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Revolution #345 July 20, 2014
by Alan Goodman | July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Since July 7, Israel has subjected the two million people of the Palestinian territory of Gaza to a deadly reign of terror from the sky. And as we go to press, Israel has massed troops on the edge of Gaza, sending a message that the murderous attacks on Gaza might intensify with a land invasion. In 2008-2009, Israel invaded and bombed Gaza, killing 1400 people, most of them civilians. Eighty-nine of them children, by Israel's official count.
The ruling class media in the U.S. are wildly distorting what is going on—portraying this as an “exchange of missiles,” part of a “cycle of violence” in which Israel is defending itself from terrorists. And this is training Americans to identify with horrific oppression in the name of “fighting terrorism.”
The reality: Israel—with one of the most powerful high-tech militaries in the world—is pummeling, carrying out mass murder, and terrorizing the two million Palestinians—in what has been accurately called the world’s largest outdoor prison camp—with fighter jets, Apache helicopters, missiles, tanks, warships, and drones. As of July 12, Israel had launched at least a thousand bombing attacks, killing more than one hundred people, injuring hundreds and hundreds, causing massive destruction of Gaza’s fragile water and power supplies, and terrorizing the entire population.
From Gaza? A few hundred ineffective missiles, resulting in zero reported Israeli deaths.
Israel claims it is “carefully targeting” Hamas commanders and military infrastructure. And that any “collateral damage” (the term armies of oppression use to refer to human beings they kill who are not accused of being combatants) is because Hamas operates in neighborhoods these people live in.
The reality: Israel is targeting the Palestinian people as a whole.
So far about a fifth of the reported deaths in Gaza from the Israeli assault are children, some as young as three years old. Eight members of one family, including five children, were killed on July 10 in a bombing raid that blew up two homes in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
In the first two days of the assault, a missile struck a house in Al-Maghazi, a beachside refugee camp near Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, killing a mother and her four children. And two women and four children died in a series of raids to the north and east of Gaza City.
Nine people were killed and 10 more injured by an Israeli airstrike at a beachside café in Gaza, including people living near the café. They were watching the World Cup. In response to questions about the attack from the New York Times, a spokesman for the Israeli military refused to identify any particular target in the attack but said it was a “precision strike” that was “targeting a terrorist.”
As we go to press, Israeli bombers destroyed a clinic for disabled patients, killing at least two residents and a staff member and severely burning others. The center is well known and has been at the same location for almost ten years.
A medical aide described the situation on the ground. “It is very difficult for hospitals to cope. For health staff it is very difficult for them to reach their work. It’s really problematic even if the Rafah crossing is opened. If the aggression continues we expect more casualties. This will be very overwhelming for hospitals, which are already suffering from severe shortages of drugs, fuel and the lack of electricity.
“Every minute you see ambulances coming in and private cars bringing in new casualties. Staff are trying their best in emergency rooms, but sometimes the emergency rooms are unable to cope. It’s a chaotic situation.” (UK Guardian, July 10, 2014)
This is “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people. It is a war crime. And it is punishment, most fundamentally, for the ongoing existence of the Palestinian people who have been subjected to ethnic cleansing since the founding of Israel.
And as these crimes continue, U.S. diplomats cover for Israel, the U.S. military works extremely closely with Israel, and the U.S. provides massive financial backing for Israel.
Why? For decades, Israel has served as an attack dog for the interests of the U.S. empire in the oil-rich and strategic Middle East, and beyond. The developing upheaval and chaos in the Middle East and moves by the U.S. to maneuver within that, along with the increasing isolation of Israel in world public opinion, have strained that relationship. But at the same time, the turmoil in the region—along with other challenges to the U.S. as the world’s sole superpower—serve to reinforce the need for rulers of the U.S. to have a ferocious attack dog.
And so the U.S. continues to back up Israel’s crimes (while making a few “on the record” statements about not overdoing the slaughter). This is not an expression of “shared values of enlightenment and human rights.” It is a vivid, horrific, bloody illustration of how the predatory interests of the U.S. empire define the “special relationship” between the rulers of the U.S. and Israel.
The bombing must stop! And the people of the world must speak up: NO Israeli invasion of Gaza.
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