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“Gaza conflict has cost too many lives” says Brown
“Gordon Brown this morning criticised Israel for using excessive force during its three-week military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”
A Guardian article by Nicholas Watt on Sunday 18th Jan which can be found on the Guardian website. Even in an article which seems to openly criticise the ‘conflict’ we can see it is being framed in such a way as to make it acceptable.
Does the writer of the article even realise his implicit acceptance of Israel’s position?
A) ‘Gaza conflict’
Any reference to the ‘Gaza conflict’ accepts Israeli propaganda. It is not a ‘conflict’. A ‘conflict’ implies a fight between two sides of roughly equal force. It implies that either side could win. If I were to try and swot a thousand flies, you would not call it a ‘conflict’, you might call it a ‘massacre’, but only if you valued the life of a fly.
– Military Budget $18.7 billion (FY99)
– Percent of GDP 9.4% (FY99)
– During Fiscal Year 2007, the U.S. gave more than $6.8 million per day to Israel and $0.3 million per day to the Palestinians.
– A paper prepared by lawyers Imad Salah al-Din and Ahmed Sameer al- Tubasi from the International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights documents the killing of 801 Palestinians by Israelis between June 2007 and June 2008.
– Hamas devotes much of its estimated $70-million annual budget to an extensive social services network. Indeed, the extensive social and political work done by Hamas – and its reputation among Palestinians as averse to corruption – partly explain its defeat of the Fatah old guard in the 2006 legislative vote. Hamas funds schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues. “Approximately 90 percent of its work is in social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities,” writes the Israeli scholar Reuven Paz. (taken from: Council on foreign relations website)
– Hamas is believed to have killed over five hundred people in more than 350 separate terrorist attacks between 1993 and 2008.
B) ‘Too many lives’ + ‘Excessive force’
‘Too many lives’ + ‘Excessive force’ – Gordon Brown’s words, accepts that the use of force is acceptable and the killing of a certain number of people is inevitable. If the use of force to kill is acceptable, then the unspoken implication is that Israel is defending herself, not waging a war of aggression and using chemical weapons such as white phosphorus to incinerate indiscriminately men, women and children.
The more powerful of two sides involved in a ‘conflict’ always get to dictate when the so-called ‘conflict’ started. Israel tends to say each part of their ongoing aggressive occupation started in response to Hamas rockets but then of course they say that…
C) ‘military offensive against Hamas’
– Even the acceptance that Israel is waging a war of agression against Hamas is accepting Israeli propaganda. Even with the help of foreign weapons, there is no way that they can, or want to, distinguish between military and civilian targets. The military offensive is waged against people, both their minds and their bodies.
– There are 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza strip. The strip is just 40 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide (25 by 6 miles).
– During 2009 strike of Gaza Strip, it is alleged that the IDF dropped white phosphorus weapon above Palestinian citizens, which, according to Human Rights Watch, caused massive burns among children.
It is no coincidence that the new occupation began while most leaders were not at their desk during the winter break – it makes the situation easier for them to passively support Israel’s stance through inaction.
Gaza’s destruction revealed – 20 Jan 09
The cessation of fighting in Gaza has allowed the true scale of destruction there to be revealed.
Sherine Tadros reports from the north of the strip on the despair of one father who says Israeli forces shot and killed two of his daughters at close range.
A spokesperson for the Israeli army told Al Jazeera in response to the father’s allegations that Israeli soldiers “do not behave in this fashion” and the army “only returns fire to areas from which it was fired upon”.