Sunday, January 04, 2009

Larry King Live: Hanan Ashrawi on the Attacks in Gaza.

It's nice to see Hanan Ashrawi on the Larry King show attempting to remind the American people of the fact that the illegal occupation is the underlying reason for the violence we are witnessing.

She also reminds people that it was Israel who broke the ceasefire - stylishly doing so on the night that Obama was elected whilst the rest of the world was looking the other way - and that Hamas, contrary to the claims Israel are making, actually offered to renew the ceasefire if Israel would only stop their inhumane siege of the people of Gaza.

Israel refused to do so. She is insisting on her right to starve the Palestinians for having the temerity to vote for Hamas.

Perhaps crucial to the ceasefire's collapse were the differing views of what it was supposed to achieve. Israel regarded the truce as calm in return for calm. Hamas expected Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza that the latter said was a security response to the firing of Qassam rockets.

But Israel did not end the siege that was wrecking the economy and causing desperate shortages of food, fuel and medicine. Gazans concluded that the blockade was not so much about rocket attacks as punishment for voting for Hamas.

And this assault on the people of Gaza for daring to elect Hamas was sanctioned, shamefully, at the highest levels.
The US and Europe agreed to the measure on the principle that it would force the people of Gaza to rethink their support for Hamas. The logic was supposedly similar to the one that drove the sanctions applied to Iraq under Saddam Hussein through the 1990s: if Gaza’s civilians suffered enough, they would rise up against Hamas and install new leaders acceptable to Israel and the West.
At a time when we are supposed to be "exporting democracy" all of our governments have played a shameful role in punishing the Palestinians because we did not like the democratic choice they made. That, much more than these pathetic rockets the Palestinians have fired, is the real reason why the Israelis are now pounding Gaza. (It also helps Livni at the polls if she can be seen to be battering Arabs on the TV.)

It's nice to see Ashwari attempt to get through the wall of Hasbara Israel's supporters have built around the US and try to inject a little truth into the morass of spin.


daveawayfromhome said...

Seems to me that if the purpose of sanctions is to make the people change leadership because of suffering, then sanctions will not work, ever, because the people will know who's causing the suffering - those who impose the sanctions, not their leaders.

Kel said...

Exactly. It has actually makes Hamas more popular. As will the invasion, but neo-con and Likud minds deceive themselves that "Arabs only understand force". They learn nothing and, when it doesn't work they'll say it's because they didn't use enough force.