Once again, as in September 2000, June 2006, December 2008, and March 2012, the Israeli military is killing and maiming Palestinian civilians, including children, women and the elderly, by the hundreds. Once again we deplore and denounce the false justification and absolute impunity with which Israel launches such missile attacks, with little concern for the lives of thousands of non-combatant civilians. The Israeli ground invasion underway has just multiplied the destruction, the plight and the horrors of the Palestinian population.
In each offensive against Palestinian or Lebanese resistance for the last thirty years, the Israeli government has invoked their country’s right to security and self-defense. We can certainly sympathize with Israeli civilians who have to live in a constant state of fear of being hit by HAMAS rockets. But the reality is that only a handful of Israelis—and none throughout the current hostility until yesterday after Israel invaded Gaza—have been killed by HAMAS rockets, while hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, and thousands maimed, during the same period of time by Israeli retaliatory air and ground attacks.
These serial killings of Palestinians by Israeli missiles are crimes against humanity and must end now. While HAMAS should also stop their indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilian populations, that alone is not a solution for the ultimate source of the violence is Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.
What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is what European Americans did to America’s indigenous people, the so-called Indians. It is what the fascist Boers did to the indigenous people of South Africa before and during that country’s apartheid years. In all three cases it has been about murderous invasion, occupation, displacement, appropriation of land and the forced disruption and relocation of the indigenous population. The current over-the-top shelling and bombing of Gaza is massacring Palestinians and needs to be condemned by the rest of the world.
Killings and destruction have barely managed to maintain the status quo; they don’t bring security. The best rampart for Israel’s security is the establishment of a two-state solution that respects international law and the Palestinian people’s national rights, one which provides redress for injustice, and fosters a politics of mutual respect and good-neighborly coexistence.
The United States’ myopia in the face of horrors perpetuated by its Israeli ally is no substitute for real world leadership. An immediate halt to the Israeli military offensive, the lifting of the Gaza blockade, and the de-occupation of Gaza and the West Bank are the minimum goals to reach if we still pretend to be a civilized world.
We condemn in particular this terrorization of the mind where generally good and rational people are scratching their heads to find justification for a terrible war machine that is killing real human beings, including children. In the succinct words of Noam Chomsky, “This is not war; this is murder.”
Peace with a two-state solution is the only alternative.