Israel and Palestine

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Articles on Israel after 2018
Israel never Misses an Opportunity to miss an Opportunity
The Gaza Cage
Articles on Israel before 2018

  • (May 2018) Israel never Misses an Opportunity to miss an Opportunity.
    It is an old saying in the 70-year-old Arab-Israeli conflict that Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. It has happened again and again, and that largely explains the current situation. So i am the last person to defend the Arabs. However in recent times the protagonist of this tragic farce has been the Jewist state of Israel.
    The whole world is sympathyzing with the people of Gaza, who are literally kept inside a cage by Israel and Egypt. Now that the Trump's USA has moved its embassy to Jerusalem, thereby becoming the first country to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Hamas has encouraged people to attack the border fence and enter Israel. Israel has responded as usual with a well-planned massacre. Condemnation of Israel has come from all democracies, except the USA, which is hardly a democracy under "Vladimir" Trump (a Russian stooge who lost the election by three million votes, and therefore more an illegitimate traitor than a legitimate president).
    Very few outside the radical right-wing media (read: Fox News) dare spread Israeli propaganda anymore. Articles that defend Israel's behavior repeat old boring stereotypes of Arabs who cannot govern themselves and cause their own troubles. Bret Stephens has written in the New York Times (May 2018) that "in 2007 Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody coup". No mention of the fact that in 2006 Hamas won the first multi-party elections in Palestine, and that neither Israel nor the USA recognized the winner. A bloody coup? More like a heroic fight against the oppressors of democracy. Stephens then went on to write "The mystery of Middle East politics is why Palestinians have so long been exempted from these ordinary moral judgments." Why? Because they have a point. If Stephens and his children were forcibly ejected from their land and witnessed the expropriation of their lands by a newly created state, his children would probably resent it as much as the people of Gaza do, and if that new state were supported by the world's superpower while nobody supported Stephens' children, it is likely that Stephens' children would take it upon themselves to get justice done.
    Stephens doesn't mention that nobody wants to grant Palestinians the right to vote because everybody knows that Hamas would win again. Hamas does represent the Palestinian people, and certainly the people of Gaza. Therefore there is nothing unusual in the fact that Hamas organizes the protests, just like it is not a scandal that Israel's government tell the Israeli public what to do.
    The critics of Hamas are right about the fact that 40 or 50 years ago Hamas cared more for destroying Israel than for finding a compromise with Israel. That doesn't tell us much about today's Hamas that has been in no condition to govern Gaza.
    Unfortunately, the critics of Hamas, like Stephens, omit all the scientific sabotage exercised by Israel against civil society in Gaza, which would have made it pointless for Hamas to invest in education and business. Israel scientifically bombed the economic infrastructure of Gaza and has since blockaded Gaza to make sure that no economic development can take place. Israel is proud every time it destroys an illegal tunnel dug by Hamas under the well-guarded border with Egypt, but Israel forgets to mention that the vast majority of goods carried through those tunnel into Gaza are food, clothes and household items. The people of Gaza would greatly prefer to have those goods carried by truck or ship, if only Israel allowed it. The critics of Hamas also omit to mention that the whole world (except the USA) objects to Israel's continuing expansion of settlements in the contested areas. Those are provocations whose main political purpose is to trigger Palestinian "terrorism" so that Israel can justify its fascist and racist policies against the Palestinians.
    The Wall Street Journal wrote that "the average tunnel requires 350 truckloads of construction supplies, enough to build 86 homes, seven mosques, six schools or 19 medical clinics." The math is a bit bizarre (350/86= 4, and i wish that four truckloads were enough to build one home), but yes, the Palestinians would rather build "86 homes, seven mosques, six schools or 19 medical clinics" than tunnels: alas, Israel bombed the Gaza airport in 2001, reduced the fishing zone to a ridiculous distance from the coast where there are no fish, destroyed the sewers so that sewage now contaminates drinking water, fired most Palestinians working in its industries (punishment because they voted for Hamas), curbed Gaza's ability to produce electricity, and in 2014 killed 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and destroyed hundreds of civilian buildings including homes, schools and clinics. What is the point of building "86 homes, seven mosques, six schools or 19 medical clinics" if Israel can destroy them at will? The Wall Street Journal estimates that each tunnel costs $90 million. But the Washington Institute estimates that in 2009 this tunnel trade was about $600-850 million. A $90 million investment is a good investment if it yields millions of dollars every year. Israel's argument that the tunnels are used to deliver weapons to Hamas is valid, but it is only a piece of a much more complex (and grotesque) phenomenon: an underground economy created by Israel's blockade of Gaza.
    Israel's propaganda frequently mentions that Hamas is more intent at attacking Israel than at educating its youth. But Israel forgets to mention that Gaza's children study by candlelight because most families only get three hours of electricity a day. Even if Hamas decided that everybody has to focus on studying science and engineering (and religious tolerance), how can Gaza's children graduate from top universities like Israel's children do? And what for? Gaza has one of the world's highest unemployment rates: 44%.
    It is also increasingly dubious to many of us why the Palestinians should not have the right to arm themselves against Israel. Do we just let Israel's madman Netanyahu decide when, which and how many Palestinians to kill?
    During the riots that followed the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, Israel was quick to denounce as Hamas propaganda and fake news the story that a child named Layla was killed by Israel's gas. That was indeed fake news, used by Hamas to stir up worldwide outrage against Israel's disproportionate reaction to the protests. But Israel and its supporters forgot to mention that the very same family had already lost one baby, who died in an accident caused by Gaza's frequent power failures, which, in turn, are a consequence of Israel's blockade. And these babies had already lost an uncle, a 15-year-old kid who was shot dead by Israeli snipers in 2001 because he was throwing stones at soldiers.
    Israel's racist policies (unfortunately embedded in its constitution) will only increase worldwide support for the Palestinians.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (April 2018) The Gaza Cage.
    I wonder what the world would do if two million Jews were kept prisoners in a small territory, deprived of communications with the rest of the world, limited to how much they can import and export, with no right to a government despite democratic elections, and more than half of them lived in refugee camps with no adequate water, electricity, education, health care, jobs, etc. In a short war against Hamas at the end of 2008 Israel managed to kill 1,400 Palestinians, mostly labeled as "terrorists" although independent reports such as the Goldstone Report (quickly dismissed by Israel as "antisemitic" like all criticism of Israel's atrocities) told a very different story. The world (minus the USA) was outraged by what it saw on television, but Israel didn't pay any price at all for those 1,400 killings. No surprise then that in 2014 it again killed a lot of civilians in another brief war against Hamas. This time the total number of dead Palestinians was 2,200. Public buildings like schools and hospitals were reduced to rubble, despite the fact that Israel enjoys some of the most accurate weapons in the world. Again, the world failed to act and Israel did not suffer any consequences. In fact, Israel never had so many friends in the world. The end of the Cold War turned Russia and especially China into trading partners, the rise of Shiite Iran has turned Sunni Arabs (notably Saudi Arabia) into de facto allies, and now a vile, corrupt and amoral president in the USA (supported by radical right-wing racist media like Fox News) has pledged unconditional support to Israel (See The USA is a banana republic).
    Israel has learned its lesson: the more brutal its oppression of Gaza, the more friends it earns. Why stop? Gazans have begun throwing rocks again across the border (yes, "rocks", not "rockets") and Israeli snipers have again started shooting at them. Gazans must envy the Syrian refugees, who can at least migrate to Europe. They must envy North Koreans, who might soon benefit from their leader's nuclear weapon program, clearly a bargaining chip to get attention (and possibly economic aid) from the USA. In 2018 it is hard to find someone more destitute than the people of Gaza. Israel can pride itself in having created the biggest humanitarian catastrophe on the planet. In 2018 Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary. What exactly will Israelis celebrate?
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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    A little Photoshop to rectify what Netanyahu said about Iran:

  • Articles on Israel before 2018

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TM, ®, Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.