Gaza 2017: Incremental Genocide by an American Client State

It’s been ten years since Israel imposed its blockade on the Gaza Strip, in violation of international law.

It’s been three years since the close of Israel’s last murderous rampage in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge. In that so-called war, 1,473 Palestinian civilians, including 501 children, perished.

But those numbers only reflect the ones who died at the hands of Israeli weaponry.

Ultimately, those numbers will pale in comparison to the number of lives shattered by the ongoing blockade and the refusal of the United States, the one player on the world stage with the necessary power and influence, to end it. In all likelihood, they already do.

The casualty statistics, you see, don’t include those whose death is the indirect result of Israeli and American policy towards the people of Gaza. They don’t reflect, for example, the children who died from exposure in the unusually cold winter that followed Operation Protection Edge. They don’t include those who die from drinking dirty water. They don’t include those who die from inadequate medical facilities. The list goes on.

Unfortunately, we’ve likely not yet seen the worst of it.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, in Gaza, “a systemic collapse of an already battered infrastructure and economy is impending.” The catastrophe that will ensue if that is allowed to take place on a narrow strip of land in which two million people are trapped, with a population density roughly equivalent to that of Manhattan, is unthinkable.

Make no mistake. As Stephen McCloskey reports, the crisis in Gaza is the result of calculated policy of the Israeli government:

In its public pronouncements on Gaza, Israel insists that the blockade is a security matter designed to keep Hamas, the Palestinian political group with a militant wing, at arm’s length. In its more off-guard moments, however, Israel has revealed its true hand in Gaza.

United States government cables leaked to Wikileaks show that the Israeli government kept the US embassy in Tel Aviv briefed on the blockade and on “multiple occasions” said their policy aimed “to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.”

This appears to have been Israel’s blockade policy from the outset as the BBC reported an Israeli government adviser, Dov Weisglass, as having said in 2006:

“The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” And, in 2012, an Israeli court forced the release of a government ‘red lines’ document which detailed “the number of calories Palestinians in Gaza need to consume to avoid malnutrition.”
The Israeli human rights organisation Gisha, which won the legal battle to have the red lines document published, argues that “the research contradicts Israel’s assertions that the blockade is needed for security reasons.”

The chilling calculation behind the ‘red lines’ policy underlines the extent of Israel’s deception in publicly suggesting that the blockade is a security measure while privately, and quite methodically, inflicting collective punishment on an already desperately poor population, mostly comprising refugees.

In a sense, America is doubly responsible for the suffering in Gaza. Things have become much worse since 2013, when General El Sisi seized power in Egypt, with the tacit approval of the Obama Administration. Since then, the smuggling tunnels on the Gaza / Egypt border, which used to allow for the passage of vital goods into Gaza, have been closed. In addition, the transit of Gazans, including those in need of medical treatment, through the crossing into Egypt has been reduced to a fraction of what it was before El Sisi took power.

When you add all this up you have rates of malnutrition, food insecurity, depression and suicide all off the charts. And all headed in the wrong direction.

This is America’s responsibility. American policy allowed this to take place and, absent a dramatic change in U.S. policy forcing Israel to end its blockade, tens of thousands will perish in Gaza. Perhaps a few will die at the hands of the Israeli military in yet another massacre based on some concocted “threat” attributed to Hamas. They may be the lucky ones. Many of the others will die slowly from starvation, dirty water and disease, not unlike thousands who perished in the Warsaw ghetto 75 years ago.

9 Responses to Gaza 2017: Incremental Genocide by an American Client State

  1. To the Senator who took personally the imputation that his AIPAIC-funded perspective was an ad hominem attack, bollocks!
    The author of this piece is absolutely correct about what kind of distorted nationalist state Israel has become. Some may still think of it as the spunky “little democracy that could” but the reality is that the lefty kibbutzim and Labor vision for Israel have given way to a murderous form of Revisionist Zionism that freely admits that Arabs have to be thrown out, killed, or kept in perpetual occupation. Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Netanyahu’s father’s boss, even wrote a pamphlet about it called the Iron Wall. Israel defenders should first know what the hell they’re talking about.

  2. Sen. John Kavanagh

    The Palestinians in Gaza voted in a terrorist anti-Israel government that will not even allow elections to change course. I cannot blame Israel for doing whenever it can to weaken a mortal enemy that wants all Israeli jews dead.

    I will ignore your ad hominem attack about my reading skills and restate my question. What should Israel do? Allow food imports that conceal weapons that will kill their children?

  3. The crisis in Gaza is the responsibility of Hamas. As long as they wish to remain a terrorist led state, they need to be delt with accordingly.
    Do we blame the atrocities of NK on SK? This should be no different.

  4. For Sure Not Tom

    It’s called Apartheid.

    Back when America stood for something we were against it.

    • “Back when America stood for something we were against it.”

      You are talking way outside your knowledge basis on a subject you know little about, Tom. It isn’t apartheid, nor anything close to apartheid. Bob and I see this issue from very different perspectives, but our perspectives were developed over years of observation and study, and in my case, participation, but I think Bob would agree that apartheid is not a strong enough word to describe it. At it’s very worst, apartheid did not produce the body counts, destruction, misery and human suffering that the Israeli-Pallestinian Conflict has produced.

  5. As long as the USA gives billions of dollars in military aid to Israel their is no desire to negotiate. Stop the funding of the occupation of Palestine; it is contrary to American values of equality, freedom, democracy, and justice.

  6. we should pay egypt to take over gaza. it won’t be cheap ;but it will be worth the price. let them “deal” with hamas. this will stop the children from dying. children only die when hamas or isis is around. bob children are not dying from israels hands on the west bank because hamas doesn’t control it yet! israili arab voters will moderate israel in the future just as latino voters are doing here.

  7. Sen. John Kavanagh

    This is the fault of the militant group Hamas, which even the Palestinian Authority has ostracized. They stand for death to Israel. Are we supposed to support and strengthen such a terrorist government? Is Israel supposed to strengthen a group that wants it dead?
    What Hamas is doing to its own people is tragic but what can be done. What do you propose?

    • I guess I’m a bit concerned about your reading comprehension skills, given your position as a legislator, John.

      If you re-read the block quote, you’ll see there is ample evidence that Israel’s actions are not driven by security concerns. Yet you justify Israel’s actions solely on the basis of its security concerns. It’s a bit Kafka-esque.

      The argument you implicitly make, John, is that any unsavory form of resistance fighting by Hamas gives Israel carte blanche to persecute the Palestinian people. Here’s how that once worked in a different context:

      Krystalnacht, or night of broken glass, is considered to be the commencement of the Holocaust. Do you know what the triggering the event was for Krystalnacht? A Jewish man, angered by the mistreatment of Jews by the Nazis, shot a German officer in cold blood. That one act could be considered a terrorist act. Do you believe that act, by one Jew, justified Krystalnacht?

      International law prohibits collective punishment for a reason, John. There’s no justification for what Israel is doing to two million Gazans. If, confronted by the situation, Americans choose not to light their hair on fire and scream “What about Hamas,” and, instead, use their critical thinking skills, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian lives will be spared. Which side of history do want to be on?

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