Israeli dissent: ‘Israel is like the abused child who grows up to be the abuser.’
By Elizabeth Molchany
The 1967 war between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria was born of a lie that Israel had to wage a pre-emptive attack to defend itself, much as George Bush said the US had to wage a pre-emptive attack against Iraq because it had weapons of mass destruction.
Declassified documents in recent years of statements by Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan reveal the contrary. Since then, in violation of more than 100 UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions, not to mention the international standard of unlawful aggression the US held Iraq to as justification for the first Gulf War in 1991, Israel has retained control of the Occupied Territories it captured in 1967 and committed numerous atrocities reported in its own media, to which the US is complicit in its American-made, Americanpaid DC9 Caterpillars, F16s, and Apache helicopters, among other weapons.
The Occupied Territories includes the Gaza Strip, a small 25 x 6 mile area bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, inhabited by 1.5 million Palestinians, 20 percent of whom and their forefathers have lived there for centuries. Eighty percent are refugees created when 750,000 Palestinians were forced or fled in fear from their homes in what is now Israel in April 1948, before the first Arab-Israeli war. They and their forefathers had lived there for 1600 years since the 7th century.
For 42 years, Israel has had tight control over Gaza, making it the world’s largest prison. No one may leave or enter without an Israeli permit. When its troops left in 2005, Israel left 44 acres of massive rubble when it demolished Jewish-only housing rather than leave it for the Gazans to use as an act of good faith since it had illegally occupied the land so long.
But Israel retained control of Gaza’s air, land, and sea, and the money they earn on produce and other products, and imposed a blockade on food, fuel, water, electricity, medicine, even ink and paper and parts and supplies necessary for a viable economy.
Because of this, thousands of Palestinians are starving, hopeless, and helpless. It is the middle of winter, they are freezing and without fuel, food or money. In an open and democratic election in 2005, Hamas was elected.
Hamas has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist based on Israel’s refusal to accept the existence of a Palestinian state and their rights to human dignity, freedom and security. Despite this, Hamas immediately offered Israel a 10-year ceasefire and acceptance of a 2-state solution if Israel would agree to return to the 1967 borders. Israel refused. Hamas abided by its own 18-month unilateral truce.
In June 2008, Hamas and Israel agreed to a 6-month truce during which Israel was to relax its blockade.
Israel immediately breached that part, and would not even allow Gazans to fish within 3 miles of their own coast without a permit, stringently enforced.
On November 4, Israel again breached the truce by entering Gaza, killing 6 Palestinians, and sealing the borders, denying food and all necessities, foreign journalists and dignitaries, including President Carter. On Dec 27, Israel launched its massive assault despite the fact that not one Israeli had died during the past year from a Qassam Rocket. Hamas responded with its only weapons, Qassam Rockets, killing 4 Israelis. Since Israel’s attack with American weapons, hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, 3,000 wounded, and their entire infrastructure destroyed or seriously damaged, including homes, the American school, the university, dormitories, stores, markets, fishing boats, the Gaza mental heath center. This massacre, planned six months in advance, is not about Hamas or rockets but about Israel’s upcoming elections and denying the right of a Palestinian state. On January 14, nine Israeli human rights organizations issued a letter stating that “This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes.” http://www.btselem.org/English/ See its accompanying report on “The Humanitarian Collapse in the Gaza Strip.”
Had Israel wanted peace, it would have returned the occupied territories to the Palestinians, the rightful owners under international law; it would have accepted the Saudi peace initiatives offered in 2002 and 2007, which all 21 Arab states signed, recognizing Israel and offering it permanent peace in return for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in 1967, establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees.
Please do not rely on the mainstream US media – you will not find the truth there. Research the alternative media on the Internet and other sources, such as Link and Free Speech TV’s “Democracy Now” daily news show, online sources such as Jewish Voices for Peace, the Electronic Intifada, or England’s print media The Independence and The Observer, which are also available online, as are the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, and Israeli organizations such “Gush Shalom,” “B’tselem” and “Breaking the Silence: Israeli Soldiers Talk About the Occupied” – the latter at www.shovrimshtika.org/index_e.asp
As one Israeli conscientious objector recently stated in a “Democracy Now” interview after being released from prison, “At least in Israel there is debate over the actions of the right-wing government, in the US you don’t even get that.”
Elizabeth Molchany is an attorney in private practice in Front Royal, VA. Ms. Molchany is a long-time student of the crisis in the Middle East. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org