This article is re-posted from Mint Press.
Every two years or so, Israel decides that it’s time to once more test out its weaponry, provided by the United States, on Palestine. It invents some vague pretext and levels the Gaza Strip, a process Israeli politicians have referred to as a periodic “mowing of the lawn.”
Indeed, the grass in any lawn will grow too tall if not mowed periodically. Palestinians in Gaza, suffering under a brutal siege that’s now entering a second decade, must be put down before they, too, grow too much. And since the last bombing was during the summer of 2014, Israel must be looking for a new excuse now to “mow the lawn.”
Due to the total blockade, very little reconstruction material enters Gaza, so there is little to bomb that hasn’t already been reduced to rubble.
Still, new weapons must be tested so they can be sold, even if, like previous weaponry, those weapons are banned by international law. After all, along with the U.S., which provides this weaponry and technology to Israel, Israel is one of the world’s largest exporters of armaments. So why not test them on the Palestinians, who the international community has more or less ignored for generations?
In 2014, the trigger for the bombing was the announced reunification between Hamas, the democratically-elected government in the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, the puppet government of Israel and the U.S. in the West Bank. Since Israel isn’t interested in a two-state solution, having a unity government is not in keeping with its goals, which include the complete obliteration of Palestine. So, looking around for a more publicly-acceptable excuse, the government decided that so-called “rocket” fire into Israel would do just fine. This enabled Israel to both unleash additional terror, over and above the everyday kind, on the West Bank, and bomb the Gaza Strip.
However, it may be more difficult for Israel to find a new excuse to “mow the lawn,” so it may fall back on ones it’s used in the past. Here are some examples:
- The attacks by Palestinians on Israelis in Jerusalem. Most civilized societies deal with knife attacks with non-lethal force, but in Israel, possession of a knife is a capital offense for a Palestinian. And, if an Israeli terrorist, whether Israeli Defense Forces soldier or settler, decides to kill an unarmed Palestinian, well,there’s always a knife around that can be placed in the hand of the dead victim.
- Some arbitrary rocket fire from Gaza. Well, that might be a bit more challenging, since some facts have come to light in the last few years — notably, that Palestine doesn’t have “rockets,” just what Prof. Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors, calls “enhanced fireworks.” And Israel has some of the most deadly and sophisticated weaponry on the planet, provided by its favorite check-writer, the U.S.
- Talk of a unity government. It may be possible to resurrect this; after all, it worked once, so why not try it again? Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas dances as Israel pulls his strings, so he may come out with some pronouncement that will be sufficient for Israel to decide to bomb again.
It might be helpful to look at some facts on the ground in Palestine:
- Palestine has no army, no navy and no air force. Its shoreline is blockaded, in violation of international law, by Israel.
- All of Palestine’s borders, including its air space, are controlled by Israel, with Egypt assisting on the Palestine-Egypt border.
- Only 20 percent of the water available in Palestine is used by Palestinians, who have to use it very sparingly. The remaining 80 percent goes to Israelis, including illegal settlers, so they can fill their swimming pools and wash their cars.
- The governing body of the West Bank does as it is instructed by Israel and the U.S. Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, does not take its orders from these two nations.
- In the West Bank, Israeli terrorists, both soldiers and settlers, harass, kidnap, and kill Palestinians with almost complete impunity.
- Also in the West Bank, countless checkpoints are established and manned by Israeli terrorists/soldiers. When these are open and closed is completely arbitrary. They make the simple act of going to school or work an hours-long ordeal. People have died at checkpoints when seeking emergency medical treatment, simply because the Israelis manning them didn’t feel like letting them through. Soldiers also kill peoplewaiting at checkpoints for any perceived “reason.”
- The U.S. gives Israel $10 million every single day of the year. While some paltry sum is usually earmarked for Palestine, it is usually withheld because of Palestinian efforts to secure their basic human rights.
- Over 550,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, in violation of international law.
- Palestine homes are routinely bulldozed, leaving the families that resided in them homeless, to make room for new Jewish-only roads or illegal housing developments.
It would seem that if one of the two nations — Palestine or Israel — had a reason to bomb the other, it would be Palestine. Other than the ineffectual “rockets” referred to above, Palestine has no capacity to do so. But Israel does, and it uses any excuse to exercise its murderous military muscle, with the complete support of the hypocritical U.S.
What will be the reason this time? Perhaps it will be a few stabbings in Jerusalem. Or maybe renewed talk about a unity government will do the trick. Or peaceful (until Israeli terrorists start shooting) demonstrations opposing the occupation.
Whatever the excuse, Israel will bomb and the U.S. will support it. This time, though, the rest of the world may do more than shake their collective finger at Israel and say Israel really shouldn’t do that. No longer does the world rely solely on corporate-owned media for their information. By 2015, social media users have risen to an incredible 2.2 billion people. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement continues to score significant victories, and worldwide awareness of Israeli apartheid is growing.
No one can adequately predict Israel’s next deadly move. But what can be said with some degree of certainty is that, at long last, much of the world is paying attention. And it does not like what it is seeing. The “grass” of anger at the brutal, illegal occupation and blockade will continue to grow, nourished by an increasingly knowledgeable populace around the world, that condemns the vicious oppression of the Palestinian people and demands their liberation. With this growing awareness, that liberation is not a matter of “if,” but “when.”