Invasive defence

Israel's actions have nothing to do with defence and that the killing of civilians in Gaza isn’t even sporting.


Sabina Khan July 13, 2014

“No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest has said. We’ve all witnessed this argument repeated countless times: ‘what if your neighbours were firing rockets into your country? Wouldn’t you strike back?’ Yes Israel has the right to self-defence, just like every nation and individual, but is that term appropriate for an occupation? What about the self-defence rights of the Palestinians? One and a half million of them were squeezed into Gaza due to the creation of Israel and are currently living under siege. On a personal level, is it reasonable for an intruder to come into your house and claim self-defence when you attempt to remove them?

Israel has threatened to invade Gaza; it began with the killing of four boys — three Israelis and one Palestinian — out of retaliation. The aftermath of these murders has spiralled into a crisis that is escalating quickly. Israel has carried out raids and arrested hundreds in the West Bank while also conducting airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has claimed responsibility for firing rockets and Israel has called up to 40,000 reservists for ‘Operation Protective Edge, which might even include a ground offensive.

A UN fact finding mission in Gaza confirmed that the Israel Defence Forces had pursued a ‘deliberate policy of disproportionate force’, supposedly aimed at destroying enemy support infrastructure, but in reality targets civilian population. Gaza is among the most densely inhabited regions on earth and Israel controls the entire perimeter and airspace. For more than 45 years now, the international community has deemed Gaza to be militarily occupied. The laws of armed conflict require that Israel protect civilians within the territories it occupies. Instead, they are in the midst of an all-out offensive in the area. On July 10, an Israeli airstrike killed eight civilians in a cafe who were doing nothing more than watching the Football World Cup.

In an Op-Ed for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, President Obama stated that “American officials will continue to guarantee their unwavering and unconditional support for Israeli aggression in both rhetoric and military aid. Budgets in Washington are tight, but our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad.” With elections looming, not much else can be expected from the US as both the Republican and Democratic parties will outdo each other in declaring their devotion to Israel in an effort to gain support from large numbers of evangelical voters and secure campaign funding from the Israeli lobby (AIPAC).

International pressure continues to mount and during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged both sides to agree to a ceasefire. As the occupying force, Israel should be expected to present a heated argument for the use of force to defend themselves. We’re unlikely to hear the truth from Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. The truth is that their actions have nothing to do with defence and that the killing of civilians in Gaza isn’t even sporting. Israel is shooting fish in a dusty barrel of their own creation. A well-documented history of failed negotiations at the international level and an unwavering US ally points to a continuation of this trend. Judging from the past wars in 2008 and 2012, the current crisis will lead to more bloodshed and paralysis followed by a temporary break in the form of a US-backed and Egypt-mediated ceasefire.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2014.

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COMMENTS (33)

Sexton Blake | 7 years ago | Reply

@Rex Minor: The brutality being exhibited hear is as bad as anything I have ever been aware of.. It is worse than the Warsaw Ghetto of WWII.

The Goyim Guardsman | 7 years ago | Reply

Numbers, your inconsequential take on any serious post reflects only on your own mental state.

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