Some thoughts on Israel’s latest murderous campaign

From a protest in Atlanta during Operation Protective Edge, 2014
  • There isn’t a single American politician willing to meaningfully oppose Israel. Tweets, fiery floor speeches, and letters of condemnation don’t count. There’s nothing stopping these virtue-signaling liars from forming a coalition like the spineless SALT Caucus members did in defense of their corporate masters. At the very least, can we get a unified call for all Americans to support BDS? Until someone actually does something of substance, we shouldn’t take what they say seriously. And yes, I am including the Squad in this broad stroke.
  • As many have pointed out, Palestinians across historic Palestine are more unified against Israel than at any other time in recent memory. Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the 2018-2019 Great March of Return, notes that a key difference between now and Israeli offensives in the past is that Palestinians demanded a response to Israeli aggression from Hamas. And for the first time in decades, millions of Palestinians across occupied Palestine participated in a general strike. Some have compared this historic strike to the Land Day Protest on March 30, 1976. Then, Palestinians also unified and launched a general strike in response to Israel announcing that it was going to steal large swaths of Palestinian land.
  • As ceasefire talks occur between Israel and Hamas, let’s not forget how little regard Israel has for ceasefires. It has a long history of breaching them. The report I just linked only represents the most prominent examples. There are perhaps 100+ other instances. A particularly egregious example happened in 2014. Israel violated a ceasefire minutes after it went into effect by bombing and murdering an 8-year-old Palestinian girl. It is thus not unreasonable for one to automatically assume that any ceasefire Hamas and Israel reaches will be violated in due time by the Israelis.
  • Over 72,000 Palestinians have fled their homes amidst Israel’s latest murderous campaign. The majority have sought refuge in the 58 UNRWA schools across Gaza. There are already reports of strikes very close to the schools. One can’t blame these internal refugees if they don’t feel the safest in these schools. In 2014, Israel murdered 45 people, including 17 children, in three separate attacks on three different UN schools across Gaza. Of course, there was no reasonable or lawful justification for such attacks. I fear that this will happen again.
  • Much attention is being rightfully directed toward deaths and injuries from Israel’s criminal bombings. We should also pay close attention to another important goal of Israel’s bombing campaign: further decimating civilian infrastructure in the Gaza strip and historic Palestine. According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel has destroyed 156 buildings comprised of 672 housing and commercial units. Israel has damaged 50 educational facilities, including 2 kindergartens. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reports that Israel is bombing large tracts of open farmlands in an attempt to eliminate the capacity to produce food and other important crops. Government properties, banks, mosques, and paved road networks are also being obliterated. Already having been on the brink of collapse for a long time, the healthcare system in Gaza isn’t being spared from Israeli bombing. OCHA reports that 6 hospitals and 11 primary healthcare centers have been damaged, including one hospital that is not even operational because of lack of electricity. Like all humans, Palestinians need access to clean water to survive. Israel seems determined to make sure that access is severely limited. It has bombed Gaza’s electrical network, reducing average power supply to 3-4 hours per day, and thus causing severe reductions in water supply and sanitation. The Palestinian Water Authority reports that regular water supply has fallen by more than 40 percent as a result. OCHA estimates that 800,000 people lack regular access to safe piped water.

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