By Stephen Lendman
Throughout its history, Israel intimidated as a regional menace, preemptively attacking Palestinians and regional neighbors for any reason or none at all. Each time, it’s claimed self-righteousness and “self-defense,” what scoundrels always say.
Until his death, Edward Said passionately defended Palestinian rights. He accused Israel of turning Palestine into an isolated prison, suffocating an entire population, impoverishing and slaughtering them, blaming them for its own state terror, and creating a wasteland of destruction and human misery.
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Moreover, he said Israeli regimes sanctioned torture, targeted assassinations, and mass killing as official policy, besides committing every imaginable human indignity and degradation against people for their faith, ethnicity and presence.
As a result, Israel perpetuates a never ending cycle of violence and destruction, planning to end “the Palestinian problem,” calling courage and resistance “terrorism,” offering nothing in return for outrageous demands, and pursuing dominating pacification disguised as “peace.” Journalist Henry Siegman once called it “the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history.”
Gideon Levy calls it “an unborn baby,” saying there’s “never been an Israeli peace camp.” How can there be when decades of Israeli leaders called peace process negotiations a useful fiction.
For example, Moshe Ya’alon, former IDF chief of staff and current Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs believes Jews have an “unassailable right (to) settle anywhere, particularly here (in) the land of the Bible.” Earlier, he mocked the peace process, saying it’s used politically “to sear deep into the consciousness of the Palestinians that they are a defeated people.”
Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan called the Occupied West bank “permanent,” and current Prime Minister Netanyahu earlier said the peace process is “a waste of time,” while planning new confrontations to prove it.
Israel Attacks Gaza – Its Latest Blitzkrieg
International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) reports explained a new Israeli Gaza offensive, headlining on April 8, “Three Palestinians Killed in Gaza, Eight in Less Than 48 Hours,” saying:
Since April 7, Israeli bombing as well as ground and offshore shelling killed eight Palestinians, wounding dozens, including children. “Furthermore, three family members were injured when the army bombarded a home in Al Faraheen….in southern Gaza. Among the wounded is a woman (in) serious condition.”
Other civilian areas were also attacked. Israel makes no distinction between them and combatants in blatant violation of international law that also prohibits preemptive attacks, Israel’s specialty.
In response, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s armed wing (PFLP) said:
<blockquote>”(T)here will be no truce with the Israeli occupation while it continues its aggression and crimes against the Palestinian people.”</blockquote>
The Salah Ed-Deen Brigades, the National Resistance Committees’ armed wing, added:
“(T)he Israeli crime committed on Thursday will not pass unpunished.”
Mohammad Bahar, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) deputy head, appealed to Egypt, the Arab League, and Organization of the Islamic Conference to intervene on Gaza’s behalf to stop Israeli aggression.
UN and EU officials addressed the violence with contempt for Palestinian suffering, calling on both sides to show restraint and end the latest round of fighting, mindless of the belligerent and victim.
The latest Ma’an News account reported 17 Gazans killed, many more wounded after continued Israeli attacks. One killed a mother, her daughter, and injured a third child. Earlier, an elderly man was killed in Gaza City’s Manara area.
Hours before midnight Friday, nine separate air, ground and offshore attacks struck various Gaza sites. Hamas accused Israel of using white phosphorous missiles in civilian areas, a frequently used weapon during Cast Lead.
On Thursday night, Hamas announced a unilateral ceasefire. Israel ignored it. On April 8, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, “Netanyahu warns Hamas: You will bear responsibility for attack on school bus,” saying:
He referred to a homemade rocket hitting an Israeli school bus on Thursday, wounding the driver and a 16-year old boy. Hamas said it responded to an IDF air strike, killing three Palestinians on April 2. Israel always initiates conflict. Under international law, victims may retaliate in self-defense.
Nonetheless, Netanyahu claimed:
“The attack on a school bus crossed the line. Whoever tries to hurt and murder children, his blood (will) be on his own head.”
In fact, Netayahu and previous Israeli leaders long ago “crossed the line,” killing thousands, wounding countless numbers more, committing crimes of war and against humanity for decades, mostly against civilian men, women and children – lawless acts, so far with impunity.
Israel’s latest crimes – 13 Gazans murdered, dozens wounded, some seriously, civilian targets damaged or destroyed as IDF aggression continues. In fact, it never stops, just ebbs, then erupts again.
On April 4, before Israel’s latest attacks, Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah headlined, “Another war on Gaza? saying:
In recent weeks, over a dozen Palestinians were killed, including a 10-year old boy, Mahmoud Jalal al-Hilu. “Does this escalation increase the likelihood of another large-scale assault” like Cast Lead, killing over 1,400, wounding thousands, and causing vast destruction and devastation.
“There are worrying signs Israel – by its words and deeds – could be laying the ground for an attack.” For example, its April 2 assault was preemptive, Israel unjustifiably claiming three Hamas members killed were “planning to kidnap Israelis over the upcoming Jewish” Passover.
Doing so constituted cold-blooded murder, extrajudicial assassinations “in which Israel, the occupying power, acted as judge, jury and executioner, issuing allegations for which it offered no evidence, after it had already carried out the death sentence. Under international law, this is a war crime.”
At issue is whether Israel is spoiling for another fight. On March 23, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told Israel Radio that another large-scale attack may be launched to topple Hamas. Speaking for his government, he blamed Hamas for escalating violence, distorting truth to conceal its own agenda – completing unfinished business to destroy all resistance.
As a result, perhaps Cast Lead 2 is planned. Haaretz writer Gideon Levy thinks so, pointing fingers in his April 7 article headlined, “Goldstone has paved the path for a second Gaza war,” saying:
He gave Israel a PR victory, “caus(ing) rejoicing here, a Goldstone party, the likes of which we haven’t seen for some time.” He’s now reaped the whirlwind, giving Israel “a green light for Operation Cast Lead 2. Are we pleased with what happened? Are we really proud of Operation Cast Lead?”
Is there ever moral or legal justification for preemptive war? Along with Israeli belligerents, it will also be Goldstone’s cross to bear if it comes. Expect it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.