SAN FRANCISCO, United States, Oct 11 (IPS) – When Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations spoke to the Security Council on Sunday, he said: “It’s September 11 in Israel. It’s September 11 in Israel.” Meanwhile, in an interview with PBS NewsHour, Israel’s ambassador to the United States said: “This is, as someone said, our 9/11.” »
Although the phrase may seem logical, “9/11 in Israel” is already being used as a huge propaganda weapon by the Israeli government – now engaged in massive war crimes against civilians in Gaza, following the massacre of Israelis by Hamas last weekend. On the surface, an analogy between the atrocities that Israelis have just suffered and what happened on September 11, 2001 might seem to justify calls for unequivocal solidarity with Israel. But horrific actions are underway by an Israeli government that has long maintained a system of apartheid while breaking the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. What is very sinister about trumpeting “9/11 in Israel” is what happened after 9/11 in the United States. Wearing the shroud of victimhood, the United States used the horrific tragedy suffered within its own borders as license to kill large numbers of people in the name of retaliation, righteousness, and, of course, righteousness. “war on terrorism”. This is a strategy that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is currently aggressively adapting and implementing. Currently underway, Israel’s collective punishment of 2.3 million people in Gaza is an escalation of what Israel has been doing to Palestinians for decades.
But Israeli extremism, presenting itself more than ever as a matter of self-defense, is reaching new racist heights in its desire to treat human beings as susceptible to extermination. On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called the Palestinians a “bestial people” and said: “We fight animals and act accordingly. » Indiscriminate bombings are now occurring, accompanied by a cutoff of food, water, electricity and fuel. Noting that “even before the latest restrictions, Gaza residents were already facing widespread food insecurity, movement restrictions and water shortages”, the BBC reported that a UN official said that Gaza residents “were “terrified” by the current situation and worried for their lives. safety – as well as that of their children and their families. This is a terrible echo of the post-9/11 approach of the US government, which from the outset, after September 11, 2001, granted itself early absolution for all its future crimes against humanity. In the name of fighting terrorism, the United States has inflicted collective punishment on a huge number of people who had absolutely nothing to do with the September 11 attacks. Brown University’s Costs of War Project estimates more than 400,000 direct civilian deaths “in the violence of America’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.” . At the start of the “war on terror,” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld developed a template for approving virtually any killing committed by the U.S. military. “We did not start this war,” he said at a press conference in December 2001, two months after the start of the war in Afghanistan. “So, understand, the responsibility for every casualty in this war, whether innocent Afghans or innocent Americans, lies with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Rumsfeld was cheered by the US media establishment, as he not only insisted that the US government had no responsibility for deaths caused by its armed forces; he also attested to the remarkable decency of the American military.
“The targeting capabilities, and the care taken in targeting, to ensure that specific targets are hit and other targets are not, is as impressive as anything anyone can see,” Rumsfeld said. He praised “the care that is taken, the humanity that is invested in it”. Even before its current high-tech attack on Gaza, Israel had accumulated a long record of killing civilians there, while denying it at every step. For example, the United Nations found that during the Israeli attack “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, 1,462 Palestinian civilians died, including 495 children. There is no reason to doubt that the number of civilian casualties due to current Israeli military actions in Gaza will soon far exceed the number of people killed by the Hamas attack a few days ago. As in the aftermath of 9/11, official claims that they only fight terrorism will continue to serve as a public relations smokescreen for a government that terrorizes and inflicts mass carnage on Palestinians.
Deserving only unequivocal condemnation, Hamas’ killings and kidnappings of civilians paved the way for Israel’s ongoing massacre of civilians in Gaza. Absent from the New York Times home page Monday evening and relegated to page 9 of the paper’s print edition Tuesday, a grisly article began: “Israeli airstrikes pounded Gaza Monday, razing mosques above heads of worshipers, obliterating a bustling market full of shoppers and killing entire families, witnesses and authorities in Gaza said.
“Five Israeli airstrikes destroyed the market in the Jabaliya refugee camp, reducing it to rubble and killing dozens of people, authorities said. Other strikes hit four mosques in the Shati refugee camp and killed worshipers praying there, they said. Witnesses said boys were playing football outside one of the mosques when it was hit. In addition to issuing a statement on the latest tragic turn of events, we at RootsAction.org have offered supporters of a just peace a quick way to email their members of Congress and President Biden. The gist of the message is that “the horrific cycle of violence in the Middle East will only end when the Israeli occupation ends – and the US government poses a huge obstacle to ending the occupation.”
Norman Salomon is national director of RootsAction.org and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of numerous books, including War Made Easy. His latest book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine, was published in summer 2023 by The New Press.
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© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service