Global reaction has been a mix of the usual and the surprising with the US and the UK taking their usual pro-Israeli stance using standard issue statement “Israel has a right to defend itself”. The global citizens though seem to not accept the standard issue rhetoric and have taken to social media to research the issue for themselves. Even more surprising is the number of celebrities that have pulled the now famous tweet and delete move where they showed their support for Palestinian independence from Israeli occupation but quickly removed those tweets.
Other celebrities have actually decided to stick to their views and have continued to speak out against the meaningless violence and “Shooting fish in a barrel” approach that Israel has taken, especially after the purposeful bombing of a number of United Nations Schools containing the hundreds of thousands of refugees that this conflict has created.
South American countries weren’t too happy with the overuse of military power that Israel displayed and almost all its countries protested in one way or another to the Israeli government. Some recalled their ambassadors to Israel and other cuts trade ties, some (like Argentina) went so far as to revoke the citizenship of any Argentinians Israelis serving in the IDF. [Source: Democracy Now and others.]
Protests started popping up worldwide in solidarity with the Palestinians and have touched almost every country that isn’t already at war. In fact the protests are still going on, some which are 150 thousand strong .
Israel’s brand was already in danger because of the 2005 Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) movement that Palestinians intellectuals put together to mimic the movement started by Nelson Mandela that eventually brought down the Apartheid state that was ruling South Africa. The BDS movement had called on the corporations of the world to boycott divest and sanction Israeli companies that built manufacturing facilities in occupied Palestinian lands that were taken over by Israel and where they established their Settlements.
Although Benyamin Netanyahu was facing an election year and would have leveraged Protective Edge as his crowning achievement in protecting Israel, the operation backfired and will probably end up costing him his political career. The main reason behind this is not the near 2000 civilians that Israel has killed with their month long bombardments but rather the fact that he decided to call in the IDF ground troops and tried to wage a ground offensive on Ghaza.
It seems that the Palestinian resistance groups had gotten inventive and studied the IDF’s operational techniques. They took the fight to the Israelis on the ground… and underneath it. With an outstanding number of tunnels running almost everywhere under Ghaza the Al-Qassam resistance fighters were able to ambush the IDF soldiers on a daily basis racking up what the Israelis claim to be 67 kills and what the resistance claims to be 200+ kills, leaked documents from the IDFs central command push that number to almost 600+ (at time of writing). This number of casualties in the IDF would pretty much be an end game for Bibi Netanyahu.
In addition to the unexpected Military Losses that Israel had suffered an Israeli soldier by the name of Shaul Aron was captured by the Palestinian resistance. To Israel this was a disaster as negotiations for the release of the last captured soldier Gilad Shalit lasted 5 years and thousands of Palestinian prisoners were set free in exchange for his return (most of whom where later on rounded up by the Israeli government and re-imprisoned).
In fact since the Gilad Shalit incident it has come to light that Israeli Military have an unwritten law called the Hannibal Directive which negates the negotiation for captured soldiers and rather stipulates that any ranking officer is to order the killing of the captured soldier after he is in Enemy hands.
The Israeli government is well aware of the shifting tides of public opinion and the increasing pressure from the BDS movement has made It come up with creative ways of suppressing any negative news (news that would put it and its policies in a negative light) and would try to shift public opinion. Currently the most famous tool at the IDF’s disposal is the Hasbara. Hasbara for those not in the know is a form of propaganda aimed at an international audience, primarily, but not exclusively, in western countries. It is meant to influence the conversation in a way that positively portrays Israeli political moves and policies, including actions undertaken by Israel in the past.
In recent years Israel has set up Hasbara divisions in most of its Universities where Israeli students can either volunteer or be hired for a nominal fee to scour the Internet and Social Media and leave comments that would portray Israel in a positive light. This technique has been relatively effective in recent years but in 2014 the hasbara machine was not able to stem the rising tide of global discontent at the Images of dead and mutilated Palestinian children that were distributed all over the Internet. Images of overflowing morgues and ice cream freezers being used to keep infantile bodies from rotting was too powerful an image for people to ignore.
The world got its first ever glimpse of how life under Israeli occupation and sanctions looked like. Some foreign politicians even went as far as to say that if they were Palestinians they would probably also shoot rockets at Israel. Protests found their way into the heart of Israel with vigils being held regularly by Anti-War protesters in Tel Aviv.
The Targeting of mosques and churches, schools and universities just didn’t make sense to a growingly educated audience that could finally see that the official rhetoric was not just misdirecting public opinion… but complicit with the war crimes being perpetrated in the Ghaza.
The list of 10 demands from Hamas that would make for 10 years of peace are on the table and Israel has rejected the majority of them. Hamas however will not budge on what it says are human rights not “luxuries”:
- Withdrawal of Israeli tanks from the Gaza border.
- Freeing all the prisoners that were arrested after the killing of the three youths.
- Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people.
- Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under U.N. supervision.
- Increasing the permitted fishing zone to 10 kilometres.
- Internationalizing the Rafah Crossing and placing it under the supervision of the U.N. and some Arab nations.
- International forces on the borders.
- Easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque.
- Prohibition on Israeli interference in the reconciliation agreement.
- Re-establishing an industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip.
A three-day cease fire was cobbled together so that these 10 demands can be discussed and the negotiators met in Cairo, seemingly enemy ground for Ghazans and nothing was reached. Israeli negotiators dragged their feet for three days and even after being warned that if a settlement was not reached the Ghazans would resume their rocket attacks their warning was ignored and then on the 4th day when the fighting resumed Israel once again held up its paper-cut finger and cried “Israel has a right to defend itself”.
The possibility of a two-state solution has been debunked by Bibi Netanyahu and the violence continues and the world can see the devastation. Some countries are quiet. Some have adopted the silence of the back room conspirator and some Arab countries have proven to be Zionist in heart and soul.
Only history will tell if humanity can redeem itself for the actions of the Zionists. How can we call ourselves civilized when Apartheid states like Israel are treated with a double faced hypocrisy that will do nothing for us all as humans but hold us back.
When will Palestine be free?
– Some statistics as of the 51 day of the Israeli offensive from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:
- Since the Beginning of the Israeli offensive, 2,168 Palestinians, 1,662 of whom are civilians, including 519 children and 297 women, killed and 10,895 others, mostly civilians, including 3,306 children and 2,114 women, wounded;
- 953 houses targeted and destroyed by Israeli warplanes;
- 165 families attacked in their homes and 991 members of them killed;
- Thousands of houses destroyed completely or partially by Israeli shelling.
– Israeli Tourism and businesses have been devastated due to the bans most airlines placed on travel to the country: Gaza War Devastates Israeli Tourism Revenue, Points to Fragile Apartheid Future
– The psychological effect on the population of Israel cannot be ignored, they now and forever will live with the knowledge that Hamas’ rockets will always be there waiting to give them nightmares.
Mahmoud Taji is a Palestinian Creative Director, Bilingual Arabic / English Voiceover Talent, and Blogger, he offers his services through his website: www.mahmoudtaji.com. You can also find him on twitter (@) speaking his mind about everything from design to politics.
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