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'My wife cries all the time. At night she hugs the children and cries. At home there's no water, no electricity, no heating gas. And you say there's no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Tell me, are you normal?'

By unknown | Jan 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Firoz Osman

Firoz Osman

The responses in the media by pro-Israeli propagandists on the dastardly invasion of Gaza, is not surprising. But to defend and justify the indefensible massacre of children and women by David Saks of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (in Sowetan yesterday), including Rabbi Warren Goldstein, must surely leave one aghast.

The conflict did not occur because Qassam rockets killed 14 people in seven years but because of decades of dispossession, expulsion, occupation and annexation of Palestinian land.

Neither is this a conflict between Islam and Judaism but one in which political Zionism, founded in 1897 and based on settler colonialism, racism and expansionism, created the Israeli entity from the rib of terrorism.

European Rabbis and many Jews oppose the aims of Zionism and creation of Israel because it violates the tenets of Judaism. Yet today the Zionist lobby, unashamed of its incestuous relationship with Israel, justify Israel's violation of international humanitarian law, including the recent genocidal killings of civilians in Gaza.

United Nations Relief and Work Agency spokesman Christopher Gunness dismissed with contempt Israeli claims that the bombed UN facilities harboured weapons. Blaming the victims has been an old Israeli ploy to cover their horrendous atrocities, as in Qana, Jenin and South Lebanon in 2006.

Brian Cloughley describes a Gaza father's suffering: "I keep the children away from the windows because the F-16s are in the air. I forbid them to play below because it's dangerous. They're bombing us from the sea and from the east, they're bombing us from the air. When the telephone works, people tell us about relatives or friends who were killed.

"My wife cries all the time. At night she hugs the children and cries. It's cold and the windows are open; there's fire and smoke in open areas; at home there's no water, no electricity, no heating gas. And you [Israelis] say there's no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Tell me, are you normal?"

What boggles the mind is the Zionist lobby's ability to preach peace, tolerance and harmony between Muslims and Jews and at the same time justify the horrendous crimes against defenceless people. Their powerful influence among politicians and businessmen shield the Zionist regime, allowing Israel to commit war crimes with impunity and immunity.

There is simply no moral equivalence between the protagonists. Under international law Palestinians under occupation have the right to resist.

One is occupied, oppressed, invaded, terrorised and persecuted, facing ethnic cleansing and genocide; the other is the colonial, racist occupier, oppressor, invader, terroriser, persecutor and executer. The one has F-16 fighter jets, Merkava tanks, Apache helicopters, navy gunships and nuclear bombs; the other has no aircraft, no navy, no tanks, no artillery - just smuggled guns and primitive rockets made of exhaust pipes in the back yard.

The injustice meted out to Palestinians is monumental and tragic. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."

Complicity in Israel's war crimes is the corrupt and treacherous puppet Fatah leader Mahmud Abbas and the Arab regimes, Egypt in particular. International lawyer Franklin Lamb said: "Even a cursory examination of the events which began on December 27 2008 require that Mohammad Hosni Mubarak be added as an accomplice to the pending International Criminal Court case concerning international crimes committed by Israel with American weapons."

The Council for the National Interest, based in Washington, said: "Nearly 50 years ago, the South African regime attacked a crowd protesting in Sharpeville and in a matter of minutes killed 69 black South Africans. Eventually, after world reaction to this "incident," sanctions were imposed and they led to the end of apartheid."

Using US weapons, Israel has indiscriminately killed more than four times that number in Gaza. In 1960 there were 20million black South Africans and today there are only 1,5million Palestinians in Gaza. So the first two days of the US-supported Israeli attempt to wipe out Hamas is sixty times as criminal as the Sharpeville massacre.

Hamas' real threat is its example as the Arab world's only democratically elected government, drawing its popularity from its resistance to the Palestinians' oppressor and tormentor. Hamas remains steadfast in its fight for dignity, freedom and justice. It has repeatedly proposed a 10-year truce with the reasonable condition that Israel obeys international law and ends its illegal occupation beyond the 1967 borders.

Until and unless the international community and governments, championed by South Africa, punish Israel with sanctions, the anguished cries of the innocent and blood of the martyrs will be in vain.

lThe writer is general secretary of the Media Review Network.


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