Israel is committing retail genocide, part 2

August 6, 2003



> Almost one quarter of Palestinian children under five are 
> suffering from acute or chronic malnutrition and the situation 
> in the Gaza Strip is as bad as in African countries such as 
> Nigeria and Chad.

That's from the DAILY TELEGRAPH article linked above. The reason for this 
suffering is that the Israeli military is deliberately destroying the 
Palestinian economy.

As I've pointed out before (Israel is committing retail genocide), the 
Israeli state's policies in dealing with the Palestinians show no 
resemblance to those a state would pursue if it wanted peace. Ron HaCohen, 
an Israeli writer for Antiwar.com, says it well in his latest essay:


> Last week's events in Gaza irrefutably prove that the Israeli 
> leader is not only unwilling to see Palestinian terrorism 
> stopped; [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon would also do 
> anything to ensure and encourage terrorism against his own 
> people.

The events to which HaCohen is referring include the dropping of 1,000-
pound bomb on an apartment complex in the incredibly crowded Palestinian 
city of Gaza, in which Hamas guerilla leader, Salah Shehadeh, was staying. 
The Israeli bomb killed him. It also killed at least 15 innocent civilians 
-- including 10 children -- and wounded 145 others. 

The bombing happened one and a half hours after a Palestinian council 
called the Tanzim, which included the head of Hamas, the main Palestinian 
terrorist organization, agreed to consider a unilateral ceasefire. HaCohen 
points out that this is the third time the Israeli rulers have derailed 
any chance for peace:

> Time and again, Israeli assassinations (as well as other 
> offensive measures) abruptly ended prolonged periods of hope. 
> In November 2001, the assassination of the Hamas activist 
> Mahmoud Abu Hanoud was carried out just when the Hamas was 
> respecting for two months its agreement with Arafat not to 
> attack inside Israel. In January 2002, the assassination of 
> Raed Karmi ended a few weeks of relative quiet in the 
> territories. The same pattern repeated itself this time too. 
> The operation was no mistake; the decision to use a bomb 
> instead of missiles, the more usual means used by Israel for 
> its extra-judiciary killings, was undoubtedly deliberate.

The bombing happened in the middle of the night, guaranteeing maximum 
civilian casualties. Predictably, Hamas retaliated a few days later, 
bombing an Israeli bus full of illegal settlers, killing 9 and wounding 45. 
One of the Israeli rescue workers said of it, "I have never seen such an 
atrocious scene." 

Like most Israelis, he has probably never seen suffering the Palestinians 
are enduring under the boot heel of occupation. From the TELEGRAPH article:

> There is no absolute shortage of food, but people are so poor 
> that they cannot afford to feed themselves properly because the 
> Palestinian economy has collapsed and Palestinians can rarely 
> go to jobs in Israel, previously a mainstay.

The reason the Palestinian economy has collapsed is that Israeli troops 
simply don't allow commerce. Freedom of movement is severely restricted by 
long lines at numerous checkpoints, at which everyone, included dying 
people in ambulances, are made to wait for hours. Meanwhile, the Israelis 
are importing menial workers to take the jobs the Palestinians have 
depended on.

> In the Gaza Strip 13.2 per cent of children under five suffer 
> from chronic malnutrition, which means they suffer stunted 
> growth and mental development.
> The report's authors say the results amount to a "humanitarian 
> emergency" which can only get worse as most Palestinians have 
> run out of assets to sell or borrowers to lend them money for 
> food.

Characteristically, the Israeli state used the bus bombing as an 
opportunity to prevent any travel at all by Palestinians, adding to the 
economic damage. The obvious motive is to drive the Palestinians out so 
that the Israelis can steal the remaining land on the West Bank and in 
Gaza, part of what Prime Minister Ariel Sharon believes is Eretz Israel: 
"Greater Israel."

It is the money paid in taxes by Americans that makes this brutality 
possible. Meanwhile, even more of it will be spent to invade Iraq, also a 
country whose children are suffering massive malnutrition, because of a 
blockade imposed by the United State. Iraq is a country that has never 
committed any aggression against America, and does not have the means to 
do so now.

But not to worry -- Emperor Bush really does care about children. He said 
so August 6, when he announced a "summit" on "missing, exploited, and 
runaway children" according to CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2002/
ALLPOLITICS/08/06/bush.children/index.html ). "The kidnapping or murder of 
a child is every parent's worst nightmare," he said in his charming 
lobotomized way. "Our nation has come to know the names and faces of too 
many wonderful children, because they've been the victims of despicable 

But that's really the trouble, isn't it? We don't know the names and faces 
of hundreds of thousands of children who are the victims of despicable 
violence that we are paying for, or the ones that Emperor Bush seems 
determined to kill in the months ahead.

Back in the 1980s Americans were outraged when they saw the sufferings of 
Ethiopians on their evening news. They don't see the sufferings of Iraqis 
and Palestinians because the news media, our Imperial Ministry of Truth, 
minimizes contact with any news that might cause an inconvenient reaction. 
But even if they did, would they care? Or have they become so chuckleheaded 
from the incessant pro-war propaganda that they'd just change the channel?

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