[News] Israel’s Premature Celebration: Gazans Have Crossed the Fear Barrier

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 29 13:34:20 EDT 2018


  Israel’s Premature Celebration: Gazans Have Crossed the Fear Barrier

by Ramzy Baroud <https://www.counterpunch.org/author/cet6s/> - May 28, 2018

60 Palestinians were killed in Gaza on May 15, simply for protesting and 
demanding their Right of Return as guaranteed by international law.

50 more were killed since March 30, the start of the ‘Great March of 
Return’, which marks Land Day.

Nearly 10,000 have been wounded and maimed in between these two dates.

‘Israel has the right to defend itself’, White House officials 
announced, paying no heed to the ludicrousness of the statement when 
understood within the current context of an unequal struggle.

Peaceful protesters were not threatening the existence of Israel; rock 
throwing kids were not about to overwhelm hundreds of Israeli snipers, 
who shot, killed and wounded Gaza youngsters with no legal or moral 
boundary whatsoever.

8-months old, Laila al-Ghandour was one of the 60 who were killed on May 
15. She suffocated to death from Israeli teargas. Many, like her, were 
wounded or killed some distance away from the border. Some were killed 
for simply being nearby, or for being Palestinian.

Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President, Donald Trump, ushered 
in a new era of international relations, when she and her companions 
unveiled the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.

She was ‘all smiles’ while, at the exact same moment, hundreds of Gazans 
were being felled at the border. The already dilapidated hospitals have 
no room for most of the wounded. They bled in hallways awaiting medical 

Ivanka has never been to Gaza – and will unlikely ever visit or be 
welcomed there. Gazans do not register in her moral conscience, if she 
has any beyond her immediate interests, as people deserving of rights, 
freedom and dignity.

At the border, many Gaza kids have been coloring their bodies in blue 
paint, dressing up in homemade costumes to imitate characters from the 
Hollywood movie, ‘Avatar’. They hoped that, by hiding their brown skin, 
their plight and suffering could be more relatable to the world.

But when they were shot, their blood gave them away. They were still 
human, still from Gaza.

The international community has already condemned Trump’s decision to 
relocate his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, and declared his 
recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital ‘null and void’, but will 
it go further than mere words?

Will the international community remain trapped between hollow 
statements and no action? Will they ever truly recognize the humanity of 
Laila al-Ghandour and all the other children, men and women who died and 
continue to perish under Gaza’s besieged skies? Will they ever care 
enough to do something?

The plight of the Palestinians is compounded with the burden of having a 
useless ‘leadership’. The President of the Palestinian Authority, 
Mahmoud Abbas, has been busy of late, demanding allegiance from the 
occupied Palestinians in the West Bank. Large signs and larger banners 
have been erected everywhere, where families, professional associations, 
unions and companies have announced, in large font: the “Renewal of 
Loyalty and Support to President Mahmoud Abbas.”

‘Renewal’? Abbas’ mandate expired in 2009. Besides, is this what Abbas 
and his Fatah party perceive to be the most urgent matter that needs to 
be addressed, while his people are being massacred?

Abbas fears that Hamas is using the blood of the Gaza victims to bolster 
its popularity. Ironically, it is a shared concern with Israeli leaders, 
the likes of Israeli army spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. The 
latter said that Hamas has won the PR war at the Gaza border by a 

This propaganda is as false as it is utterly racist; yet, it has 
persisted for far too long. It proposes that Palestinians and Arabs lack 
human agency. They are incapable of mobilizing and organizing their 
collective efforts to demand their long-denied rights. They are only 
pawns, puppets in the hands of factions, to be sacrificed at the altar 
of public relations.

It did not dawn on Conricus to note that, perhaps, his army lost the ‘PR 
war’ because its brutes shot thousands of unarmed civilians who did 
nothing, aside from gathering at the border demanding an end to their 
perpetual siege; or that, just maybe, the PR war was lost because 
Israel’s top leaders announced proudly that Gazans are fair game, since, 
according to Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, “there are no 
innocents in Gaza.’

Ivanka will go down in Israel’s history as a hero. But Palestinian 
Resistance is not fueled or subdued by Ivanka, but by the sacrifices of 
the Palestinians themselves, and by the blood of Laila al-Ghandour, who 
was denied even a celebration of her first birthday on God’s besieged earth.

The US government has decisively and blatantly moved to the wrong side 
of history. As their officials attended parties, galas and celebrations 
of the Embassy move, whether in Israel or in Washington and elsewhere, 
Palestinians dug 60 more graves and held 60 more funerals.

The world watched in horror, and even western media failed to hide the 
full ugly truth from its readers. The two acts – of lavish parties and 
heartbreaking burials – were beamed all over the world, and the already 
struggling American reputation sank deeper and deeper.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have thought he had won. 
Comforted by his rightwing government and society on the one hand, Trump 
and his angry UN bully, Nikki Haley, on the other, he feels invulnerable.

But he should rethink his power-driven logic. When Gazan youth stood 
bare-chested at the border fence, falling one drove after the other, 
they crossed a fear barrier that no generation of Palestinians has ever 
crossed. And when people are unafraid, they can never be subdued or 

/*Dr. Ramzy Baroud* has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 
years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media 
consultant, an author of several books and the founder of 
PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom 
Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London). His website is: 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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