Tuesday, May 15, 2018

End the Shooting in Gaza

The blog is reminded of the controversy a little while back when Russia was accused of diplomatically protecting Syria's Assad from any condemnation from the UN security council. Today, we witness the USA defending the actions of Israel. The US blocked the UN Security Council from adopting a statement calling for an independent probe into the violence.

“Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response and as the secretary of state [Mike Pompeo] said, Israel has a right to defend itself,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters 

The US representative in the UN, Nikki Haley, defended the level of Israel's use of force, saying: "No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has." She said the US "deplores the loss of human life" but laid blame on Hamas, saying: "Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday."

However, while the US parrots the Israeli line, more reasoned voices were heard from actual UN officials themselves.

Summing up the concern of many, Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights, said in Geneva: “The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot. It seems that anyone is liable to be shot dead.” He stressed that international laws that applied to Israel made clear that “lethal force may only be used as a measure of last, not first, resort.” In an apparent dismissal of Israel’s justification for the high casualty levels, Colville said: “It is not acceptable to say that ‘this is Hamas and therefore this is OK.”
The UN’s high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, said: “Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account.”
The World Health Organisation also intervened, saying the scale of the injuries was threatening to overwhelm Gaza’s already beleaguered health system.
“The policy of Israeli authorities to fire irrespective of whether there is an immediate threat to life on Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza, caged in for a decade and under occupation for half a century, has resulted in a bloodbath anyone could have foreseen,” Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, said in a statement.
SOYMB blog declares that peace is always better than war. Because wars are never fought in the interests of ordinary people. And because in wars it is always ordinary people who suffer. So, irrespective of the issues involved or the terms agreed, socialists, can only welcome the ending of any armed conflict in any part of the world. Stop the killing is our permanent peace policy. 
The Socialist Party is always on the side of the oppressed against the oppressors and the massive use of overwhelming force by the state of Israel clearly exposes it as the oppressor. But just because we sympathise with the victims of Israeli oppression does not mean that we favour the solutions popular amongst them. Our opposition to Zionism does not mean that we support Hamas or Fatah. Nor like some, we don’t single out Jewish nationalism for any special condemnation. We condemn all nationalisms equally. The “Palestinian nation” is just as much a myth as the “Jewish nation”. 
A Palestinian state would be a capitalist state. Many fall prey to the romantic/moralistic approach of the Left – the oppression of Palestinian workers is made qualitatively worse by the denial of national rights, that is, the denial to the Palestinian capitalists of a free hand in exploiting their workers and deluding them into believing that they share a common interest in defending a patch of land. The Palestinian working class would still be oppressed as workers, and the land would belong to a new set of owners. They would still be subject to poverty, to the tyranny of their rulers and to the chaos of capitalist existence. 

SOYMB re-affirms that all peoples should seek their emancipation, not as members of nations or religions or ethnic groups, but as human beings, as members of the human race.

No comments: