ISRAEL---- THE PAMPERED CHILD OF US
By : Aravind Sankar
The arrogance of Tel Aviv has once again come to limelight. This time, it posed a severe challenge to international peace by raiding and attacking an aid flotilla bound for Gaza on May 31. Through this brutal act killing nine peace activists, Israel has given warning to the world that any helping hand given against the gross injustice to the Palestinians will be treated with bullets.
The assault took place in the Meditteranean sea, 65 km away from Gaza. The relief mission was coordinated by Insani Yardin Vakfi, a Turkish humanitarian association and the aid flotilla was organised by the Free Gaza Movement, a pro-Palestinian movement, and consisted of six ships from Britain, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey. The high profile convoy had 700 passengers including former diplomats and well known intellectuals such as the Swedish writer Henning Mankell, Irish Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan and so on. The convoy was ferrying 10,000 tonnes of relief supplies for Gaza residents who have been under the miseries of the three year old blockade inflicted on Gaza by Israel and Egypt.
Though Israel tried to justify its act of confronting the activists as action for self-defence, a correspondent of Al-Jazeera T.V. who was on board, said ”the passengers didn’t open fire and they raised a white flag of surrender ahead of the assault.” Some of them who witnessed the incident claimed that Israel had operated a “shoot-to-kill policy”. Information about the manner of the killings suggests that one person was shot every minute and it undermines Israeli argument of self-defence. The post mortem reports say that only in one case was there a single bucket wound, while every other victim suffered multiple wounds.
The international outcry against the Israeli deed was louder than expected. Turkey, a former ally of Israel announced recall of its ambassador from Tel Aviv. Europe, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden summoned their Israeli ambassadors. The E.U. condemned the violence and called for an “immediate, full and impartial inquiry into the events and the circumstances surrounding it. Unlike in previous occasions, the US didn’t come to the rescue of Israel. However the US was soft in its reaction to the incident. It just diluted its condemnation as “deeply regrets the loss of life” and “working to understand what caused the tragedy”. This was too mild when the whole world demanded for the lift up of the blockade on Gaza.
THE GAZA BLOCKADE
The Gaza blockade was intended to hold Hamas and to put pressure on it to release Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held captive for four years. But it not only failed to bring down Hamas but also put immense misery upon its million residents. The blockade prevents exports from Gaza strip and confines imports to a limited supply of humanitarian goods. Only a quarter of the quantity imported before the blockade now reaches the region. UN humanitarian coordinator says that the Gazan economy has completely collapsed. 60% of the households are short of food. The UN statistics show that 70% of the population in Gaza lives with not even $1 a day. More than three-fourths of the population relies on food aids. The shocking fact is that nearly 60% has no access to water at all. But the delay in getting the aids further worsens the situation. Last year, it took 85 day to get shelter kits to Gaza, 68 days for health kits, 39 days for household items and much delay for other stationery items as well.
Meanwhile, World Bank estimates that about 80% of imports to Gaza reach through smuggling through the Egypt-Gaza border tunnels. The prices of these goods are inflated by Hamas through taxation. Thus though the Zionist forces withdrew in 2005, the Gazans suffer the miseries of occupation.
THE US HYPOCRISY
It’s beyond ambiguity that the international community and the UN have failed to control Israel and bring about justice to the Palestinians. The grave breach of international humanitarian law by the Jewish state is going on unabated. The main backup for the lawless, outlaw nature of Israel is the double stance of US. Obama has forgotten his words when he was a presidential candidate. In his Cairo speech, he advised the suffering Palestinians to shun violence, keeping silent to Israel. It minimised its condemnation on the flotilla attack through mild words. Had a similar convoy been attacked by Iran or North Korea, the US would have been now up in arms.
No doubt, Israel is the pampered and spoilt child of US. The most stunning question is that how Israelis, themselves the victims of persecution, can behave like this?