Gaza's violent cycle once again reignited|
By: Dr. Mansour O. El-Kikhia
Gaza's violent cycle once again reignited
San Antonio Express-News
Web Posted: 01/02/2009 12:00 CST
Drop 100 tons of high explosives on one of the most densely populated slums in the world and what will be the result?
The Israeli Defense Forces provided the answer to that question last week when 60 American-made F-16s laid waste to Gaza. In response to rocket attacks by Palestinians, the initial IDF air strike succeeded in killing hundreds of Palestinians and injuring many more. The final tally is yet to come when the Israelis decide to end their assault on an area a quarter the size of San Antonio, with 1.5 million people living in misery for the past six decades.
Watching the carnage unfold over satellite was simply bewildering. I was shocked by reporters flung in the air like dolls by shock waves of exploding missiles and dismembered bodies lined up in the courtyard of what was once a school.
In Gaza, the Palestinians have been living in a virtual prison for many years. With limited electricity, food and other basics, they sought help from the international community in lifting the Israeli siege, but as usual, beyond soothing words of “we understand and sympathize with your predicament,” no help came. The United Nations scolded Israel on the human tragedy, but that had little impact on Israeli oppressive behavior.
Long before the assault, Israel's powerful global public relations machine spun feverishly to paint Hamas as a terrorist ogre that threatened the very existence of the Jewish state. However, with the exception of the United States, where debate about Israel is always severely curtailed and certainly one-sided, much of the world knows better.
Palestinians have always been the victims in this sorry conspiracy and Israel's predatory designs need to inflate the miniscule and insignificant military threat posed by Hamas' primitive rockets — or, more correctly, glorified firecrackers. Effete fireworks might be the excuse behind the assault, but reshaping the demographic make-up of Palestine is certainly the goal.
Like it or not, Hamas reflects the popular will of the majority of Palestinians who have no reason to like Israel. I certainly don't blame them. Palestinian homes, lands, foods, art and culture have been assimilated.
In short, Israelis have exchanged places with the Palestinians. They have occupied Palestine. Do Palestinians have the right to resist? International law screams yes — and by all means possible.
Emulation is the highest form of flattery, but enough already. This has gone beyond emulation and turned into an issue of Palestinian survival. Palestinians are seeing themselves disappear without a trace in full view of the world, and if they resist they are called terrorists. Shame on “civilized society” for promoting and turning a blind eye to this uncivilized and abusive theft.
Now with nothing left to siphon off, some Israeli extremists are floating the concept of “removal” to preserve the nature of the Jewish state. The objects of that removal would be the inhabitants of the West Bank, along with the 1.2 million Palestinians who refused to leave their homes in old Palestine in 1948 when Israel was created. I wonder if the 141 square miles Gaza is large enough to accommodate another 2.5 million refugees, but logic and extremism are not logical partners. And if they have their way, they will be doing the “removal” while trying to convince the world that they are the victims of Palestinian threats or that they are doing it for the Palestinian good.
Israel's avowed goal of ridding itself of Hamas will not succeed without effacing the Palestinians, who now seem to have learned from their brief diaspora. They will continue to survive and resist as well as document all their rights and the atrocities committed against them.
What the Israelis need to know is that in the region, neither time nor demography is on their side, and their actions will never be forgotten.