By Robert Fantina
In 2014, shortly after Hamas, the democratically-elected government in the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, the puppet government that takes its orders from Israel in the West Bank, agreed on a unification, three Israelis living illegally in the West Bank disappeared, and their bodies were soon discovered. Although Israel learned within hours that they’d been killed, it continued house-to-house searches in the West Bank, terrorizing Palestinians and arresting hundreds. As soon as the news of their disappearance became public, governments around the world condemned this as a terrorist act.
This rhetoric escalated when Israel finally announced that their bodies had been found. Within days, Israel began bombing the Gaza Strip, ostensibly to protect its own citizens from rocket fire from Gaza. It must be remembered that the Gaza Strip, blockaded for decades by Israel, is able to import very little.
While the bombing of the Gaza Strip was ostensibly in response to ‘rocket fire’ from the Strip, Israel was extremely displeased with the announced governmental unification in Palestine, and it is likely that the bombing was actually in response to that, and not to any rocket fire.
Following a 51-day genocidal bombardment, a ceasefire agreement was signed. Since then, Israel has routinely violated the terms of that agreement, but the world has been mainly silent.
It is a rare day that goes by that one doesn’t hear of multiple Palestinians being arrested by Israel, often without charge. It is also an unusual day when an Israeli soldier doesn’t shoot at least one Palestinian, often fatally. There is no end to the news of Israeli settlers, living illegally in the West Bank, running over Palestinian children with their automobiles. These settlers also burn and uproot countless olive trees that Palestinians rely on for their subsistence. Such reports are shown on social media, and often appear in the leftwing press, but are rarely publicized by the corporate-owned news media.
One has to wonder why the disappearance of three Israelis, who were living in illegal settlements which any resident must know carries risks, was met with such universal shock, horror and condemnation, but the killing, kidnapping, assault and arrests without charge of numerous Palestinians, living on their own lands, in their own countries, is ignored. There appear to be four possible reasons for this, none of them good:
- Although not all the residents of Palestine are Muslim, over 90% are. Muslims have long been considered, by western ignorance, as ‘different’ and unknown. Today, with the news media and the U.S. government highlighting every crime committed by a Muslim as an act of terrorism, and at least implying if not directly stating that Islam is a religion of violence, it is easy for society to view all Palestinians in that light.
Many U.S. citizens believed in 1995 that Muslims were responsible for the bombing that killed 168 people. It was only later when it was proven that that particular crime had been committed by home grown terrorists that that mistaken belief began to fade.
FOX News political analyst Andrea Tantaros said this in August of 2014 (please excuse the grammatical abominations; they are Ms. Tantaros’, not this writer’s): “If you study the history of Islam. Our ship captains were getting murdered. The French had to tip us off. I mean these were the days of Thomas Jefferson. They’ve been doing the same thing. This isn’t a surprise. You can’t solve it with a dialogue. You can’t solve it with a summit. You solve it with a bullet to the head. It’s the only thing these people understand. And all we’ve heard from this president is a case to heap praise on this religion, as if to appease them.” Such ignorance only adds to Palestinian suffering.
- Lobby groups. In the United States, one of the most powerful lobbies is AIPAC, the American Israel Political Affairs Committee. In the last several decades, this organization has funneled tens of millions of dollars to U.S. politicians who are willing to protect Israel’s apartheid regime at all costs. In the U.S., the almighty dollar rules. This is why former First Lady, senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks of Israel in such glowing terms, and discusses visiting that nation many times, and talks about visiting ‘terrorist’ victims in the hospital. It must be remembered that any occupied nation has an international right to resist that occupation. Doing so is not terrorism. However, Mrs. Clinton doesn’t make such a distinction, and she has never once visited a victim of real terrorism in Palestine.
- United States imperial power. As recently as December of 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry make no less than fifty calls to various world leaders, begging them to vote down a United Nations resolution that would have mandated an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine by 2017. The vote failed by the huge margin of one, indicating a decrease in U.S. influence, at least on this topic.
- Corporate ownership of the news media. There is speculation that at least 90% of the news media in the U.S. is owed by Zionists. One example is telling. In his memoirs, The New York Times (NYT)former executive editor Max Frankel stated the following: “I was much more deeply devoted to Israel than I dared to assert.”Can there be any doubt that this devotion influenced the stories the NYT printed? During the most recent mass genocidal invasion, ABC News correspondent Diane Sawyer showed footage of a grieving Palestinian woman, following an Israeli airstrike and identified the woman as an Israeli, suffering from a Palestinian air strike. A few days later, she corrected the mistake. But does this not show either the ignorance or the general bias of the media? If anyone is suffering, it must be an Israeli. One journalist, Juan Cole, said it succinctly during the early days of the Israeli onslaught last summer: “Reuters and other agencies (or their headline writers) routinely equate deadly Israeli airstrikes with sophisticated American fighter jets with small dumb rockets, some of them the sort of thing that could be made with an 8th grade chemistry set. And, of course, Palestinian lives are cheap and their 53 dead and (150) wounded don’t count. That no Israelis have been killed is not mentioned because it would interfere with the narrative of violent Palestinians and victimized Israelis.”
One asks what it will take for the world to wake up to the horrendous, unspeakable conditions under which Palestinians are victimized by Israel. Yet there is cause for hope. With the exponential expansion of social media, the general public no longer relies entirely on the evening, corporate-owned news. Anyone with a camera and an internet connection can broadcast to the world the injustices and sufferings of the Palestinian people. Several governments have voted to recognize Palestine; although these votes are, at present, non-binding, they are a significant change from just two years ago. Those who support the basic human rights of all people, including the Palestinians, must continue their efforts. Too much is at stake; the very existence of Palestine hangs in the balance.