Israel has been carved out like a U.S. military base in the Middle East. The United States uses Israel to lay its claim over vital oilfields for U.S. and other Western companies. In other words, Israel’s role as an imperial base of the United States must provide the context of any discussion of the Gaza and Palestinian question.
BY ROLAND SIMBULAN
Posted by Bulatlat
2009 opened with the salvo of horrific bombings by the Israeli Army against Palestinian refugees in a concentrated settlement referred to as the Gaza Strip. These murderous attacks, though they have been condemned universally by almost all mainstream peoples, governments and international humanitarian organizations worldwide, still do not reflect the wider context of why Palestinians have become refugees in their own lands in such settlements like the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. As U.S.-supplied Israeli rocket shells, missiles and bombs wreak havoc on Gaza and its Palestinian inhabitants in a one-sided war, we would do well to reflect on what this conflict is all about.
The humanitarian and human rights aspect of the conflict has been emphasized in the media, including the blockade of vital medical supplies, food, water and fuel going to Gaza. But why are Palestinians in Gaza (Strip) as well as in the West Bank, and why are they segregated from what is now Israel? This was exactly the way the Black African majority were segregated from the white minority in Apartheid South Africa before 1992.
According to Robert Fisk, a British correspondent for the paper, The Independent and who has covered the Middle East for the past thirty years, 80 per cent of the residents of Gaza were the original owners of the lands which are now occupied by the State of Israel. Palestinians were forcibly relocated to the Gaza settlements as their lands were occupied and annexed by the powerful militarist-capitalist Jewish Zionists which created Israel.
This was after World War II, when the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in Europe where 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis before and during the reign of Hitler. Wealthy Jewish bankers, businessmen and militarists sought to lay claim to their Biblical homeland that Abraham and Moses promised. The problem was that this land was already occupied by Palestinian Arabs.
The 1948 creation of the State of Israel was founded on the land grab of Palestinian land where the Israeli Zionists drove 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and relocated them to Gaza and the West Bank. Under the aegis of the Zionists’ “Plan D”, a systematic program of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs from their villages to drive them out, Israel was created. All of this was backed up by the United States, the British and other Western powers. Many more Palestinians who lost their lands and survived the massacres of genocidal proportions against them, fled and became refugees and exiles in neighboring Arab countries like Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, etc..This is the historical basis of the Palestinian people’s struggles against Israeli occupation, which Zionism has attempted to erase from the public mind and memory.
As if all this was not enough, Israel has continued the expulsion, assassinations, and dispossession of all Palestinians from their lands, uprooting them from their own remaining land in shrinking Palestinian territories, and bulldozing Palestinian homes. This is in the pretext that there are hidden tunnels. Israel recently engaged in the construction of an “Apartheid Wall” to segregate Palestinians and keep them caged in from Jews “as a military precaution versus future terrorism by the Palestinians.”
The Palestinian people, –unlike Israel occupiers — having no army, no navy , no tanks, no helicopter gunships, no F-16 Fighter planes, no naval vessels, in their struggle for social justice, have resorted to political, diplomatic, initiatives and desperate measures such as guerrilla warfare, the Intifada Uprising, and suicide attacks. Overall, Palestinian outrage against the annexation and cantonization of their valuable land and resources like water, have generally been in the form of civil disobedience, or “human shields” by the general Palestinian population.
In the past decades, the Palestine Liberation Organization or PLO under Yasser Arafat, led the Palestinian people’s struggle for their occupied lands. Lately, the Palestinian people democratically elected an Islamic political party Hamas to lead them in the struggle to defend their rights and advance their struggle for social justice.
Operating against any form of Palestinian resistance to occupation is the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), one of the most modern armies of the world, which does not only produce and export its weapons; MOSSAD, Israel’s intelligence and security agency, is considered one of the most ruthless intelligence organizations in the world, having assassinated many Palestinian resistance fighters in many parts of the world. All forms of resistance by Palestinians to occupation inside and outside of Israel have been branded as “terrorism” by both Israel and the United States.