Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Challenge - Summarize and Analyze the Cycle of Violence in Gaza - Part 4

Today is Day 14,290 of the Maintenance of the Immoral (and Illegal) West Bank Settlements and almost the 40th anniversary of the start of the immoral (and illegal) occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Rabbi Akiva - “ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18 )- this is the major principle of the Torah."

My Summary and Conclusions on the 11 Days in May Cycle of Violence in Gaza

On May 16, there was intense fighting going on between Fatah and Hamas with deaths and injuries. The GOI sends in gunships. Why? Because of the possibility of violence spreading into Israel? Are you kidding? How? Why not say because of the rockets being fired into Sderot? Because that hadn’t happened yet. Then why now when Hamas is involved fighting Fatah?

As soon as the GOI killed its first Palestinian, Qassam rockets were fired into Sderot not killing anyone. The GOI had to know that this would happen. It has to be assumed that it wanted to have rockets fired by Hamas into Sderot. Now the GOI causes the power to be shut off for Gaza knowing that Palestinians might die because there is no electricity for their dialysis machines and other medically necessary equipment. This is collective punishment and is a violation of international law.

The GOI from past experience knew that its attacks in Gaza are not a long-term solution to area violence but there is no indication that the GOI reached out to Fatah and Hamas to talk about how to end the violence.

What followed for the next few days was continued fighting between Hamas and Fatah, Hamas firing rockets into Sderot with no deaths, airstrikes by the GOI and assassinations of about 13 Palestinians.

ON or about May 20, while al Haya, a Hamas official was attending a cease fire talk with Fatah, a GOI gunship struck his house, assassinating eight of his family and friends. At this point, the violence between Hamas and Fatah seems to end and still the GOI does not reach out to participate in any negotiations.

The GOI must have wanted to incite Hamas and Fatah violence against Sderot and be able to justify more assassinations. By now, the GOI had assassinated 35 Palestinians.

As the GOI had to know would have happened, on May 22, a Jewish Israeli resident of Sderot was murdered by a Qassam rocket. The residents of Sderot in this case, are pawns whose (predictable) injuries and deaths can be used as an alternative pretext by the GOI to “justify” the assassination of Palestinians in Gaza

After the Fatah/Hamas cease fire, the pretext for the GOI getting involved ended but for the next 5 days the GOI kept assassinating Palestinians, destroying their property and disrupting their lives and then the GOI began to arrest Hamas officials and lawmakers. Over this 11 day period there was NO report of any GOI official reaching out to representatives of Hamas or Fatah in an attempt to find a political solution

The GOI violence this month is consistent with a pattern of behavior exhibited at least two other times in the last three years.

In her powerful book, “ Broken Promises, Broken Dreams”, Alice Rothchild recounts the attacks in Rafah, Gaza by the GOI Gaza over 7 days in May, 2004. The GOI used as a pretext that the Palestinians were smuggling weapons into Gaza through tunnels from Egypt. What Human Rights Watch (HRW) found was that 298 homes were destroyed in Rafah making 3800 Palestinians homeless. Also roads, agricultural fields, olive groves, greenhouses and the Rafah zoo were devastated. HRW concluded “the IDF grossly exaggerated the threat (from the tunnels) in order to rationalize extensive home demolitions” “The Egyptian authorities have also monitored the tunnel system from their side of the border in collaboration with Israel. The Egyptians informed HRW that there are a limited number of tunnels and they are mostly inactive.” Israeli authorities claim to have killed more than 40 militants and 12 civilians …. and injured an unknown number of people. The IDF apparently does not keep statistics on civilian injuries and deaths caused by their activities.” (p 197)

Last year the kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit was the pretext for the attacks in Gaza including the bombing and destruction of the power plant, the primary source of energy for Gaza so unbelievable and so horrendous that it resulted in the first labeling by B’Tselem of an act by the GOI as a “War Crime”.

There is only one conclusion. The GOI does not want a just peace. The GOI simply wants all Palestinians in Gaza (and the Wet Bank) to become totally submissive to GOI arbitrary control and oppression. What the GOI does when it feels pressure to sit down and negotiate with the Palestinians is to every year or so, jump upon an act of violence of a Palestinian or some other action - a kidnapping or murder of an IDF soldier, a rocket attack or tunnels – and use it as a pretext to send gunships and tanks into Gaza to wreak havoc on the lives of the Palestinians – to assassinate them and destroy their property, their physical and mental health and their economy.

Here is what I read is a "War Prayer" for Memorial Day
written by Mark Twain. He was persuaded by his family to not let it be made public until after his death commenting that only the dead can tell the truth:

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen. "

As expected and desired by the GOI, the Palestinians will then be unwilling to talk to the GOI. A retaliatory act of violence by the Palestinians will then be used by the GOI as an excuse to not sit down with the Palestinians and the GOI violence will continue unabated.

And this will continue so long as lawmakers in the United States continue to sign adds like this “We Stand With Israel. As concerned citizens, we stand with the Jewish community and proudly raise our voices in solidarity with the people of Israel, a brave democracy that has yearned so long to live in peace.”

And this will continue so long as the voices of Jewish people in the diaspora and in Israel crying out to the GOI the core value of Judaism "Justice, Justice shall you pursue" are ignored.

But it will end when genuine world pressure is brought on the GOI to end its violence against, and its terrorizing of, the Palestinians in Gaza.

Deuteronomy 16:20 – “Justice, justice shall you pursue that you may live and inherit the land which God gave you” and the footnote in the 1980 Hertz Edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.

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