Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Juan Cole: The US is Israel’s Accomplice in War Crimes in Gaza // Climate Change, Dirty Natural Gas, and the Gaza War
The US State Department became a little testy with Israel on Sunday over the 6th school shelling by the Israeli military, which killed 10, saying
is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah
sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which ten more Palestinian civilians
were tragically killed,” reads the statement from State Department spokesperson
Jen Psaki. “We once again stress that Israel
do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”
As for the standard Israeli military pretext for such war crimes, that Hamas was hiding out in the school or firing from the school, no reporter on the ground has seen any evidence of any such activity by Hamas in schools where there are people. Then the Israeli military obfuscates things by saying that Hamas was “in the area.” Since
is so small, I suppose they are in the area of almost everything. But the State
Department didn’t let Tel Aviv off the hook this time: “The suspicion that
militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives
of so many innocent civilians.”
Despite this bold criticism, the State Department and the
government won’t actually do anything about Israel’s
lawlessness in Gaza. That is
because the US
is a full ally of the Likud government in its war on Gaza,
which is configured as a fight to destroy or attrite the capabilities of the
Hamas party-militia, a Muslim fundamentalist movement that has foresworn any
attack on US facilities or interests. As the head of US military intelligence
recently testified, however, if Hamas were destroyed something worse would
almost certainly take its place. That is because you can’t expect people to
live the way Israel
makes them live in Gaza without
their forming a resistance movement. Since they are kept poor and on the edge of
hunger, the resistance movements they throw up are lean and hungry, and as
ruthless as the Israeli army.
Here are the ways that the
is actively helping Israel
in its war on Gaza:
its raw signals intelligence directly with Israeli intelligence,enhancing
Israeli eavesdropping and surveillance capabilities, as Glenn Greenwald shows
in a new article for Firstlook. Israel
somewhat ungratefully repaid the favor by collaborating
with Russia to spy on John Kerry during his failed peace negotiations.
replenishes Israel’s ammunition. If Washington
were actually so distressed about the UNRWA school shelling, it could just stop
sending the shells for a while. It did this to Egypt
after the massacre at Rabi`a al-Adawiya last summer.
State Department actively helps Israel
to economically blockade the civilians of Gaza.
It even pressures
Egypt to uphold the blockade (which is why it is silly to say that Egypt
is also responsible for the siege of Gaza;
have a choice in this policy that is made from Tel Aviv and promulgated from Washington).
4. Amnesty International shows that “Since 2012, the
has exported $276 million worth of basic weapons and munitions to Israel,
a figure that excludes exports of military transport equipment and high
US actively opposed the granting by
the UN to Palestine of the status of nonmember observer state. It is
this status that Palestine could
use to go to the International Criminal Court and get a judgment against Israel
for its illegal squatting on Palestinian land in the West Bank.
That the US
opposed Palestine having standing
to apply to the ICC shows how hand in glove Washington
is with Israel.
cannot serve as honest broker in Israel-Palestine negotiations because because
its government is overwhelming committed to and identified with Israel,
including in this war. That is why President Obama keeps mouthing propaganda
like that Israel has a right to defend itself (it doesn’t enjoy an absolute
right of that sort– its defense has to be proportionate and within
The US political system is the most corrupt in the industrialized world, and our representatives have simply been bought and paid for by Israel fanatics like Sheldon Adelson or Haim Saban (the latter has also taken over Middle East analysis at Brookings, which used to have an independent editorial line). It is scary since the Likud took over, since it is just as though a Serbian Lobby in the 1990s had bribed Congress to support Slobodan Milosevic.
Related video added by Juan Cole: AP “UN school ‘hit by Israeli airstrike’ in Gaza”
Calls by Israeli politicians in mainstream positions for the Palestinians to be ethnically cleansed from
in part reflect frustration over the security issue many Israelis maintain the
people of Gaza pose to Israel.
(If the concern were justified, you’d think the death toll for the Israeli side
would be much greater than that on the Palestinian side; but the opposite holds
But there are other possible motivations for this desire to have Palestinian-rein Gaza Strip. Under those circumstances, developing the natural gas reserves off
the Mediterranean would become much easier and more
lucrative. And the periodic wars Israel
wages on the relatively defenseless little Strip interfere in and of themselves
in gas exploration and bidding.
Turkey is ruling out a gas pipeline from Israel to Anatolia and thence to
until there is peace with Gaza and
the Israelis lift their blockade of the Strip. A Gaza
without Palestinians would be less likely to through up such obstacles.
Israeli officials have in the past admitted that they won’t let
offshore gas be developed because some of the revenue would go to Hamas. Ironically, natural gas, for all its promise of temporary
economic relief for Israel
and perhaps, if it is permitted, for the Palestinians, is an enemy, not a
friend. Burning it contributes to global warming, which is causing sea level
rise. Gaza is particularly
vulnerable to a 9 degrees Fahrenheit or so.
Map projections show that
will lose a significant proportion of its coastline to sea level rise. At the
same time, global warming has been exacerbating the drought cycle in the “Arid
Zone” that is the Middle East. Drought conditions
contribute to turmoil in Syria,
and in Egypt,
and likely in Palestine.
It turns out that if
and the Palestinians would turn to solar panels and wind turbines, they could
just stop fighting over resources like gas, and could also avoid the sea level
rise that will over the next few centuries threaten both Gaza
and Tel Aviv.