80 Reasons Why Gaza has the right to Self Defense
Seventy-nine of them can be found in United Nations Security Council Resolutions “directly critical of Israel for violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.N. Charter, the Geneva
Conventions, international terrorism, or other violations of international law.” (1)
The eightieth can be found in the Goldstone Report (2), the recommendations of which have yet to implemented some 18
months after its submission to the Human Rights Council, and Paragraph 1912 of which stresses “all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12
August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to
ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention."
Has that happened? Clearly not. (3)
There would also be Reason 81, but for the United States power of veto exercised in the Security Council in February
If the international community has abandoned its responsibilities towards Palestinians, and particularly towards Gaza,
as the above examples over the last 63 years plus this map of Palestinian territories so graphically illustrate, what
else is left to Gaza but self-defense?
Click for big version
Israel and its chorUS disingenuously cite Israel’s right of “self-defense” to justify not only Israel’s disproportionate
military response to Gaza - and Palestinians’ - genuine right to self-defense, but also to attempt to disguise Israel’s
blatant land-theft from existing citizens.
Contrast the “newcomers” in Israel, for example, to many of those who in recent years have arrived in Australia. The
latter have been considered illegal immigrants and incarcerated in off-shore islands or desert detention camps –the
subtle distinction being that (i) those latterly arriving in Australia sought refuge from repressive regimes whereas the
Israeli immigrants came from European and North American democracies…(enough said, perhaps) and (ii) unlike Australia’s
(and NZ’s) immigrants, who now accept the existing population’s rights to their existing property, culture and
citizenship, Israel’s immigrants bulldoze and destroy the homes of existing residents to build their own in their place,
not only rendering thousands homeless but also destroying historic, economic and culturally-important sites such as
religious buildings, olive groves, farms, and cemeteries – and now legislating that they also be of the jewish religion
in order to have citizenship.
Is not our perception of the wrongness of such actions why we have just spent thirty years redressing such wrongs in our
own country, through the Waitangi Tribunal? Is not our perception of the wrongness of such discrimination why we fought
to end similar structural apartheid in South Africa?
In the past week, Israel has killed at least 10 people and seriously wounded scores more in sustained military attacks
with sophisticated weaponry targeted at civilians, a week in which so-called ‘rocket’ attacks from Gaza (into
traditional Palestinian territory) have not caused any Israeli deaths, or physical injury. Yet Israel yesterday
threatened “After barrage of rocket and mortar fire, Vice Premier Shalom says Israel may have to consider wide operation in Gaza;
Minister Limor Livnat: Operation Cast Lead 2 may be in order.” (5)
After a cosy telephone chat to US President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today said from Moscow that “Israel’s reaction to rocket attacks will be measured” (6) – but by what, is the question...
US Secretary of Defense Robert waits in Israel for Netanyahu’s return, today discussing with his Israeli counterpart
Barak how to ensure Israel maintains its ‘qualitative military edge’ in ‘a period like now when Israeli-US security relations were so strong.’ (7)
Obama in South America while his troops hammer Libya, insisting that the US role will be minor, Netanyahu in Moscow
proclaiming the same for Gaza…this arms’ reach war-mongering to give an appearance of moderation only makes me very
suspicious – to paraphrase Shakespeare, “Methinks they doth protest too much.”
A quick glance at the map reveals US, British and EU troops in the midst of massive military operations in oil-rich
Libya from the west, Israel launching sustained military attacks against a potentially-unified Gaza/Palestine from the
east and north – and slap bang in the middle, a very desirable waterway in the middle of a country which recently
overthrew its USrael-friendly president, but which has yet to establish a categorically different regime…and whose
military rulers have not opened the Rafah Crossing into Gaza, but today reiterated their prior commitment “ to Egypt's international treaties in an early message to reassure Jerusalem and the United States,” according to the Jerusalem Post’s reporting of today’s meeting in Cairo between Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil
Elaraby, and Rafi Barak, a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official.
Yes, on any reading of the situation, Gaza certainly does have good cause for concern about their territorial integrity
– and in the face of continuing military attacks against civilian targets and the absence of any enforceable UN Security
Council Resolution to protect them, every reason to resort to self-defense.
(3) Amnesty International UK et al (2008) The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (2010) The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip: Collective Punishment of the civilian population http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/2010/Illegal%20Closur.pdf
UNICEF, UNRWA and Minister of Education and Higher Education (2010) Palestinian children deprived of basic rights to education http://www.unicef.org/media/media_56025.html
UNDP (2010) One Year After GAZA Early Recovery and Reconstruction Needs Assessment http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/GazaRecovery0510.pdf
OCHA (2010) Farming without Land, Fishing without Water: Gaza Agriculture Sector Struggles to Survive http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/gaza_agriculture_25_05_2010_fact_sheet_english.pdf