[-empyre-] Educating Gaza
on "What is to be done" - one subject of inescapable current events to
tribute by bare life to the Documenta 2007. [This is not an attack this is a
tribute as historic remind of the year, a testimony, and may be a calling].
What happened at Al Aqsa university from the danger where are quite all the
professors and lecturers whatever their belief or unbelief at the moment
they would be inter professional contacted and soldierly linked front of the
repression? But a part of them both linked with Israeli intellectuals having
too the solider view. What are they becoming?
Who has any friend till now in Gaza may be know that it is quite impossible
to communicate and not more by the way of email but making in danger your
correspondent in these time of "collective punishment", at the moment Israel
realizes the global enclosure by closing the foreign borders (for example
with Egypt) as well from outside to enter as well from inside to leave. They
miss water food electricity and so on more Israel evocates the "Aviaire flu"
for dissuade the foreigners to come even in Israel from the North for
observe the bloody rains which cannot look the same as the color of the sand
dragged by the wind from the desert.
Doesn't this situation of siege playing the collective disappearance remind
another enclosure in the Past. It was in Warsaw, where only tunnels allowed
to appear outside the ghetto, then all the exits were denounced and filled.
You know the continuation.
But now and without delay: what to be done?
///// EN //////////
Please to read these actual news on Gaza and on Cisjordania by Ilan Pappe...
"Ilan Pappe is senior lecturer in the University of Haifa Department of
political Science and Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian
Studies in Haifa. His books include, among others, The Making of the
Arab-Israeli Conflict (London and New York 1992), The Israel/Palestine
Question (London and New York 1999), A History of Modern Palestine
(Cambridge 2003), The Modern Middle East (London and New York 2005) and his
latest, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006)."
Two-as well different as possible but soldierly interlinked-sources; please
note that the socialist link (that is not my party) from IT radioradicale
does not present any resemblance with FR Socialist Party (that is not my
party:)-where all the contrary they make deep silence on the situation:
Palestine 2007: Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank
On this stage, not so long ago, I claimed that Israel is conducting
genocidal policies in the Gaza Strip. I hesitated a lot before using this
very charged term and yet decided to adopt it. Indeed, the responses I
received, including from some leading human rights activists, indicated a
certain unease over the usage of such a term. I was inclined to rethink the
term for a while, but came back to employing it today with even stronger
conviction: it is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army
is doing in the Gaza Strip.
On 28 December 2006, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem
published its annual report about the Israeli atrocities in the occupied
territories. Israeli forces killed this last year six hundred and sixty
citizens. The number of Palestinians killed by Israel last year tripled in
comparison to the previous year (around two hundred). According to B'Tselem,
the Israelis killed one hundred and forty one children in the last year.
Most of the dead are from the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli forces
demolished almost 300 houses and slew entire families. This means that since
2000, Israeli forces killed almost four thousand Palestinians, half of them
children; more than twenty thousand were wounded.
B'Tselem is a conservative organization, and the numbers may be higher. But
the point is not just about the escalating intentional killing, it is about
the trend and the strategy. As 2007 commences, Israeli policymakers are
facing two very different realities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In
the former, they are closer than ever to finishing the construction of their
eastern border. Their internal ideological debate is over and their master
plan for annexing half of the West Bank is being implemented at an
ever-growing speed. The last phase was delayed due to the promises made by
Israel, under the Road Map, not to build new settlements. Israel found two
ways of circumventing this alleged prohibition. First, it defined a third of
the West Bank as Greater Jerusalem, which allowed it to build within this
new annexed area towns and community centers. Secondly, it expanded old
settlements to such proportions so that there was no need to build new ones.
This trend was given an additional push in 2006 (hundreds of caravans were
installed to mark the border of the expansions, the planning schemes for the
new towns and neighborhoods were finalized and the apartheid bypass roads
and highway system completed). In all, the settlements, the army bases, the
roads and the wall will allow Israel to annex almost half of the West Bank
by 2010. Within these territories there will be a considerable number of
Palestinians, against whom the Israeli authorities will continue to
implement slow and creeping transfer policies -- too boring as a subject for
the western media to bother with and too elusive for human rights
organizations to make a general point about them. There is no rush; as far
as the Israelis are concerned, they have the upper hand there: the daily
abusive and dehumanizing mixed mechanisms of army and bureaucracy is as
effective as ever in contributing its own share to the dispossession
The strategic thinking of Ariel Sharon that this policy is far better than
the one offered by the blunt 'transferists' or ethnic cleansers, such as
Avigdor Liberman's advocacy, is accepted by everyone in the government, from
Labor to Kadima. The petit crimes of state terrorism are also effective as
they enable liberal Zionists around the world to softly condemn Israel and
yet categorize any genuine criticism on Israel's criminal policies as
On the other hand, there is no clear Israeli strategy as yet for the Gaza
Strip; but there is a daily experiment with one. Gaza, in the eyes of the
Israelis, is a very different geo-political entity from that of the West
Bank. Hamas controls Gaza, while Abu Mazen seems to run the fragmented West
Bank with Israeli and American blessing. There is no chunk of land in Gaza
that Israel covets and there is no hinterland, like Jordan, to which the
Palestinians of Gaza can be expelled. Ethnic cleansing is ineffective here.
The earlier strategy in Gaza was ghettoizing the Palestinians there, but
this is not working. The ghettoized community continues to express its will
for life by firing primitive missiles into Israel. Ghettoizing or
quarantining unwanted communities, even if they were regarded as sub-human
or dangerous, never worked in history as a solution. The Jews know it best
from their own history. The next stages against such communities in the past
were even more horrific and barbaric. It is difficult to tell what the
future holds for the Gaza population, ghettoized, quarantined, unwanted and
demonized. Will it be a repeat of the ominous historical examples or is a
better fate still possible?
Creating the prison and throwing the key to the sea, as UN Special Reporter
John Dugard has put it, was an option the Palestinians in Gaza reacted
against with force as soon as September 2005. They were determined to show
at the very least that they were still part of the West Bank and Palestine.
In that month, they launched the first significant, in number and not
quality, barrage of missiles into the Western Negev. The shelling was a
response to an Israeli campaign of mass arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad
activists in the Tul Karem area. The Israelis responded with operation
'First Rain'. It is worth dwelling for a moment on the nature of that
operation. It was inspired by the punitive measures inflicted first by
colonialist powers, and then by dictatorships, against rebellious imprisoned
or banished communities. A frightening show of the oppressor's power to
intimidate preceded all kind of collective and brutal punishments, ending
with a large number of dead and wounded among the victims. In 'First Rain',
supersonic flights were flown over Gaza to terrorize the entire population,
succeeded by the heavy bombardment of vast areas from the sea, sky and land.
The logic, the Israeli army explained, was to create pressure so as to
weaken the Gaza community's support for the rocket launchers. As was
expected, by the Israelis as well, the operation only increased the support
for the rocket launchers and gave impetus to their next attempt. The real
purpose of that particular operation was experimental. The Israeli generals
wished to know how such operations would be received at home, in the region
and in the world. And it seems that instantly the answer was 'very well';
namely, no one took an interest in the scores of dead and hundreds of
wounded Palestinians left behind after the 'First Rain' subsided.
The bar set continually higher: Palestinians pass by a pool of blood after
the Israeli shelling of a residential area in Beit Hanoun in the northern of
Gaza Strip in which at least 18 people were killed, 8 November 2006.
And hence since 'First Rain' and until June 2006, all the following
operations were similarly modeled. The difference was in their escalation:
more firepower, more causalities and more collateral damage and, as to be
expected, more Qassam missiles in response. Accompanying measures in 2006
were more sinister means of ensuring the full imprisonment of the people of
Gaza through boycott and blockade, with which the EU is still shamefully
The capture of Gilad Shalit in June 2006 was irrelevant in the general
scheme of things, but nonetheless provided an opportunity for the Israelis
to escalate even more the components of the tactical and allegedly punitive
missions. After all, there was still no strategy that followed the tactical
decision of Ariel Sharon to take out 8,000 settlers whose presence
complicated 'punitive' missions and whose eviction made him almost a
candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the 'punitive' actions
continue and become themselves a strategy.
The Israeli army loves drama and therefore also escalated the language.
'First Rain' was replaced by 'Summer Rains', a general name that was given
to the 'punitive' operations since June 2006 (in a country where there is no
rain in the summer, the only precipitation that one can expect are showers
of F-16 bombs and artillery shells hitting people of Gaza).
'Summer Rains' brought a novel component: the land invasion into parts of
the Gaza Strip. This enabled the army to kill citizens even more effectively
and to present it as a result of heavy fighting within dense populated
areas, an inevitable result of the circumstances and not of Israeli
policies. With the close of summer came operation 'Autumn Clouds' which was
even more efficient: on 1 November 2006, in less than 48 hours, the Israelis
killed seventy civilians; by the end of that month, with additional mini
operations accompanying it, almost two hundred were killed, half of them
children and women. As one can see from the dates, some of the activity was
parallel to the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, making it easier to complete the
operations without much external attention, let alone criticism.
>From 'First Rain' to 'Autumn Clouds' one can see escalation in every
parameter. The first is the disappearance of the distinction between
civilian and non-civilian targets: the senseless killing has turned the
population at large to the main target for the army's operation. The second
one is the escalation in the means: employment of every possible killing
machines the Israeli army possesses. Thirdly, the escalation is conspicuous
in the number of casualties: with each operation, and each future operation,
a much larger number of people are likely to be killed and wounded. Finally,
and most importantly, the operations become a strategy -- the way Israel
intends to solve the problem of the Gaza Strip.
A creeping transfer in the West Bank and a measured genocidal policy in the
Gaza Strip are the two strategies Israel employs today. From an electoral
point of view, the one in Gaza is problematic as it does not reap any
tangible results; the West Bank under Abu Mazen is yielding to Israeli
pressure and there is no significant force that arrests the Israeli strategy
of annexation and dispossession. But Gaza continues to fire back. On the one
hand, this would enable the Israeli army to initiate more massive genocidal
operations in the future. But there is also the great danger, on the other,
that as happened in 1948, the army would demand a more drastic and
systematic 'punitive' and collateral action against the besieged people of
the Gaza Strip.
A source of satisfaction for Israel: Palestinians inspect a burnt vehicle
belonging to Colonel Mohammad Ghareeb, the deputy chief of preventive
security in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The vehicle was
burnt during factional clashes between Fatah and Hamas. (MaanImages/Wesam
Ironically, the Israeli killing machine has rested lately. Even relatively
large number of Qassam missiles, including one or two quite deadly ones, did
not stir the army to action. Though the army's spokesmen say it shows
'restraint', it never did in the past and is not likely to do so in the
future. The army rests, as its generals are content with the internal
killing that rages on in Gaza and does the job for them. They watch with
satisfaction the emerging civil war in Gaza, which Israel foments and
encourages. From Israel's point of view it does not really mater how Gaza
would eventually be demographically downsized, be it by internal or Israeli
slaying. The responsibility of ending the internal fighting lies of course
with the Palestinian groups themselves, but the American and Israeli
interference, the continued imprisonment, the starvation and strangulation
of Gaza are all factors that make such an internal peace process very
difficult. But it will take place soon and then with the first early sign
that it subsided, the Israeli 'Summer Rains' will fall down again on the
people of Gaza, wreaking havoc and death.
And one should never tire of stating the inevitable political conclusions
from this dismal reality of the year we left behind and in the face of the
one that awaits us. There is still no other way of stopping Israel than
besides boycott, divestment and sanctions. We should all support it clearly,
openly, unconditionally, regardless of what the gurus of our world tell us
about the efficiency or raison d'etre of such actions. The UN would not
intervene in Gaza as it does in Africa; the Nobel peace laureates would not
enlist to its defense as they do for causes in Southeast Asia. The numbers
of people killed there are not staggering as far as other calamities are
concerned, and it is not a new story -- it is dangerously old and troubling.
The only soft point of this killing machine is its oxygen lines to 'western'
civilization and public opinion. It is still possible to puncture them and
make it at least more difficult for the Israelis to implement their future
strategy of eliminating the Palestinian people either by cleansing them in
the West Bank or genociding them in the Gaza Strip.
Please to forward and ask the question
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