No ceasefire in Palestine

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Occupation Views: 3562

Despite last year's much-hyped Israel pullout from Gaza, its occupation actually never ended. The New York Times quoted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert," We will operate, enter and pullout as needed." What is now happening in Gaza begins with the election of Hamas back in January this year, when the United States and Israel decided to punish the Palestinian people to exercise their democratic right to choose freely as they wish. 

Even more extreme, as Noam Chomsky observes, is the situation in the West Bank, where Olmert plans to annex "the valuable lands, most of the resources, including water" and "cantonizing the rest and imprisoning it, since he also announced that Israel would take over the Jordan Valley." This steady takeover, "if it continues, is just the murder of a nation, the end of Palestine."

The prevailing assumption for Israelis and most Americans, Gideon Levy writes in Ha'aretz, is that "the Palestinians started it." " 'They started' will be the routine response to anyone who tries to argue, for example, that a few hours before the first Qassam fell on the school in Ashkelon, causing no damage, Israel sowed destruction at the Islamic University in Gaza. Israel is causing electricity blackouts, laying sieges, bombing and shelling, assassinating and imprisoning, killing and wounding civilians, including children and babies, in horrifying numbers, but 'they started it'."

Now alongside the calamitous situation in Lebanon, a humanitarian crisis is developing in Palestine. It is caused by the U.S. and Israeli-orchestrated international sanctions, in the misguided hope that it would lead to public anger against Hamas causing its overthrow. 

The UN organizations working in Gaza have expressed grave alarm. They are "alarmed by developments on the ground, which have seen innocent civilians, including children killed, brought increased misery to hundreds of thousands of people, and which will wreck far-reaching harm on Palestinian society. An already alarming situation in Gaza, with poverty rates at nearly eighty percent and unemployment at forty percent, is likely to deteriorate rapidly, unless immediate and urgent action is taken."

UNWRA, which cares for 980,000 Palestinian refugees, believes "Gaza is on the brink of a public health disaster." The WHO states, "The public health system is facing an unprecedented crisis." It estimates that 23% of the essential drug list will be out of stock within one month. The World Food Program estimates that "in June 70% of the Gaza population were already unable to cover their daily food needs without assistance." And UNICEF states, " Children in Gaza are living in an environment of extraordinary violence, insecurity, and fear... The ongoing fighting is hurting children psychologically. Caregivers say children are showing signs of distress and exhaustion ... due to shelling and sonic booms." 

OCHA, the overall humanitarian coordinating agency, states that with the bombing of electric plant, the lives of 1.4 million people, almost half of them children, worsened overnight. 

The current Israeli attacks violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. The convention sets out the obligations of an occupying power, and specifically prohibits collective punishments, "targeted" assassinations, and destruction of the infrastructure of occupied territory. 

It is time that the U.S. realizes its tarnished image in the Muslim world due to its one-sided support of Israel, and works out a just and equitable solution for Palestinians instead of hoping that Israel will impose its decision through brute force.

Siraj Islam Mufti, Ph.D. is a researcher and freelance journalist and an activist in interfaith affairs.

  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Occupation
Views: 3562

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Older Comments:
I am always amazed by the false news or 'no-news' propaganda of the US media lending its blind and unquestioning support of a lying, corrupt, murderous, hate-mongering fascist leader Bush. But what shocks me more is that the average American simply takes the US media's rubbish nonsense news as biblical truth. Given the constant diet of freedom, democracy and civil rights propounded by the US as the foundation of their country, I am even more surprised that there are no self-respecting honest generals in the US armed forces who have not considered a coup. Not just the country's foreign policy but its economy is in shambles and the average American gets nothing but a rosy picture. How long will the fact of super high gasoline prices that translate into hyper inflation, loss of jobs, massive trade deficits and imbalances and the almost broken dollar, remain a non-issue with the average American? America stands isolated today supported by no one. Even Israel has been caught selling its military secrets to China and Korea. But so powerful is the Israeli lobby that nothing Israel does will reduce the forced flow of billions of dollars from the accounts of slaving American to "poor defenseless Israel" which has nothing more than enough nukes to destroy the world 20 times over and its Jews live in villas and beautiful settings while the Palestinians don't even have enough water to drink and live surrounded by refuse and sewage. And how do Bush and Blair respond their disaster. Conjure up more idiot stories about "Islamic Terrorists" in UK with silly liquid bombs with nothing more than circumstantial evidence to support their absurd alarmist propaganda all designed to deflect attention from the murder of countless civilians in Lebanon and the utter and complete failure of their policies in Iraq. So no cheap oil or gas. No BigMacs and Kentucky fried in Baghdad. No US/UK/Israel influence at all in the Middle East. In short a total disaster & complete failure all round.

HALIM said:
No cease fire to palestinian or Muslims anywhere in the world despite help given by Muslims for the release of Jill Caroll and others. USA and Israel go on planning and attacking Muslims in Labnon, Syria, Iran and maybe later Indonesia and Malaysia.

It is time for muslim countries to REALISE that

1) they cannot fight or defend themselves and their countries by small fireworks, small stones, rocks, or by suicide bombers.....
2) they cannot even depend other muslim countries in any way because they are puppets, employees of west and have central headquarters in their countries...what a shame- Muslims helping west to kill their muslim brothers? ...
3) they cannot protests, beg or cry in UN, NATO for one sided actions and vetoes,
4) they cannot protests in countries and take out anger on fellow muslims and own's country.
5) the invasions, occupation, destructions helps and grows western economy( military to non-military industries etc.) and then rebuilding and taking loans from world banks (run by them) make these muslim countries run out their money and long term debtors paying back with interest.
6) they have to stand up ,look like a man, and develop the intelligence, industries, military and arsenal that atleast defend their country and values and do not have to depend on basic things fron outside.
7) they cannot depend on UN, NATO, WHO and all these western(worldly) agencies for your welfare, Have your own Union, currency and industries.
8) they do not care unless you have good resources like money for investments in west(rich sheiks), oil or gas and so on.
9) they do not let you become independent, industrialised or prosper in any way because their economy depends on their exports and sales.
10) they do not side you unless they have their own selfish interests in your country.
THE LIST GOES ON .........

Do they care? They tarnished the image of muslims worldwide to gain a carte blanche to do whatever they want to do to muslims. Media gives them the green light. They are fighting ghost terrorists, while they destroy homes and families and mosques. Their real purpose is more and more clear. World Domination.