What led to Hamas’s ‘unprovoked’ attack on Oct. 7? Can we make sense of this without looking at history?
- Are both sides equally responsible for the current violence and death?
- Why did Palestinians move from nonviolent action such as the 15-month-long March of Return to this sort of violence?
- While 75+ years of illegal occupation, random brutalization and shooting of Palestinians, indefinite detention without charge or due process, and Israel’s attack on al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem explain a lot — can they justify the Oct. 7 attack?
- Can anything possibly justify the killing of almost 20,000 civilians — even newborn babies — in Gaza?
It’s sometimes difficult to penetrate the lies and propaganda — especially if you rely on major media sources — so please bear with me.
Part of the problem is that US corporate media reporting is heavily biased in favor of Israel (and most of Europe isn’t doing much better). In fact, quite a few reporters and commentators have been fired for even mentioning the the need for context when looking at the October 7 attack by Hamas. We don’t hear much about the daily protests led by Jewish organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, and dozens of rabbis — or the mass protests around the world. Despite heavy censorship, some Israeli media offer a more complete picture than we get here.
It’s also been established that many of those killed on Oct. 7 were killed by the Israeli ‘Defense’ Forces following their ‘Hannibal Directive’ with orders to ‘shoot anything that moves’. Regardless of what Hamas did (or didn’t) do, there can be no legal or moral justification for genocide, and international law experts throughout the world say there is no doubt that Israel is committing genocide* and other war crimes defined in international law. (Israeli leaders even announced publicly that their goal is to eliminate the people of Gaza.)
Sadly, the US is the primary cheerleader and funder of this genocide — making Biden & the US complicit under international law. Biden and others say they urge Israel to do more to minimize civilian casualties, but then they supply the weapons and munitions with ‘no red lines’, even circumventing US law to do so. Most European ‘leaders’ also fully support Israel while their people engage in massive protests agains the genocide.
Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I used to hear people asking ‘How could the German people allow the genocide to occur?’ It’s even clearer now that if you want an answer to that question, all you have to do is look around! It’s happening right now, and the vast majority of people being killed are innocent civilians, including thousands of children — even newborns in hospitals. (Compare 520 child deaths in Ukraine over 21 months to Gaza, with more than 8,000 in just 2 months.)
Why did the US veto a Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire? (The US was the only No vote.)
Why did the US vote No on the UN General Assembly resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire?
(152 countries voted Yes; in addition to the US, only nine other countries voted No.)
(If anyone needs some generally-reliable sources, see my Dec. 14 post on ‘New reports on Gaza‘ or just post a comment below.)
* Genocide is very clearly defined in international law — no matter who is doing it. Here’s the definition, posted by the Holocaust Museum:
Genocide is an internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. These acts fall into five categories:
- Killing members of the group
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.