News from the War of Choice: Gaza Links for 18 January 2009

This is just a quick listing of some items I have been reading that I think are worth passing on.

Via Global Voices Online, 12 Jan. 2009: “From Italy to Palestine: Vittorio Arrigoni writes from Gaza“: “Vittorio Arrigoni is an Italian human rights activist who is currently in Gaza, one of a number of activists who arrived with the Free Gaza movement. Vittorio (Vik) blogs at Guerrilla Radio [it], and also writes for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. His posts vividly describe what the people of Gaza are experiencing right now.”

See: Guerrilla Radio –

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Via Arabisto, 16 Jan. 2009, “Hamas, Israel and the Needless War,” by Dr. Aref Assaf — an effective recounting of the events, and the distorted representations of those events, that led up to Israel proclaiming justification for attacking Gaza.

The war against Gaza was never about “Hamas rockets.” Aside from the fact that Hamas does not personally sign its munitions (good taste, which the Israelis should emulate) and many different organizations launched missiles at Israel, the Israeli government has admitted that the ceasefire with Hamas was holding, there were no rockets fired by Hamas, and Israel nonetheless went ahead and violated the ceasefire on November 4, 2008. This was not in response to any targeting of Israeli civilians. Israel chose to selectively back date its justifications to Hamas rocket fire from a mere few days before the December 27, 2008, assault on Gaza. Most mass media and comments from political leaders in the West took it at face value that Hamas was the villain, and that the central issues was Hamas’ rockets even when their own UN relief workers on the ground in Gaza were telling them that the situation was quite different.

This was another war of choice, cynically waged for political reasons, against a crowded mass of impoverished Arabs, the vast majority of whom died the way they lived: as noncombatants. That Israel has been let off the hook by the so-called “international community” manifests the degree to which Islamophobia and basic racist assumptions inform media narratives and political discourse at the level of the state in the West. Of course Osama Bin Laden was quick to exploit the situation: virtually every point he has ever made of the West and Israel and the suffering of Arabs has been validated.

For those who need a reminder that this war was not about Hamas rockets, see the following:

Israeli Government Spokeman admits: Israel broke the ceasefire, no Hamas rockets

CNN “fact checks” Israeli ceasefire violation

The more important point we risk missing is that Israel itself is a violation, a product of imperialist decision making that that created a new European colony in the Middle East, at the expense of those who were already there and already living on the land. As one of the purest and ugliest forms of colonialism alive today, there is no Israeli ceasefire, unilateral or otherwise, that can change this. This current, unilateral, Israeli ceasefire — matched by Hamas’ own — will end, and the carnage will resume. Western governments, shrill over Mugabe, or fawning over Obama’s inauguration, will show the appropriate indifference when the victims are Arabs.

But we always knew that the international state system was racist, correct?

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For an excellent series of posts on Gaza and the Middle East, see:

Beyond the Fringe


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3 thoughts on “News from the War of Choice: Gaza Links for 18 January 2009

  1. joeland7

    Comment sent to Rabbi Donniell Hartman concerning Israel justification for invading Gaza: Question: Are you really a Jew? Or did your people convert to Judaism? Are you of the seed of Abraham? If so how? Are you of the seed of Ashkenaz, or Magog? Are you a Zionist or a member of Judaism? Why do you support atheistic Zionist? How can you claim a land that your ancestors never lived? Why do you continue to perpetuate the lie that Palestine belong to the Jews? The people of the world are not stupid.

  2. Pingback: On which planet does the Associated Press live? « OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY

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