"Mow the Lawn", Amira Hass, Disproportionate Force, Fascism, Gaza, Genocide, Ghettoization, Heathcote Williams, IDF (Israel Defense Forces), Intifada, Irgun Zvai Leumi, Israel, Israeli Blockade, Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, Likud Party, Menachem Begin, Militarism, Military Industrial Complex, Nafeez Ahmed, Noam Chomsky, Open-Air Prison, Operation Protective Edge, Palestine, Qassam Rockets, Right-Wing Herut (or "Freedom") Party, Robert Fisk, Sahar Vardi, Smuggling Tunnels, The Dahiya Doctrine, The West Bank, Uri Avnery, Warfare State
There are a number of Israelis, such as Sahar Vardi and Uri Avnery, who strongly reject the occupation of Palestinian lands and the militarization of Israeli society. Although they recently lost their exemption status from military service, an ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism known as the Haredi whose numbers comprise 10% of the Jewish state are also opposed to war and the violent land grabs of Israeli settlers. There are others as well, but their voices are suffocated by powerful forces which have no interest in ever finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli/Palestinian crisis.
“…not only does Israel now occupy 80% of the area of historic Palestine, but it – via the water company Mekarot – also takes 80% of the water resources from the 20% of the land that is left to the Palestinians…” – link
Looking back into history, one finds that the current right-wing ruling Likud party of Israel has roots in the Irgun Zvai Leumi (Hebrew for “National Military Organization”), a terrorist Jewish organization which played an integral part in the establishment of Israel:
“…The Irgun has been viewed as a terrorist organization or organization which carried out terrorist acts. In particular the Irgun was branded a terrorist organisation by Britain, the 1946 Zionist Congress and the Jewish Agency. The Irgun believed that any means necessary to establish the Jewish State of Israel, including terrorism, was justifiable.
In fact, Menachem Begin, the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel, was a terrorist leader of Irgun Zvai Leumi and founder of the Likud party. As they say, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
“This Dahiya doctrine, developed at Tel Aviv University, calls for disproportionate force against civilians and civilian infrastructure to extract the maximum pain from those civilians, to make them stop the resistance–an absolute collective punishment crime against humanity.”
The thousands of primitive Qassam rockets fired by Hamas have killed 28 people and injured 1,900 since 2001, whereas Israeli hi-tech missiles have killed thousands and injured tens of thousands of Palestinians in the same time period as the following chart illustrates:
The chart above does not have the complete death toll as of today, so a few thousand more Palestinians and a few dozen Israelis must be added to the body count. As the popular saying goes, war carried out by the state is simply terrorism with a bigger budget.
Just as America pursued a westward expansion of its territory with the ideology of manifest destiny and implemented the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which removed native people by force, if necessary, from desirable territories within state borders and herded them into less valuable land, so too is Israel pursuing a similar strategy. Palestinians have been isolated into two areas, the Gaza Strip (including East Jerusalem) and the West Bank. The Gaza Strip is sealed off on its land borders with Israel by concrete and steel walls, a double wire fence, watchtowers and checkpoints, and sensors and buffer zones. This Israel–Gaza barrier is equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance technology and manned by armed Israeli police. To complete the land enclosure of Gaza at its southern border, a steel wall that will extend 60 feet deep into the ground is being erected by Egypt with the help of American and French money and expertise. Last year, the Egyptian military resorted to flooding Gazan smuggling tunnels with sewage. The Israeli navy controls all ingress and egress from Gaza ports, while Israeli drones and fighter jets rule the Gazan skies. The West Bank is similarly ghettoized and in the process of being walled off. Ironically, Israel has exiled the Palestinians to the very same sort of ghettos that confined and segregated the Jews for centuries in Europe and later in the Nazi-occupied countries.
…ghettoization is itself the aim, having been implemented for the past 65 years. In other words, the aim – unfolded with the advent of time -has been to concentrate the Palestinians in reserves, after most of their land had been robbed of them. And if they desert and move abroad, it’s of their own free will. A direct planning and ideological line stretches between the enclaves in which the Palestinian citizens of Israel live and those of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
This is the real Israeli historical compromise. It is not with the Palestinians, but with the dictates of reality and among the various Zionist ideological currents. The crowded, offensive reservations – the creation of which is violence, pure and simple – are a compromise between the craving to eject the Palestinians from their land and the recognition that regional and international conditions do not permit it.
~ Amira Hass, Palestinian ghettos were always the plan
While the U.S. exterminated the buffalo which was the North American Plains Indian’s primary source of food and material for clothing, shelter, tools and religious icons, Israel has a policy of precisely calculating the number of calories to be allowed into the open-air prison of Gaza in order to control dietary intake and keep the people on the brink of malnutrition. To circumvent this blockade, Hamas built tunnels and estimates are that 75% of the goods that stock Gazan shelves are smuggled through these subterranean corridors. Contrary to current mainstream media propaganda, these tunnels were built out of a necessity for survival rather than for terrorist purposes. Israeli gunboats also prevent Gaza fishermen from fishing more than two or three miles off their coast despite the fact that the Oslo Accords agreement granted access to 20 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.
The Israeli navy uses different tactics of torture to punish the fishermen for persistently fishing, including shooting with live ammunition (on numerous occasions injuring fishermen), shelling, shooting with high-powered water cannons [all of which is simultaneously designed to damage the boats and equipment], at gunpoint forcing fishermen to strip naked and (after a long wait in the cold air) to jump into freezing waters and swim over 50m to the waiting naval ship before hauling the fishermen up, blindfolding and handcuffing them, and abducting them to Israel for interrogation unrelated to issues of fishing. – link
Due primarily to the blockade and previous Israeli airstrikes on power plant infrastructure, electricity generation has in recent years been severely curtailed to less than half of normal demand in Gaza. Loss of energy to waste treatment plants has caused “up to 90 million liters of partially treated sewage to discharge into the Mediterranean Sea every day.” The current Israeli bombardments on July 29, 2014 have now left Gaza in an even more dire condition:
“If there were one attack that could be predicted to endanger the health and well-being of the greatest number of people in Gaza, hitting the territory’s sole electricity plant would be it,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “Deliberately attacking the power plant would be a war crime.” – link
Most wars are started under false pretenses and Israel’s current “mowing of the lawn” is no different, as Fair.org reported, but Israel has the backing of a super power to legitimize its sadistic war crimes. Western media outlets parrot the crudest of Israeli propaganda. As America’s number one recipient of military and economic aid, Israel has proven itself an integral linchpin of the American empire:
“Israel’s demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a ‘strategic asset,’ as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be ‘the guardians of the Gulf,’ and after the fall of the Shah, Israel’s perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel’s militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region.
The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.” ~ Noam Chomsky
With a larger percentage of its economy devoted to the military and security industry than any other country (even the U.S.), Israel is a militarized warfare state.
Last month, Robert Fisk wrote that the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict is about land and Nafeez Ahmed wrote that it is about Gaza’s gas reserves. I say it’s about land and resources, but it’s also about war profiteers feeding the military industrial complex with endless conflict. From the gas chambers of the Holocaust to today’s slow and systematic genocide of the Palestinian people, it’s about man’s inhumanity to man and the vicious cycle of history repeating itself.
Excerpt from the illustrated poem
by Heathcote Williams
For over a third of Israel’s income
Comes from its exporting its weapons,
And since it’s cultivating its deadly fruit
In its Gazan hot house at a profit,
Then why would it see the need for peace?
‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2009
Boosted Israeli Arms sales
To a record 6 billion dollars.
It killed 1,471 Palestinians.
‘Operation Pillar of Defense’
The second large scale operation in Gaza
Was launched in November 2012
And Israel’s weapons sales that year
Set a new all time record
Of 7,000, 000,000 dollars,
While 169 Palestinians lay dead.
In ‘Operation Protective Edge’
Over a thousand would die in July 2014,
And whatever its final body count
The price will have been considered worth it
By the thriving Israeli arms business.
As Israel ruthlessly destroys the besieged Gaza Strip,
Elbit Systems, its largest developer of military technology
And its drone-maker, benefits from the bloodshed.
Since 8 July, 2014, when Israel began its latest offensive,
US-traded shares of Elbit Systems,
Climbed 6.1 percent
According to Bloomberg Business Week.
Israel’s three-week long massacre
Of 1,200 Palestinians in Gaza,
Including nearly 300 children,
“Has pushed Elbit’s stock close to the highest level since 2010
While its valuation on a price-to-earnings basis
Is near the most expensive in five years.”
Israel, in other words,
Makes bloodshed its business.