News   /   IN-DEPTH   /   Palestine   /   Editor's Choice

Israel's disregard for human life

Gaza leveled

Israel's war on Gaza has reached two grim milestones with the war now over 30 days old and the death toll surpassing the 11,000 mark. Despite the G7 professing to be in favour of a ceasefire, or at least a humanitarian pause in the fighting, no action to this end has been taken, or called for; a gross failure by any reckoning.

Meanwhile, the US transfers precision guided bombs to Israel “in order to reduce civilian casualties”. This comes after 11,100 Palestinians were killed, suggesting that the US wants the war to continue.

This is while internal rifts are widening at the US State Department with staffers expressing criticism of how the government has handled the war so far.

The world has witnessed the carpet bombing of Gaza for over thirty days during which, by all accounts, a minimum of 11,000 Palestinians have been massacred, The final toll could be a lot higher since many of the victims are still under the rubble.

Of course one must not forget those in critical condition of the hospitals.

 At least 70% of the fatalities are innocent women and children.

When you take a look at that figure, it's quite telling that after all this time there has not been a successful ceasefire or even a humanitarian.

This shows that none of the international organizations are effective when it comes to stopping what has been openly defined as systematic genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Yes, the Israelis didn't achieve anything so far. And this has really bothered them a lot, even the Americans and all the others who supported Israel in the first place. And in the last 33 days, Israel was you know, targeting Gaza, claiming that they want to target the Palestinian resistance and Hamas but, in reality, they were targeting only civilians.

They couldn't give anything to their people to say we achieved something, or we did something, apart from a few pictures here and there to say that we are trying to advance and to go inside [sic] Gaza Strip, while they are still on the borders of Gaza strip in an open area and they are not even daring to go and do that much.

So because of that, they are trying to get any kind of victory or something to show to the Israeli public. Because of that, they are continuing to target civilians.

Now for the international community, even the Americans, they are trying to say yeah, we need a ceasefire for three days. And there are now serious talks, apparently, regarding releasing some 12 of the prisoners, with the Palestinian resistance, in return for a ceasefire for three days.

But the one who was against that totally is Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu, he don't want [sic] because Netanyahu knew the moment that the war will stop, Immediately his career as a politician is ended.

So he wants to get as much time as he could, so he could remain trying to find some solution, one way or another, to save his neck and avoid being sacked later on.

So he's trying to prolong the war as much as he could, in an attempt to achieve something, but apparently, the Palestinian civilians are paying the price because the Israelis are not achieving anything on the ground.

Sa’d Nimr, Professor of Political Science, Birzeit University

It appears that there is something being worked out between the US President and Netanyahu and that Qatar is involved in negotiations for a possible two to three day pause in order to allow progress which could result in some of the hostages being released.

Why not save some Palestinian lives?

The US has announced that it is going to go ahead with the transfer of over $300 million worth of precision bombs to Israel, with one of the stated aims being to reduce civilian casualties.

Should they not have done that on day one rather than wait until 11,000 Palestinians have been murdered before making such an announcement?

Could it be that Palestinian lives are considered to be of no importance?

There is no difference between the objectives of the administration in Washington, of the White House, and the Pentagon, which really runs this country, and the Israeli regime, the Zionist settler regime.

They both want to eradicate the Palestinian cause. They want to eradicate the Palestinian people from Palestine. They want to put the entire region in complete subservience to the United States and Israel, which is basically its agent.

If you don't want thousands and thousands of people to die, you don't pay for it, you don't send any weapons. Precision guided bombs, these JDAMs, they can be attached to any kind of bomb. They kill civilians just as well as all the other destructive weapons of mass destruction the US is giving to the Israeli war machine; white phosphorus, Dense inert metal explosives (DIME), you name it, because this war is Washington's war. And this is a difference between the view in Washington and on Wall Street and the Pentagon, and the view of the people in the United States.

Last Saturday 300,000 people marched in Washington, surrounded the White House, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, to demand an end to the war in Gaza and end US aid to Israel. Tens of thousands more have marched all around the country, on the West Coast, and elsewhere. Now this rivaled the size of the famed 1963 civil rights march in Washington, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, and the first big protest against the Vietnam War in 1967, as it should, because this war is a US war just as much as the war in Vietnam was.

And what this March signified is that the issue of Palestine is now, for the first time, at the center stage of US political life, not just from the Zionist point of view, but from the point of view of those who oppose the war and stand in solidarity with Palestine.

Back during the days of the Vietnam War, those of us who tried to raise the issue of Palestine were suppressed. The big anti war organizations didn't want to hear it.

Today there is a huge and growing movement in solidarity with Palestine and we see that as identical with the the struggle of the people of this country,... that we don't need money to be spent on bombs and aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, and F 16 and F 35s.

We need housing, we need schools, we need hospitals 'here' and we want an end to this war, right now. We want an end (to) all US involvement, because without US bombs, without US money, the killing would stop right now, it would stop this minute.

Bill Dores, Antiwar Activist

It would appear that, Increasingly, Palestinians in the occupied territories are squarely putting the blame on the US for exasperating the situation to such an extent that the current war has now been one of the longest suffered by the Palestinian people.

Well, absolutely. The Americans were the main supporters to [sic] Israel and without the support of America, Lots of things that American can't, you know, even dare to do. They know all the time that America is backing them, and they are, you know, helping them even to get away with whatever they are doing and to protect them.

So, we are talking about, you know, all these atrocities done by the Israelis, the genocide and the war crimes, committed only by the Israelis when they are, you know, so cool about it, because they know that the American is not going to allow neither the United Nations or the ICC or anything else to, you know, condemn them somehow.

So they feel that they are above the law. So this is on the one hand, on the other hand, the Americans were the first ones who supported Israel immediately with money, with weapons and they open all their bases in the Arab world to supply Israel with their weapons. And this continued and they, you know, they sent the barges to the Mediterranean and now they are sending also a nuclear submarine.

 So they are, you know, sending them all kinds of messages, that we are absolutely behind you and we are helping you. And we don't forget also the statements of Blinken, the US Secretary of the State, when he came to the area, he said "I'm not coming as a Secretary of the State of America. I'm coming as a Jew."

And you know, he started also ordering the Arab countries what to do and how to do it. And he continued with that. So America is not only supporting Israel, America, from our point of view, is participating in this war. Now, in this war, we are facing the Israelis and the Americans together. And we don't forget that delta force is also here in Gaza, and they tried three times incursions into Gaza, and on the ground, they attack with the Israeli Special Forces.

Sa’d Nimr, Professor of Political Science, Birzeit University

When the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said "I'm coming here as a Jew", doesn't that point to a lack of cohesion between the way that Biden, Blinken, and the Pentagon, are looking at this war?

Do they truly believe that all the people around the world that are protesting against the Israeli genocide are wrong? What about the protestors outside the White House?

A few short days ago, one of the biggest pro Palestine Solidarity protest rallies took place in Washington DC, it was huge, with large numbers turning out.

Do they not realize what's happening within the State Department?

It has been revealed, in a leaked memo, that diplomats are slamming Israeli policy. So this is why this type of pro Israel stance is just wrong. Are they not aware that their viewpoint is wrong on this?

Their viewpoint is in their financial interests, which is all they consider about; it's not about Blinken being a Jew, or Biden being a Christian, or anything like that. They don't care about such things.

They care about the dollars that their corporate sponsors make from endless war, and the position the State of Israel, which is really nothing more than, as a former US Secretary of State described it, our largest aircraft carrier, and Netanyahu repeated that description.

(Israel) is a linchpin of US military and financial dominance in the world and especially over this energy rich region. And when they talk about humanitarian ceasefire, a pause is not ceasefire. They're just saying that because they are afraid. They are afraid of the hundreds of thousands of people who are taking to the streets, and I was there in Washington on Saturday.

They are afraid of the sentiments of the people in the Arab world, in the Islamic world. And so they're trying to play a good cop, bad cop game; more bad cop and even worse cop. And we cannot accept this at face value.

We have to demand that the US get out, that the US stop all arms (being sent) to the racist state of Israel, because this is in the interests of the people of the United States.

You cannot separate this from other issues. Dr. Martin Luther King said the bombs that explode in Vietnam also explode here in poor and working class communities.

Our so called leaders would rather bomb schools in Gaza than build schools here. They would rather bomb hospitals in Gaza than provide health care for people here. They would rather bomb homes in Palestine and keep the Palestinian people homeless, than build housing that is desperately needed in this country.

Bill Dores, Anti-War Activist

One of the reactions by regional countries which  stands out, is the announcement that was made by Bahrain that its Parliament may be pressing to reverse the normalization of relations that occurred between that Persian Gulf country and Israel.

Do you think that they are serious about this, and if so, are they actually going to go through with it and whether that could have a contagion effect leading to other countries that have normalized ties with Israel, perhaps, mulling over whether normalization was a good idea or not and seek to reverse it?

Yes, we know that Bahrain for instance, they still have troubles as well in the country itself, so I don't think that this is a serious kind of, you know, act and they are just trying to, you know, to calm down their own people to say that now we are, you know, stop the normalization or we are calling our ambassador, Jordan did the same.

They also call back their ambassadors and they kicked out Israeli ambassador. So you know, it's because also Jordan have a very delicate situation where lots of the population in Jordan are Palestinians. So King Abdullah had to be very careful in how he, you know, do his statements regarding what's going on.

But we know that Bahrain is doing nothing without, you know, consulting Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are not so happy with what's going on, not only just because, you know, they like the Palestinian resistance or the Palestinians, but rather, their interest also with the Americans will be harmed. So they are trying to also give us these kinds of statements today, talking about, you know, the normalization process between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which has stopped during the war.

They said we are not going to resume it unless there is a real solution to the Palestinian question. So Bahrain will do the same, in one way or another, but I think that the moment the war is ended, a little bit after, immediately Bahrain will resume the relationship with Israel. Other countries who are very clear about it, like the (United) Arab Emirates, who not only they didn't even call their ambassador, but they declare it quite clearly that they are supporting Israel to get rid of Hamas.

So it depends on these Arab countries, that's why, on Saturday (November 11th 2023), we have the Arab Summit. And I don't think that they will come with something really, you know, practical to pressurize the Americans and the West generally, in order to make an effort to stop this war, so, yeah, it will be you know, only condemnation and statements like the one that we have from Bahrain.

Sa’d Nimr, Professor of Political Science, Birzeit University

The gas fields that are off the coast of Palestine, and the Gaza Strip, had been in the exploration phase, which must have been successful since Israel was able to actually export some of the gas.

Without preamble on October 20th, 13 days after the war began; Israel announced that it had licensed six companies to carry out the exploration of these gas fields.

Might this be one of the driving forces behind this war?

Could it be that they wish to get the Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip, to make sure that these licenses that they have given out are not going to be jeopardized?

Very much so because the US has an ambition of replacing ... Natural gas, the gas that used to come to Europe from Russia, with gas stolen from Palestine, and other regions. The biggest US company operating off the coast of Palestine is Chevron, which is the second biggest US oil company. Chevron, by the way, also operates in Saudi Arabia, it operates in Bahrain.

Why should that be allowed? Why should the countries who say they oppose the massacre going on in Gaza should not just act diplomatically, they should act financially?

 Israel needs to be boycotted, divested and sanctioned. And companies that do business in Israel should not should not be allowed to do business in countries that claim to oppose the true genocide that is being carried out, the monstrous crimes being carried out in Gaza.

Citibank finances, Israel spends the money, the arms money, the US gives it faster than Congress can allocate it. And last year, Citibank gave a $1.6 billion loan to make up the difference between what the Israelis spent and what Congress had allocated until the end the next.

So some of this $14 billion that the US is promising to Israel will go straight to Citibank. There's a huge corporate involvement here and that's got to be challenged.

You know, (if) there's going to be any action to stop this massacre it's got to be economic, financial, not just verbal.

Bill Dores, Anti-War Activist

 We know there is barely any financial activity taking place and that checkpoints have blocked the movement of Palestinians in the enclave.

And of course the violence against the Palestinians is being perpetrated by the settlers as encouraged by the Zionist administration. Itamar Ben-Gvir was seen giving out rifles to settlers even though the US has objected.

How tense is the situation?

Well, yes, in the West Bank, it's very tense and we are expecting more and more escalation in the situation in the West Bank. Now, as you said, all the cities now are cut off from each other with all these roadblocks and we're talking about more than 800 roadblocks now in front of all villages, and, you know, cities which they cut all the roads and the communication between the Palestinian areas.

This is on the one hand; on the other hand, we are talking about the Israeli army as well as the settlers. The Israeli army, apparently they have these kind of new instructions to be, or maybe it's their own reaction to what happened in Gaza.

So they are so brutal against the Palestinians, in ordinary days, even before the seventh of October, we know that we've been subjected to killing and arresting but now they are doing this with excessive force, and big humiliations and all kinds of atrocities that you can imagine when they attack anywhere.

And they are allowing even settlers to go even further with their plans of kicking out Palestinian communities from their land and to control this land and to confiscate more and more land. Settlers believe now that this is a perfect time for them to do all these atrocities because now everyone is focusing on what's going on in Gaza, so no one is taking care of what's going on in the West Bank.

So they felt that they can go ahead with their plans to ethnically cleanse parts of the West Bank and kick communities out of areas. We are talking about, so far, about more than 50 communities, or to be exact, 55 communities, were replaced or were taken off its areas because of the settlers.

The number of arrests also is going very, very high and how they treat the Palestinian prisoners, generally, you can't describe it. They don't want the Palestinians in West Bank to resist the occupation. The resistance on the other hand is rising up in the West Bank.

Sa’d Nimr, Professor of Political Science, Birzeit University

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku