There has been, for some while now, a pattern of provocative strikes by Israel against various targets in Gaza. They killed six civilians in the process. Routine iniquities in and of themselves. Israel makes periodic bloodshed, punctuated by eye-rolling acquiescence in 'peace' negotiations, a business and hobby. Its whole form of state organisation is dependent on this constant hunt. It would almost be bored if there was no frontier to test, no problem population to molest, no moral red-line to cross. Lacking this raison d'etre, it would atrophy and die of malaise. But this time, they sought a definite response: rocket fire, hopefully in abundance, with the usual ineffectuality. It's not that they really care, they just need the pretext. Israeli propaganda reels off the list of rocket 'incidents', with resulting psychologically traumatised sheep and car alarms, with impatient listlessness.
Now, a full-scale bombing campaign, with a threat of invasion, appears to be afoot
. We know what this means, and for whom. The news coming from residents is of constant bombing, electricity being lost throughout Gaza City. The IDF twitter account brags of the bodies it has already captured - they brandish the head of Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas leader who, they grin, has been 'eliminated', just as his son was when the IDF bombed Gaza in 2008. And they warn that any Hamas members, however high up or low down in the organisation, had better keep out of the way in Gaza for the next few days. Without succumbing to the murderous logic according to which Hamas membership is grounds for execution by the bullet, the bomb or the chemical burn, we remember how Israel unilaterally adjusts the concept of Hamas membership to fit the exigencies of its bombing campaigns. Aha - going to school are you? That's a Hamas stronghold. Death.
Russia Today reports that IDF reservists are being called upon for an invasion. At this point, the excuses for yet another sadistic gorefest in Gaza are looking care-worn. The same old tired, robotic half-sense: Hamas. Rockets. Sderot. Terrorism. Something something something, dark side. Something something something, complete. There will be some barbarous, nonsensical, infuriating things said in news broadcasts over the next few days. All uttered in that exaggerated American accent that high Israeli officials seem to learn.
Rather than waste time attempting to construct something coherent out of the by now traditional Zionist melange of hysteria and sniggering sadism (waaah look at their rockets, ha ha ha look at their bodies)
something that can be addressed as a semi-rational argument, we should just focus on reconstructing what has happened to Israel's position since Operation Cast Lead, and particularly since the Middle East revolutions began. Just as importantly, we need to trace the links from this venture to the reconstitution of American power in the Middle East, which Obama's Pentagon is now attempting to secure by proxy. (Leaving aside, for the moment, the argument as to how successful they have been in their attempt to annexe national rebellions). For it is a crucial question how much the timing and nature of this assault is driven by domestic politics, (viz. the germinal threat posed by the Arab Spring within Israel itself, and the Israeli state's attempt to consolidate its political control over the population), how much by regional politics and Israel's need to recoup some of its losses through a demonstrative beating, and how much the tempo of the war on Hamas and Palestinian resistance is driving it directly. One part of this question can be answered immediately: Obama gave this venture the green light
Labels: colonialism, gaza, Israel, middle east, racism, revolution, US imperialism, zionism