Is the US complicit in the Gazan tragedy?

In October 2023, the Hamas terrorist organization launched an attack into Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing and capturing a thousand or more Israeli citizens. The Israeli government, quite rightly, launched a response aimed at recovering the captives. Almost five months later, the operation is still ongoing, but in excess of a hundred citizens are still captive in the rubble of the Gaza Strip.

At the time, again quite understandably, there was a media blitz covering the action, and largely supportive of Israel and its armed response, while expressing less concern for the vast majority of ordinary, peace loving Palestinians caught up in the violence. I made a post on this blog to try and add some historical perspective to the plight of Gazans. Within 24 hours I received a Comment that was, in my view, quite personally offensive, demanding I withdraw the post. I responded by politely refusing to do so, clarified again my reasons for posting, and made it clear that the post was in no way anti-Semitic (as had been claimed in the Comment) and apologised to the individual who I had offended. Although there was no further response, within a further 24 hours I received a mail from the Vivaldi moderators requesting that, in response to a complaint received, I needed to edit the post and include my sources for the “facts” I had referred to, or else delete the post. I happily made an edit to comply with the request, but left the post in place. I have heard nothing further.

The following post covers the situation as it stands now, almost half a year on. To be clear: I still condemn unreservedly the Hamas actions of October 7, and accept Israel’s right of response – that is, a proportionate response. Hamas remains a terrorist organisation. I reiterate I am not anti-Semitic, nor for that matter pro-Islamist and unAmerican. However, I firmly believe that what is happening in Gaza (and elsewhere in the neighbourhood) has gone way too far, and this post details my reasons and what, in my view, should and could happen over the coming months. This is a personal view, and I don’t expect that hordes of people will share it – although I do anticipate there will be those who do, probably many. There is no intention to offend the people of Israel or America: I have both Jewish and American friends and have worked in both countries extensively. But I believe there are truths here that need to be said, and I stand by them. And my right to express them.

I do wish the media would stop using the term “Israel – Gaza War” – it is NOT a war, it’s a slaughter. 

With a war, generally, both sides are more or less equal in terms of armaments, forces and perceived objectives. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a war (of aggression, prompted by one sovereign state invading a neighbouring sovereign state).  No-one could suggest that is the case in the Israel – Gaza conflict because Gaza has no sovereignty. Hamas committed an awful terrorist attack, and has rightly been condemned for doing so. 

Israel’s response, however, is anything but proportionate, no matter what that state’s government might say. There have been around 1,200 Israeli deaths, and 253 citizens captured (some of whom have now been released by Hamas) according to press reports. In Gaza, there have been almost 30,000 deaths and over 70,000 injured by Israeli forces. These numbers are widely quoted by international aid agencies and the UN, with the death toll typically flagged as “according to the Hamas controlled health authority”: a claim I find hard to accept. And that ignores the tens of thousands, on both sides, who have been killed or injured over the past 75 years of conflict. Where is the condemnation for that?  

The Israeli actions have spread to the West Bank, legally Palestinian territory according to international law and the UN but illegally occupied by Israel, and neighbouring Lebanon, allegedly because of links between Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement that has had no proven link to the October attacks.  The prospect of an escalation across the entire region exists. Where is the condemnation for that?

And yet Netanyahu, buoyed up by billions of dollars in US military aid, insists “only the total destruction” of Hamas will end the war. He has given no hint as to how this will be achieved, and ignores the fact that his continuing military campaign is probably acting as a recruitment tool for Hamas. Gaza is now awash with orphaned and traumatized young men, their families dead or missing, still under daily bombardment – and some may well join Hamas hoping to exact some form of revenge for their losses. The only way there can be a “total destruction” of Hamas, it seems to me, is by the total destruction of the Palestinian people themselves – including the innocent men, women and children who do not support Hamas at all. In other words, genocide.  South Africa and other African allies took a complaint to the UN Security Council alleging precisely that, and made compelling allegations of daily war crimes by Israeli forces.  The UNSC found largely in South Africa’s favour and requested a “humanitarian pause”, but stronger wording and action was abandoned due to the US refusing to support a full and unequivocal condemnation.

This is Netanyahu’s aim, and has been all along, in every term of office he has enjoyed. Israel, clearly, continues to flout every UN Resolution trying to end this conflict, every call for a ceasefire to provide desperately needed humanitarian aid, and yet the US continues to support the regime. It is an obscenity. The US is complicit in daily war crimes and murder by a state actor. 

President Biden should stop every cent of military aid to Israel today. Not a cent more until and unless Israel removes its forces from Gaza. Not a cent more until and unless there is a detailed, negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinian authorities that provides the latter with statehood, and the freedoms that go with statehood. Achieve that, and there will be no need for Hamas or any other active terrorist organisation to exist there. The people will be able to govern themselves instead of being penned up in what amounts to the biggest open prison-cum-killing ground in the region, arguably in the world. Right now, they have precious little food, precious few medical supplies, no hope and no freedom.

But I am NOT holding my breath for that, for the US completely lacks a moral compass when it comes to Middle Eastern affairs – indeed, any foreign affairs, unless there is financial gain to be had. Should Mr. Trump get re-elected (God forbid!), the situation will only get worse, globally.  He has already openly voiced anti-NATO sentiments, even during his term of Office, and his Republican acolytes in Congress are blocking a further aid package to Ukraine that, combined with his latest inflammatory and deranged comments, essentially sends a message to Putin that he can carry on with his war without US interference.  How long before the US also withdraws its sanctions package against the Russian regime too?  The day after a Trump Inauguration, perhaps?  And yet that same Congress continues to pump military aid into Israel to prolong this slaughter….. Forgive me, but that also seems obscene to me.

These are dangerous times indeed!  


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