatedly deemed the ‘darker Hamas threat’. Predictably, almost none of this is up for serious discussion at the Guardian or BBC.
As the bombing continues I expect we’ll hear more reasons why the Palestinians are to blame for being bombed. An Israeli minister will say “These people in Gaza are always complaining that they live in a densely populated area, so we’re trying to help them out by reducing the population as much as we can to give them more space. But they’re STILL not happy. Some people are never satisfied.”
The blood of the thousands of Palestinians who have been killed by the so-called Israel Defence Forces since the beginning of the siege of Gaza, stains the hands of each and every politician who has done nothing to censure Israel for this cruel and illegal act of virtual imprisonment, or who has taken any kind of bribe to bolster his or her election-campaign coffers, in return for turning their backs on the quite obvious fact that Apartheid Israel has never had any intention other than to genocide the Palestinian people.
The US has ‘condemned’ Israel’s bombing of the UN school. Predictably, their short, strangled words have been matched by precisely no political action against Israel. No emergency gathering of international allies to organise sanctions. No freezing of assets. No arms embargo.
Just imagine the response had this and other such massacres been carried out by Iran or Syria.
For the past month, the news in Israel/Palestine has been filled with reports of more and more people killed, the vast majority of them Palestinians. As much of Israeli society is swept up in the fever of the most recent war on Gaza, there are those voices that refuse to accept a present, or future, filled with violence, occupation, fear and hostility. One of those voices belongs to Udi Segal, a 19-year-old Israeli from Kibbutz Tuval, who was sent to jail on Monday for refusing to enlist in the Israeli military.