Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bulls in Rut

"The generals were in their forties, family men, but they clung to the Israeli culture of youth; they were like adolescent boys or bulls in rut. They believed in force and they wanted war. War was their destiny. Almost 20 years had passed since the army had won glory in the War of Independence, and 10 years since the victory in the Sinai. They had a limited range of vision and they believed that war was what Israel needed at the moment, not necessarily because they felt the country's existence was in danger, as they wailed in an almost 'Diaspora' tone, but because they believed it was an opportunity to break the Egyptian army." (1967: Israel, the War & the Year that Transformed the Middle East, 2007, p 296)

That's how Israeli historian Tom Segev describes the uniformed Israeli thugs who launched the fateful war of June 1967 which led to East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai coming under Israeli occupation.

Their counterparts today, of course, have no problem whatever with the Egyptian army. In fact, it now does police duty for Israel in the Sinai.

No, their target of opportunity today is Hamas (and its unity deal with Fatah).

Today's Israeli bulls in rut will, of course, be wailing (through their PR mouthpieces) about Hamas rockets, but don't be fooled, that's just the pretext. It's Palestinian blood they're really after, and they're pawing the (stolen Palestinian) earth beneath their feet, slavering in anticipation of spilling it deep inside the besieged and impoverished Gaza Ghetto.

The current aerial assault is just the beginning of 'Operation Protective Edge', as this particular wilding has been risibly called, and follows on from the charade of its predecessor, 'Operation Brother's Keeper', in which the Palestinian population of the occupied West Bank was turned upside down (6 Palestinians killed/hundreds arrested) for weeks in a 'search' for 3 kidnapped Israeli settler youth whom Israeli authorities knew all along had been murdered and by whom. This massive exercise in collective punishment (including some preliminary 'softening up' in Gaza) was, of course, accompanied by an equally massive 'Bring back our boys!' propaganda campaign designed to whip up international sympathy and pave the way for the genocidal ground attack to come. (See Who started 'the cycle of violence' in Palestine? Justin Raimondo,, 8/7/14)

Already the war crimes are evident:

"Israeli forces killed six children when a missile struck the home of alleged Hamas activist Odeh Ahmad Kaware in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, Defence of Children International reported. The five families living in the building evacuated after an Israeli aerial drone fired a warning missile, however a number of neighbours gathered on the roof in an effort to prevent the bombing. Despite their presence an Israeli air strike levelled the building, killing seven people including six children and injuring 28 others." (25 killed as Israel prepares for ground assault, Ruth Pollard, The Age, 9/7/14)

So much for all the claptrap that's spoken about passive, nonviolent resistance in the face of Israeli aggression. It's like a red rag to a bull (that simile again!) as far as the Israelis are concerned. I'm reminded here of an earlier confrontation, during the first Intifada (1987-93) when Israeli troops still garrisoned Gaza:

"In Shifa Hospital... there had been pandemonium the day of the accident, December 9, 1987, when it was thought the truck driver meant to kill the Palestinians.* IDF troops stormed the hospital, as if it were a citadel and the day was theirs. Shifa was crowded with the injured, their families, friends and neighbors. [Dr Ahmed Yasgi] could only use his eyes to summon the horror he wanted so much to describe. 'The army was beating patients in front of the doctors and assaulting the medical teams. I saw a patient being knocked down and said: 'Oh, stop - stop.' The soldiers punched me on the shoulder in front of two little girls. Ten times we were trying to protect the staff but the army didn't respect anyone. And a man was killed inside the hospital on December fifteenth. Yes, Ibrahim Al-Sakhla. He came with his wife who was one month pregnant.' He thought that 50 to 100 soldiers were inside the hospital that day, on a sweep for suspects, or anyone whose face annoyed them. The sight of rampaging soldiers enraged one Gazan man with his wife, pushed him into a moment of white fury, so that he made a reckless last stand. The man opened his shirt and faced a soldier less than 32 feet away, as if the two of them were alone on a stage, and it was he who must speak first. 'If you want to kill anyone then kill me!' the Palestinian shouted. Fifteen people were watching. The soldier knew how to answer and fired. Ibrahim Sakhla lurched into the arms of Dr Yasgi, needing to speak. He said something about his wife and began his death." (Gaza: A Year in the Intifada: A Personal Account from an Occupied Land, Gloria Emerson,  1991, pp 195-96)

[*The first Intifada was triggered in Gaza when an Israeli army truck struck a car killing 4 Palestinians.]


Anonymous said...

MERC I remember from around a decade ago when i was one of the ignorant masses, that Gaza was always referred to as The Gaza Strip.

anyreason this changed? (common usage that is)

MERC said...

It's just the difference btw informal (Gaza) and formal language. Gaza's just a convenient shorthand for TGS.