11 Day War

gaza 6
The Omar al-Mukhtar neighborhood of Gaza City after it was pounded by Israeli airstrikes, 12 May. Mohammed ZaanounActiveStills

The cycle continues.

Israel initiated further repression through the expulsion of four families in Sheik Jarrah and storming the Al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan, as if nearly 75 years of the most sustained, brutal state oppression in modern history wasn’t enough. In turn, Hamas threatened retaliation for Sheik Jarrah and Israeli police storming the mosque, but Israel did not relent. Then Hamas rockets flew towards Israel, heightening fear and further solidifying Israeli hatred of Palestinians, which was satiated by Israel’s 11 day massacre of Gazans that left 58,000 Gazans homeless and 248 dead, including 66 dead children. 12 people in Israel were killed during the conflict, including two Thai workers and two Israeli children.

The US, per usual, prevented condemnation of Israel at the UN and the US media framed the conflict, once more, as a case of ‘both sides-ism’; although some commentators like John Oliver and others voiced courage in calling out Israel’s war crimes. Unsurprisingly, Oliver’s segment condemning Israeli war crimes in Gaza and labeling Israel an apartheid state has since been hidden behind a paywall, although generally the beginning of his shows seems to be the free segments.

The US continues to favor brutal local allies in the Middle East that cause famine, as in Yemen’s case, and nearly 75 years of some of the worst state oppression that the world has seen. The United States also forgets that under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Palestinians have the legal right to resist illegal Israeli occupation.

Despite unlivable conditions under the 14-year siege in Gaza and stifling oppression and restriction on movement in the West Bank, Palestinians have held out for justice via national liberation – just as Indian, Kenyan, South African and Irish freedom fighters did after centuries of subjugation. These historic anti-colonial liberation efforts continued until there became a serendipitous opening where the oppressor had become weakened, as Britain became after both world wars, the world zeitgeist changed, such as the international pressure that pushed South Africa to abandon its apartheid regime in 1994.

In Palestine’s case, liberation may have to wait until a new great power comes along that is more just in dealing with the Middle East.

For that certainly isn’t the US.

When Israel maims Gazans and destroys their buildings, it’s US bombs that destroy.

Peter F. Crowley is a Boston-area writer who recently had the book Those Who Hold Up the Earth published by Kelsay Books. His work appears in an assortment of literary magazines, news/opinion websites and academic journals, including TruthoutThe Opiate Magazine, Peace Review and Ethnic Studies Review.



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