Monday, March 02, 2009

Altered State?

When I read the following news article regarding Gaza I was struck by a few things. In the attack on Gaza 1,300 Palestinians were killed and something like 12 or 14 Israeli were killed. That alone reveals the true nature of the attack, a very one-sided affair. So it wasn’t surprising to read that Hamas tried to set up negotiations with the Israeli government before the attack and that the Israeli government would have no part in talks with Hamas falling back on that worn out old saw “Israel won’t negotiate with terrorists” as if we don’t know who the real terrorists are. The article claims this alters the propaganda that led up to the invasion of Gaza yet it seems to me that with some exceptions most of the world didn’t buy into the reasons put forth by Olmert and with good reason. The fact is that it had already come out that Israel had been planning the attack for quite some time regardless of any cease-fire. It’s probably safe to say that the Palestinians could have been shooting rubber bands at Israel with the same vicious Israeli attack occurring (Israel has the right to protect itself from rubber bands) since the home-made missiles fired by Palestinians were just a convenient excuse to justify the murder of so many Palestinians. The true driving force of the Gaza assault was Israeli expansionism, the same expansion of Israel that has been ongoing for sixty years. In that sense nothing is or has been altered except perhaps for the malignant intensity of Israeli state violence which reflects our own state violence albeit on a smaller scale.


Hamas, the militant Palestinian organisation, attempted to conduct secret talks with the Israeli leadership in the protracted run-up to the recent war in Gaza - with messages being passed from the group at one stage through a member of prime minister Ehud Olmert's family.

Confirmation of attempts to establish a direct line of communication between Hamas and Israel - and the willingness of senior figures in Hamas to contemplate direct negotiations - fundamentally alters the narrative of the build-up to the war in Gaza which claimed more than 1,300 Palestinian lives and led to about a dozen Israeli deaths.


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