Devastating Gaza

Rudra Sen

Right now, over 2 million people, overwhelmingly non-combatants, are being held hostage by Israel which has imposed a complete siege of Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel and water, THREATENING TO STARVE EVERYONE IN GAZA TO DEATH! This comes on top of decades of crimes against the Palestinian people, starting with the terrorist ethnic cleansing of Palestine that drove a million people from their homes and homeland in 1948 when the state of Israel was established. It comes on top of Israel’s massive bombing and invasion, with US backing, in 2008-2009 and 2014 that killed thousands, destroyed water and sewage infrastructure, and has left much of Gaza in ruins. On top of a 15-year blockade that has deprived Palestinians locked down in Gaza of access to food, drinkable water, supplies to rebuild their bombed homes, schools and hospitals, and the ability to leave. And on top of a reign of official and “settler” terrorist ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Israel is not a democracy. The majority of the people who live under Israeli rule are Palestinian. Of the Palestinians living under Israeli rule, the vast majority of them are in the West Bank or Gaza, and are subject to military “justice”, not civilian courts. They do not have the right to vote in Israeli elections, although every aspect of their lives is controlled by Israel—whether they live or die, whether their homes are bulldozed or not, whether their fields are razed by settlers or they’re allowed to keep farming, it’s all up to Israel. When they say Israel is a democracy, they’re lying—blatantly, and daily. The State of Israel is literally built on, and exists on the basis of, indiscriminate violence and terrorism against the Palestinian people. In 1948, during the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe), almost a million Palestinians were forced from their land, villages and homes by terror, rape, and mass murder. To ensure that there would be nothing for the Palestinians to return to, their villages and even many olive and orange trees were thoroughly destroyed. This barbaric slaughter, and the ongoing terrorisation and murder of Palestinian people, was justified by the racist ideology of Zionism that dehumanises the Palestinian people.

This is the first time Palestinians, caged in the coastal enclave, have managed to inflict a significant strike against Israel vaguely comparable to the savagery Palestinians in Gaza have faced repeatedly since they were entombed in a cage more than 15 years ago, when Israel began its blockade by land, sea, and air in 2007. But, Israel has the most powerful missile defence system in the world, and a military with state-of-the-art death machinery including a substantial nuclear arsenal, enabled or provided by the U S. The people in Gaza are basically defenceless against air strikes and missile attacks. At its heart, the current war between Israel and Palestinian Gaza is ultimately “provoked” by Israel’s utterly unjust takeover of Palestine, the exile of most of its people, and Israel’s oppressive rule over the millions of Palestinian people who remained there. Hamas is a reactionary Islamist organisation, pursuing reactionary ends with reactionary, brutal means; yet the fact remains that Israel, and behind it the US, have done and continue every day to do the far greater damage, including robbing the Palestinian people of their homeland and their fundamental rights, and confining millions of them in the open-air prison that is Gaza.

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Vol 56, No. 21, Nov 19 - 25, 2023