The quest for an independent Palestinian state must not be derailed by Israel and the US. History must record that the world has responded to the Palestinians in their life-time struggle to establish their own state, says R N Bhupalan.
Today the world stands shocked and aghast at Israel’s cold-blooded massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. This calls for an immediate response from the international community. The rest of the world cannot watch idly while this tragedy unfolds. It must speak out strongly against this holocaust and take immediate action. No longer can nations stand in muted silence against this senseless and dastardly Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.
The annexation of Palestinian territory & the oppression of its people
It is clear that for decades, Israel’s Zionist policy has relentlessly remained focused on the annexation and subjugation of Palestinian territory and the oppression of its people. It is an outrage that the world ignores at its peril. Israel claims that the present war in Gaza is being carried out to bring an end to the rocket and missile attacks by Hamas militants. This is the “reason” given for their relentless attack by air, sea and land on the residents of Gaza.
The subjugation of Gaza since the “Truce” of 2006
The machinations of Israel since the “truce”of 2006 between Israel and Hamas have provided clear evidence of Israel’s true intentions. What the world has witnessed is the continued subjugation of Gaza and its people who continue to live under Israeli occupation. The Palestinians of Gaza live with the daily reality of an Israeli blockade. Free movement in and out of Gaza is prevented. Several Hamas members includingdemocratically elected members of Parliament have been arrested, and others live under the constant threat of further arrests. All manner of restrictions have been imposed on essential household items, food and medical supplies, and the supply of water and electricity is totally controlled by Israel. Such is the suffering and hardship experienced by the courageous and resilient Palestinians in Gaza.
Palestinian resistance against Israeli oppression
Israel often draws attention to the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas supporters during the period of the so-called truce. On the other hand, the constant oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis is ignored by Israel and its powerfully ally the United States. More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in the past two years as compared to six deaths on the Israeli side. In these circumstances, can there be any justification for the present carnage? Let it not be forgotten that Israel has been for some time the most powerful nation in the region. It possesses a military power with a huge arsenal of the most sophisticated weaponry including guns, tanks, missiles and bombs supplied by the US. Its army, navy and air force are the most well-trained in the region. Furthermore, Israel is the only nuclear power in the region.
Israel ignores UN Resolutions and world opinion
Israel’s arrogance and total disregard of UN resolutions is strengthened by the unfailing support of the US. Regardless of world opinion in support of the Palestinian firm determination to be free of Israel’s domination, Israel seeks to impose and perpetuate even greater oppression on the Palestinian people in blatant disregard of the rule of law in clear violation of the explicit prescriptions of the Geneva Convention.
Heavy civilian casualties in Gaza
The savage attacks on Gaza so far have taken the lives of more than 1,000 people with women and children making up about 30 per cent of the fatal casualties. More than 3,000 others have suffered serious injuries of various kinds. It must be stressed that these have for the most part been civilian casualties giving lie to the Israeli claim that strikes have only been directed at Hamas targets. That is a ludicrous claim given that Gaza is a densely populated area inhabited by ordinary Palestinians attempting to get on with their lives under near intolerable conditions.
Media spin of disinformation and propaganda
The indiscriminate offensive bombing and artillery attacks have turned Gaza into a battlefield where the carnage continues. Israel with the support of the US continues with its media spin of disinformation and propaganda with a view to influencing world opinion. Israeli air, sea and land attacks continue with impunity. And with it occurs the callous destruction of lives, UN schools, mosques, buildings for refugees, transport for humanitarian food, as well as medical, water and electricity supplies. All this is done with stark savagery and in total disregard of basic humanitarian considerations.
A concentration camp in Gaza
The situation of the Palestinians have frequently been compared to that of the Jews in Nazi German concentration camps. Israel has shown to the world that it is emulating the policies and actions of Nazi Germany. Forgotten is the extermination of six million Jews.
The civilised nations of the world must act now
This human catastrophe demands that the world and all its people stand united and firm in its commitment to fight for justice for the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza in the face of the Israeli onslaught. What do the Palestinians have to defend themselves? Just rockets and missiles which reflect their spirited and heroic resistance against Israeli oppression but which alas are no match against the military might of Israel. Israel’s actions in the past 40 years and the present unfolding carnage in Gaza call for an immediate response from the UN and all civilised nations. The Palestinians are engaged in a life and death struggle for freedom and for their own homeland. They no longer have to seek justification for their struggle for freedom, equality, peace and unity. People all over the world have come out strongly in support of the Palestinians and such efforts must be intensified. The quest for an independent Palestinian state must not be derailed by Israel and the US. History must record that the world has responded to the Palestinians in their life-time struggle to establish their own state.