Deny them their daily bread

Mar 6, 2024
Palestinian crowds struggle to buy bread from a bakery in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. Image:AAP/AP Photo/Fatima Shbair

Last Thursday, February 29th. 2024, the Israeli Occupation Forces showed their true brutal inhumanity when they opened fire on desperate, starving Palestinian civilians, surrounding aid convoys coming into Gaza. The Israeli soldiers deliberately attacked and killed 118 Palestinians and injured over 1000. As per usual, Israeli spokes-persons denied that they opened fire. And when eye-witnesses and medical staff attested to the attack, the Israelis, again, as per usual, justified their fire by saying ‘the mob’ was endangering the lives of our soldiers.

You see, the Israelis are used to a pliant international community, which takes them at their word and acts accordingly. Israel said it. It might be true. And, of course, Israel must be protected at all costs.

This is exactly what happened on the same day of what has become known as the ‘flour massacre’ at the Security Council, when Algeria, the Arab member in the Council, submitted a resolution condemning the massacre. All members of the Security Council agreed. Bar one.

The country which holds that massive power of veto and is always ready to use it to protect its close ally, Israel, no matter what. The United States of America.

The United States of America, at the last count, has wielded its Veto power, to protect Israel since October 7th 2023, on five different occasions. The reason? The United States of America ‘is not happy with the language of any of the resolutions.’ This latest one suffered the same fate.

US deputy ambassador, Robert Wood, told reporters: “The parties are working on some language to see if we can get to a statement.

It seems that Mr Wood and his boss, Mr Biden are not aware, or are deliberately ignoring what the Israelis themselves have admitted to.

The extreme far-right Israeli politician, and Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, congratulated the Israeli soldiers who carried out the massacre.

“We must give complete support to our heroic fighters operating in Gaza, who acted excellently against a ‘Gazan mob’ that tried to harm them,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement.

As a result of American continued, unbridled support, the Israeli Occupation Forces did it again, 48 hours later, when they fired on yet another group of Palestinians, desperate for food, killing six and injuring dozens more.

The denying of Palestinians of any means of a decent life, or even survival, is not exclusive to this far-right fascist government in Israel. For example, since the year 2007, when Israel put the Gaza Strip under a tight siege they applied a policy that is known as ‘keep them on a diet’. This is meant to control every calorie that the inhabitants of Gaza are allowed to consume, just to keep them alive. It has been a policy of the Jewish Zionist movement from the day they singled Palestine out as their target.

This is what the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl said back in 1895. “We must spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment..Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” – from Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, June 12th 1895.

This callous disregard for Palestinian lives and human rights remind me of what my late friend, Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, a son of Holocaust survivors, said of Israel:

“It is no good trying to appeal to the better nature of the Israelis. They have none.”

Indeed. Another well-meaning American Jewish senator, Independent, Bernie Sanders, went a bit further, when in an interview last Friday, March 1st, he said, “The United States, which has helped fund the Israeli military for years, cannot sit back and allow hundreds of thousands of innocent children to starve to death,” Sanders (Vt.) said in a statement. “As a result of Israeli bombing and restrictions on humanitarian aid, the people of Gaza are facing an unprecedented humanitarian disaster.”

The call by Senator Sanders to allow the starving Palestinians, over two million of them, their daily bread, was answered…in a cosmetic fashion. Mr Biden decided to supply the desperate Palestinians with air-drops, along with Jordan and Egypt. Yes, the ready meals that have been dropping from the sky are useful for the very few, but what is needed, according to the UN Aid Agency and many other International humanitarian agencies, is for the borders to open to allow many hundreds of food convoys to enter Gaza unhindered.

This is what ex-USA aide director, Dave Harden said two days ago to Al Jazeera. “The airdrops are symbolic and designed in ways to appease the domestic base. Really what needs to happen is more crossings [opening] and more trucks going in every day.”

“I think the United States is weak and that’s really disappointing to me,” Harden added. “The US has the ability to compel Israel to open up more aid and by not doing that we’re putting our assets and our people at risk and potentially creating more chaos in Gaza.”

I agree, Mr Harden. But, can you see a Biden Administration in an election year applying the screws on Israel? After all, didn’t Mr Biden once, infamously say, “if there were no Israel we would have to invent one”.

Why America? What harm have we, the Palestinians, ever done to you?

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