Humanity is facing one of its darkest nights, where nightmares illuminate the tormented conscience of the living with faint gleams of light. Not all of us suffer from this affliction, but I dare to say it affects most of us. For the past two weeks, we have returned to the horrors of genocide. It is true that, in an imperialist system such as the one we live in, this is a recurrent practice. But very rarely does it occur on the massive scale we are seeing these days, bombing Gaza, the third city on the planet with the highest population density per square kilometer, behind Singapore and Hong Kong.
The number of Palestinians killed in these attacks has already surpassed 6,000 persons in Gaza, the majority of which are children, elderly individuals, and women, to which must be added over 100 Palestinians killed in the West Bank. But this figure certainly underestimates the number of casualties still lying under the rubble – impossible to remove for lack of adequate equipment and fuel – of numerous buildings of all kinds: homes, schools, temples, UN shelters, and hospitals attacked by the neo-Nazi Israeli regime.
In the Washington-hegemonized West, the prevalent opinion is that this brutal attack ordered by Netanyahu is the “justified response” to the “indiscriminate murder” of civilians committed by Hamas when it infiltrated occupied Palestinian territories. But this narrative completely overlooks that this action, however repudiatory it may have been, was a response to decades of continuous atrocities and human rights violations perpetrated, without interruption, by all Israeli governments and by an entity, which, by violating many UN Security Council resolutions, has become what is legally called “rogue”; an entity whose policies, as the remarkable Israeli journalist Gideon Levy recalled, led to the inhuman imprisonment of two million people for almost twenty years, overcrowded and deprived of regular supplies of water, food, electricity, medicines and the most elementary inputs required for a civilized life. Nothing good could come from such cruelty.
The history of this criminal ethnic cleansing goes back a long way. Let us recall that from the very establishment of “Israel”, its government destroyed a minimum of 500 Palestinian villages, provoking the beginning of an endless torrent of refugees – 800,000 in the first months – whose homes were demolished, their crops destroyed, and their lands stolen, and who were forced to abandon the land of their ancestors. As time went by, “Tel Aviv”, with the undisguised backing of the United States and most of the unworthy European governments, steadily pursued its policy of conquest and territorial theft. Some 700,000 settlers settled on lands belonging to Palestinian families with the full backing of the misnamed “Israeli Defense Forces,” which, in reality, are a brutal army of aggression and occupation of parts of neighboring countries. These settlers have nothing to do with the bucolic image spread by the corrupt press of the West, and it’s no less corrupt politicians and rulers. They are invaders, and groups that have permanent military training who are in possession of weapons of war, and permanently attack, mistreat, torture, and even kill Palestinians who dare to resist their dispossession under the complacent gaze of the Israeli authorities and security forces. This happens in an environment such as the occupied territories where almost 7 million Palestinians live, to which must be added almost 6 million more in the diaspora scattered around the world.
The United States, Great Britain, and France vetoed the Security Council’s proposal to declare a ceasefire in Gaza. This proposal had been submitted by Russia. The same happened with another proposal put forward the next day by Brazil. Clearly, “Israel” is embarked on a course that is very similar to the “final solution” proposed by Adolf Hitler to solve “the German problem”, namely, to exterminate all Jews. By a quirk of history, it is now the supposed representative of the Jewish people, “Israel”, which takes the place of the Nazi regime and adopts its criminal genocidal policy as its own. There is an outrageous parallel between the courageous resistance of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and that of the Palestinians in Gaza. Only the name of the lord of death changes: Hitler before, Netanyahu now.
A final note on the hypocrisy of the “Western democracies”, which criticize Hamas “terrorism” but beatifically close their eyes to the much more serious Israeli “state terrorism”. Not only that: these are the same governments, starting with that of the United States, that recruited the jihadist terrorists of Afghanistan, the Taliban; those of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) to try to destabilize or overthrow governments that were not to their liking in various parts of the world, primarily in Syria, Iraq and Libya. In other words, when these groups play for the empire and its minions, something amazing happens, and “terrorists” become virtuous “freedom fighters”. And those who have the audacity to oppose imperial oppression become ipso facto “terrorists”, even if their only weapon is words, as in the case of Heba Abu Nada, the Palestinian poetess, killed a couple of days ago in one of the recent bombings on Gaza, and whose poetry goes like this.
“The night in the city is dark, except for the glare of the missiles;
silent, except for the sound of bombing;
terrifying, except for the reassuring promise of prayer;
black, except for the light of the martyrs.
Atilio A. Boron