Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Truce for Gaza, but all out war still threatens

Vanguard December 2012 p. 1
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.

Israel also suffered some casualties, and its people too experienced fear and panic.

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 US 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 West Bank 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 Egypt have played some role in this, neither really wanting an all out war over Gaza. The 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 Jordan. 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 people.

Long live the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people!

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