PRESSURING GAZA July 21, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.
The Israeli Government is basking in the acclaim of their success in blocking the international flotilla and prevention of aid to Gaza.
Amy Teibel for the Associated Press reports, via Truthdig:
Tuesday’s operation at sea was far more subdued than the deadly clash last year. The navy intercepted the “Dignity al-Karama” some 40 miles (65 kilometers) off the coast and boarded the ship without incident after the crew ignored calls to change course.
“The takeover was orderly and done with restraint,” the navy’s deputy commander, Brig. Gen. Rani Ben-Yehudah told reporters at the southern Israeli port of Ashdod. “Nobody was hurt and the ship wasn’t damaged.”
The military had warned it would stop any attempt to break the sea blockade of Gaza, which Israel imposed four years ago in what it says is a measure to prevent arms smuggling to Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group.
The boat was not carrying aid supplies.
. . . There have been charges that Israel’s seizure of boats on the high seas is piracy and contrary to international law. Israel claims it has the right to enforce a quarantine on Gaza to prevent weapons from reaching the territory’s militant Hamas rulers, and many international law experts have backed up Israel’s contention.
Since the Associated Press, for whatever reason, appears to be running the propaganda lines of the Israeli Government it is appropriate to get some balance here:
There are further reports concerning the law passed by the Knesset to make boycotts against goods from the occupied territories illegal as it is announced that new settlement housing will be built. And Israel is seeking to forestall the United Nations application for a Palestinian State. I imagine the latter is done deal given the role of the United States, and assume the hairdresser at the Lodge, apparently in the pay of Israel, will be styling an Australia acceptance of the status quo.
And then there are reports of Israeli terrorism in Gaza. The Truth Seeker reports:
The whole of Gaza City is under air attack with Israel Defense Force (IDF) drones and other aircraft roaming the skies firing rockets and dropping bombs on the Palestinian population.
For Scoop, Julie Webb-Pullman reports that there are swarms of strike aircraft: “There was at least one explosion, then sirens. I can still hear drones , more sirens, lots of sirens, more explosions.”
From one vantage point, she can see a lot of smoke emitting from near Gaza City’s university.
From her rooftop, Julie Webb-Pullman reports: “It looks like a massive airstrike – the city of Gaza is under a pall of acrid smoke. The drones still droning. I can’t tell where the strikes were, but definitely in the middle of town, as well as further out.”
She said one air-strike was “close-ish but when I went on the roof I saw the whole city is under a pall – the drones are still going, every so often there are More sirens.
“They sound like they’re to the south-east of Gaza City, and to the north,” Julie Webb-Pullman reports.
There appears to be an intensifying strategy being deployed by the IDF, should a rocket or an improvised explosive device be lobbed at Israel from inside the Palestinian Territories, then there is a strong retaliatory response.
“There have been strikes every day after none for several months, and on Sunday night the IDF dropped leaflets warning anyone coming within 300 meters of the border would be shot.
“There does seem to be a ratcheting up of activity from both sides – now there appear to be two militant group, neither of them Hamas, firing home-made rockets into Israel.
“They have not wounded or killed anyone at all – yet – but the Israelis have responded with their usual disproportion, injuring many and destroying a lot of civilian property,” Julie Webb-Pullman reports.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has just cut back on the aid provided to Palestinian people. This is placing added pressure on the population in Gaza as 80% are dependent on that aid.
The weather is also relentlessly hot, with frequent power cuts and no clean water, making daily life really hard for ordinary people.
There is a distinct Israeli pressure on the Palestine Authority and Hamas not to unify, and not to seek recognition of a Palestinian State at the United Nations General Assembly in September – they have only given the Palestine Authority 50% of the money for salaries for public servants, so they are creating an explosive situation that Israel can then use to justify attacking, arresting, and doing whatever they please to Palestinians.
The underlying issue here is not solely the fundamental issue of peace and justice, but that of the political world order maintained by violence. The political order on a large scale is not immune to change. The European Reformation can be seen as the beginning of such of development toward democratic citizenship. Democracy on a global scale would undermine the established world order, and so cannot be spoken of.
Violence in Gaza and the West Bank is not a quiescent structural inequality or structural violence, of which class is the most obvious expression, but something of a different quality. Creating circumstances for violent response, while endeavouring to preclude nonviolence action, if on the flawed pretext that nonviolence is theatre other than arousing the humanity of those engaged in violence, provides the ongoing justification of Israel’s violent response.
Israel is a player in the game because the method is promoted by the United States, now mired in a budget standoff. If it would be possible to envisage the peace dividend by following a Einstein thought experiment, perhaps many, if not all the economic problems facing the Planet would be significantly reduced.
Uri Avnery reviews the circumstances of “the little fleet” that succeeded while forced not to sail.