A debate on a Facebook page last night reminded me why the struggle to support oppressed people is the responsibility of all of us – not just those people facing oppression at the hands of nations that happen to be well-armed; well-financed; and looked upon faviourably by mainstream media.
On this Facebook debate, I offered two examples of how the Palestinian people were facing illegal and unjust repressive acts at the hands of the Israeli government,
- the illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel,
- the illegal building of Israeli settlements on the West Bank
My post vanished within minutes, and the page authors expressed “lack of knowledge” at my missing post.
It struck me as curious that the two administrators of that Facebook page felt so threatened by my fairly innocuous comments that they felt the need to remove it. Apparently my support for the persecuted Palestinian people challenged their somewhat one-eyed pro-Israeli convictions.
1. The blockage of Gaza by Israeli naval and other forces is illegal – and anywhere else in the world would be tantamount to war,
The above article states,
“Israel says its Gaza blockade is a precaution against arms reaching Hamas and other Palestinian guerrillas by sea.”
And at the same time reports,
“About one-third of Gaza’s arable land and 85 percent of its fishing waters are totally or partially inaccessible due to Israeli military measures, said Olivier De Schutter, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, another of the five.
At least two-thirds of Gazan households lack secure access to food, he said. “People are forced to make unacceptable trade-offs, often having to choose between food or medicine or water for their families”.”
In a special U.N. report in 2007, it was determined that,
“Israel remains an occupying Power in respect of Gaza. Arguments that Israel ceased its occupation of Gaza in 2005 following the evacuation of its settlements and the withdrawal of its troops take no account of the fact that Israel retains effective control over Gaza by means of its control over Gaza’s external borders, airspace, territorial waters, population registry, tax revenues and governmental functions. The effectiveness of this control is emphasized by regular military incursions and rocket attacks.”
Source: UN Special Rapporteur, Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
What pro-Israeli individuals forget is that if you brutalise a people in the worst possible way – do not be surprised when they react brutally toward to their oppressor. This is simple, human nature.
Do pro-Israeli individuals feel the need to put that truism to the test?
2. Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
It defies belief that sycophants to Israeli imperialism can even begin to justify Israel’s gradual colonisation of the West Bank.
In fact, the entire area of the West Bank is dotted with illegal Israeli settlements encroaching bit by bit into the Palestinian territory,
It’s fairly clear to anyone in possession of their full faculties that Israel is engaged in a slow, methodical land-grab on the West Bank, as it slowly pushes local Palestinian inhabitants into a smaller and smaller territory,
“A number of international bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the European Union, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and many legal scholars have characterized the settlements as a violation of international law, but other legal scholars, Israel, and the Anti-Defamation League disagree with this assessment. (See Legal background)“
See: Israeli settlement
After the assassination of Hamas military leader, Ahmed al-Jaabari, on 14 November, the response of Palestinians was predictable; the launching of rockets at the Israeli state.
Which, when you think about it, is no less than any other nation on Earth would do in response to an unprovoked attack.
God knows how many drone missiles the United States has launched into areas of Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries.
It is fairly clear that decades of military aggression and suppression has brutalised Palestinians in a manner that we can barely begin to imagine or comprehend.
I wonder how we, as a nation would respond, if an aggressor forced us out of our cities into an area a little over 4% of the size of the South Island; blockaded vital imports; and then set up settlements within that small zone, protected by the invader’s military forces. Imagine if we resisted in any manner, resulting in a rain of bombs falling upon us for daring to resist the occupiers.
And imagine our indignity of the world media depicting us as the terrorists for daring to fight back?
I don’t think we’d be too happy, eh?
This blogger supports the right of Palestine to exist as a state.
This blogger supports the right of Israel to exist as a state.
But at the same time, Israel must support the same right for Palestine to be a fully independent State; the blockade to be lifted; political prisoners to be released; and Israeli settlers to be withdrawn from the illegal occupation of the West Bank.
And while they’re at it – Israel needs to be rid of this abomination,
The Wall did not work for East Germany, it most certainly will not work for Israel.
There can be no peace whilst Israel plays the role of the aggressor and imperialist coloniser. One thing history teaches us is that the human spirit is indomitable. And Palestinians have that spirit by the truckload.
As for those individuals here in New Zealand who support Israel – you are doing them no favours. Postponing the inevitable is not what a friend does for another friend.
It is an inevitability that Palestine will be free one day. That day cannot be averted unless Israel slaughters every Palestinian man, woman, and child in Gaza and the West Bank.
And we know what that’s called, don’t we?
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