[News] Things Cannot Stay the Same after Israeli Genocide in Gaza

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 22 12:07:49 EDT 2014


Weekend Edition August 22-24, 2014
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/22/gaza-changed-everything/



*Things Cannot Stay the Same after Israeli Genocide in Gaza*


  Gaza Changed Everything

by RAMZY BAROUD

After every bloody episode of violence perpetrated by Israel, media spin 
doctors are often deployed with one grand mission: to absolve Israel of 
any responsibility in their acts of carnage.

Not only do these apologists demonize Palestinians, but anyone who dares 
to take a stand on their behalf. The main staple of this Israeli 
strategy has been blaming the victim. Such a tactic is nothing new in 
the way the so-called "Arab-Israeli conflict" has been presented in 
Western media, whose narrative has been much closer to that of Israeli 
official and media discourses 
<http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.610116> than 
that of Palestinians. This continued despite the decades-long military 
occupation, successive wars, and countless massacres.

Specifically, since the Israeli siege on Gaza, following the democratic 
elections that brought Hamas to power in January 2006, Israel needed all 
of its hasbara savvy, alongside that of its backers in western countries 
to explain why a population has been brutalized for making a democratic 
choice. The sheer amount of deception involved in the cleverly knitted 
story which purposely mixed between Hamas and al-Qaeda (as they once did 
between late Yasser Arafat and Hitler), among other ruses was a new low, 
even by Israel's own standards.

While the media demonized Hamas 
<http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/aug/11/guardian-publisher-defends-anti-hamas-advert-decision>, 
the resistance and all the other "bad" Palestinians who voted for the 
movement, it intentionally ignored the fascism that was taking over 
Israeli society.

For the bad -- as in "radical," "extremist," anti-peace -- Palestinian 
to exist, they have to be juxtaposed with the good Palestinian, 
represented in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and any 
faction, person or leader willing to, practically speaking, co-exist 
with the Israeli occupation. The PA went even further, by cooperating 
with Israel to ensure the demise of the Palestinian "radicals," as in 
those who insist on resisting the occupation.

Thanks to the PA, the price for the Israeli occupation has never been so 
cheap. Despite repeated attempts at re-activating the so-called peace 
process, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu always found a way to 
torpedo such efforts, even those promoted by his closest allies in 
Washington. "Peace" is a major risk for Netanyahu, whose government is 
sustained by Jewish nationalists and extremists 
<http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/will-israel-go-fascist/>, 
who feel no particular need to end their colonization of the West Bank. 
Abbas had done a great deal to ensure that Israel feels no pressure to 
negotiate. Every attempt at resistance, even by standing peacefully with 
placards and banners in Ramallah's al-Manara Square was crushed; often 
brutally.

Gaza, however, remained an exception. Israel's brutality there has 
reached unprecedented levels, especially after Israel's Cast Lead 
Operation, which killed and wounded thousands. Many predicted that the 
crimes in Gaza would turn the tide against Israel, but they didn't. 
Israeli influence over the media was still tight enough that somehow 
they managed to, at least, neutralize the impact of Cast Lead. The 
advent of the Arab Spring and the devaluing of human life, as happened 
in Syria, Libya and Egypt, somehow buried the Israeli crimes in Gaza; 
however temporarily.

But Israel's latest war on Gaza mounted to a genocide 
<http://rt.com/op-edge/178932-genocide-israel-ethnic-cleansing/>. 
Israel's argument that it was "defending itself" was no longer a 
sufficient excuse. No amount of hasbara was enough to explain the 
burying alive of entire families, the summary execution of civilians, 
the pulverizing of entire neighborhoods, the gunning down of fleeing 
children playing at the beach during a deceptive moment of "lull," the 
destruction of dozens of mosques and churches, the killing of civilians 
hiding in UN schools-turned temporary shelters.

It was particularly embarrassing for Israel, but also telling, that the 
Gaza resistance, which stood alone, fighting tens of thousands of 
well-armed invaders from tunnels 
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/gaza/11028696/Israel-mulls-Gaza-tunnel-detection-system-as-truce-talks-continue.html>, 
killed 64 Israelis. All but three were soldiers, mostly killed inside Gaza.

As the world was awakened to the level of devastation created by Israel 
in Gaza, many also became aware that such wrath is not independent from 
the fascism that has gripped Israeli society for years 
<http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-gaza-has-revealed/>. 
In Israel, there is no longer room for dissent, and those in the highest 
positions of power, are the ones who openly and freely preach genocide.

In his excellent article in the American Conservative 
<http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-gaza-has-revealed/> on 
August 06, Scott McConnell, wrote, "All societies have their hate groups 
and extremists, but nowhere in the democratic world are they nearer to 
the center of power than Israel."  He elaborated, "In the 1980s Meir 
Kahane had a small following in Israel, but his pro-ethnic cleansing 
party was made illegal. Now Kahanists are in the center of the country's 
ruling ideology."

This was discussed in context of statements made by Moshe Feiglin 
<http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2014-07-21/calls-for-genocide-enter-israeli-mainstream/>, 
deputy speaker of the Knesset and a "top player in Israel's ruling Likud 
Party." Fieglin called for Palestinians from Gaza to be resettled in 
concentration camps, and all of Hamas and its supporters to be 
"annihilated." Who can now, with a good conscience, protest those who 
infuse the Nazi analogy to what is happening in Palestine?

Meanwhile, in this age of social media, where mainstream news networks 
no longer have complete command over the narrative, no self-respecting 
intellectual, journalist, official or any citizen with a conscience can 
plead ignorance 
<http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/hamas-didnt-kidnap-the-israeli-teens-after-all.html> and 
stand on the fence of neutrality.

Gaza has indeed changed everything. Israel's criminality and fascism 
should no longer be open for vibrant media debates, but it must be 
acknowledged as an uncontested fact. Our language, as in our perception, 
must also change to accommodate this uncontested reality.

To end the Israeli genocide and occupation, the wheel of continuous 
action must turn and keep on turning. Those who support Israel must be 
exposed, and those who facilitate the Israeli occupation and sustain its 
war machine are partakers in the war crimes committed daily in Gaza and 
the rest of Palestine. They must be boycotted. The Boycott, Divestment 
and Sanctions (BDS) movement must grow and serve as the main platform 
for international solidarity.

Time for clever words and no action are long gone, and those who remain 
"soft" on Israel, for whatever reason, have no place in what is becoming 
a global movement with uncompromising demands: end the occupation, 
punish its sustainers, halt ethnic cleaning and genocide, end the siege, 
and bring Israeli and other culprits to the international criminal court 
<http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-palestinians-consider-joining-icc-to-prosecute-israelis-for-war-crimes-9662806.html> for 
their massive war crimes and crimes against humanity.

/*Ramzy Baroud* is a PhD scholar in People's History at the University 
of Exeter. He is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. Baroud is an 
internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and 
the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was 
a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press, London)./

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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