[News] Gaza 2021: An apartheid déjà vu

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 18 11:57:03 EDT 2021


https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/5/17/gaza-2021-a-deja-vu


  Gaza 2021: An apartheid déjà vu

Haidar Eid - May 17, 2021
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In 2019, I wrote a piece for Al Jazeera, in which I reiterated that we, 
Palestinians of Gaza, have already made our choice. I wrote: “We will 
not die a slow and dishonourable death while thanking our killers and 
labouring under the self-deception that portrays slavery to the occupier 
as a fait accompli.” Our struggle is non-sectarian, one that is 
enshrined in the basic principles of the International Declaration on 
Human Rights, no matter how hard the hypocritical Western media tries to 
conceal the truth.

And now apartheid Israel has decided to launch yet another murderous 
campaign of bombardment against one of the most densely populated areas 
on earth, the Gaza Strip. Again, the victims include innocent civilians: 
children, women, and men. Some 200 Palestinians have been killed, 
including 40 children. On May 15, dozens of Palestinians were massacred 
in Al Wehda Street in downtown Gaza City alone.

Medical staff have also not been spared. On May 16, Dr Ayman Abu Alouf, 
head of the internal medicine department of the Al-Shifa Medical 
Complex, was killed along with most of his family.

With American-made F-16 fighter jets, Israel has bombed and flattened 
dozens of residential buildings and hundreds of homes.

Ambulance and civil defence crews have been attempting for days now to 
retrieve Palestinians who have been buried by rubble, some using their 
mobile phones to call for help before taking their last breaths.

The message is very clear to us – it is civilians that Israel is after!

Once again, apartheid Israel has deployed its longstanding Dahiya 
doctrine – a blueprint for massacre and devastation outlined by Gadi 
Eisenkot, head of the army’s northern division, after the 2006 Israeli 
war on Lebanon.

Having decimated the Dahiya neighbourhood of Beirut with a vicious 
34-day air bombardment, Eisenkot declared that “What happened in the 
Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which 
Israel is fired on … From our standpoint, these are not civilian 
villages, they are military bases.”

In other words, every resident of Gaza, even a day-old baby, is a 
legitimate military target for Israel.

The ultimate goal of the Israelis is to brutalise Palestinians into 
submission, into giving up any resistance, any claim to their own land. 
As former Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in 2002, for the Israeli 
army victory would be “sear[ing] into the Palestinian and Arab 
consciousness” that “terrorism and violence (read: resistance) will 
not defeat us”.

As with previous massacres, this time once again Israel and the 
Palestinians – the oppressor and the oppressed – are equated as 
“two sides to a conflict” and what constitutes legitimate resistance 
under international law is put on the same level as a brutal illegal 
occupation. US President Joe Biden says apartheid Israel has the right 
to defend itself. The fact that Israel has an actual army, 
disproportionately greater firepower and is an occupier is neglected as 
usual, as is the stark difference in the death toll. Biden, Boris 
Johnson, Angela Merkel and other Western leaders and their “house 
Arabs” are just incapable of seeing the humanity of Palestinians.

Despite all the evidence, they reject recognising that this is an 
occupation, launched by a settler-colonial power that seeks to 
ethnically cleanse an entire indigenous population in order to solidify 
and legitimise its colony. What is happening in Gaza is incremental 
genocide, not a “security operation”. And yet Palestinians are being 
asked to give in to a slow death, die aimlessly, showing no form of 
rebellion, and accept that if they die resisting, then it would be their 
own fault.

The question that is on Palestinian minds is: Why is this allowed to 
happen, 27 years after the fall of the apartheid regime of South Africa? 
We know why Israel is doing it – we are the unwanted goyim, the 
refugees whose very existence is a constant reminder of the original sin 
committed in 1948, the premeditated crime of ethnic cleansing of the 
Palestinian people. It is worth mentioning that two-thirds of Gaza 
residents are refugees entitled to their right of return as stipulated 
in UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

In Gaza, we know that Israel is going to get away with it, simply 
because it has never been held to account for any of the massacres it 
has committed. We also know that it is going to commit more and worse 
crimes. The United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, the 
so-called “international community” at large, have failed the 
Palestinian people and will continue to do so.

The question is: What more do people who love freedom need to see in 
terms of death and destruction to translate their words of support into 
action? What more than the dead bodies of hundreds of Palestinian 
children? No child, whether Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Christian or of any 
other religion should see what Palestinian children are seeing right now.

Palestinians will no longer accept the dictates of the so-called 
“international community” which continues to favour Israel and cover 
up its war crimes. In the light of the great sacrifices made by our 
people, any talk of merely improving the conditions of our oppression is 
a betrayal of the Palestinian victims of Israeli war crimes.

We do not want crumbs. We want to return to our lands and we want to 
live in them with our full rights under international law.

It is the ethical responsibility of every single person who believes in 
freedom for all to make sure that genocide and apartheid do not happen 
again.

This is why we say now that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against 
Israel is the responsibility not only of civil society organisations, 
but of every single individual. This is what we can all do. We can 
boycott Israeli goods and Israeli institutions, divest from Israeli 
businesses and demand sanctions on the Israeli government.

If we do so together and in solidarity, only then will Israel start to 
reconsider what it has done to the Palestinians.

Gaza could be the spark that initiates a different Palestine between the 
Jordan River and Mediterranean in the heart of the Middle East. The 
current uprising in the West Bank and Palestinian towns in Israel could 
be the birth pangs of a new reality characterised by the end of the 
racist two-state solution and the establishment of a secular democratic 
state on the historic land of Palestine, an inclusive state like South 
Africa.

Let the Gaza war in 2009 be like South Africa’s 1960 Sharpeville 
massacre, in which white apartheid police opened fire on unarmed Black 
protesters, triggering a movement that brought down apartheid. Let the 
2021 massacre in Gaza be the beginning of a new, more democratic Middle 
East, with a secular, democratic state of Palestine that treats all its 
citizens equally, regardless of religion, race, and gender.

/*The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not 
necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.*/
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