Gaza, still

It is hard to believe that the kidnapping and murder of three settlers in the West Bank can lead to a military operation with such a collective punishment on the civil population of the Gaza Strip. No one can buy it. There is no justification for the murder of a hundred Palestinians for each Israeli, most of them civilians and kids. There is no justification considering the real causes either, such as a direct attack on the unity Government agreed by Hamas and Al Fatah, jeopardizing the never-ending peace talks and probably a long list of other political reasons; but still we see the leaders of the USA and the EU dance in equidistance between Israel and Palestine, avoiding critics on disproportion in the use of force and the total lack of respect towards war laws. Because, in a civilized world, even war has boundaries, red lines nobody should cross in order to keep humane.

The firing of rockets to Israeli soil must be condemned and Israel deserves to live in peace, which is not neutrality but rejection of any kind of violence against civil population. Violence is never the answer, until the rest of political actions have failed. Military operations backed by the UN Security Council (not NATO) are out of the question since the USA will always veto an armed intervention in Israel. Political agreements will not be reached in the short term with the actual hawks in charge on both sides of the conflict.

You can’t defend yourself when you are militarily occupying someone else’s land (Noam Chomsky). Yet, it is so clear, despite what we hear every now and then from American and European Institutions, that Israel is deliberately attacking the Gaza Strip to obtain political goals, with no respect to the civil population and civil targets such as hospitals. And it will continue attacking until occupation ends. Notwithstanding the group of Israelis and Jews around the world opposing the military occupation and the Gaza massacre is more and more visible every day, the emergency situation for thousands of Palestinians cannot wait for these voices to provoke a radical change. What can be done then? What the world did against apartheid in South Africa, boycotting a country that has a two-plate system, roads only for Israelis and other measures with the only purpose of segregating two types of people living in the same territory. Besides the massive killing in the occupied Gaza Strip, this would be enough.

It is time to join the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which uses economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the stated goals of the movement: the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees”(1). It is time for the EU and the member States to follow the lead of Chile, which has suspended trade talks with Israel over Gaza bombing and suspend trade special agreements until Israel ends the occupation. It is time to cut off business, cultural cooperation and any way of support to a State, the state of Israel, that forgot what is to be massacred with no mercy. And it is time for the Nobel Peace Prize Barack Obama to earn that Prize and not to feel ashamed every time he remembers his speech on peace and understanding of the Arab World in Cairo, called A New Beginning. Starting when?

David de la Torre

(1) Wikipedia: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions