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Real Motive of Israel's War in Gaza
Palestinians lament the passing of their children and are deeply grieved.

Three major UAE English dailies on Jan.13, 2008 commented on the raging Israeli war on Gaza exposing the motive behind Israel's brutality against the innocent people of Gaza while the international community looks on passively.

Commenting editorially under the title "Real motive of Israel's war is exposed." the Dubai-based "Gulf News" said: "Israel's politicians have wanted a war for some time. They knew their general election was coming up, and they needed the electoral boost that being seen as tough defenders of their way of life would give them with their people. It is a rare Israeli who does not rally around the flag and vote for the government when the bullets are flying and the bombs are falling.

"Now further evidence has surfaced of Israel's anxiety to have a war at any cost. For most of 2008, tensions were high between Bush's administration and Iran over the refusal of the Islamic Republic to be completely clear about allegations of weaponisation of its nuclear programme, according to the New York Times. Israel apparently asked for bunker-busting deep penetration bombs so that it could prepare to attack Iran's nuclear sites on behalf of the US.

"Even the Bush administration was alarmed at this plan, but rather than slap it down, the Americans proceeded to share intelligence and make joint plans for covert action against Iran. For the past seven years, George W. Bush's war on terror was an unbelievable gift to the Israelis. It meant that the Israeli propaganda machine could portray Israel as part of an international league against terror, and in particular against Hamas, whom they have repeatedly described as terrorists linked to Iran.

"Israel has been determined to position itself on the American side regardless of reality. When Israel assaulted Palestinian towns, grabbed Palestinian land and trampled international law, it ignored the United States.

But when it comes to its international image, Israel is relentless in lying as it hammers home the nonsense that it is America's ally against Iran.

This week's vicious assault on Gaza meets Israel's twin aims of trying to reduce the Palestinians to as little as possible and also attacking America's Iranian enemy through its supposed ally, Hamas."

Also commenting on the issue under the title "Israel's Goals' and Toothless UN", another Dubai-based daily, "Khaleej Times" said: "On the 17th day of blood and fire, as aggression continues unabated in the besieged Gaza, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel is heading towards "realising" its goals.

"This comes as the Human Rights Watch, in its report, said Israel has fired artillery shells packed with incendiary agent white phosphorous over heavily populated areas of Gaza and a crowded refugee camp. And as if that is not enough, Israel now speaks of sending in reservists into Gaza to fight urban guerilla warfare, which will add to Palestinians' never-ending woes.

"With diplomatic moves taking a back seat in the face of continued Israeli intransigence, a million and half population of the locked down enclave is literally fighting for survival. Israel has already rebuffed a United Nations resolution calling for a ceasefire, and the aggression in its third week now has resulted in more than 900 deaths and thousands injured.

Many wonder as to what were the Israeli "goals" of bombing and invading Gaza in the first place. The so-called Israeli objective of ending Hamas' crossborder rocket attacks is yet to be met as rockets continue to reach far deeper into Israeli territory. Hamas says it will not consider a ceasefire until Israel completely ends its offensive and lift the blockade of Gaza.

As a matter of fact, the Israeli savagery is inspired and driven by electoral objectives of Israeli politicians. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert refuses to offer a time frame to end the ongoing onslaught, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says the armoured thrust had ‘restored Israel's deterrence'.

"In the face of such jingoistic rhetoric playing to Israeli public opinion before the crucial February 10 election, the continuing suffering of Palestinians is hardly a matter of compelling urgency either to Israeli politicians or the world powers.

"Israel's onslaught on Gaza and the world community's failure to end it has created a huge credibility crisis for institutions like United Nations. It took the Arab and Muslim countries two weeks to persuade the UN to agree on a mere resolution asking Israel to end the Gaza aggression. And as predicted by many, Israel hasn't so much as acknowledged the UN resolution. So much for the world public opinion and so much for the civilised world's commitment to peace and conflict resolution! Muted words of condemnation and toothless resolutions cannot deter Israel from totally swallowing up the Palestinians with their land or what remains of it." Also commenting on the issue under the title "An outstanding, welcome initiative", the Sharjah-based "The Gulf Today" said: "In a cogent refutation of Israel's justification that whatever it is doing in the Gaza Strip is in self-defence as recognised by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, a group of Western lawyers, academics and activists have called the Israeli assault as nothing but blatant aggression.

"The Zionist-influenced US media have been upholding Israel's "right to self-defence" as the main talking point while covering the Jewish state's atrocities against the Palestinian people.

"The rug has been pulled from under the feet of all those arguments by the group of lawyers, academics and activists in a letter published in the Times of London.

"First of all, the letter notes that "under international law self-defence is an act of last resort and is subject to the customary rules of proportionality and necessity." "The killing of almost 800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 3,000 injured, accompanied by the destruction of schools, mosques, houses, UN compounds and government buildings, which Israel has a responsibility to protect under the Fourth Geneva Convention, is not commensurate to the deaths caused by Hamas rocket fire," states the letter.

"They point out that in the three years after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire, and during the same period, the Israeli army killed about 1,250 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.

Noting that Israel had been keeping the Gaza Strip under an 'unlawful blockade .... that brought Gazan society to the brink of collapse' for the past 18 months, the letter also observes that its withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 does not absolve Israel of any responsibility since the coastal strip remained occupied territory under international law because Israel maintained effective control over it.

"Apart from the killing and maiming of thousands of Palestinians, Israel's invasion and bombardment of Gaza amounts to collective punishment of Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants contrary to international humanitarian and human rights law, says the letter. 'In addition, the blockade of humanitarian relief, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and preventing access to basic necessities such as food and fuel, are prima facie war crimes.' "The letter concludes: 'We condemn the firing of rockets by Hamas into Israel and suicide bombings which are also contrary to international humanitarian law and are war crimes. Israel has a right to take reasonable and proportionate means to protect its civilian population from such attacks.

"'However, the manner and scale of its operations in Gaza amount to an act of aggression and is contrary to international law, notwithstanding the rocket attacks by Hamas.' "These are facts and points that have been brought up by people from this part of the world. But they have been deliberately suppressed or overridden by the US media endorsement of Israel's actions as legitimate self-defence. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the charges was diluted by the fact that they had mostly come from the Arab and Muslim world.

"However, it can no longer be the case. The signatories of the letter published in the Guardian include prominent British, European and American lawyers, professors and scholars as well as human rights activists. They are from institutions like human rights committees, Princeton University, London School of Economics, Ohio State University, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva), Stockholm University, University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Queen Mary University, Middlesex University, the American University of Cairo, University of East London, University of York, the National University of Ireland, and the University of Western Ontario.

"The background and identity of the signatories add much weight to the points they make and pre-empt arguments that these are Arab and Muslim talking points.

"We in this part of the world know the facts of the matter. It is the people at large of the Western world who need to be told of the realities in the Middle East. Hopefully, the letter published in the Guardian will the first among the many initiatives to be taken in order to expose the lies that the pro-Israeli lobbies and Zionist leaders tell the people of the West."
(Emirates News Agency, WAM)






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