If the Gazans can be penalized by collective punishment, then it follows that anyone who joins a peace flotilla can also be punished for their impertinence. Let’s face it: these peace activists are embarrassing to the powers that be, and embarrassing the boss is the worst crime of all.
One and a half million destitute but, thanks to last year’s brave Gaza flotilla participants, not quite starving residents of the Gaza Ghetto are imprisoned still by Israel’s army, which guards the globe against the peril posed by these prisoners. For, despite its nuclear arms, nuclear-capable submarines, squadrons of F-16s, bunker-buster bombs, white phosphorus, and endless tanks, Israel fears the Gazans. And it should. Gazans represent a challenge for which Israel, in the end, has no answer: the fundamental demand of all humans for dignity. Admit that Gazans are humans with a right to dignity and much else follows, a chain of logic and moral reasoning that would lead directly to the collapse of the Israeli garrison state [possibly, though not necessarily, to the collapse of a reformed Israeli state], which is built on a policy of superior military force and the principle that Israelis have more rights than others. Washington, of course, understands this and thus has declared war on all who defend the right of Gazans to dignity.
One can only imagine, at this point, what manner of pressure and threat Washington has brought to bear against Greece and Turkey to force the respective administrations to defy their own populations and sign on to this war against Gaza. One boat blockaded on a legal pretext, another that withdrew at the last minute without obvious cause, a third with an axle that just happened to break itself. But the truth will eventually out, and we shall all learn what bribes were paid, what punishments were evaded by the kowtowing of Ankara and Athens. When the chickens of anti-American feeling come home to roost, Americans will of course profess to be clueless.
Montaigne, a few centuries back, had some blunt remarks that are informative in this context.
The confusion of order and measure of crimes is dangerous: Murtherers, Traitors and Tyrants, have too much gaine by it.
So, with Montaigne, one may ask:
- Exactly what does Washington have to gain by preserving the extreme right-wing Israeli policy of endless repression of the people of Gaza?
- Is it impossible to identify even the slightest room for compromise?
- Would the world we know collapse with the slightest move toward the freedom of visitors to go to Gaza, to drop off a bit of food and medicine, to offer Gazans smiles and letters?
Well, yes, in fact, the world we know probably would collapse. If Gazans deserve smiles and letters, then Rafah Gate should truly be opened. If Rafah Gate should truly be opened, then Gazans should be allowed to travel like all other humans. If Gazans were to be allowed out, then Gazans should be allowed to govern themselves. If Gazans were to be allowed to govern themselves, then they surely should be allowed to defend themselves. If Gazans were to be allowed to defend themselves, then the great Israeli army would have to be stuffed back inside of Israel and denied the right to march through its neighbors’ back yards whenever it so desired. If the Israeli army were to remain inside Israel, then disputes would have to be solved through compromise, i.e., changes in Israel’s expansionist policy, rather than through force. Gazans hold the key to the whole empire. As we all know, Israel never has a choice.
But keeping them locked up still raises some questions that will inevitably be answered, whether Washington and Tel Aviv hide their heads in the sands of occupied Palestine or not:
- How many votes is Washington by its repression of Gaza handing to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s upcoming election?
- How many potential supporters of democracy in the Mideast will instead join al Qua’ida?
- How much further will Greeks, already inflamed by their recession and European-American demands that they sacrifice, be irritated by this latest slap in the face?
- How much more will Erdogan’s moderate Islamic party be radicalized by Washington’s refusal to countenance any Turkish independence even on the most egregious regional issue of injustice?
- How much more American blood and treasure will be wasted defending repressive Mideast regimes standing tall on the ramparts of sand castles?