Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is it the U.S. and Israel Against the World?

International Leaders, U.N. Secretary General Condemn Latest Move Against Gaza, While U.S. Remains Silent

By Ibrahim Abdil-Mu'id Ramey
MAS Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) Oct. 31, 2007 - World leaders and major international organizations have been issuing statements this week condemning the latest Israeli plan to cut off the supply of electricity to the population of Gaza.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the European Union (EU), and other major figures, condemn the planned action by Israel as a display of the collective punishment of a civilian population that would bring almost certain economic devastation and hardship to the 1.4 million isolated and economically-stressed people of the territory.

While the world condemns Israel's actions as violations of the basic human rights of Palestinians, the State of Israel and the United States, remain silent - a dichotomy that is, indeed, a dangerous one.

This is not a matter of calling for the "destruction" of a nation-state, or advocating for the persecution of the Jewish people.

It is not a demand, even, for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, or an expression of support for the Palestinian right of return to the lands and homes confiscated by Israel throughout the past 59 years.

It is not a claim for universal support of Hamas, or the particular forms of armed resistance that Hamas employs.

The world simply calls for an end to the actions of economic warfare that, if taken to their logical conclusion, will lead to no other result than the unnecessary and continued loss of life in the region - the 'world' – excluding Israel itself, and the United States.

It is worth noting here, that America's traditional European allies also want an end to the cycle of violence that embroils both the Palestinian and Israeli population.

Ending the cycle of violence is certainly a necessary pre-condition of a just and enduring peace in the region – a position shared by the majority of the worldwide population; including those living in Palestine and Israel.

Yet, if the Israeli's pull the power plug in Gaza - and they provide 60 percent of the electricity used in the territory - the consequential damage would be catastrophic. Food refrigeration would fail, agricultural irrigation would stop, and hospitals would be without the electricity required to sustain life-saving medical equipment.

In short, more Gazans would die – and, ironically, the armed Hamas resistance in Gaza would find new and more fertile ground for recruitment.

Regrettably, the role of the United States in this ongoing conflict remains that of the superpower that guarantees that Israel military and economic actions will be backed, at any cost - despite any world consensus of opposition to Israel's policy of collective punishment.

This myopic and amoral position will only encourage the pro-militarist forces in Israel (and Gaza), and make the possibility of peace and stability less and less likely. Moreover, both the United States and Israel will become even more isolated in the international community, and more at odds with their traditional allies.

Cutting off electricity to Gaza would be a tragedy for the people of Palestine. But supporting this Israeli action further isolates the United States, and creates a situation where, literally, the U.S. and Israel oppose the clear moral consensus of virtually the rest of the world.

No comments: