The tepid response of world leaders to Israel�s ferocious
attack on a defenseless Gaza conveys a helpless feeling to all world citizens
-- brutality rules and we are all vulnerable to attack.
European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana,
commented that �the EU is very concerned by the events in Gaza.� French
President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted as saying he �strongly condemns the
irresponsible provocations which led to this situation as well as the
disproportionate use of force.�
Are world leaders totally ignorant of the events leading to
the massive destruction of Palestinian life? Are they unaware of Israel�s
provocations and shrewd deceptions which allowed them to seem innocent and
carry out a plan to destroy the Palestinians?
The facts are: For two years Israel has illegally blockaded
Gaza. BBC News (Heather Sharp, Gaza Under Blockade, Nov. 11, 2008) states that
the area�s �1.5 million people have been relying on less than a quarter of the
volume of imported supplies they received in December 2005� and �virtually no
exports have been permitted.� A totally paralyzed economy has tried to exist
with reduced fuel supplies, electrical outages and a lack of spare parts.
Intermittent hunger and severe physical and psychological damage have been
common. Include impacts on sewage treatment, waste collection, water supplies
and medical facilities.
Despite a truce between Hamas and Israel, the Israel
military continued its attacks on West Bank Palestinians. Some of the
According to the Palestinian Center for Human
Rights, over the last two weeks, from December 4th - 17th, two Palestinians,
including a civilian were killed by Israeli forces, ten Palestinian
civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire and three others were wounded by
Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Four fighters with the Palestinian
resistance, and an unarmed woman were wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza
Strip. --Dec. 19, IMEMC News
Al Jazeera reported on Dec. 12, 2008, that Israeli
forces, during the month invaded Salfit, Hebron, Bilin, and Khan Younis
(Gaza), injured four Palestinians, and took 18 civilians into custody.
Settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron destroyed
Palestinian property and attacked Palestinians after Israel Defense Forces
evicted them from a building of disputed ownership. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
and other Israeli figures branded the settler attacks as a �pogrom� against the
How did Hamas react to these provocations? Quite sensibly. In
order to continue the truce, Hamas issued two responsible demands (1) Israel
halt its devastating economic blockade of Gaza, and (2) Israel observe a truce
in the West Bank as well as Gaza.
When Israel refused to meet these humanitarian demands,
Hamas refused to continue the truce, as it had promised and as Israel knew
would happen. Rocket fire by militants, not clearly identified with Hamas, sent
mortars and rockets into Israel. Despite the intensive barrage, not
a single Israeli was killed or wounded.
Note: Although any weapons fire against a civilian
population is unjustified, rockets are not guided missiles and these mortars
are mostly homemade devices that only propel a small explosive and have
limited range. No mention has been made of the constitution of the barrages --
the number of mortars and the number of rockets.
So, world leaders, what do we know?
For two years, the people in Gaza have been intermittently
starved and left destitute by Israel actions. Israeli attacks on innocent
Palestinians continue. Despite no Israelis being harmed in the December rocket
and mortar barrages, Israel used the attacks as an excuse to devastate the
And what else do we know?
Israel has planned this action for six months and waited for
a suitable time to activate it.
IAF strike followed months of planning
By Barak David
Ha�aretz, December 28, 2008
planning, meticulous intelligence-gathering, secret discussions, visual
deception tactics and disinformation preceded operation �Cast Lead� which the
Israel Air Force launched yesterday in Gaza to take out Hamas targets in the
The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by
surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in
Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak
instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six
months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement
with Hamas. According to the sources, Barak maintained that although the lull
would allow Hamas to prepare for a showdown with Israel, the Israeli army
needed time to prepare, as well.
Inaction of world leaders to Israel�s scheme of using deadly
provocation (similar to continuing West Bank settlements) to invite
retaliation, and then using retaliation that actually did not cause casualties
as an excuse for more deadly actions is distressing. Equally distressing is the
lack of realization of the average American to the truth of the situation. If
the people of Arizona are a model of US citizen thinking on this issue then the
situation becomes more desperate. Take a peek at a forum of the Arizona Daily Star, and be
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, considered a US ally,
described the Israeli attacks as a �criminal operation� and �new massacres to
be added to its full record of massacres.�
If the United Nations, European Union and the US
administration cannot listen to the Middle East region�s leaders and prevent
these atrocities against the Palestinian people, what hope do the democratic
and peace loving populations of the world have when confronted with tyranny and
Dan Lieberman is
editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. Dan�s many
articles on the Middle East conflicts have been published on websites and media
throughout the world. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.