One wishes the UN commission that reported on Israel’s Operation Ethnic Cleansing (Protective Edge) last summer was just inept & politically stupid instead of dishonest & malignant. Then the members could walk away from the report with some of their dignity still intact. Apparently they don’t realize that photojournalism combined with social media to alter the quotient of propaganda to truth & you can no longer fool all the people all the time. The boycott of Israel called by Palestinians & the massive international solidarity movement have entered history on the side of Palestinians & the truth is out.
Palestinians are expected to be grateful for the empty gesture–like Pope Francis saying a Hail Mary at the apartheid wall & the UN & European parliaments passing resolutions endorsing Palestinian bantustates–called “Palestinian statehood.” So when the UN acknowledges in the report what the entire world witnessed, that which is irrefutable, Palestinians & their supporters are supposed to herald it as a step forward, a partial victory, a big deal for justice. How about calling a spade a spade & telling the UN to stick their report where the sun don’t shine?
Let’s just take a look at methodology: the commission admits Israel denied them access to Gaza for inspection or to personally interview Palestinians who endured 51 days of carpet bombing. Interviewing of selected people was done by Skype. There were a lot of charges made by Israel to justify bombing schools, refugee centers, hospitals, mosques, entire residential areas. So wouldn’t on-site inspection be essential? If they don’t want to take the word of Palestinians, did they at least interview the Israeli soldier & veteran group named Breaking the Silence who published extensive testimony about the Israeli military’s indifference to human life & property in Gaza?
Operation Ethnic Cleansing was not addressed within the context of the Israeli blockade of Gaza or occupation of the West Bank & East Jerusalem. Any commission with an ounce of integrity would consider the blockade to be of the very essence of the Israeli siege & not just an irrelevant by the by. But integrity is the very thing this report lacks.
The fatal flaw of this piece of rubbish/propaganda however is the sleazy attempt to efface distinctions between Israeli ethnic cleansing & superior military power & that of paramilitary outfits in Gaza, like Hamas. Under the heading of “Rocket & mortar attacks” from Gaza, the report states “Between 7 July & 26 August 2014, Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets & 1,753 mortars towards Israel, killing six civilians & injuring as many as 1,600 people, including 270 children.” How does the commission explain the discrepancy between those figures & other UN reports that 66 Israeli soldiers were killed & three civilians, including one child, with no mention of injuries? And how many of those rockets & mortars actually got past the Israeli Iron Dome system & landed in Israel? Because if the Iron Dome isn’t working, then the Pentagon ought to stop bankrolling it.
In the heading “Tunnels,” the report says the Israeli military found 32 tunnels, 14 of which extended beyond the apartheid barrier around Gaza into Israel. This caused “great anxiety” among Israelis, the commission said, for fear Palestinian commandoes meant them harm. Can the UN suggest other means for Palestinians to defend themselves against the blockade & after repeated aerial bombardments by Israel? Can the UN even confirm the existence of all those tunnels–or are they taking Israel’s word on it? Presumably those tunnels didn’t extend into the hills of Sderot, Israel where residents exhibited no anxiety at all but gathered in easy chairs to wave Israeli flags & cheer on ethnic cleansing in Gaza.
Enough with the half-measures & empty gestures when it comes to Palestinian justice. Enough with the rubbish/propaganda that passes for investigation. It’s of interest that five countries abstained on the vote (India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay, Macedonia) & only the US voted no. So many questions are raised by that vote. How can anyone who supports Palestinians also support Obama? How can anyone who supports justice support Modi?
(Photo of Gaza which is proof of war crimes was taken August 27, 2014 by Suhaib Salem/Reuters)