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  • 09:14 - 18 November 2019

Normalizing Israel aggression makes the murder of civilians acceptable

By Ramona Wadi

The resumption of Israel’s targeted assassination of resistance leaders in Gaza has been met with widespread acceptance and tacit agreement, especially by the international community. During both of this year’s Israeli General Election campaigns, former IDF Chief and leader of the Blue and White party Benny Gantz advocated strongly for the practice to be implemented, creating a semblance of divergence in terms of policy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who, since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, has opted for a gradual normalization of sporadic bombing of the Gaza Strip.

As Netanyahu openly endorsed the implementation of extrajudicial executions, Gantz voiced his approval and emphasized “a return to deterrence” as the outcome. Israel’s outrageous aggression achieved the opposite, however, as Islamic Jihad fired rockets into the Zionist state after the murder of Bahaa Abu Al-Ata and his wife. This provided Israel with the excuse — “self-defense” — to bomb Gaza yet again; the Palestinian death toll has so far reached 34, among them women and children.

Despite the lack of equivalence between rocket fire and Palestinian civilians murdered by Israel, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov chose to elaborate on the former as “unacceptable”. “There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians,” Mladenov stated yesterday. Obviously, his comment excluded Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians.

 Once again, the UN has endorsed Israel’s colonial aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza. Its standard statements about the humanitarian impact of the latest Israeli bombardment will come at a later stage, when this phase is sidelined to pave the way for the UN and its interminable reports which raise awareness and persist in failing Palestinians politically.

 The question is not “the continuing escalation” but the UN’s contempt for human rights when it continues to defend Israel’s violence while deploring legitimate resistance from Gaza. “The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars against population centers is absolutely unacceptable and must stop immediately,” declared Mladenov.

 His refusal to condemn Israeli air strikes against a population that does not even have freedom of movement allows the Israeli government to commit heinous crimes with impunity. Perhaps Mladenov has missed the craters where houses once stood with their occupants sleeping peacefully before Israel’s “precision strikes” ended their lives? The UN continues to spread the message that Palestinians are simply cannon fodder for Israel’s armed forces; a necessity as far as Israel and the UN are concerned to achieve and completely normalize the settler-colonial project.

 The UN’s tactic appears to be working, though. Yet again, the EU specifically condemned “the firing of rockets on civilian populations” without a single mention of Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians. This collusion is testimony to the fact that the peacebuilding narrative, already compromised through the two-state paradigm, has also been altered irrevocably. Coined by international actors to give context to their intrusion in Palestine, peacebuilding is now an exclusive monopoly within the closed circles of Israel and the international community, in order to block any possible route that spells justice for Palestinians. The earlier aggression in May and the international response was the prelude to a collective assertion that the international community is openly endorsing, justifying and accepting the murder of Palestinian civilians.

 - Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger. Her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America. Her article appeared in MEMO.

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