Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another Holocaust !

By Saeed Qureshi

Israel is callously bombing the Gaza strip to, what they say; teach a lesson to Hamas for rocket and mortar fire at the Israeli territory adjacent to Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed while uncounted numbers have been injured. Israel intends to continue this brutal onslaught against the residents of Gaza whose majority is impoverished civilians. While America as usual has endorsed the Israeli raids, the world at large looks with agonizing indifference to the massacre of a segment of human race with the most modern weaponry.

There is trading of accusation between Israel and Hamas on breaking the June 2008 Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement. Hamas says Israel did not honor its commitments. Hamas blamed Israel for the end of the ceasefire, saying it had not respected its terms, including complete lifting of the blockade of Gaza to allow inflow of food and other necessities of life. Israel said it initially began easing the blockade, but this was suspended because of Hamas’s failure to end rocket fire and stopping weapons smuggling into Gaza. Israel maintains that the devastating aerial strikes were aimed at stopping Hamas from firing rockets towards Israel and posing a constant threat to the safety and peaceful life of its residents.

In an unprecedented and massive show of force, on December 27, in the first few minutes, 80 Israeli F-16 air-crafts and Apache helicopters dropped 100 tons of explosives on 100 targets in Gaza. The Israeli ground units numbering 175000 are waiting to launch the ground assault for occupation and continue the offensive. In four days air strikes that continue relentlessly, Israel is piling the dead bodies and the number of injured. There is complete panic and the entire Gaza strip looks like a war zone.

The Israeli war machine being used in the so called “Operation Cast lead”, almost equals to that of the American mobilization of troops and equipment against Iraq in 2003. But While Iraq is a big country with a vast area and a standing army, Gaza is a very small strip of land that can be over-run within hours. Hamas reportedly has only 20000 fighters which are woefully inadequate to even marginally match the Israeli war machine.

It defies the common sense as to how Israel could launch a ghastly offensive against an elected administration with such a stupendous fury and frenzy. Granted that Hamas was firing rockets but after the signing of June 2008 truce accord, the frequency of rockets had drastically decreased. Hamas was ready to halt the rocket firing completely if Israel had allowed the unhindered inflow of food and other commodities for the Gaza inhabitants who remained subject to a stifling blockade after January 2006 elections.

Hamas won the January 25, 2006 elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), by bagging 74 seats to the ruling-Fatah's 45, providing Hamas with the majority of the 132 available seats and the ability to form a majority government on their own. But in a shameful display of duplicity and double standards, the Hamas electoral victory through a genuine democratic process was not accepted both by US and Israel.

Hamas had to establish its authority through use of force and by wresting the control of Gaza strip from the American protégé Fatah headed by Mahmoud Abbas. To squeeze Hamas and cripple its administrative viability, Israel has been sealing borders with Gaza from time to time and disallowing all exports except only enough goods to avert a humanitarian or health crisis. Even after the signing of June 2008 agreement, the blockade was neither lifted entirely, nor were other conditions fulfilled by Israelies. As a result Hamas resumed its rocket attacks including the lifting of the blockade and allowing unhindered flow of goods to Gaza.

After savage bombing of Lebanon in July 2006, Israel has one against gone on a rampage in Gaza resulting in the massacre of human beings, with unabashed impunity and total disregard of global outrage and violation of all cannons of established morality and humanitarian considerations. If US cannot see the difference between the victim and the offenders then why should it blame those who killed 3000 human beings on the fateful day of 9/11? In the post June 2006 agreement, in all fairness Israel cannot be totally absolved of the infringement of the agreement. There was no earthly reason to subject the resident of Gaza to a blockade that nearly created conditions of starvation and degradation of living conditions to an abysmally low level.

The world at large and the standard bearers of the modern civilization in both east and west, south and north are watching with callous silence and folded hands the liquidation of a nation where blood of men, and women, young and old, children and adults is being shed like water. The Muslim world and the Islamic countries situated in the same region are as silent as cold stones. They are powerless despite possessing all the riches of the world. They don’t have the dignity and self respect and even the courage or the intentions to express their affiliation and solidarity with their own brethren of faith. Hamas may be opposed to their philosophy of life but after all they are at least human beings if their being Muslims is not a worthwhile consideration.

If by a miracle, Hamas like Hezbollah turns the tables against the Israel’s blitz , then within hours the Security Council, the OIC, the Arab League, the US, the Western Europe and the rest of the world would move earth and heaven for a truce and cessation of hostiles. Otherwise they would like to see with deliberate unconcern the genocide of a population and removal of a government that was elected to power by its own people through a democratic process.

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