It has been more than a year since one of the world’s most sophisticated military forces attacked the helpless and suffocating civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
This oppressed and brutalized population was bombed, bulldozed, and terrorized mercilessly for 23 days.
This was not a war as portrayed by mainstream media (disproportionate coverage in favor of Israel). This was a mugging of a captive and defenceless population, as the figures show: 1,307 Palestinian deaths versus 13 Israeli, 252 under the age of 16 versus 0 Israeli, 773 civilians killed versus three Israeli (all figures from Israeli NGO B’tselem).
In Israel’s continuing brutal colonization of Palestine, it deliberately devastated the already nearly-incapacitated infrastructure that supports 1.5 million refugees, including: 21,000 buildings, 280 schools, 5,300 housing units, 52,000 homes structurally damaged, 200 factories, 700 stores, 1,300 homes and 25 per cent of commercial property was bulldozed, eight hospitals, 26 clinics, water, sewer and power facilities were targeted, massive amounts of agricultural land bombed, 80 per cent of the arable land is destroyed or off limits, 1,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped during operation Cast Lead, which was deliberate and premeditated.
The people of Gaza are living in forced exile from land their families inhabited and cultivated for generations.
Half of the population are children under the age of 15 years. Their culture and their economy has been systematically ravaged by Israel for decades.
In 2006, a criminal siege (the blockade) has deprived them of all but the most minimal resources for subsistence.
In Gaza today, one year later, Israel continues its illegal blockade, enabled by the US and Egypt preventing most building materials from entering the region. As a result, very little reconstruction has been possible. Israel refused to co-operate with the United Nations fact-finding mission on the attack on Gaza.
The Goldstone Report found Israel committed war crimes as well as crimes against humanity in Gaza, and a request by the UN that lsrael conduct their own investigations was refused.
In October 2009, the UN Human Rights Council voted 25 to six with 11 abstentions to adopt the report. In November 2009, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly supported the Gladstone Report by a vote of 114 in favour, 18 against with 44 abstentions. Canada voted with lsrael. Read the report for yourself at http./www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil.
The Canadian Parliament, through its own willful ignorance, clings to the notion that Israel is a victim state fighting for its very survival. It would require an amazing level of denial and self-delusion to pretend the destruction of Gaza had anything to do with Israel’s security or the targeting of Hamas militants. This was a savage collective attack on a civilian population, nothing less.
What kind of society condones this level of brutality? We do.
The Harper ultra-right-wing government has allied itself with the sociopathic Zionist administration of Israel by entering into the Canada-Israel Public Security Agreement; by signing a free trade deal (there are Canadian construction companies building on stolen Palestinian land, right now); allowing CSIS to enter into an official agreement with MOSSAD, allowing proven terrorists to access personal information on Canadian citizens (in the ‘70s, MOSSAD used stolen Canadian passports to enter Jordan to assassinate a Hamas leader); restricting travel into Canada by peace activists and journalist i.e George Galloway (British member of Parliament) and Amy Goodman (Democracy Now); and cutting the funding of two longtime human rights organizations accused of undue solidarity with the people of Palestine (Kairos and Alternatives). In an interview published February 12 in Shalom Life, Peter Kent, junior foreign affairs minister, said, “Prime Minister Harper has made it quite clear for some time now that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada.” I could go on.
Canada’s foreign policy puts the average Canadian traveller at risk. Canada’s relationship with Israel is just the tip of the iceberg and it’s melting.
There can never be any acceptable justification for the deliberate devastation of an entire society. In many cases, Canada’s administration and corporations are complicit, and that reflects on you and me. (See lraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Honduras, etc.). So, as fair-minded, peace-loving human beings, living in Canada, what can we do?
First, don’t take the government or mainstream media for granted Ã research. Misinformation prevails in these institutions (remember H1N1). Vote out any pro-war, pro-Israel or pro-US member of Parliament.
If that happens, there won’t be many left, so implementing proportional representation will be possible.
Vote in proven pro-Canadian candidates.
Finally, boycott the rogue state of Israel. How?
Make an ethical purchasing decision by intentionally not purchasing any Israeli products.
You can identify these products by the bar code. Israeli bar code starts with 729.
Joseph M. Cormier