Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Phyllis Bennis, "The Gaza crisis: December 2008," ZSpace, December 30, 2008.

[Like the article by Avnery, this article addresses a number of relevant themes. -jlt]

(28 December 2008) -- The death toll in Gaza continues to rise. The carnage is everywhere -- city streets, a mosque, hospitals, police stations, a jail, a university bus stop, a plastics factory, a television station. It seems impossible, unacceptable, to step back to analyze the situation while bodies remain buried under the rubble, while parents continue to search for their missing children, while doctors continue to labor to stitch burned and broken bodies back together without sufficient medicine or equipment. The hospitals are running short even of electricity-the Israeli blockade has denied them fuel to run the generators. It is an ironic twist on the legacy of Israel's involvement in an earlier massacre -- in the Sabra and Shatila camps, in Lebanon back in 1982, it was the Israeli soldiers who lit the flairs, lighting the night sky so their Lebanese allies could continue to kill.

But if we are serious about ending this carnage, this time, we have no choice but to try to analyze, try to figure out what caused this most recent massacre, how to stop it, and then how to continue our work to end the occupation, end Israel's apartheid policies, and change U.S. policy to one of justice and equality for all.

  • The Israeli airstrikes represent serious violations of international law -- including the Geneva Conventions and a range of international humanitarian law.
  • The U.S. is complicit in the Israeli violations -- directly and indirectly.
  • The timing of the air strikes has far more to do with U.S. and Israeli politics than with protecting Israeli civilians.
  • This serious escalation will push back any chance of serious negotiations between the parties that might have been part of the Obama administration's plans.
  • There is much work to be done.
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