a) Who won?
At a superficial level it may seem as if the Zionist-based colonialist entity called Israel won the just over a week-long war. After all with their superior weaponry and expertise funded and informed by North American and European military sources, they had incessantly pulverised Gaza from the air, from land and from sea – all in order to subdue them. The Nazis tried to do the same to London during the Second World War and also failed. It is a historical fact that you cannot easily subdue a people and their culture by aggressive and belligerent military destruction. In contrast to this latest incessant Israeli barrage only a very few of the Palestinian resistance forces rockets were able to avoid interception and do damage. For this reason, the military mentality of the Zionists and those who identify with them imagine they have won. But struggles are not always or entirely won by military means. There are other factors at work in the modern world.
One is the fact that the Palestinian David in Gaza, despite this month’s battle with the Goliath of Israel, continues to exist. For sixty years the Palestinians have resisted being entirely cleared off their land even though the Zionists have re-drawn their maps to remove the name ‘Palestine’ from the colonised territory. Through armed struggle and two Intifada’s, Palestinians have continually struggled to assert the moral and legal rights to exist and to their land. They have not been beaten into submission. Indeed, they continue to fight back in the only way they can with the only weapons they have – civil disobedience, peaceful demonstration and now rockets and guns. Of course, just to exist is to resist; but to resist with whatever weapons are available is to resist positively. In this sense the Palestinians have continued to win against the Zionist struggle to obliterate them – and this time in Gaza they have won that battle again.
But in an even greater sense the Zionist have lost! In fact they have been loosing the moral, intellectual and legal ground ever since the world awoke to what was really going on in former Palestine. When the Nakba became internationally recognised as the Zionist putsch instigating the colonialist land grab in 1948, the ‘facts on the ground‘ were matched by the ‘facts in peoples heads’ and printed in the historical records. The last two bombardments of Gaza, operation ‘Cast Lead’ in 2009 and operation ‘Pillar of Cloud’ in 2012 have demonstrated to the world the complete and utter inhumanity of the ideology of Zionism and the inhumanity of those Jewish nationalists who have failed to break decisively and completely with all it stands for. Israel is increasingly seen as a rogue nation and the majority of its people an anathema to all who do not directly benefit from its existence. As with all such elitist ideologies, humanity has nothing positive at all to learn from the example of Israel and the ideology of Zionism.
b) Who else won?
It was claimed by many commentators that Mohammed Morsi role as intermediary won him a spectacular level of respect from the world’s leaders. He was feted by Obama and his political coterie. But did he and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood really win much by this action? The best the newly elected Brotherhood leadership in Egypt could do to openly and practically support the people of Gaza, was to broker a cease fire. No other form of publicly declared practical help appeared to be given to those suffering the bombardment in Gaza. Were the borders opened to allow support to go in and non-combattants to escape destruction? And are eulogies from Obama, Clinton and any of the other European and North American political pirates of capital any form of useful endorsement for Morsi? I think not. Quite the opposite! And of course the resistance of Gaza was not only the work of Hamas, who played a considerable role, but of all non-betraying Palestinians, Christian, secular and Muslim.
If a gang of thugs were holding you down, squeezing your throat and punching you in the face you may well be glad when they stop hitting you in the face. You would nonetheless still want the thugs to stop strangling you. And you would hope that any sufficiently strong bystanders or so-called friends, would not only help you but would intervene and insist the thugs did exactly that. You would certainly not expect bystanders to urge you to stop struggling or to stand idly by and watch as did the western international community of Senior Politicians. Yet this may be exactly how many Palestinians in Gaza feel now the week-long bombardment from high-tech weaponry directed from land, air and sea by the armed Zionist state has ended. Punching Gaza in the face may have stopped for the moment, but the economic stranglehold on the lives of the people of Gaza remains as the despicable blockade initiated by Israel continues. So there still remains much to be done.
c) So who are the other losers?
It is obvious that the very many dead Palestinians in Gaza, the injured and the survivors who have lost their families and their homes are the losers in this tragic and brutal demonstration of Zionist inhumanity. In a direct physical sense this – and those blinded by Zionist loyalty and killed or injured in the struggle against the occupation of Palestinian land – is the greatest loss. Buildings can be replaced, at least if and when the Zionists allow building materials and machinery to be imported to Gaza. Human beings can not be replaced as easily. But of course deaths and missing limbs, are not the only losses in this latest battle. Further related non-physical losses have been demonstrated over this latest period of Zionist blitzkrieg. They are different from the loss of life, and have been losses we need not mourn. There has been a visible loss of respect, trust and integrity in the international political classes – of all political and religious denominations.
Apart from occasional hot-air rhetoric, and the odd visit, what have the Arab and Muslim leaders throughout the world done in a practical way to aid their co-religious counter-parts in Gaza or the West Bank? They have definitively not grabbed the chance to publicly do more during the bombing and shelling. And the recent self-elevation of Morsi to status of effective dictator in Egypt demonstrates that the ideology of Islam as with Judaism and Christianity is an ideology suitable and necessary to the respective governing classes. It is not enough for them to allow people to choose to be self-governed by the ‘book’, whether this is the Old Testament, the New Testament or the Qur’an. The people must be ruled by them and they mean to enforce their interpretation of social conformity through the coercion of the state. All the US war-mongering presidents have been devout Christians and the vast majority of European political leaders are similarly ‘guided’ including the war criminal Tony Blair.
The best the so-called liberal-democratic elite political bystanders such as those in America, Europe and Britain, could do during the time powerful Israel was raining high explosive blows on defenceless Gaza, was to urge them (as Obama did) not to retaliate in any way. The same people who have supplied military equipment, intelligence and personnel to Israel – knowing it will be used against Palestinians – unsurprisingly stood on the sidelines and did little or nothing positive. They are definitely the losers – even if they don‘t know it yet. The same politicians are being further exposed as such as they implement austerity measures to ensure that ordinary people in Europe and North America pay for the financial crisis created by their counter-parts in the public and shadow banking sector.
Finally, in the absence of direct support and through its continued collusion with the Zionist entity, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, following the ’Palestine Papers’ revelations, are also poised to be the losers. One can hardly see how they come out of recent events with anything other than serious loss of standing in the eyes of Palestinians. So for anyone freed from one-sided partisan blindness, or sectarian prejudice – with the exception of those solidarity groups and individuals who spoke out and demonstrated, – there have been no other winners except the Palestinian people themselves. Their complete victory is not as yet assured but the justice of their cause certainly is. And if we succeed in creating a truly positive humanity out of the coming turmoil’s, their homeland will eventually be re-instated.
Roy Ratcliffe. (November 2012.)