The end of the ‘peace process’

This article is a translation of "Het einde van het 'vredesproces'"

The latest incursion of the Israeli army in Gaza is no longer just a matter of another bloodbath in the strip, with two incomparable parties involved—Israel, with the estimated fourth army in the world, covered by a nuclear arsenal of between 60 to 200 bombs; and the Hamas militia, locked up in a narrow, overpopulated strip of land of which the back door to Egypt has been hermetically sealed again by the restored dictatorship there. 
The missiles fired from the Gaza strip reach further than ever, but the imprecise projectiles still have not caused any damage, or hardly so. Pictures of a burning gas station have so far been the most spectacular to have emerged from the scene. 

Nevertheless the American Congress has immediately doubled the budget item for the extremely expensive Israeli missile defence system, Iron Dome. Israel after all exists only thanks to the uninterrupted subsidies from the US, both official and through individual donations by sympathisers. This includes emigrated Israelis who prefer to live in, say, California, and absolve their feelings of guilt by transferring money

Even so, the Gaza attack according to Ramy Barzoud in Asia Times Online also marks the end of the Palestinian resistance in its current form.

‘President’ Mahmoud Abbas was immediately available to suppress any protest against the rounding up of hundreds of West Bank Palestinians following the murder of three young Yeshiva seminarists. The man who in every round of negotiations in the ‘peace process’ in hindsight was shown to have given away everything—in a way lucky for the Palestinians that Israel does not want peace at all—by entering into a unity front with Hamas has signed his own death warrant nevertheless.

Indeed according to Barzoud, here we have the real motive for the Netanyahu government’s decision to invade Gaza: rolling back the Hamas-Fatah alliance. Abbas collaborates in that effort, but neither he nor the Israeli regime will be able to contain the slowly mounting Palestinian uprising.

The most frightening aspect of the evolving situation is the genocidal mood among large parts of the Israeli public, represented in politics by foreign secretary Lieberman, Naftali Bennett (economic affairs), and assistant secretary of Danon, who incidentally was sacked by Netanyahu after he had mocked the prime minister over his hesitation to march into Gaza right away.

In an article in The Independent columnist Mira Bar Hillel writes that she is considering to burn her Israeli passport because of her shock over the statements of Ayelet Shaked, a member of parliament for the Jewish Home party.

‘Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism,’ Shaked had written. ‘They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.’

Mira Hillel compares this kind of statements with the mindset of the Nazis who invaded Poland in 1939 and who would exterminate most of her family from Cracow, one or two survivors excepting. She does not feel any sympathy at all for Hamas either, but that matters little since the group stands no chance against the Israeli war machine. ‘I know what it is to have been helpless victims, living and dying under racist oppressors’ boots,’ Hillel concludes, ‘and I know that today’s Israelis are no longer the victims but the perpetrators of the current crisis.’

This will always remain a delicate issue, for who would know a single, comparable example of an ethnic group that has suffered so much under a genocidal regime, only to embark on that same path itself afterwards?

Kees van der Pijl

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