Over 1000 Israelis and an equal number of Gazans/Palestinians have been killed since Hamas (Gaza’s army as the IDF is Israel’s army) infiltrated Israel and committed what is clearly a war crime by murdering civilians. Israel responded with another of their bombardments of Gaza, the most densely populated land in the world; a place where Gazans can run but can’t hide.
The bombs kill everything in range, mostly civilians. And they have been killing Gazans for decades. Attacks against civilians violate international law, regardless of who does it, whether it’s direct and violent force or by ongoing oppression punctuated by bombings. But you wouldn’t know that from the outrage expressed by our political leaders.
“Hamas terrorists aren’t a resistance, they’re not freedom fighters. They are terrorists, and no one in Canada should be supporting them, much less celebrating them,” Justin Trudeau emoted.
Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre called Hamas “evil in its purest form,” and said it does not speak for Palestinians.
Leaders of Canada’s Federal political parties have expressed much the same sentiment. All speaking as if the Israel–Palestine conflict started with the Hamas/Gazan army rampage last Saturday. This attack was televised, so our political leaders had a good look; but it seems that they didn’t do any TV watching during Israeli’s decades long occupation of Palestine, ongoing land seizures, displacement, exile, disenfranchisement and murder of thousands of Palestinian, all brutally carried out by the Israel Defence Force.
The civilian deaths caused by the Hamas attack follows 75 years of the ghettoization of Gaza; the attack was not unprovoked. According to the Independent Jewish Voice, a Canadian-based organization, “Israel needs to be held accountable for its decades of crimes against humanity, crimes that have put Palestinians in a position where violent retribution and death feels like justice.” And that is precisely what happened as Gazans briefly broke out of what is a concentration camp, where electricity and water are cut off at Israel’s whim, and medical services and supplies are blocked.
So our sanctimonious political hypocrites would rather reach for the words of outrage to describe the Hamas attack, while the IDF carry out ethnic cleansing in Gaza. None has called for a ceasefire. And none dare call for an end to the occupation and settler colonialism, aptly described as apartheid – the real reason why Gaza is burning.
Clearly, what is needed here is a call for a ceasefire – although we know that will only come when Israel satisfies its murderous appetite in Gaza. Rest assured that Gaza will be flattened and countless dead Gazan civilians will be described as collateral damage by Israel and parroted by Trudeau, et al – all political leaders of a settler state called Canada.
But Palestinians will endure and Israel will exist. And in the end these two peoples will have to learn to live together peacefully in a single state or learn to live peacefully in separate states. But that won’t happen until Israel is pressed to end the illegal occupation, remove all the illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and withdraw to the pre-1967 border to gain some sense of legitimacy.