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Thursday, 12 March 2009

hypocrisy comes with an annual three billion U.S. dollar price tag

The U.S. supported the war on Gaza by Israel. It provided Israel with most of its weapons. In fact, Chomsky reports that
on December 31, while terrorized Gazans were desperately seeking shelter from the ruthless assault, Washington hired a German merchant ship to transport from Greece to Israel a huge shipment, 3000 tons, of unidentified "ammunition." The new shipment "follows the hiring of a commercial ship to carry a much larger consignment of ordnance in December from the United States to Israel ahead of air strikes in the Gaza Strip," Reuters reported.
The shipment may not have made it to Israel in time to be used on Gazans, particularly as the Greeks did not want to participate in supplying Israel with weapons, but it will be used, don't worry, sooner or later.

The U.S. failed to condemn the slaughter of 1300 people, including many children, many women, many sick, many old, many civilians. It failed to condemn the fact that civilians had nowhere to flee and they were not able to flee anywhere, due to Gaza being walled in and its borders being closed due to Israeli insistence. It stymied United Nations attempts to pass resolutions to bring about ceasefires, and to initiate possible action. Through this silence, obstruction, the green light that Bush provided, and Obama's silence, it condoned the destruction of Gazan infrastructure and all the above and more. Yet, Hillary Clinton has told:
Abbas that Congress will not approve funding of a Palestinian government that does not recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence. She added that if those requirements are not met the U.S.-funded program under the supervision of General Keith Dayton training PA security forces would be the first to be axed.
Considering the fact that the U.S. funded program that trains the PA security forces was probably responsible for the attempted overthrow of Hamas in 2006 (where Hamas, even though democratically elected, are purported to have "violently wrested control" of Gaza from Fatah), and that Fatah are considered corrupt and are not necessarily popular with the people, the suspension of U.S. training of PA security forces might be a good thing. However, Clinton says that that scheme would be the first to be axed.
Under Bush, Chomsky states:
more than $21 billion in U.S. military aid [was] provided . . . to Israel, almost all grants. "Israel's intervention in the Gaza Strip has been fueled largely by U.S. supplied weapons paid for with U.S. tax dollars," said a briefing by the New America Foundation, which monitors the arms trade.
Those arms are not just used on Gazans, but on all Palestinians. I wonder if Clinton will restrict the annual three billion dollars in aid that Israel receives unless Israel recognises the Gazan government (Hamas), and unless Israel relinquishes violence. And it is a very violent state. It seems unlikely that the U.S. could even consider this. It does not seem that it has one iota of interest in peace in this region, and it seems it will have to be the rest of the world, such as the Europeans, who at least have some discourse on the topic, and indeed, many Israelis, who have fled the country, or who are working with peace groups within, who might have a chance of bringing any chance of peace or justice. There are many people in the Arab countries who are sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, too, but their governments do not necessarily share the same views.

Reagan tried to stave off actions against South Africa's apartheid government, but he was eventually overridden. Hopefully that will ultimately be the case in this situation too. The rest of the world will, little bit by little bit, act, and maybe, if the U.S. can get away from the powerful influence of the lobby, it might be able to act, too, or then again, it might lose one of its best customers for arms.

Remember what Israeli peace activist, Jeffery Halper, said yesterday? It still holds true today:
I mean you know, James Baker called the Palestinian conflict the epicentre of instability in the entire Middle East and if you want to stabilise the Middle East, it you want to deal with Islamic fundamentalism, if you want to deal with Iraq and Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Arab regimes that are teetering today, you’ve got to deal with the Palestine issue because this is around Jerusalem, which is tremendously important for Muslims, and the idea that Israel is Judaising Israel, which Israel says it is doing, is really something that’s creating a theological conflict that’s going to be very dangerous.

But in addition to that, I think the idea that this is an American-western occupation in which an Arab people is being suppressed and oppressed by a western country and Israel’s not even seen as the main actor. I think most Muslims see this as an American occupation, not an Israeli occupation. I think the west has to understand that the west is not going to get on to business as usual and stabilise the Middle East and the whole global system as long as this conflict continues.

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr