By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS
Berkeley–Very often the media takes up a story as â€œsexy,â€ and then drops it from their â€œradarâ€ when the media judges it to be no longer to be of active interest for their target audience, even though a good deal of the public are still wondering what has happened to the issue. Well, much has happened to Gaza since the Jewish blitzkrieg through Gaza ended last month, and I, as a journalist, intend to keep going back as a venomous Gila Monster in the American Southwest and Northern Mexican hangs onto his attacker with his venomous fangs to keep my readerâ€™s consciousness focused on the subject and its aftermath as they should be.
About the most momentous event since the truce (which seems near failure) since it has been broken several times by the Israeli army, are the Israeli elections and the right-wing Likud leader, Benjamin Netanyahu has been asked to forming a government. He has pledged to wipe out Gaza, and to expand Settlements on the West Bank. On the other hand, the U.N. (United Nations) has been asked by Tehran to expel Tel Aviv from the General Assembly!
Few relief supplies have been permitted through the borders by either the Muslim-dominated Egypt or the Jewish State, also, to relieve the haggard denizens of the Strip. During the middle of February a fact-finding delegation from the British Parliament were beleaguered by Israeli military thugs. The chair of the delegation was quoted â€œIt was a bit weird to be hassled by another country when entering a [sovereign] nation.â€ A similar event occurred when an American Congressional deputation visited post-War Gaza.
About a month and one-half ago, a program on Gaza was presented off campus in this city. My criticism of the agenda was that it lacked the (academic) rigors of the campus assembly on the following day that I reported as â€œGaza under Siegeâ€ printed here not many weeks ago. I must denounce the knee-jerk radicalism of Berkeleyâ€™s hoi po loi, and their Americo-centric prejudices. The two Muslim Arabs were quite perceptive plus one American who has worked extensively in the area, and I shall consider their quotes quite carefully. The others I shall gloss over.
The organizer of the event called this an â€œemergencyâ€ meeting. â€œAn emergency is a situation that demands immediate action!â€ Americans are stuck in an illusion. â€We are demanding that the slaughter in Gaza to stop,â€ but we in the American public are only accumulating misconceptions!
I gave an account of the Palestinian-American Professor Hatem Bazian of U.C. (University of California at) Berkeley comments in my previously mentioned article. The Gaza crisis began considerably before December 28th last. The prior Truce was violated by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) on November 4th, 2008.
Israeli and/or U.S. State Department press releases dominate the American dialogue on what was the old Mandate of Palestine. There is a new campaign for the Middle East promoted by the United States, Israel and their â€œfranchisesâ€ (the â€œmoderateâ€ Arab States) to corner the regionâ€™s resources. The District of Columbia is enabling a classic â€œdivide and conquerâ€ between the Shia and Sunnis as a mechanism to force the Arabs, Persians and Central Asian Turks to sell the West their oil at a reasonable price.
â€œIsrael acts as an advance â€˜aircraft carrierâ€™ for the U.S.A.,â€ but, at the same time, Israel may possess different objectives from North America.
Curiously, though, Tel Avivâ€™ myth of strategic invincibility was severely damaged by their defeat over Galilee by Hezbollah (and Iran technologyâ€™s) missiles in their 2004 War.
Unfortunately, the major Israeli Parties all appealed strongly to the (illegal) Settlerâ€™s vote. On this side of the Atlantic, â€œObama isnâ€™t going to fight against Israel or AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee].â€ (An AmerIndian speaker, Tony Gonzalez, called it â€œObama Romanizationâ€) which has swept the young and the idealistic off their feet.
The minor local politician (former Afro-American Oakland City Councilman and the son of a past Mayor), Wilson Riles, Jr., said â€œWe have to listen to what Hamas is saying,â€ but he equates a Fourth World country to the problems of the U.S.! â€œWe got to move againstâ€¦structures in this community.â€ At least, â€œWe have to commit to Palestineâ€¦,â€ and, further â€œâ€¦We must [do our] researchâ€¦â€ of course. Further, there was a Black minister who reacted with the correct moral outrage, â€œI feel the pain and outrage from what has happened!â€ Yet it was his pain from afar and not the outrage of the victims themselves. He does talk of the accusations of â€œanti-Semitismâ€ for those who defend the Palestinian people. He declared that we must not cringe from the charge: â€œSilence is unthinkableâ€¦â€ Ultimately, though he goes back to the accountability of the American government (for which they unarguably possess and hold responsibility).
Denis Bernstein a supposed â€œinvestigative reporterâ€ for the local Pacifica radio outlet (KPFA) felt â€œIt is time to end the savagery to these people!â€ Agreed, but â€œIt [also] is time for a one State solution!â€ [Sic!]
Larry Everest who seemed to come from an â€œOld Leftâ€ perspective, and was of (anti-Zionist Jewish) heritage was, also, in favor of a one-State solution, but this would be where the Palestinians would dominate in a way similar to M.K. Gandhiâ€™s envisioning on the â€œJewish Problemâ€ published in a seventy-year old issue of his Harijan, and republished on these pages quite some time ago, â€œIsrael is a Settler Colonial Stateâ€¦a garrison State for [U.S.] Imperialism!â€ I think this is an over simplification of agency, and absolves Tel Aviv in its lack of morality where the U.S. is more than the enabler par excellence that makes it possible for the hand of the doer to enact the deed. The truth is that the â€œevilâ€ can be stopped in either in D.C. or in Judah itself. Bazian pointed out previously above in this piece that the policies of the two oppressor allies do diverge.
Much of the rhetoric that night was polemic, and was direct more against the American State than the Modern Israeli nation who decided to devour Gaza for their objectives of a greater Israel. Our guilt lies in giving them the weapons et al., and that has to stop!
Paul Larudee, whose project to relieve the Gazans by sea was written up by me twice in these pages, stated that â€œPalestine is made to suffer because they are not Jews.â€
He notes how the State of Israel has expanded the definition of Jewishness to allow more potential Settlers within as citizens; therefore, he sarcastically, avers â€œWhy not make the Palestinians Jews!â€ I am not sure of the taste of his suggestion, but Palestine is, also, a geographical â€œneighborhood,â€ and all who live within should be considered Palestinian (again, back to the â€œMahatmaâ€™sâ€ 1938 essay), and that would include the Jews as in the pre-Partition Ottoman Province.
He believes racism is the core of the problem. I would argue that it is not racism since they belong to the same race, but Sectarianism.
Hisham Ahmed is a blind Palestinian-American Professor at a small (San Francisco) Bay Area Roman Catholic College who was raised in a refugee camp located near Jerusalem.
â€œIsrael had unleashed a savage attack upon Gazaâ€¦ [and the Gazans] had to stand up! Before the onslaught a Cabinet Minister from the Knesset remarked â€œâ€¦We have to start a holocaust on Gaza!â€ This is a â€œ…act of sadism!â€ As my readers know, and Ahmed re-emphasizes, Gaza has been under a total blockade for years. Although Dr. Hisham is a critic of Hamas, he attests that they had upheld their part of the prior treaty. The West bank is hell, too. They wish to â€œâ€¦destroy our will to resist,â€ but their PR (Public Relations; i.e., propaganda) has failed! â€œâ€¦Israel is uglyâ€¦Egypt is sitting on a volcanoâ€¦â€ which can only lead to lead to international instability! Before proceeding to sanctions, he suggests a legal campaign from granting visa to Israeli officials from entering the United States. â€œThe fall of Palestine is real,â€ but independence is near!
Laudree, Baziam and Ahmed were excellent, and the evening was well worth while, but many of the other speakers lacked a deep understanding of the dire Palestinian predicament. As Americans on the extreme Left, Palestine was a cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre for them to help produce paradigm shift of power within the United States. Anyone who is aware of the history of Colonialism in the Nineteenth Century is well familiar that a few of the radical movements within the Metropolis (the Imperial homeland) were ultimately unsupportive of the Colonials themselves for fear of damaging their domestic privileges. Few of our mainstream American speakers understood Middle Eastern realities!