Sunday, January 18, 2009

Israel's "Unilateral Ceasefire"

After 22 days of disproportionate military aggression and willful destruction of non-military targets such as the UN food warehouse and a primary school, Israel has declared a ceasefire as though they are the most benevolent government in the world. Does Israel really expect the world to forget their destructive rampage and suddenly treat them as victims? Well, the truth is, as far as the Western media is concerned, Israel can continue acting the martyr. Within a few months, people would have officially forgotten these destructive events, just as they have with Israel's incursion into Lebanon. Israel's claim for protecting themselves from tinker-toy rockets falls flat when their occupation of Gaza has no end in sight.

Where is the Western government clamoring at Israel to stop as it did when Russia invaded Georgia? Certainly there are reports and significant coverage, but the unbiased opinion and the silence especially of the US media absolutely criminal. We have reached an age of media manipulation so obvious that even a 5 year old child, with their limited capacity of understanding complex psychology and credulous nature are not naive enough to believe. Yet, a majority of the American public turns a blind eye at the plight of the Palestinians.

Our ability to reach an hasty conclusion when faced with limited facts and increased emotional responsiveness is used by the Media to further influence our beliefs. Where are the Palestinian voices, especially from the moderate West Bank, when debating Israel's invasion? Most discourse on the subject, even those that seem unbiased often involves individuals with a Jewish background? How can a discussion remain absolutely objective when the parties have personal interests in the debate? Obviously they can follow certain routes, obfuscate possible questions, and in general appear genuine when in fact, they're obviously avoiding elephants in the room. Where are the questions regarding Israel's disregard for the United Nations? Why don't they inquire about the possible causes of the conflict? Hamas did not just develop in isolation, but was brought forth and fueled by Israel's aggressive treatment of the Palestinians. With the numerous assaults on human rights, and the Israeli government's superiority complex, the situation will continue to remain tense and explosive for quite some time. One solution that hasn't been tried yet, and perhaps is the only one left is to hold Israel accountable for their actions. Why must we continue slapping them on their wrists for even the gravest of human injustices when we hold them beyond contempt? If Russia behaves as aggressively as Israel, we at least acknowledge to the world that we don't condone the behavior. Yet in the Western media, especially within the United States, Israel has remained untouchable. We're in the dark as far as peace demonstrations even within Israel. Is the Israeli lobby in America so powerful that it can manipulate nearly 300 million Americans into believing anything that's fed to them? Are people left devoid of critical thinking and allowed to become complacent puppets? Sadly, the answer to those questions appears to be yes. We, in the West, especially us Americans should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing this behavior to continue unopposed; especially when our hard-earned tax dollars are involved in purchasing the weapons that are used to destroy targets the Israeli's deem potentially dangerous. Basically, Israel is the political equivalent of Judge Dredd, acting as judge, jury, and executioner with a short sited view of their actions. Perhaps in the immediate future, their incursion into Gaza may result in increased political leverage, but as time has consistenly shown, the discontent will arise within the population and either all Gazans will forget about the hell-fire from the skies, or a few will use Israel as a political crutch to grab power and continue defying Israel and the West.

As is often the case, the blame is not Israel's alone, and in general, even the most intense anti-Israeli activists will acknowledge the role of Hamas in perpetuating this conflict. Yet, once again, it must be stated that Hamas does not work in isolation, and especially in this case, it takes two idiots to start a fire. The difference is that it's easy to jump on the bandwagon blaming only one of the idiots, but when everybody ignores the other idiot, he can carry on behaving degiantly. Thinking of this in another way, it's as though two brats are fighting, and the parents, who have mostly given up on breaking up their argument, continue to blame only one of the brats, whilst showing favortism to the other (such as purchasing expensive toys that he can use to hurt the other one). The "chosen" brat happens to have a bloated sense of enitlement, and knows from the parent's constant apathy that his control and power over the other brat is unlimited. The obvious solution of discipline to this insignificant domestic disturbance can be applied to the stage of global politics. Further, enforcing international law cannot remain unilateral. If all countries are required to declair their intentions for nuclear ambitions, then Israel should not be allowed to maintain nuclear ambiguity. As in many other cases however, Israel is often treated as a special case, due mostly to their powerful and politically influential lobby.

Essentially, Israel's "unilateral ceasefire" may appear to work in the short term. An uneasy peace may return to Gaza, and under severe political and economic pressures, the Hamas government may end up sighning numerous declarations. Yet, with Israel's continued economic pressure, and their control over water and energy rights over Gaza, the population will once again become outraged, and Hamas will continue venting their frustrations. An occupation like this cannot work or become peaceful. The only two solutions would be a genocide, or a long-term peace built upon universally applied standards for peace and justice. The West cannot remain ambivalent to the treatment of the Palestinians, and we cannot continue supplying Israel with funds and weapons when their actions seem almost Fascist.

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