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     Volume 8 Issue 54 | January 24, 2009 |

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Writing the Wrong

A Diabolical Agenda

Sharbari Ahmed

It has been twenty-three days since Israel launched their final solution to deal with the scourge that is Hamas in the Gaza Strip. A few days ago, the Israeli cabinet decided, unilaterally, that it will now stop killing the children of Gaza, and make no mistake, this has, from the beginning, been a war waged on the most vulnerable of the residents of the hell hole that is Gaza. I suppose the world now should breathe a collective sigh of relief. At last, the great and benevolent Israelites, have shown their mercy and will stop dropping their righteous bombs laced with the highly incendiary white phosphorus (not recognised as a chemical weapon by international law) because they have taught Hamas a lesson.

A Palestinian child at a vigil in Gaza City marking Palestine's "Independence Day" on November 15. Source: annies-letters.blogspot.com

It seems, funnily enough, the only ones who are feeling the full brunt of said lesson have been over six thousand civilians, over three hundred of which are children. Dead children. Please forgive the sarcasm. It is virtually impossible for me not to take this tone as otherwise the full impact of the fact that I am writing about modern day genocide will be too much to bear.

Kurt Vonnegut, the great American writer, said that all wars are fought by children. I agree with this implicitly as America has always historically sent their youngest (lower class, usually black or Hispanic) children into the trenches to fight the fights. But every war is also waged on the children first and it seems, horrifically, that the Israelis have been deliberately targeting children. Otherwise how does one explain the repeated bombings of a UN school and schools in general?

Last Sunday the Israelis bombed the house of a Palestinian doctor, Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, as he spoke to Israel's Channel 10 news. He lost three of his daughters in the attack and he begged for help, live, on the air as the bombing occurred. One of his daughters survived and he pleaded with the journalist he was speaking to send help at once.

“Where do you live?” the journalist asked repeatedly. The doctor told him in the midst of the melee and miraculously an ambulance got through and whisked the girl into Israel where she was tended by Israeli doctors.

“Why would you attack me?” Dr. Abu al-Aish cried. “Me who has treated Israelis?” The doctor had worked in an Israeli hospital for years and speaks fluent Hebrew.

I gently watched as Israeli medics comforted the doctor and tended to his only surviving daughter. So many Israelis called in to show their support and offer condolences and, yet polls show that ninety percent of the population still support the war and the targeting of civilians. Most apparently believe the incredulous story that Hamas uses civilians as shields. UN personnel attempting to aid the wounded have been targeted and killed. Were they used as shields as well?

70% of people in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line leading children to give up their schools and studies and look for laborious jobs from a very young age to support their struggling families. Source: www.stolenchildhood.net

The absurdity of the situation: Israelis comforting a man whose children they sanctioned killing, is the theme of this war. And the only people who can stop the Israelis cold in their tracks in the future are (brace yourselves): the American people. For it is, in the end, the present and mercifully on its way out, American leadership that is supplying the energy bars for this diabolical agenda and have been for decades and it is only through getting the American populace the right information will the situation be mitigated. Right now what they are being fed is information couched just so and meant merely to further the realpolitik agenda of AIPAC.

I have tremendous faith in the American people these days. Exhibit A: an empty podium in Washington DC that on a hopefully not too frigid January twentieth will see Barack Obama sworn in as the President of the United States. I firmly believe that if the American people knew the truth and had access to pictures like the one I saw on the front page of a leading Bangladeshi paper yesterday afternoon, of a small dead Palestinian child buried in the rubble of a ruined house, they would demand the end to the Israeli onslaught, or is it aunschluss? There is hope, though, I am perturbed by the semi-silence of my man Barack on the situation in Gaza, that he will have a slightly different take on matters in the Middle East.

Also, at this point, most Americans rightfully so are more worried about losing their 401-Ks and being forced to live under the George Washington Bridge than what is going on a world away and don't think that the Ehud twins, Olmert and Barak, don't know what that means. America is in transition and economically weak and therefore extremely vulnerable. Olmert, himself, on a particularly arrogant day, claimed to have been the one to order that the US abstain from voting on the UN resolution condemning Israeli action in Gaza. The State Department vigorously denied this, but I would not be in the least bit surprised if what Olmert said is true. What astonished me was how self assured he was about his influence on George Bush and what he described to be Rice's shame in having to abstain from a resolution that she, in fact, had a hand in shaping. Imagine if Americans knew how much their leaders were being controlled by another country! It would cause shock, maybe some awe, and then utter outrage. But the material point is Americans don't know. And that is what President Obama will have to remedy somehow. At least for the generation coming of age now. You see? In the end, it is all about the children. And, terribly, the Israelis know that.


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