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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lessons From Gaza Strip

Implications of the Israeli assault on Gaza

Humiliation hatches desperation. Desperation hatches hatred. Hatred in its extreme form transforms itself into violence and terrorism. Though not always direct, there is a definite correlation between the acts of coercion, exploitation and oppression, whether real or imaginary, with the acts of terrorism. As the terrorists implement the supposedly retaliatory programs to provide ‘justice’ to the victims, it is the civilians that form the soft and low risk target. This leads to indiscriminate violence leading to panic and dread in the people which the perpetrators occasionally bother to justify as the collateral damage in the course of a struggle to achieve justice. No population in the world is currently immune from this menace of terrorism and the new phobia is growing to the extent of making the people paranoid about the ‘other’ people.

Parallel to this ordinary terrorism, there has run an extraordinary reign of terror in the human history. This seems often less offensive and preferred and pleasant act for privileged people. It has proven its might by taking hostage the human rights, civil liberties and democratic principles for decades altogether. By now, a vigilant reader must be pretty sure what I mean by all this. It is the state terror or the state sponsored terrorism that has surfaced every now and then in the human history, often because a clique of ruling elites has felt threatened.

If there is anything that is worse than the worst state terror, then it is the current Israeli assault on Gaza strip. Israel has got clear plan of action based on comprehensive assessment of the situation. First, the Palestinians failed to be eliminated themselves forming a nuisance to the ever prospering state of Israel. Second, they failed to comply the second alternative given to them: they refused to evacuate the Palestinian territory fully by fleeing to other countries to ensure a smooth expansion of the Jewish settlements. Third, they dared to elect an inherently anti-Israel force Hamas instead of the thoroughly corrupt and discredited Fatah in the elections. Fourth and the only expressed accusation, they failed to stop firing rockets into the Israeli territory from their side of the border. Being a state established and prospered through disproportionate military superiority to the Arab world, Israel can thus barely avoid the wars like this one and the previous assault supposed to be on Hezbollah.

Sitting in an ill-lit room in a strategically insignificant third world country, I am bewildered watching the images of collapsing buildings in Gaza with flames and smoke ruling the day while Palestinians suffer inexpressibly. What is the world to do at the moment? As ever the UN has reproved its impotency in crucial matters with the US rebuffing even a call for ceasefire. This reminds me of tumultuous days of early thirties when the League of Nations kept showing similar impotency as the deadly WW II was being conceived. The Europeans are restless with the humanitarian crisis of starving people in Gaza as they keep condoning the Israel’s very act of mutilating and killing hundreds while starving the thousands. Their press conferences and Jerusalem-centered approaches to end the assault feel like an unpleasant humor of negotiating with the tiger to save the lamb.

I am indeed perplexed, how little the neighbors of Israel, the EU members, can influence its depopulating strategy given the US keeps backing Israel. The cadaveric expression in the faces of the European foreign ministers in Jerusalem as Israel’s DPM Livni mocks the English language to justify an unjustifiable war, reminds me the years of mid 1930’s, when Hitler kept throttling more states as England and France kept simply feeling uncomfortable. The Europeans now feel an urge to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Gaza but lack the will power to anger Israel by calling it to stop the atrocities.

It is, however, this extreme hypocrisy that has come in defense of the much touted ‘western’ values of justice and so on when their impotency in such crucial moments is threatening to invalidate them. The stark contrast with which they have responded to the humanitarian crises earlier also tells much about the story. They reached to the extent of bombing Yugoslavia with NATO planes to the extent of creating another worse humanitarian crisis in the name of containing the one. Treachery, barbarity, savagery, almost everything is justifiable so long as it serves their interest and even the democratic process becomes a despotism when it does the reverse.

Whenever they commit an act of terror, the terrorists attempt to justify it by linking the victims of the act to their involvement or association with the perpetrators of the arbitrary injustice. That justification is often distorted, sometimes exaggerated, occasionally a plain lie; but almost always it intends to impose its version of truth on people, not convince them logically. This has been the exact case with the Israeli State Terror. Like the US invasion of Iraq based on the hoax of WMD, it has stated the arbitrary aim of stopping rocket attacks and ‘unprovoked aggression’ by Hamas and has been indiscriminately bombing the schools, hospitals, mosques and whatever. The pious words of ‘aiming to create a situation in which both Israeli and Palestinian civilians can live with peace after menace of Hamas terror is eliminated’ do nothing but illustrate how pleasant words can be abused to justify obscene acts of barbarity.

Beginning to think about this sordid story, I become enraged just like the other protestors in worldwide demonstrations. The drama of negotiation and gap-bridging by European diplomats in Jerusalem becomes more than tolerable and I perspire in agitation. The moment the role of the US, the nucleus of worldwide state terror in Chomsky’s evaluation, enters my mind, I find no words to justify the emotion. I just condole myself that a smooth inheritance of the foreign policy based on bullying others from Bush to Obama, that is not unlikely, will only accelerate the process of demolition of the outdated world order based on intimidation and aggression by the powerful states. After all, the process has already started and Israel’s desperation to assault Gaza at this particular moment in history also keeps meaning. It has felt threatened by the clear message in the wall: the world is not going to remain like this for ever.

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जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !

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