The rocket story

By Hameed Abdul Karim

Over the years Israel has mastered the art of playing the victim of gross Arab belligerence whilst projecting itself as wanting nothing but peace if only the ‘uncivilised’ Arabs, and especially the Palestinians, understood the meaning of the word.

True to form, Israel has blamed the Arabs for the crisis in Gaza. Israel claims that it was because Hamas was firing rockets into Israel that it had launched its attack so that the Israelis within Hamas’s rocket range could live in peace. That’s the main propaganda line. And as usual the Western media is giving it all it‘s got to give credence to this vicious lie.

Would Israel have not launched this massacre if Hamas hadn’t fired the rockets? Were there any rocket attacks when Israel launched its cruel campaign against its hostage refugee population in Jenin? What were the causes that led Israel to slaughter Palestinians at Deir Yassin ? Rockets?

Israeli leaders claim Hamas had broken the six-month-old Egyptian brokered truce. But the truth is Israel had never abided by the ceasefire. From the very start the Jewish state violated it by closing the Gaza Strip thus preventing food and medical supplies from getting through to the beleaguered Palestinians in Gaza. Little children were dying without basic medicines like in Iraq under the US-sponsored UN sanctions.

No people on earth can survive such brutality and as human nature demands there was a hostile response from the people of Gaza to Israel’s ‘starve ‘em to death’ policy. It’s obvious now that Israel committed all these crimes with a view to entice a hostile reaction. It worked. Israel had the pretext it wanted to indulge in its favourite national sport -- slaughtering Palestinians and testing new weapons.
But despite Israel’s huge propaganda offensive there are reports that some of its conscientious citizens believe their country’s deplorable actions in Gaza had nothing to do with rocket attacks. They know it’s an election ploy for greedy and desperate politicians who want a slice of the cake come the next general election.

Ehud Barak, Benyamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni are doing all they can to outdo each other for the prime ministerial stakes. Unfortunately such views barely get into the mainstream Western media, which serves as Israel’s biggest public relations company after Hollywood.

There are other reasons also. Hamas had abided by the ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit. Yet the Western media went about blaming the organisation for anything and everything it could imagine.
The idea behind this line of propaganda, coupled with Israel’s many provocations, was to radicalize the Hamas movement.

Hamas was moderating its approach to the issues confronting their people. As a matter of fact, the duly elected party had offered Israel a ten-year truce, but the Jewish state wouldn’t hear of it. It wanted war.
A moderate Hamas would be dangerous for Israel’s long range plan for ‘Erretz Israel’. So they had to have an enemy. Hamas would do just fine. So they demonised the group to a point where all Western and other countries that come within the reach of the Western media began to believe Hamas was a terrorist organisation. There was no need for truth. Lies would do.

Another purpose behind Israel’s move in Gaza was to force the people there to flee to Egypt. But to its shock and surprise Israel found that instead of leaving, those Palestinians who were stranded in Egypt returned to their homes and hearths – or whatever is left of such things – saying they prefer to live or die with their friends and families in Gaza. In that sense Israel had already lost its genocidal war.

After Israel had achieved its objective in Gaza, it was to turn its guns on the subdued and subjugated Palestinians in the West Bank under one pretext or another and drive them to Jordan. That was the likely plan, anyway.

Israel had never wanted peace. Its bloody history is proof of this. Many are the peace talks that have taken place between the two parties. But with every passing year Palestine keeps shrinking with Israel constructing more settlements for Jews.

Despite all the show of bravado Israel is at a crucial stage in its history. The ‘two state solution’ is getting more popular with its citizens and the rest of the world. However, Israel just can’t accept that reality. So it had to do something to sabotage any settlement.

Another reason for Israel’s slaughter was an age old one. The US and Israel wanted to test their new weapons, especially its chemical weapon called ‘the white phosphorous bomb’. Gaza was destined to be the testing ground like Hiroshima and Nagasaki were for the Atom bomb. Incidentally, the WP bomb is having a good effect and some Palestinian have had their skins burned. Before long we might see it in use in some other non-white country. Will someone hail ‘civilisation’ for me, please.

* The writer is the Vice President of Sri Lanka Palestinian Solidarity Movement

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