Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Washington Parties As Palestinians Die


Carolyn Bennett

In the Twenty-Fourth Day Al Jazeera is reporting “Israeli troops and tanks were on the move on heading away from some key points in Gaza towards the border but it remained unclear whether they would withdraw completely from the Palestinian territory: …The Israeli military says it will not draw up a timetable to leave until rocket fire ceases and will not have a deadline dictated to them by Hamas: … ‘The operation is not over. This is only a holding of fire’.”

Zionist Israel took advantage of a gaping vacuum in Washington. Long armed and abetted by powerful U.S. officials bought by the Jewish lobby, Israel in twenty-four days tightened its noose around an already starved and terrorized people.

Israel hunted down human beings in camps and houses and schools; slaughtered women, men and children. Throughout the carnage interspersed with meaningless ceasefires, this U.S. proxy (Zionist Israel) dropped hundreds of mega-ton bombs and poisonous flesh-burning chemicals on a defenseless people. Israel’s government justified its crimes against humanity, its breaches of international law on a false claim of countering threat and defending its security—against a people incapable of mounting any threat against a nuclear-armed, Western-emboldened Occupier.

The crimes committed by this U.S. proxy in the current 24 days and extending more than 60 consecutive years have wiped out thousands of Palestinians, walled them in, destroyed their self-sufficiency, reduced them to dependency on handouts from aid organizations, cut off that aid in repeated blockades and random checkpoints, denied them the basics of life (food, water, safety, fuel, electricity, housing, employment and trade, education, operational government, freedom of movement); destroyed their land and the futures of their children.

In its latest atrocities¯with rabid impunity—U.S.-endorsed Israel has so intensified Middle East and Southwest Asia conflicts in blood--extending geographically, politically and psychologically from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Aden, across Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir/India to the Gulf of Bengal—that the people now celebrating in Washington cannot and will not begin to mend.

People of the world should be grieving the spilling of blood at the hand of Israel and America. Instead they are staging an orgy of excess as the world’s people, including in Palestine, starve and die. There is indeed a gaping vacuum: a vacuum in good governance and moral leadership buttressed by a continuing callousness coming out of Washington.

As Washington parties, the heads of several European nations (including, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Czech Republic), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are in Egypt trying to broker a permanent ceasefire in the war on Gaza. But as some thinkers have pointed out¯it is going to take more than a ceasefire to repair and restore more than 60 years of Israeli and Western tyranny and crimes against humanity.

It is unclear to me where the needed intelligence and independence, skill, fair-mindedness and moral stature will come from¯the kind of presence that is capable of and willing to earn trust on all sides in conflict and move cooperatively with nations, factions and leaders through nonviolence and negotiation toward justice and peaceful coexistence.

Estimated Costs at Day 24

Palestinians killed (estimated): 1,300 (including more
than 400 children, more than 100 women)
Civilians killed: 1,099
Israelis killed: 13 (including three civilians)

Palestinians injured (estimated): 5,300-6,000 (including nearly
1,900 children, 800 women
Depleted uranium traces of found in
some Gaza residents wounded in Israel’s ground offensive

Mental health disorders are one of the largest and least acknowledged health problems
threatening the besieged children in Gaza. An estimated 50 percent of Gaza children need mental health interventions. Among their reported mental illnesses are: fear, anorexia, insomnia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), night terror, parasomnias, nocturia (night-time urination) and pavor nocturnes are among the many psychological effects the 18-month Israeli blockade has had on the children of Gaza.

Disease epidemics (warned) because of bodies lying several weeks old, sewage flowing over many areas because infrastructure destruction

People displaced (estimated): 100,000 (forced from their homes)
Palestinian economy loss: at least $1.6 billion.
Buildings destroyed: 4,000 residential buildings (estimated)
Buildings damaged: 16,000 other houses