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An article by Mazin Qumsiyeh
Gaza Redux

Israel forces have been attacking Gaza, destroying power grids, destroying infrastructure and killingcivilians. They intensified the brutal attack after two home made rockets landed in Tel Aviv. Hospitals in Gaza are at the breaking point trying to deal with casualties while under siege for years.

19 November 2012

January 3, 2009: bombing of Beit Hanoun (photo : P. Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

But resistance forces in Gaza also reported dowing an Israeli jet. Israeli authorities are caught lying to their own people about the extent of damage coming from the resistance (e.g. saying the rockets were intercepted and did not fall while Israeli citizens see them fall, fires breaking and ambulances rushing in. I myself heard the sirens blaring in the settlements of Gush Etzion and heard the thud of one largeb rocket (presumably of the long range Fajr type).

But now for an analytical comment.

Is history repeating itself? The Israeli attack on Gaza this week is happening between the US Presidential elections and the Israeli (early) elections. The attack on Gaza four years ago also happened after the US elections and before Israeli elections. Some Israeli citizens thus put an advertisement in an Israeli paper titled "No to the election war!"

Netanyahu and company today are trying to repeat what Olmert and company tried to do four years ago: pound Gaza into submission while gaining right-wing votes. This attack could also be a test of preparedness for a coming war on Iran (Gaza is weaker than Lebanon or Iran). Early results show that the Israeli hasbara spin machine failed to make the attack on Gaza appear as "self-defense" and will fail at all its other goals just like happened in 2006 and 2008.

During the last attack on Gaza four years ago Israeli forces murdered 1400 Palestinians including nearly 400 Children in a period of just three weeks. It was and remains a difficult propaganda task to hide the scale of atrocities against natives especially when all human rights groups and the UN describe such actions as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In Gaza just in the last 48 hours, the martyred Palestinians included two babies 10 and 11 months old. Netanyahu hopes the Zionist media network and his bombing campaigns succeed in 2012 at what they failed to achieve in 2008. Israel as an occupier/colonizer hopes to get away with murder while labeling any resistance from the occupied people as "terrorism."

In the age of instant communication it is difficult. After repeated aggressive wars (e.g. in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1982, 2000, 2006, 2008, and now 2012), the world is finally waking up. People of the Arab world who engaged in real democratic revolutions now demand real change. It is symbolically significant that high level officials from Egypt and Tunisia traveled to Gaza during the current attacks.

People know that Israeli lobbies like AIPAC (whose website was hacked by Anonymous this week [1]) keep pushing for wars including an illegal war on Iran in the same way as they pushed for the illegal war on Lebanon and Iraq before. The latter war was foisted on the Western public using lies (connections of Iraq to terror actions of 11 September 2001 and weapons of mass destruction). The war cost thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and $3 trillion in direct cost to US taxpayers.

People know that Gaza is still under occupation per international law as the UN itself reported. Even Israeli spokespersons and an Israeli document released by court order showed Israel is engaged in collective punishment of Gaza population, a crime against humanity per international law. The UN warned of a humanitarian catastrophe if the Israeli siege of Gaza continues. Israel also continues to target any and all humanitarian ships trying to break the siege.

Israeli politicians find it convenient every few years to launch a massive war to keep the "home-front" scared and united and hope to bolster their political careers. "Rooting out terrorism" and keeping "Israeli citizens safe" are now seen even by Israelis as simply propaganda. Israeli intelligence reports submitted to the Israeli government showed that Hezbollah became even stronger after the Israeli attacks of 2006 and that Hamas came out stronger after the Israeli attack in 2008.

Impoverished Gaza is teaching all lessons. Olmert and Livni discovered that war crimes do not necessarily translate into votes. A more important lesson that may take longer to sink in is that safety does not come from oppression and ethnic cleansing, the two pillars of Zionism. Safety comes from justice. Israel is a racist apartheid and militarized state that caused the largest remaining refugee population on earth (7 million of the 12 million Palestinians are refugees or displaced).

Peace can come by acknowledging wrongs and engaging in restorative justice. After the return of the Palestinian refugees (including the one million in Gaza) to their homes and lands occupied in 1948, we can all live here regardless of religious or other backgrounds in one secular democratic state. I suspect the Israeli immoral and cruel attacks on Gaza will hasten this inevitable outcome.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Popular Resistance, 16 November, 2012.

Mazin Qumsiyeh is a tireless activist for Palestinian human rights who returned to his hometown of Beit Sahour in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and now teaches at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. He is now president of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People in Beit Sahour, a suburb of Bethlehem. The author of “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle” (2004), Qumsiyeh is both a human rights activist and a scientist who has a lengthy list of publications on genetics to his credit.
See his website: http://qumsiyeh.org/

[1Anonymous pulled AIPAC website down (this is the website of the third column that is destroying the American economy for the sake of Zionism) http://www.aipac.org/

All the versions of this article:
- Gaza, ça recommence !