Eduardo Galeano: Gaza

By EDUARDO GALEANO *

TO justify itself, state terrorism fabricates terrorists, sows hates and presents alibis. Indications are that the butchery in Gaza, which according to its perpetuators, is about eliminating terrorists, will create more.

In more than three weeks of incessant bombing, Israel has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, in large part civilians | AP

Since 1948, Palestinians have been condemned to perpetual humiliation. They cannot breathe without permission. They have lost their country, their land, their water, their liberty, their all. They do not even have the right to elect their rulers. When they vote for those they are not supposed to support, they are punished. Gaza is being punished. It has become a rat hole without escape, since Hamas fairly won the elections in 2006.

Something similar happened in 1932, when the Communist Party was elected in El Salvador. A bloodbath ensued, and Salvadorans did penance for their bad behavior, living under military dictatorships for years. Democracy is a luxury not everyone deserves.

The homemade rockets manufactured by Hamas militants are a product of impotence, shot with little precision into lands which were once Palestinian, now occupied by Israeli usurpers. This desperation, alongside suicidal madness, produces ineffective bravado denying Israel’s right to exist, while the very effective, perpetual war of extermination continues to deny Palestine’s right to exist. Very little of what was Palestine remains. Step by step, Israel is erasing it from the map.

A Palestinian mother demands justice.

The colonists invade; then come the soldiers, to adjust the border. Bullets follow the usurpation, in “legitimate defence.” There is no aggressive war which does not claim to be defensive, Hitler invaded Poland to ensure that Poland would not invade Germany. Bush invaded Iraq to prevent Iraq from invading the world. In every one of its allegedly defensive wars, Israel has eaten up another piece of Palestine and the banquet continues. The land grab is justified by property titles awarded by the Bible for the 2,000 years of persecution the Jewish people suffered, and by Palestinians lying in wait.

Israel is the country which never follows United Nations recommendations or resolutions, never abides by international court rulings, and is the only country to have legalized torture of prisoners.

Who gave Israel the right to deny others all rights? Where has Israel acquired impunity to carry out a massacre in Gaza? The Spanish government could not have bombed the Basque Country to eliminate the ETA without facing consequences, nor could the British have attacked Ireland to liquidate the IRA. Does the Holocaust tragedy perhaps imply eternal impunity? Or does this green light come from the great power which has in Israel its most unconditional ally?

The Israeli army, the world’s most modern and sophisticated, knows who it is killing. It does not kill by mistake. It kills to horrify. The civilian victims are called collateral damage, according to the dictionary of imperialist war. Of every 10 collateral deaths in Gaza, three are children. Add to this the mutilated victims of human dismemberment technology, which the military industry is successfully trying out in this ethnic cleansing operation. And as always, always the same, in Gaza it’s 100 to one. For every 100 Palestinians dead, one Israeli.

Dangerous people, warns the other bombardment undertaken by the mass media, inviting us to believe that an Israeli life is equivalent to 100 Palestinian lives. These media would have us believe that Israel’s 200 atomic bombs are humanitarian as well, and that a nuclear power named Iran is responsible for annihilating Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Does the so-called international community exist?

Is it anything more than a club of merchants, bankers and warmongers? Is it anything more than the artistic name the U.S. takes on when performing theater?

Before the Gaza tragedy, world hypocrisy again shows its face. As always, indifference, empty phrases, hollow declarations, high-minded statements, and ambiguous positions do not challenge Israel’s sacred impunity.

Before the Gaza tragedy, Arab countries wash their hands of the problem, as always. And as always, European countries rub theirs

Old Europe, so capable of beauty and perversity, sheds a few tears while secretly celebrating the masterful move. The hunting of Jews was always a European custom, being paid for now by Palestinians, also Semites, who never were, nor are, anti-Semitic. They are paying cold and hard, in blood, a debt which is not theirs. (Other News)

* Uruguayan writer, author of the Open Veins of Latin America

 palestinian_landloss_48-0 1Click to enlarge

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