Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Gaza - a new way of seeing

The death toll so far – more than 600 Palestinians killed – most of them women, children and civilian men. 29 Israelis killed, almost all of them soldiers. And yet the UK and US governments keep telling us Hamas are the terrorists.

Whenever Israel’s apologists, like John Kerry or some chap called Hammond, who says he’s now the UK’s Foreign Secretary, are asked to condemn Israel’s slaughter of civilians they always fall back on the mantra that ‘Israel has the right to defend itself.’ But let’s imagine the boot was on the other foot.

Suppose it was the Israelis who had been expelled by terrorists from their country, and then blockaded in a giant prison camp or turned into a subject people whose menfolk could be rounded up and taken away by the occupying Palestinians whenever they felt like it, and who had a little more of their land stolen every day.

Suppose it was the Israelis who had been strung along for decades in a ‘peace process’ which was supposed to free them but never got anywhere. And suppose that every now and then they got fed up, and tried to resist, and that then the Palestinians slaughtered them by the houseful.

Would we hear Kerry and Hammond banging on about the Palestinians’ ‘right to defend themselves’? As one of the more intelligent Israeli newspapers put it: ‘The Palestinians are expelled from their homeland and later attacked in the refugee camps to which they fled, and the Jews boast of being more moral.’

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