By Robert Fisk
'Monstrous. Frightful. Wicked. It’s strange how the words just run out in the Middle East today. Sixty Palestinians dead. In one day. Two-thousand-four-hundred wounded, more than half by live fire. In one day. The figures are an outrage, a turning away from morality, a disgrace for any army to create.
And we are supposed to believe that the Israeli army is one of “purity of arms”? And we have to ask another question. If it’s 60 Palestinians dead in a day this week, what if it’s 600 next week? Or 6,000 next month? Israel’s bleak excuses – and America’s crude response – raise this very question. If we can now accept a massacre on this scale, how far can our immune system go in the days and weeks and months to come?
Yes, we know all the excuses. Hamas – corrupt, cynical, no “purity” there – was behind the Gaza demonstrations. Some of the protesters were violent, sent burning kites – kites, for heaven’s sake – across the border, others threw stones; though since when has stone-throwing been a capital offence in any civilised country? If an eight-month-old baby dies after tear gas inhalation, what were her parents doing bringing their infant child to the Gaza border? And so it goes on. Why complain about dead Palestinians when we have the Sisis in Egypt and the Assads in Syria and the Saudis in Yemen to contend with? But no, the Palestinians must always be guilty.
The victims are themselves the culprits. This is exactly what the Palestinians have had to endure for 70 years. Remember how they were to blame for their own exodus seven decades ago, because they followed the instructions of radio stations to leave their homes until the Jews of Israel were “driven into the sea”. Only, of course, the radio broadcasts never existed. We still must thank Israel’s “new historians” for proving this. The broadcasts were a myth, part of Israel’s foundational national history invented to ensure that the new state – far from being founded on the ruins of other’s homes – was a land without people.
And it was a marvel to behold the way in which the same old reporting cowardice began to infect the media’s account of what happened in Gaza. CNN called the Israeli killings a “crackdown”.
References to the tragedy of the Palestinians in many news media referred to their “displacement” 70 years ago, as if they happened to be on holiday at the time of the “Nakba”, the catastrophe, as it’s known, and just couldn’t make it home again. The word to use should have been perfectly clear: dispossession. Because that is what happened to the Palestinians all those years ago and what is still happening in the West Bank – today, as you read this – courtesy of men like Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, a supporter of these wretched and illegal colonies built on Arab lands and appropriated from Arabs who have owned and lived on the land for generations.'
Read more: How long after this week's Gaza massacre are we going to continue pretending that the Palestinians are non-people?
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