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The Assault on Gaza - Where is our morality?

November 25, 2012

The current crisis [in Gaza] is framed in terms devoid of any real context. The issue goes far beyond which side precipitated the terrible violence that has killed innocents on both sides. The issue – largely forgotten – is one of continued occupation and blockade, a grossly asymmetrical conflict that has deliberately and systematically disabled Gaza’s economy and people.
- “Where’s our humanity for Gaza?” by Sara Roy, Boston Globe, November 23, 2012


The majority of the victims of Israel's military onslaught against Gaza were civilians.  More than 30 children were killed during the recent 8-day Israeli offensive.  The Palestinians have absolutely no defense against the advanced weaponry given to Israel by the U.S. government.  How can any moral person accept such crimes?

Amidst the many articles found in the media coverage of the latest Israeli military aggression against Gaza it was a great relief to see Sara Roy’s excellent piece in the Boston Globe“Where’s our humanity for Gaza?” 

Roy, a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, focuses on the grim reality of life in the Israeli-occupied territory. She is an author and expert on the brutal conditions the people of the Gaza Strip are forced to cope with as they struggle to survive under Israel’s genocidal siege policy of “economic warfare.”

ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE

Roy presents evidence that the U.S. State Department is well aware of the genocidal strategy behind Israel’s “economic warfare” against the people of Gaza:

In a Nov. 2008 cable from the US embassy in Tel Aviv released by WikiLeaks, US officials wrote, “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed . . . on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge” with the aim of having Gaza’s economy “functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.” This was achieved through an Israeli-imposed blockade that ended all normal trade.

I am appalled to see the leaders of the United States and Germany voicing support for Israel’s latest military assault against the defenseless population of Gaza. When our political leaders support the bombing of a defenseless civilian population, we should ask where is our morality?

The immorality of bombing defenseless civilians is seldom discussed in the controlled media of the United States. From the fire-bombing of Dresden and scores of other German cities, to dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the Vietnam War, to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S. military has spent much of the past 67 years bombing defenseless civilians. The Israeli military assaults on Gaza are not very different from the U.S. assault on Fallujah in 2004. 


THE HYPOCRISY OF OBAMA'S DRONE POLICY - Obama's use of drones to bomb targets in Pakistan has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths.  Unlike the unguided missiles fired from Gaza, the U.S. guided missiles (used by the C.I.A. and Israel) always hit their targets and are extremely lethal. 

Americans are, generally, very moral people and would be opposed to any military killing un-armed civilians as the Israelis do in Gaza and as U.S. troops did in Iraq. Most Americans would naturally oppose the U.S. use of drones to kill people in Pakistan if they understood the reality of the situation.  Americans would protest vigorously if animals were killed in the same brutal way that the Palestinians of Gaza were killed during the latest Israeli offensive.   

In order to try to neutralize the moral outrage the propagandists work very hard to portray their victims, in this case the people of Gaza, as a great threat. The Israeli propaganda machine, for example, greatly exaggerates the threat of the missiles coming from Gaza, in order to allow the military to carry out its pre-planned aggression as “self-defense”. Likewise in America, the public was stunned by the “shock and awe” tactics of 9-11, and the Bush administration exploited the fear and anger to wage war against one of the poorest countries in the world. In reality, the American people have no reason to fear the people of Iraq or Afghanistan - so the fear had to be created. This is what the false-flag terrorism of 9-11 was meant to achieve.

Very few outsiders have visited Gaza and it is impossible to imagine what it is like if you haven’t been there. I’ve been there several times, most recently in 1991 just after the first Gulf War, when I was allowed to accompany Edmond Lee Browning, the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in America. At the end of our visit to Gaza, Bishop Browning told me to tell the people back home about what I had seen in the besieged and occupied territory in which some 1.7 million Palestinians live. The Gaza Strip, some 25 miles in length and 5 miles wide, is a huge gated community – where the gates are locked on the outside. It is best described as the world’s largest open-air prison. The Israeli military is the warden of the prison who controls all access to and egress from the strip.

“A GROSSLY ASYMMETRICAL CONFLICT”

What I cannot understand is how anyone could support killing the defenseless civilians of Gaza, penned within a confined space, like sheep in a pen or horses in a corral. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.  Less than one hundred years ago, wars were fought between armies on battlefields; now civilians are the targets of armies using the most advanced weapons in the world. When our leaders support such egregious crimes against humanity we should ask ourselves, where is our morality?   

Sources:

“Where’s our humanity for Gaza?” by Sara Roy, Boston Globe, November 23, 2012
http://bostonglobe.com/opinion/2012/11/23/roy/sctFniw6Wn2n9nTdxZ91RJ/story.html
 


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