Wed 24-July-2024

War on Gaza: How the West celebrated the Nuseirat massacre

Tuesday 18-June-2024

When the Gaza pier was built by the United States, some Palestinian activists and intellectuals warned that it could be used for offensive purposes, rather than for its stated purpose of supplying food and medicines to the besieged population.

Had the US been serious about providing humanitarian aid, it could have done so without too many problems. Washington could have ordered Israel to clear the air space so that US planes could deliver aid, or ordered Egypt to open the frontiers to allow US-protected trucks to bring needed food and medicines.

However ambitious and unscrupulous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his fascist colleagues might be, they could not have resisted such orders, especially if they were issued publicly.

US President Joe Biden might be an exceptionally weak leader in hock to Zionism, but the country is not ruled by any one person. American military force gives the presidency its power.

An imperial politburo comprising US defense and intelligence agencies, among others, limits the autonomy of Israeli leaders on all key initiatives, which need a green light from the Pentagon.

The genocide we are witnessing today has had total support from Washington, Berlin and London. Now, they’re all in favor of a “ceasefire”, because they think enough Palestinians have been killed and it’s become counterproductive.

US blanket support for Israel has isolated both countries in much of the world. Killing civilians, especially woman and children, does not constitute a victory.

Absolute power
Yet, while the US is becoming increasingly concerned, it has failed to make any real moves in the direction of ending the war. Instead, it provided support for last week’s bloody massacre at the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza, including the use of MQ-9 Reaper drones to search for Israeli hostages.

There have also been reports, denied by the Pentagon, that Israel used the floating US aid pier in the hostage rescue operation, which killed more than 270 Palestinians.

Following the operation, the western propaganda apparatuses went into immediate action, hailing a tremendous achievement for Israel and the powers that support it. News coverage initially played down or ignored the Palestinian deaths – until they could be ignored no longer.

In its pursuit of absolute power over the Palestinian people, Israel knows it can always rely on Washington. But within the US itself, a general shift is in motion, as suggested by the ongoing university encampments and mobilizations.

An increasing number of US citizens, including younger Jews, have broken loose from the Israeli lobby group Aipac’s orthodoxy on this issue. Anger is growing, hence the sobriquet attached to Biden: “Genocide Joe”. Interestingly enough, European mobilizations have rightly targeted Israel, but their banners and slogans have largely ignored the US.

Freeing four hostages at the cost of hundreds of Palestinian lives, including many children, is not a cause for celebration. The triumphalism displayed by pro-Israel liberals, alongside the open Zionist/far-right alliance and their media friends, is both short-sighted and repellent.

The mask is off
There is another huge problem: Palestinian leaders cannot accept that the US is a mediator in any serious sense of the word. Washington has always been biased in Israel’s favor, but now the mask is completely off.

Although Spain, Ireland and Norway recently recognized Palestine and strongly criticized Israel, the bulk of “western civilization” remains hard at work defending it. The desire to kill, which always lurked under civilized waistcoats in colonial times, never truly went away. It was, in most cases, merely hibernating.

Amid yet another massacre of Palestinians, this time in the Nuseirat camp, western media are toasting the “triumph” of four recovered hostages. As in Kenya, India or South Africa during colonial times, the lives of the native population do not matter; it is the “adventure” that must be celebrated.

What will happen now? There may be a ceasefire of sorts, although I am dubious, since the Zionist leaders of Israel do not want Palestinian society to resume in Gaza. Could the US persuade Saudi Arabia to act as a watchdog in Gaza and simultaneously recognize Israel?

Talk of a two-state solution sounds false to me. How can this happen unless the settlers in the occupied West Bank return to Israel proper, or to Brooklyn? And if the Palestinian “state” is nothing more than a US-Israeli-Saudi protectorate run by the Palestinian Authority, it will be a joke, as Palestinians know all too well.

Meanwhile, the US aid pier in Gaza recently broke apart in heavy seas. Even nature despises it.

-Tariq Ali was born in Lahore, educate there and later at Oxford. He is a lifelong activist and writer, one of the founders of the Stop the War coalition and has written fifty books on world politics and history, several novels including the Islam Quintet and is a long-standing editor at New Left Review. His last book was ‘Winston Churchill: His Times, His Crimes.’ His article appeared in the Middle East Eye.

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