by Bill F.
The brutal shelling and aerial bombing of Gaza by the Israeli military has slaughtered hundreds of civilians and reduced much of the fragile infrastructure to rubble. This abuse of overwhelming military might should be condemned as a flagrant war crime.
But what were the political motives behind this latest sudden flare up in knife-edge Palestine/Israel? After all, there have often been periods of extra tension, especially when there are clashes between settlers and Palestinian villagers. Here are some key factors to consider.
Firstly, the US and Israel had just completed joint military exercises, presumably aimed at Iran, the major concern of US imperialism in the region. With
assistance, Israel had also
just completed installation of its ‘Iron Dome’ anti-missile system, which it
needs to be operational before launching any attack on . Iran
Both US imperialism and the reactionary Israeli state had incentives to ‘test-drive’ Israel’s military systems on the people of Gaza. This greatly suited the criminal Netanyahu regime, which called a snap election, hoping to distract the people of Israel from the high cost of living and issues of corruption, and be able to ride back into power on a wave of fear and jingoism.
For the Palestinian people, nothing much had really changed. As more and more settlements expanded into the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the blockade of
villages and the Gaza Strip squeezed out hopes for peace, there were many calls
for unity between the factions, especially between Hamas and Fatah, led by
President Mahmoud Abbas.
When Abbas stated on Israeli television that he would not necessarily insist on the ‘right of return’ for exiled Palestinians, this sent a signal to Netanyahu regime that there would be no armed resistance from Fatah.
Israel was thus able to test its new military systems, rehearse its mass call up of reservists, assassinate a number of resistance fighters, and destroy once more key infrastructure in Gaza. With a terrified population, but few Israeli casualties, Netanyahu will be looking forward to re-election early next year.
Now there is a truce.
The US and
have played some role in this, neither really wanting an all out war over . The Gaza US, in particular, is focussed on Iran and is already meddling in the unstable
situation in adjoining Syria,
and seeing growing unrest in its client state . Obama still promotes the
long dead ‘two state solution’ and the US, along with Australia, still opposes
every United Nations resolution that recognises the rights of the Palestinian
Long live the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people!