It’s not a real war. The bloody carnage in Israel and Palestine that we now witness is a large prison uprising being crushed by Israel’s military might.
M-16 lightweight rifles against Merkava tanks; home-made rockets (little more than flying pipe bombs) versus US-state of the art F-15 and F-16 fighter bombers; a few thousand Hamas fighters versus 600,000 or more Israeli soldiers and police backed by drones and heavy artillery.
American-made bombs and rockets are now shattering what’s left of Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated places. Israel, which suffered over 1,200 dead innocent civilians from a Hamas-led attack on a music festival and waves of rocket barrages, vows Biblical revenge on the Palestinians.
Interestingly, the US supplied warplanes, bombs and rockets pounding Palestinian fighters and civilians are being used in contravention of the US Arms Control Act which forbids use of American arms against civilian targets.
Heedless of US law, the Biden administration is in full pro-war hysteria over Gaza. The next US elections are getting closer. The US state-guided media is also in full war mode, portraying events in Gaza as an attack on the United States.
The war party in Washington is baying for war against Iran which, as far as we know now, had no primary role in the Gaza attacks. One will likely be found or manufactured by Israel’s right-wing militants and Fox News.
I have been watching and writing about the agony of Palestine for some 70 years. I’ve watched what was to have been a small Jewish enclave grow into a powerful Sparta with some 200 nuclear weapons and unprecedented control of the US Congress and media.
Gaza, this miserable, squalid human garbage dump, is a giant open-air prison packed with 2.2 million Palestinian refugees driven from the newly created state of Israel in 1948. Israel and its close ally Egypt keep Gaza bottled up on its land and sea borders.
The United States, Israel’s patron and financier, reveled in the move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move seen by Bible Belt religious fundamentalists as a key step to the return of the Christian Messiah and Armageddon in which the rest of us, Jews included, are fated to be burned alive. The American Republicans, who have become a far-right theocratic party, cheered this good news.
There was no joy in Gaza. This miserable, squalid human garbage dump is a giant open-air prison packed with 2.2 million Palestinian refugees driven from the newly created state of Israel in 1948. Israel and its close ally Egypt keep Gaza bottled up on its land and sea borders. Palestinians are only allowed to fish along the shore. Coastal gas and oil reserves have been expropriated by Israel and Egypt.
Gaza’s two million people subsist on the edge of starvation. Israel openly boasts that it allows just enough food into the enclave to prevent outright starvation. Chemicals to treat water are banned. Electricity runs only a few hours daily because the power plant was bombed by Israel’s US-supplied air force. Hospitals have almost no medicines. In short, wartime conditions in the open-air prison. Even the wretched animals in Gaza Zoo are starving. Hamas fighters have reportedly even killed cats and dogs.
The intensive punishment of Gaza, a crime under international law, began after its people voted in a free election for the Hamas movement over the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which is more or less run by Israel and the United States. Israel helped found Hamas in 1987 to split the PLO, but then sought, with the US, to destroy the organization, branding it ‘terrorist.’
Israel has extensively used US-supplied arms and money to fight Hamas in Gaza, a clear violation of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 that bars the use of American weapons against civilian populations.
The question remains, where did all the Palestinians come from? Israel long claimed there were no such people, or a made-up nationality. This was a pretty rich claim coming from Israelis, many of whom hailed from Russia, Poland and Eastern Europe and who had assumed biblical identities and asserted a direct link to the Hebrews who had lived two thousand years earlier in the Levant.
When Israel was created by the US and UN (with Soviet support) in 1948, from 750,000 to one million native Palestinians were driven from their ancestral home at gunpoint or panicked to flight by massacres and ethnic cleansing. Their villages were bulldozed.
When Israel conquered and annexed the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, another 500,000 Palestinians were made refugees. Some 50,000-250,000 Syrians were driven by Israel from the strategic Golan Heights. Bedouins were driven from Israel’s Negev Desert.
There are only two ways out of this bloody mess. Either drive millions of Palestinians into the desert in an act of genocide or create a long-delayed Palestinian state mandated by the United Nations but which has been long blocked by US vetoes and Israel resistance.
Margolis is a Member of the RPI Academic Board.
Reprinted with permission from EricMargolis.com.