4 January 2009
The Gaza strip is 360 square kilometers in size with a population approaching 1.5 million people, over 60% of whom are under the age of fourteen. By comparison, London is 1,706 square km, or 4.7 times the size of the Gaza Strip.
Since 27 December, 2008 the Gaza Strip has been subjected to intense aerial bombardment with the most powerful weapons on the planet, all of which have been supplied by the United States: F-16s, Apache helicopter gunships, thermobaric bombs, remote-guided missile equipped drones. Hundreds of tons of bombs and missiles have been dropped on the most densely packed place on Earth
And this on top of the complete blockade that has denied the Palestinians the most basic of necessities of life.
And now, in an attempt to finish off Palestinian resistance following an intense artillery bombardment, this benighted land has been invaded.
Yet judging by the Western media coverage, you would think that Israelis have been killed in their hundreds by Hamas rockets. The BBC, true to its mandate as willing and complicit propagandist for Israel told its online readers:
“Israeli ground forces are battling Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip, after Israel stepped up its operation to try to halt rocket attacks by militants.” — — ‘Israeli troops clash with Hamas’, BBC Website, 4 January, 2008.
Battling Hamas? By killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians, blowing up hospitals, mosques and destroying what’s left of the Gaza Strip after starving the inhabitants into submission? This is battling Hamas? The BBC headline neatly sidesteps the reality by hammering home that it’s all about Hamas.
To the obscenity that is the state of Israel has to be added the obscenity that is the BBC.
The New York Times, in virtual lockstep with its BBC counterpart, told its readers:
“While a ground war in densely populated Gaza is likely to increase the civilian toll there, the Israeli Army also faces new threats. Since seizing control of the territory a year and a half ago, Hamas has been able to smuggle in more and better weapons. Its more sophisticated arsenal has been on display in recent weeks, and even under heavy fire the group has shown its ability to keep hitting Israeli cities with long-range rockets.”— ‘Israeli Troops Launch Attack on Gaza’, the New York Times, 4 January, 2008
Thus an invasion by the fourth biggest army on the planet of one of the smallest and defenceless ‘nations’ on the planet is described as trying to halt rocket attacks by Hamas, rockets that have so far, killed four Israelis.
Thus the mythology, that the destruction of the people of Palestine is all about destroying Hamas is complete. And Israel, a technologically advanced state, a Western nation planted in the heart of the Middle East, plays the role of victim!
“Within Israel, a new video-on-demand channel will launch over the weekend on the HOT cable network carrying nothing but IDF footage from the fighting. Even Israel’s major cellular companies, Pelephone, Cellcom and Orange, will begin offering the army footage over 3G cell phones in the coming days.
“’The army is creating, initiating, thinking ahead. We have photographers embedded in all the units preparing to enter Gaza, and we already have incredible footage that we are planning to release [if] we go in,’
“IDF spokespeople are in direct real-time communication with journalists and offer quiet background briefings to Israeli officials, media and foreign reporters.” — ‘Spokesman’s Unit hails ‘fair’ coverage’, Jerusalem Post, 2 January, 2008 [my emph. Ed]
By contrast, Palestinian communications networks have been ‘neutralized’:
“I would like to inform everyone that Paltel Infrastructure is severely damaged in Gaza, all means of communication with the Gaza Strip will be highly affected and may [be] totally cut of; this will include PALTEL, Hadara and Jawwal Mobile services. We are experiencing, Loss of Fuel, infrastructure damage by missiles, towers hit by rockets…Our technical Staff are unable to fix the damages due to the delicate situation especially after the death of 3 employees while on duty, and dozens hurt from shrapnels. Our teams are working around the clock, to maintain the service and keep the communications up with Gaza.” — ‘Telco Infrastructure in Gaza Severely Damaged’, 4 January, 2008
The war, if that’s what it can be called as in reality it’s remote-controlled slaughter, is as much a propaganda war in true Goebellian fashion, a war that is being conducted in the homes of the so-called developed world through the electronic and print media. For without the complicity of our political class and state/corporate media in this atrocity, surely we as a people would not permit the genocide of an entire people in our name.
Trying to cover this abomination severely tests my ability to stay calm, so perhaps the final word needs to come from the Palestinians themselves:
“As the savagery of Zionism continues, there is no room for equating the victim with the victimizer, and there is no role for those who spread hate and false information about our people. They must be exposed for what they are: obedient servants to their funders and keepers. At the very least, they must not speak for us.” — ‘Yousef Abudayyeh – Duty as a Community and a People’, Palestine Think Tank, 3 January, 2008.
For background see Michel Chossudovsky’s ‘The Invasion of Gaza: “Operation Cast Lead”, Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Strategic Agenda