Hypocrisy, As Usual
Israel has launched yet another attack against the Gaza Strip, striking the densely-populated and besieged territory from the air and the sea, and as usual the United States, Canada and Britain have lined up in support of Zionist terrorism.
Speaking from a system poisoned by the Israel lobby, State Department spokesman Mark Toner says: “There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel’s right to defend itself.” Confusing Zionist settlers for ‘the Jewish people’, confusing perpetrator with victim, and then parroting outmoded ‘war on terror’ propaganda, Canadian foreign minister John Baird vomits the following: “Far too often, the Jewish people find themselves on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism, the great struggle of our generation.” Then Britain’s foreign minister William Hague makes the following immoral and illogical comment: “I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups. This creates an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel, who have the right to live without fear of attack from Gaza.”
Two things must be said. First, this round of escalation, like the 2008/2009 slaughter, was started by Israel. It is totally mendacious to pretend otherwise. The Hamas government in Gaza refrained from stopping other groups from firing missiles as a result of Israel’s murder of a disabled man and of a twelve-year-old boy in Gaza. Here is a timeline of events. Second, the settlers of southern Israel do not have the right to live without fear of attack while the original inhabitants of ‘southern Israel’ are herded into refugee camps. Eighty percent of people in Gaza are descendants of refugees ethnically cleansed from their villages and towns by Zionist militias in 1947 and 1948.
No Western approach to the Middle East will be coherent or helpful so long as the West remains attached to apartheid Israel. America has granted some millions of dollars to support Syrian refugees and to provide a few revolutionary activists with satellite phones, but Obama refuses to recognise the Syrian National Coalition as representative of the Syrian people, and has made it clear that the US won’t be supplying weaponry to the Free Syrian Army. Indeed, the Obama administration has been preventing Qatar and Saudi Arabia from providing effective weaponry to the resistance. Fear of Islamism translates here into fear of anti-Zionism. No weapons can be supplied which might one day be turned against the occupiers of the Golan Heights and the tormentors of the Palestinians.
Oil and geostrategy also ensure that Western policy on the Middle East will continue to lack credibility. After visiting Syrian refugee camps in Jordan David Cameron seemed to incline to arming the Syrian resistance, but he arrived in Jordan after a tour of the Gulf in which he’d offered to arm several tyrannies, including the Bahraini tyranny which is killing, imprisoning and torturing its democratic opposition. Bahrain hosts the US Fifth Fleet.
States and politicians are beholden to interests and lobbies. There is less excuse for individual activists and ‘anti-imperialists’ who are partial to one group’s freedom but make excuses for denying that of another. Many support the Bahraini revolution but not the Syrian, or vice versa, for sectarian reasons or out of blanket thinking (of course, sectarianism is a form of blanket thinking). And many of those who are quite correctly calling for demonstrations today against Zionist terror have not stirred in the last two years as forty thousand Syrians have been slaughtered, except perhaps to explain that the victims are enacting a dastardly plot against a resistance regime. A recent Facebook status from Sharif Nashashibi serves as an excellent rejoinder: “Sadly, there are people who condemn the slaughter of Palestinians but defend the slaughter of Syrians, and vice versa. As a Palestinian and a Syrian, I totally reject these hypocrites’ so-called support. The suffering of Palestine is the suffering of Syria, and vice versa. We are one and the same.”
This is absolutely correct. The slaughter of the people of bilad ash-Sham is as much of an abomination in Syria as it is in Palestine. American support for the frenzied Zionist bombing of Gaza is no more or less disgusting than Russian (and Iranian) support for Asadist barbarism. Furthermore, both Palestinians and Syrians have the right to self-defence. This is why I support providing anti-aircraft weaponry to both the Syrian and the Palestinian resistance.
Many analysts believe the timing of Israel’s attack has been determined by upcoming elections. Netanyahu needs to look tough for his rabid public, so he brings more trauma and death to Gaza. It is grotequely easy for Zionists to act out their impulses on the Palestinians, just as they used to find south Lebanon easy. In this revolutionary age, is no Arab power going to make the slaughter more expensive?
Saad el-Katatny of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says, “The brutal aggression on Gaza proves that Israel has not yet learned that Egypt has changed.” So far, President Morsi has recalled the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, called a UN Security Council meeting, and opened the Rafah border for medical evacuations. This is far more than Mubarak would have done, but it’s still not nearly enough. The Qatari foreign minister says, “This filthy crime must not pass without a punishment.” Again, words are not enough. (By the by, I wonder if infantile leftists will decide that Palestinian resistance is a foreign plot now that the Qatari emir has visited Gaza and funded some projects there?)
While pointless adventurism would be criminally stupid at this moment of general Arab crisis, the new leaders of revolutionary Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and old leaders seeking to adapt to the revolutionary wave, should remember that national dignity as expressed through a pro-Arab and anti-imperialist foreign policy is one of the key demands of Arab revolutionaries. This is a test for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in particular. The Palestinians must not be left alone indefinitely.