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Israel: This Isn't Policy, It's Barbarism

Mike Whitney | 18.05.2006 20:44 | Repression | World

The Zionist Extremists have created in Gaza the world's largest Concentration Camp. A desperate response to their waning influence, and the increasing exposure of their racist, violent Ideology.

Warsaw Ghetto, anyone ... ?

This isn’t Policy; its barbarism
Mike Whitney


May 17, 2006

Politics is a murky business which rarely presents clear moral choices. That’s what makes the humanitarian crisis in Palestine so exceptional; there is no gray-area whatsoever. The withholding of food, medical supplies and resources is manifestly immoral, and those who support that policy, even by their silence, are participating in a grave injustice.

Dov Weinglass, advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, stated, "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."

Weinglass’ comments reflect the cynicism and virulent racism which underscores the current crisis. Would he be equally unmoved if Jews were suffering from economic strangulation or are his feelings limited to (what Noam Chomsky calls) the "unpeople"?

America has used this heinous strategy before; most recently in Iraq where10 years of sanctions led to the deaths of an estimated 500,000 Iraqis. Now they’ve shifted the policy to Palestine where millions of innocent women and children are being targeted to destabilize the government.

How does this square with Bush’s recurrent proclamations on human rights and freedom?

Collective punishment is banned under the Geneva Conventions, but that hasn’t deterred Israel or the United States from executing their plan. International law is only applied to Muslim countries that are involved in the peaceful development of nuclear technology (Iran) or who operate independently of Washington and Tel Aviv (Iran, Syria).

The situation on the ground is growing more desperate by the day. The US and Israel have foiled attempts by the EU and the Arab League to transfer funds through the normal channels leaving the people in the West Bank and Gaza completely cut off from the outside world. The Bush administration has used threats and intimidation to prevent Arab banks from releasing urgently needed funds to the Palestinians.

At the same time, Israel is refusing to hand over an estimated $300 million in Palestinian taxes that are earmarked for employees of the PA. More than 150,000 Palestinians, 25% of the work force have received no income for three months.

UN Ambassador John Bolton claims that the US wants to find an appropriate "international aid mechanism" to transfer the financial assistance. In other words, the US and Israel are preventing the money from reaching the democratically-elected Hamas government.

The UN commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, said on Friday that the "Palestinians are on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe" She added, "Palestinian civilians particularly the most vulnerable such as children, women, and the elderly, should not pay the price for the neglect of human rights and humanitarian obligations."

Where is the United Nations while Palestinian women and children are being deprived of the basic necessities of life?

Where are the European Union and all the lofty-sounding organizations which pretend to defend social justice and human rights?

Regimes that use vital aid as a political-weapon have no moral legitimacy and are unfit to rule. They should also be held responsible for any retaliation that results from their incitement. The blood is on their hands.

Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine. They won the balloting with larger margins than George Bush and they didn’t have to tinker with the voting equipment to do so.

Furthermore, Hamas poses no threat to Israel or the Israeli people. If they were to break their year-and-a-half truce by attacking Israel, every elected Hamas official would immediately expose himself to targeted assassination.

Hamas’ participation in the political process is a guarantee that their military-wing will continue to demonstrate restraint.

But what about Israel? Is Israel showing similar restraint?

Has Israel honored their commitment to peace or have they consistently used the lulls in the violence to foment greater bloodshed?

Repeatedly, Israel has concealed its territorial ambitions by creating diversions that draw attention away from the relentless seizure of Palestinian land..

This may explain why Israel has recently intensified its extrajudicial killing of Palestinian terror suspects. Last weekend alone, 7 more Palestinians were assassinated in gangland-style murders. Its all part of a scorched earth strategy to crush Hamas by provoking retaliation. Once Hamas responds, Israel will crush them with an iron fist.

There’s a sense that Bush and Olmert are enjoying their vicious game of punishing the Palestinians for their choice at the ballot box. By stalling the relief effort, they’re systematically strangling the entire society and risking widespread turmoil.

Is that the plan?

Anne Coote of the UK Guardian says, "It isn’t just the absence of essential medical supplies that threatens lives. Nor is it just the poverty induced by failure to pay public sector wages. It is the cumulative effects of lost family income, disruption of public services, food and water shortages, restrictions on travel and trade, homes and farmland flattened by the encroaching wall, and routine fears and humiliations: all these are having a profound and long-term impact on the health of Palestinians. They require a profound and long-term political solution".

39 years of occupation has finally deteriorated into an all-out assault of the basic means of Palestinian survival. There’s no chance of a negotiated settlement with people who are willing to use food and medicine as weapons of political coercion.

The US and Israel are determined to achieve their narrow objectives even if it means sacrificing the lives countless women and children. This isn’t policy; its barbarism.

Mike Whitney


Hide the following 8 comments

What a disgusting analogy

19.05.2006 07:50

How sad that you are either so unaware of what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto, or that, you are aware and dare to compare Gaza to it.

The Ghetto was a holding place, created by the Nazis to keep Jews until they were no longer able to perform back breaking labour in the factories of the ghetto and could be deported to Treblinka to be killed.

Daily a selection process would take place, who should live and who should die.

Thousands upon thousands died in the ghetto of malnutrition (Jews being allowed 180 callories per day whereas the daily requirement is 2000).

Children were torn from familes and thrown onto death transports, eldery people were killed instantly or sent on the earliest transports.

If you could work you may live a little longer - however total liquidation was the aim.

How dare you desecrate the memories of those who died there with your twisted thought?

To compare this worst chapter of World history to Gaza is vile, but typical of the extreme left.

How much of the suffering on Palestinian people is caused by a corrupt leadership which siphons off 98 pence in each pound donated? Arafat was said by Forbes to have close to 1.3 billion of Palestinian money.

And your crass comment "Furthermore, Hamas poses no threat to Israel or the Israeli people" - well this does not equate to the slogans shouted by Hamas men and would not stop them launching kassam rockets and, if they could, suicide attacks. But of course, Jews should not be allowed to protect themselves from this, should they? We should just die quietly like the little boy in the Warsaw Ghetto with his hands in the air....those are the Jews you like, the ones you can feel sorry for.


what analogy

19.05.2006 12:59

did i miss something - what analogy?

you must be referring to the disgusting behaviour of the west in relation to the palestinians presumably...

what analogy?

Sad, Indeed

19.05.2006 19:41

"How sad that you are either so unaware of what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto, or that, you are aware and dare to compare Gaza to it."

No, sad is what Zionism has allowed to happen in Gaza, and indeed, all of Palestine. The Israeli military, on withdrawing its illegal settlers from Gaza (and winning much praise from the sympathetic West - as Israel seized more territory in the W. Bank than it "sacrificed" in Gaza), surrounded the strip with artillery, in an operation called First Rain. It has virtually sealed the border, harrassing and intimidating anyone who now wishes to enter, and it has cut off food, medical, and financial aid.

Am I missing anything ... ?

"The Ghetto was a holding place"

If you've read any of the recent statements coming from the Zionist Extremist leadership within Israel of late, you'll see that this is no different.

"Daily a selection process..."

Not at first, no. This took some time. In the beginning, the situations were virtually identical.

"How much of the suffering on Palestinian people is caused by ..."

The suffering is due wholly to Zionism, and its War on Palestine, brought to the region by Europeans dreaming of the power and wealth only a State of their own could provide. Their Supremacist Ideology is quite similar to that of the Nazis.

Zionism, Irrelevant Within A Generation

Situation in Gaza is Horrific

21.05.2006 05:30

The living conditions in Gaza are horrendous. Although it may not be as bad as the Warsaw Ghetto it is as bad as the Ghettoes the Jews were forced to live in during the 1600s and 1700s in Italy, Austria etc.......

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no point

22.05.2006 13:05

Theres no point in trying to find reasons behind the west's decission to starve the palestinian people. Look at the pattern emerging. West demands Iran to hold elections, Iran holds elections, votes for some guy the west doesnt like, West gets angry, preparing for war. West demands for Palestine to hold elections, Palestine holds elections, votes for a group the west dont like, west prepares for genocide.


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23.05.2006 13:20

I do not hear any of you complain or note historic comparisons now that Iran is requiring Jews to wear yellow armbands.



23.05.2006 13:20

I do not hear any of you complain or note historic comparisons now that Iran is requiring Jews to wear yellow armbands.


Take A Hike, Spook

23.05.2006 17:17

"I do not hear any of you complain or note historic comparisons now that Iran is requiring Jews ..."

That's so last week, man.

Didn't you hear? That story was a complete fabrication of the authors, those who support Zionist Extremism, and Israel's calls for an illegal invasion of Iran. What's worse, they were caught in this bald-faced LIE, reinfrocing the fact that Israel is willing to LIE to the average citizen, in order to get its desired deadly, destructive war and occupation.

The Zionists have become so extreme in their views and actions, that they echo evils from the not so distant past, and living through the past five years, I now understand WWII a whole lot better.

They've made the entire Arab/Muslim population the hated ethnic group of our time ...

In Palestine, the Zionists have created in Gaza the world's largest Concentration Camp, yet another horrific milestone in their decades-long Program of Ethnic Cleansing.

Zionist Extremism is Driving this Neo-Fascism