Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Sitting on the Gaza fence

Watching the BBC news last night, they seem to attempt a bi-partisan approach to their reporting of the Israel’s invasion of Gaza. This is naturally an improvement on the Zionist cheer – leading of Fox (and presumably other US networks).

But it still misses the point. It reinforces an attitude of resigned neutrality – a kind of ‘plague on both your houses’. And so, at best, the West continues to sit on the fence whilst the horror in Gaza unfolds.

So, whilst it shouldn’t be necessary, there is a need to state simply and unequivocally that Israel and its backers are the bad guys here, and whatever Hamas may or not be, does not diminish this.

As A Very Public Sociologist explains it’s fine to emphasise the disproportionately of the current Israeli offensive – with an asymmetrical ‘kill ratio’ in excess of roughly 40-to-1. But this doesn’t address what is the fundamental cause of the suffering – forty years of illegal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Over the years there have been changes in tactics; from occupation to isolation and blockade - and now what appears to be an outright campaign of military conquest.

But the fundamental cause of Palestinian suffering hasn’t changed - aggressive and expansionist nationalism in the form of Zionism.