[News] Things Cannot Stay the Same after Israeli Genocide in Gaza
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 22 12:07:49 EDT 2014
Weekend Edition August 22-24, 2014
*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
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
the resistance and all the other "bad" Palestinians who voted for the
movement, it intentionally ignored the fascism that was taking over
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
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
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;
But Israel's latest war on Gaza mounted to a genocide
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
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
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
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
This was discussed in context of statements made by Moshe Feiglin
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
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
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)./
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