David Klein / Professor of Mathematics, CSUN
Published: Friday, February 6, 2009
Updated: Friday, February 6, 2009
When an impoverished Palestinian boy confronts an Israeli tank in front of his home, how do you explain to American taxpayers that the tank is David and the boy is Goliath?
Apologists for Israel”s devastating attack on the civilian population of Gaza last month would face a task of biblical proportions, were it not for the dearth of information available to the American people.
Israel dropped hundreds of bombs and rained white phosphorus on the Gaza Strip in a three-week period beginning Dec. 27, 2008. The Palestinian population was attacked by U.S. built F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters.
The extent of the damage is staggering. At least 37 United Nations schools were destroyed or damaged during the attack. Forty mosques were destroyed. Tanks bombed hospitals and ambulances, the University of Gaza was leveled to the ground, and white phosphorus bombs obliterated the United Nation”s main food storage facility.
Refugee centers were targeted and suffered heavy casualties. Israeli soldiers killed healthcare workers whose only “crime” was attending to the wounded.
More than 1,300 Palestinians were killed and over 5,000 were crippled, many with loss of limbs or eyesight. Half the victims were women, children and the elderly.
Entire neighborhoods were demolished, leaving tens of thousands homeless. Some survivors describe Israeli tanks arriving in front of homes and ordering families to come out. As children, old people and women came forward, in some cases with white flags, they were shot and killed on the spot.
By contrast, the number of Israeli deaths was 13, including four victims of “friendly fire.”
Israel sealed off Gaza in advance of the attack. No one was allowed to leave without a foreign passport. Women, children, the elderly, and the infirm were not permitted to flee to safety. They were forced to remain in the world”s largest open-air prison with no protection from Israel”s chemical weapons, bombs, and bullets.
Gaza, with its 1.5 million people, is the most densely populated region in the world. Since 2005, well before Hamas came to power, Gaza has suffered from an Israeli military blockade that restricts food, medicine, and other vital supplies. The tunnels from Gaza to Egypt, that Israel has repeatedly bombed, provide essential routes for the transport of basic necessities.
Pro-Israel propagandists justify the attack by charging that Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, broke a six-month cease-fire by launching rockets into Israel. But the facts tell a different story. A December 2008 report entitled “The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement” stated it was Israel, not Hamas, which broke the cease-fire.
According to the Israeli Intelligence report, between June 19 and Nov. 4, 2008, “Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire.” Then on Nov. 4, Israeli forces attacked and killed seven Palestinians in Gaza.
The report further explains, “In retaliation, Hamas and the other terrorist [sic] organizations attacked Israel with a massive barrage of rockets…” Thus, even the Israeli government admits that Israel broke the truce.
In contrast, the mainstream press, which functions as the public relations arm of Israel, blames the victims of Israel”s attack for their own suffering. Not mentioned in the Israeli Defense Ministry report, however, is the failure of Israel to lift the military blockade, as per agreement of the cease-fire, in itself a war crime.
Israel”s most recent violation of the truce agreement with Hamas is not an anomaly. By a wide margin, it is Israel that most often initiates violence.
An analysis entitled “Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End?” written by faculty members at MIT and Tel Aviv University, and a graduate student at Harvard, found during the span of years 2000 to 2008, “79 percent of all conflict pauses were interrupted when Israel killed a Palestinian, while only 8 percent were interrupted by Palestinian attacks (the remaining 13 percent were interrupted by both sides on the same day).” Even more significant, “of the 25 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than a week, Israel unilaterally interrupted 24, or 96 percent, and it unilaterally interrupted 100 percent of the 14 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than 9 days.”
Zionism calls for a Jewish state. Israel defines Jewishness, in part, in genetic terms. A person is legally Jewish if his or her mother is Jewish, regardless of place of birth or religious belief.
In pursuit of a Zionist agenda, Israel has followed a 60-year program of ethnic cleansing, including expulsion of the Palestinian population, military occupation, and mass murder.
The attack of Gaza is only the latest in a long history of crimes against humanity. Ariel Sharon summarized Israel”s national goals when he said in 1983, “the only good Arab is a dead Arab.”
Spain”s highest court has recently launched an investigation of crimes against humanity by Israeli leaders stemming from a 2002 bombing of civilians in Gaza. If the identified officials fail to appear in Madrid, the High Court will likely issue international warrants for their arrest.
It is long past due for Americans, including CSUN students, to call upon our government to end its billions of dollars of support of Israel.
For references and more information, see Prof. Klein”s web page: www.csun.edu/~vcmth00m/boycott.html