Bush’s Final Dirty Deed in Gaza
Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 4th January, 2009
Israeli ground troops have gone into the Gaza Strip, in what Israeli military sources have called a ‘limited operation’. Major Avital Leibovitch told reporters in Jerusalem that ‘we are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas’. That suggests a quick, surgical strike, but it certainly won’t be like that in reality. Palestinian militants who have (wrongly and stupidly) been lobbing missiles into Israel have largely been doing so from portable launchers which they can set up anywhere. What that means is that Israeli soldiers will have to go into densely populated areas, including in Gaza City, where civilian casualties are likely to be high. The massacre of the innocents which started with the recent Israeli bombardments has entered a new, vicious phase. And of course the Palestinians will resist. People do, when they are invaded by a foreign force, even when their weapons are no match for the enemy’s.
Not for the first time in recent modern Middle Eastern history, there is an evil power which is allowing all this to happen: the Bush administration in Washington. Some commentators had speculated that before George Bush left office, he would do something ‘spectacular’, like bomb Iran. But encouraging Israel to invade — and possibly reoccupy — Gaza was, in my view, always a more likely option. Bullies tend to pick on the weaker prey.
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, but Tel Aviv will not listen. The United States has told Israel it doesn’t need to. The UN Security Council met in an emergency session but it failed to come up with an agreed statement, thanks to the United States. US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff declared that a statement which blamed both Hamas and Israel for the current situation would not be ‘helpful’. In other words, the Bush administration has given the Israelis carte blanche to do whatever they want in Gaza and to pin all the blame on Hamas.
Britain and other EU member states must disassociate themselves strongly from this obscene stance. We must denounce what is going on, in the strongest possible terms, to both Tel Aviv and Washington, and suspend Israel’s preferential relationship with the EU. Meanwhile, George W Bush is handing on to Barack Obama a poisoned chalice, as it is Obama who will have to try to extract the United States from the immoral position into which outgoing President Bush has placed it.
(photo of Gaza City: TravelPod)