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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Death in Gaza: Silence is complicity

As I write this, the latest figures say 195 Palestinians lie dead in Gaza, victims of an Israeli terrorist attack. The Western press is quick to note that the majority of the dead were "Hamas", and that just "some" civilians were among the dead; indeed, one of the main attacks was a police graduation ceremony. But not, mind you, people who were in the process of, had in the past, or were even suspected of involvement in the rocket attacks which Israel claims as the reason for the attacks. "Hamas" policemen are civilians, just as much as the "real" civilians who Israel has also callously murdered.

It goes without saying that Israel had at least implicit, and almost certainly explicit, approval from the United States to proceed with this attack. But really, the complicity extends far beyond whatever has passed between the U.S. government and Israel in recent days and weeks. Because Israel has been starving the people of Gaza, and launching attacks on them and killing them, for months. And the world, including Western governments and the corporate media, has been as silent about this silent (and not-so-silent) terrorism as it can possibly be. Just as an example, I've been watching CNN for a half-hour now. The Israeli attack on Gaza which has killed 195 people (proportionately, more than on 9/11)? When I turned on the TV (having seen the news on my computer), I was expected wall-to-wall coverage. Instead, what have I seen? The largest single-day Palestinian death toll since 1967 has received exactly one sentence of coverage, less than 30 seconds [Note: hours later, the coverage has expanded, but still isn't remotely commensurate with the significance of the event]. Not one of the corporate media reports (AP, New York Times) even includes a pro-forma "call for restraint" from the U.S. government [Note: much later, it comes], nor even bothers to note that the U.S. government (nor the U.N. Secretary-General, etc.) has not issued any statement on the matter. Which is a continuation of the situation that has persisted for months. Israeli terrorism, world silence.

It is those months (years, really) of silence (or relative silence) from the entire world which precipitated this attack, every bit as much as any implicit or explicit approval of the actual attack by the U.S. government.

Update: World reaction via Ha'aretz.

Important update: The ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom, Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda, International Palestine Right to Return Coalition are calling for Tuesday, December 30 to be a National Day of Action to show solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza and to demand an immediate end to the murderous attacks carried out by the Israeli military against the people of Gaza. Actions are scheduled for Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anaheim, CA (Orange County), New York City (also Sunday), Fort Lauderdale, FL, Chicago, Boston, Seattle (Sat.), Toronto (Sunday). Details here.

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