“We are witnessing a dramatic transformation in the relationship between [American Evangelical] Christians and Jews, who are focusing now on the common values and the common future we both share,” Prime Minister Netanyahu
(Quoted March 20, 2012 in “Pastor John Hagee’s Christian Zionist Enterprise Hits One Million Member Mark” Truthout)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing Christians United for Israel Christian supporters with John Hagee in Jerusalem March 2012. (Photo by Amos Ben Gershon / Government Press Office)
~Guest Column by JUAN COLE~
1. Israeli hawks represent themselves as engaged in a ‘peace process’ with the Palestinians in which Hamas refuses to join. In fact, Israel has refused to cease colonizing and stealing Palestinian land long enough to engage in fruitful negotiations with them. Tel Aviv routinely announces new, unilateral house-building on the Palestinian West Bank. There is no peace process. It is an Israeli and American sham. Talking about a peace process is giving cover to Israeli nationalists who are determined to grab everything the Palestinians have and reduce them to penniless refugees (again).
Palestinians carry the bodies of Jumana and Tamer Eseifan, both under the age of four, who were killed when an Israeli warplane fired a missile at an agricultural plot near their home in the Tal al-Zatar area of Jabaliya town, 18 November. (APA images)
2. Actions such as the assault on Gaza can achieve no genuine long-term strategic purpose. They are being launched to ensure that Jewish-Israelis are the first to exploit key resources. Rattling sabers at the Palestinians creates a pretext for further land-grabs and colonies on Palestinian land. That is, the military action against the people of Gaza is a diversion tactic; the real goal is Greater Israel, an assertion of Israeli sovereignty over all the territory once held by the British Mandate of Palestine.
Mourners gather around the bodies of the al-Dalu family during their funeral in Gaza City, 19 November. (APA images)
3. Israeli hawks represent their war of aggression as in ‘self-defense.’ But the UK Israeli chief rabbi admitted on camera that that the Gaza attack actually ‘had something to do with Iran.’
4. Israeli hawks demonize the Palestinians of Gaza as “bad neighbors” who don’t accept Israel. But 40% of the people in Gaza are refugees, mostly living in refugee camps, from families in pre-1948 Palestine that had lived there for millennia.
They were expelled from what is now Israel in the 1948 Zionist ethnic cleansing campaign. Israelis are now living in their homes and farming their land, and they were never paid any reparations for the crimes done to them. “Israel’s failure to provide reparations to Palestinian refugees over the past six decades is in blatant violation of international law.” Israel does not accept Palestine’s right to exist, even though it is constantly demanding that everyone, including the displaced and occupied Palestinians, recognize Israel’s right to exist.
A Palestinian man sits next to the body of his one-year-old son Iyad Abu Khoussa during the baby’s funeral in Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, 18 November. The child was killed when an Israeli warplane fired a missile at the fence of his family’s home; two other small children were wounded in the strike. ( APA images)
5. Israeli hawks and their American clones depict Gaza as a foreign, hostile state with which Israel is at war. In fact, the Gaza strip is a small territory of 1.7 million people militarily occupied by Israel (something in which the UN and other international bodies concur). Israelis do not allow it to have a port or airport, nor to export most of what it produces. Palestinians cannot work about a third of its land, which is reserved by Israel as a security buffer. As an occupied territory, it is covered by the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of occupied populations by their military occupier. Indiscriminate bombing of occupied territories by the occupier is clearly illegal in international law.
Palestinian medics wheel a wounded boy on a stretcher to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, 18 November. (APA images)
6. Israeli hawks see themselves as innocent victims of bewildering Palestinian rage from Gaza. But Israel not only has kept Palestinians of Gaza in the world’s largest outdoor penitentiary, they have them under an illegal blockade that for some years aimed at limiting their nutrition without altogether starving them to death. I wrote earlier:
“The food blockade had real effects. About ten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under 5 have had their growth stunted by malnutrition. A recent report by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians found that, in addition, anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers. “
If any foreign power surrounded Israel, destroyed Haifa port and Tel Aviv airport, and prevented Israeli exports from being exported, what do you think Israelis would do? Oh, that’s right, it is rude to see both Palestinians and Israelis as equal human beings.
Bishop William Shomali leads a mass to pray for the children of Gaza in the Church of the Annunciation in the occupied West Bank city of Beit Jala, 18 November. (APA images)
7. Israeli hawks demonize the Palestinian residents of Gaza as followers of Hamas, a party-militia of the Muslim religious right. But half of Palestinians in Gaza are minors, who never voted for Hamas and cannot be held collectively responsible for that party.
8. Israeli hawks justify their aggression on the Palestinians on grounds of self-defense. But Israel is a country of 7.5 million people with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, helicopter gunships and F-16s and F-18s, plus 400 nuclear warheads. Gaza is a small occupied territory of 1.7 million which has no heavy weaponry, just some old guns and some largely ineffectual rockets. (Israelis cite hundreds of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza in 2012; but until Israel’s recent attack they had killed not a single Israeli, though they did wound a few last March when fighting between Palestinians and Israelis escalated.) Gaza is a threat to Israel the way the Transkei Bantustan was a threat to Apartheid South Africa. As for genuine asymmetrical threats from Gaza to Israel, they could be dealt with by giving the Palestinians a state and ceasing the blockade imposed on them, or in the worst case scenario counter-terrorism targeted at terrorists rather than indiscriminate bombing campaigns.
A girl holds a candle next to a photo of three-year-old Ranan Yousef Arafat, who was killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, as Palestinians gathered in the West Bank city of Bethlehem’s Manger Square to mourn the victims of Israeli military strikes and to call for an end to the escalation of violence, 17 November. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler / ActiveStills)
9. Israeli hawks maintain that they were provoked into the attack. But actually Ahmad Jabari, the Hamas leader the Israelis assassinated earlier this week, had been engaged in talks with the Israelis about a truce. Assassinations achieved by the ruse of openness to peace talks are guarantees of no further peace talks.
10. Although most American media is a cheering section for the Likud Party,in fact the world is increasingly done with Israel’s aggressiveness. Boycotts and sanctions will likely grow over time. (End of JUAN COLE Article)
QUESTIONS By Frank Schaeffer:
- Is there any crime Israel could commit against the Palestinian refugees that American Evangelical Christians would object to?
- Could they just kill “them” all and America would say “fine”?
- At what point does our “closest alley” in the Middle East become such a liability we dump them?
- And speaking as the proud father of a US Marine son who fraught in our 2 recent wars, I ask… How many Middle Eastern conflicts do Americans have to die in before we say enough is enough?
- Is it antisemitic to criticize the State of Israel no matter what?
- How can Jews and Christians join together to help bring real peace?