By Gene Clancy and Deirdre Griswold
Nov. 19 — Israel has launched another brutal military attack on the Palestinian people living in Gaza, a small, densely populated strip of land that houses 1.7 million people. Once again, Israel has the complete backing of the U.S. government, which for decades has bankrolled the Zionist settler state and its military, enabling their many assaults on the Arab and Muslim peoples of the oil-rich region.
Gilad Sharon, a major in the Israeli army and son of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, wrote in the Nov. 18 Jerusalem Post: “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza.” He justified this by comparing Gaza to Nagasaki, where the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb at the end of World War II, killing at least 75,000 people.
Israel has launched hundreds of missile and air strikes into Gaza since Nov. 14. Its most recent targets have been media offices and vehicles. Israeli strategists don’t want the world to see heart-wrenching images of what they have done, like the photo of a grief-stricken father carrying his dead 11-month-old son, the victim of a U.S.-made Israeli “smart bomb.” Jihad Misharawi, an employee of BBC Arabic, not only lost his young son, Omar. His sister-in-law was killed and his brother was seriously injured when their house was struck in the Israeli attack.
For days, the Israeli military propaganda machine has been pumping out images and commentary bragging about “surgical strikes” and killing Hamas’ top military commander, Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari, at the beginning of this new onslaught.
The U.S. capitalist-owned media focus mostly on the few casualties in southern Israel caused by missiles fired from Gaza. When the destruction and death caused by Israeli air and missile strikes are shown, they rarely get equal coverage. The casualty figures, however, tell the real story: Palestinian deaths and injuries are 10 times those of Israelis. As of Nov. 19, the dead in Gaza numbered 91 and the wounded 700. Israel reports three people killed and 79 wounded by Hamas rockets.
Despite Israel’s overwhelming military advantage, the impoverished people of Gaza have not been cowed by these latest attacks. They continue to support Hamas, which is demanding that Israel end its five-year blockade of Gaza and pledge not to attack again. Hamas is also demanding multinational guarantees that Israel will abide by its commitments. In the meantime, Hamas says it will continue launching rockets into Israel, including a newer generation that can reach as far as Tel Aviv, Israel’s capital.
News reports on funerals for Gazans killed in the attacks describe a passionate determination to continue the struggle rather than surrender to Israeli terror — like the murder of a 13-year-old Palestinian by an Israeli military vehicle. It was when Palestinians responded by attacking the vehicle that Israel claimed the right to revive its criminal policy of “targeted assassination” and launched its deadly assault on Gaza City.
The condemnation of these deadly outrages has been swift and worldwide. Demonstrations against Israel and in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza are taking place on every continent.
As thousands demonstrated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in support of Gaza, Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel and sent Prime Minister Hisham Kandil to Gaza to offer Egypt’s solidarity.
Arab politicians used to collaborating with U.S. imperialism have been put on the spot by the mass reaction to Israel’s aggression. Iraq’s representative to the Arab League, Qais al-Azzawy, called on Arab states to use oil as a weapon to put pressure on the U.S. and Israel.
Even Jordan’s King Abdullah cancelled a trip to Britain amid fears that his country could be the next to experience the Arab Spring’s demands for change. Protesters had packed the streets of Amman, the capital, demanding an end to the monarch’s rule. The cancellation followed protests in solidarity with Palestine but also opposing a hike in gasoline prices. At least one protester was killed and 75 injured.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoðan, who has joined the imperialist-supported attacks on Syria, told the truth when he called Israel a terror state after its assault on Gaza.
The Palestinian people have every right to return to historic Palestine, but they are banned from doing so by a murderous regime of settlers who have come primarily from Europe and the U.S. and who every year encroach further on their lands.
The Palestinian people have every right to defend themselves against Israel’s military onslaught and economic strangulation. Now is the time to support their heroic determination to stand up against U.S./Israeli terror in the Middle East.