Middle East Rising (MER) would like to introduce our new staff member and Editor, Robert Fantina (see bio below)
By Robert Fantina
United States Secretary John Kerry has once again visited the Middle East, to exert his particular brand of useless influence on Palestinian President and Israeli puppet Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu. At least this time he conceded that no progress has been made; there were no false promises about future ‘negotiations’, and Mr. Netanyahu stated categorically that settlement building would not cease.
Once again, Mr. Kerry saw only one side of this bloody coin. Completely ignoring the daily house raids and checkpoints, and the kidnapping and killing of innocent, unarmed Palestinians, he offered his full support to Israel. Referring to the recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem, he said: “Clearly, no people anywhere should live with daily violence; with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars. It is very clear to us that the terrorism, these acts of terrorism, which have been taking place deserve the condemnation that they are receiving.
And today I express complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation. Israel has every right in the world to defend itself. It has an obligation to defend itself. And it will and it is.”
The one-sidedness of this statement is almost too incredible to comprehend, but one must consider the source. Can we look at this statement in its component parts and see what sense we might be able to make of it?
“No people anywhere should live with daily violence”. This writer agrees completely with that statement. But, apparently unlike Mr. Kerry, he considers Palestinians to be ‘people’. Yes, many of them are Muslim, but this writer makes no religious distinction among his personal categorization of ‘people’; perhaps Mr. Kerry does. And the violence with which Palestinians live is so severe, so constant and so deadly that one wonders how anyone, let alone the U.S. Secretary of State, can ignore it. Since the beginning of October, 2015, through November 24, at least 94 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis; the Israeli death toll stands at 16. Unarmed Palestinian men and women have been shot when they posed no threat to anyone. Can this not be seen as ‘daily violence’, with which no one should have to live?
Palestinians are often shot and killed when allegedly attacking Israelis with knives. In December of 2010, a man in Japan was arrested for stabbing thirteen people. Note that he was arrested; not shot and killed. And Palestinians are shot for allegedly ‘threatening’ Israelis when they have no weapons whatsoever.
“It is very clear to us that the terrorism, these acts of terrorism, which have been taking place deserve the condemnation that they are receiving.” Interestingly, much of the world is increasingly seeing the constant acts of terrorism committed by Israel. They are, in fact, beginning to receive the condemnation that they deserve. That Mr. Kerry doesn’t see or condemn them is not surprising, considering the extensive, yet diminishing, influence the American Israeli Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) wields on U.S. governance.
“And today I express complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation.”
Mr. Kerry talks of “condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives”. Surely, he must see the more than 500 children killed by Israel during the summer of 2014 as ‘innocent lives’. Where was his condemnation when they were being slaughtered?
Does Mr. Kerry not know that, for decades, Israel has caused the near-complete disruption of Palestinian life? Farmers can’t work in their own fields; students have to pass numerous checkpoints to get to school and return home. In the Gaza Strip, the illegal blockade prevents the importing of building materials, so tens of thousands of people remain homeless more than a year after Israel’s most recent genocidal onslaught. Unemployment in the Gaza Strip is among the highest in the world, all due to Israel.
“Israel has every right in the world to defend itself. It has an obligation to defend itself. And it will and it is.” It seems almost tiresome to point out, once again, the absurdity of believing that an occupying country must defend itself from its victim. As Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi said, “the Palestinians are the only people on earth required to guarantee the security of the occupier, while Israel is the only country that demands protection from its victims.”
And let us also consider the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and the Fourth Geneva Convention and its subsequent protocols. Commenting on these documents, Israeli human rights lawyer Lynda Brayer said this in 2011: “Above and beyond the basic right of all human beings to resist their being killed and harmed, and a society to take armed actions to protect itself, this document legitimizes also national liberation struggles, including, at this time in history, most particularly, the Palestinian people’s struggle for its own freedom. It is this right which legitimizes all Palestinian attempts to lift the yoke of Israeli oppression from Palestine, including all the actions taken by the Palestinians during Operation Cast Lead.”
One must take some comfort in the fact that Mr. Kerry did not restart the worse-than-useless ‘negotiations’ between Palestine and Israel. But as the official representative of Israel’s chief financier, the U.S., he could have done much to end the unspeakable injustices to which the Palestinians have been subjected by Israel for decades.
The world is awakening to Israeli apartheid. As with South Africa, it will not end overnight, but it will end, and Palestine will be free.
Introducing MER’s new Editor, Robert Fantina who is an activist and journalist, working for peace and social justice.
While living in the U.S., Mr. Fantina actively supported gun control, and opposed the war in Iraq, prior to and following the U.S. invasion of that country. Shortly after the 2004 presidential election he moved to Canada.
Author of two works of non-fiction: Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776 – 2006, also: Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy, and a Vietnam-era, anti-war novel entitled Look Not Unto the Morrow, Mr. Fantina is currently active in supporting the human rights struggles of the Palestinian people and he now resides in Kitchener, Ontario. Visit his web page at http://robertfantina.com/.