Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Israeli Occupation Continues

While high-profile international protests have attempted to engage the so-called "western democracies", little is being done to stop Israel's now three week occupation of Gaza. All in all, almost 1,000 Palestinians have been killed, with a large portion coming from the civilian population. Many were women and children.

Over 100,000 took to the streets in London to protest, often crying "Free Palestine". They were later beaten away by police. Another several thousand also were protesting in Paris and chanting similar slogans. President Nicolas Sarkozy has acted as a third party peacemaker in the process, and despite what looked like a possible cease-fire during the first week has now dragged on into an endless campaign of violence, torture, and the brunt assertion of imperialism.

One report last week detailed a U.N.-run school that was the target of the Israeli military. In it, a cadre of troops seiged over 50 civilians, children and teachers, and ultimately shot them to death inside the school. Such events are highly reminiscent of Lidice, a town that was flattened to the ground by Nazi troops in Czechoslovakia during 1942.

Meanwhile, Israel and the West have continued to blame Hamas for the violence, claiming that their ability to fire rockets into the north from Gaza is the cause for retaliation. However, the disproportionate amount of deaths on the Israeli side leaves many questions unanswered.

President-Elect Obama has remained silent on the issue, reasonably calling for "one president at a time". However, his appointee to be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has repeatedly praised Israel for its "necessary ability to defend herself", while only giving fig-leaf comments about civilian deaths.

While the world waits and shrugs its shoulders, the killing continues and the territory of Palestinian establishments, now resembling controlled concentration camps rather than homes will continue to face the brute force of violence and death. For in the web of imperialism, the situation in Gaza is fast becoming the "Czechoslovakia" of the 21st century.

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