"The strong are never absolutely strong, nor are the weak absolutely weak. Those who have Might on loan from fate count on it too much and are destroyed. Might is as pitiless to the man who possesses it (or thinks he does) as it is to its victims. The second it crushes, the first it intoxicates." Simone Weil
The expected Gaza shoah* (aka Operation Cast Lead) aimed at "toppling the Hamas regime" in Gaza (Israel's leading parties vow to wipe out Hamas, Sydney Morning Herald, 23/12/08) has begun in earnest with over 200 Palestinians massacred and over 700 maimed and mangled in waves of Israeli air attacks beginning on Saturday 27 December.
[*A reference to a statement by loose-lipped Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai - see my 4/3/08 post Selling Operation Warm Winter.]
And we all know why, don't we? And not because the Ziocon propaganda sheet The Australian has told us - we've been using that to wrap the prawns in over the festive season. No, we've been reading only the more 'objective' Sydney Morning Herald (what Zionist cyber-warriors laughingly call the Syrian Morning Herald) for coverage of the latest in the Middle East conflict. And the SMH has been telling us that, after unilaterally scrapping their 6-month truce with Israel, Hamas militants have been driving poor, battered Israel beyond bananas with swarms of deadly rocket attacks, forcing its perfumed, lily-white hand:
"The Israelis who live in the towns and farmlands that surround Gaza have been terrorised by the launch of about 3000 homemade Qassam rockets fired at them by Palestinian militants over the past 12 months." (Gaza: abandoned, embattled & divided, Jason Koutsoukis, SMH, 19/12/08)
"The 6-month truce between Hamas and Israel has ended with militant Islamists who rule Gaza declaring the agreement dead - 24 hours before it was due to officially expire." (Militants declare early end to truce agreement, SMH, 19/12/08)
"An Israeli defence official said a military clash in the Gaza Strip was unavoidable as militants again targeted southern Israel with rockets. The Israeli Government... was expected to consider its response to the violence that has spiralled rapidly since Hamas... decided not to renew a 6-month truce that ended on Friday... Palestinian militants fired 8 rockets and mortar rounds at southern Israel yesterday, including one that landed on a house in the town of Sderot... One person was injured. Shortly after, Israeli planes launched an air strike against rockets ready to be fired, an army spokesman said... What we want is to end the Hamas regime in Gaza. The ceasefire has strengthened Hamas'. On Saturday militants fired more than 35 projectiles into southern Israel. The Israeli military killed one person preparing to fire a rocket (Israel ready for fight against militants as rockets resume, SMH, 22/12/08 - accompanied by large colour photo of "masked Palestinian militants" carrying - what else? - rockets).
"Israeli political and military leaders issued dire warnings yesterday to Hamas that it would move against the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip unless renewed rocket and mortar fire against southern Israeli towns stopped... Hamas leaders declared an end to the truce last week, after 6 months of relative calm on Israel's southern flank. In a clear show of firepower, militants launched at least 60 makeshift rockets and mortar shells towards Israel on Wednesday..." (Israel warns of retaliation over attacks from Gaza Strip, Ashraf Khalil, SMH, 27/12/08)
Got that mantra down pat? Rockets. Militants. Rockets. Militants. Rockets. Militants. Right? Wrong:
First, the 6-month truce (what truce?). The SMH didn't tell us that, during the Egyptian-brokered truce, which began in June, "49 Palestinians, including 7 children and 8 resistance fighters were killed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip... In the Gaza Strip, the month of November witnessed the highest number of casualties as 17 Palestinians were killed in Israeli occupation shelling and during incursions." (Report: 49 Palestinians, including 7 children killed during truce, palestine-info.co.uk) To which should be added, "[T]oday's [27/12] horrific attacks mark only a change in Israel's method of killing Palestinians recently. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food and necessary medicine by the 2-year old Israeli blockade calculated and intended to cause suffering and deprivation to 1.5 million Palestinians*, the vast majority refugees and children, caged into the Gaza Strip..." (Gaza massacres must spur us to action, Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 27/12/08)
[*See my 17/12/08 post No Laughing Matter.]
Second, as the US-based Angry Arab reminds us: "You have to [condemn the rockets]... in order to get access to the editorial page of any US newspaper. [The rockets] set the terms of reference and you have to accept them if you wish to [even] get a foot in the dog's door of the kitchen door. Rockets are morally wrong when Israel is killing Palestinian civilians on a daily basis? When the strangulation of the entire civilian population of Gaza intensifies? This becomes the issue? A few silly rockets? As if Israel's brutal [41 year] occupation would not have existed without the rockets. The rockets become the issue, and not Zionist terrorism. By mentioning the rockets, you accept, wittingly or unwittingly, the false chronology that Israel imposes on the Palestinians." (Eyad Sarraj's morality, angryarab.blogspot.com, 14/12/08)
Of course, the rockets/militants/rockets/militants mantra, composed back in March for Operation Warm Winter (see my 4/3/08 post Selling Operation Warm Winter), has already been re-sent to all Israeli spokesmen overseas. How do I know, you ask? "The White House said only Hamas could end the cycle of violence by stopping the rocket fire on Israel. 'These people are nothing but thugs, and so Israel is going to defend its people againsts terrorists like Hamas', spokesman Gordon Johndroe said at George W Bush's Texas ranch, where the president is preparing to spend the new year. 'If Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel, then Israel would not have a need for strikes in Gaza', Johndroe said. 'What we've got to see is Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel'." (At least 225 dead as Israel hammers Gaza, SMH, 28/12/08)
Rockets. Militants. Rockets. Militants. Get used to it. You'll be hearing nothing but in the mainstream media over the days ahead.