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Israel, Gaza and the usual free pass
Monday, December 29, 2008 : It is too early to know how far the Israeli government will press its murderous onslaught against the Gaza Strip, but one thing has been clear from the moment the first bomb was dropped: The great majority of those with a responsibility to acknowledge, expose and/or condemn the vicious and cynical nature of the assault will fail to do so.
Even before the attacks began on Saturday, most Western media outlets - those with the widest reach and therefore the greatest influence - were already parroting the rote Israeli line that whatever happened would be "in retaliation" for rocket fire from the enclave. They helpfully reminded us, too, that it was Hamas - the party that rules Gaza - which "ended" a six-month cease-fire.
Never mind that Israel has been denying food and medicine to children in Gaza since Hamas won democratic elections in January 2006.
Forget that the Israelis never honored their core commitment under the truce, which was to stop starving innocents, and violated the pact in every possible way since it was agreed to in June, while Hamas and other resistance groups frequently held or limited their fire despite the enemy's persistent treachery.
Disregard, also, the Israelis' policy of deliberately undermining the cease-fire by continuing to abduct and assassinate Palestinian activists in both Gaza and the Occupied West Bank.
Overlook the cease-fire's scheduled end date of December 19 and the intensification of Israeli attacks designed to ensure that it would not be renewed, culminating in an early November raid that killed seven Hamas men.
Forget, too, that the rockets that have been hitting Israel for years almost never hurt anyone or damage anything because they have tiny warheads and usually land in empty fields - and that the Israeli penchant for the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force is as regular as the phases of the moon.Read More