Israeli Airstrikes: Collective Punishment and US Hypocrisy

John Glaser, March 12, 2012

At least 18 Palestinians have been killed and more than 70 wounded in Israel’s latest set of airstrikes in Gaza. The vast majority of these casualties have been civilians. By contrast, three Israeli civilians have been wounded by rocket fire.

In response to this, the U.S. has condemned Palestinian violence. “We condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza by terrorists into southern Israel,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “We call on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these cowardly acts. And we call on both sides to make every effort to restore calm.”

In cases of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians, the victims often are dehumanized and disregarded, as is the case here. But the hypocrisy runs pretty deep. Think about how quickly warmongers in Washington jumped to argue we should be arming militants in Syria who were resisting a brutal government crackdown. In Gaza – the target of constant violence and economic warfare – the U.S. demands all Palestinians renounce violence completely. As’ad AbuKhalil:

Western governments never expressed sympathy for the Syrian people: as victims of the Assad regime and as victims of Israeli occupation and brutality. Yet, Western governments were quick to call for arming the Syrian people only months after the uprising began.

The Palestinians, however, have never been treated with such permissiveness. No matter how much massive violence is inflicted on them, and no matter how many massacres they suffer, Western governments insist that the Palestinian people (and any other people living under Israeli occupation) have no right to resort to arms to liberate their lands and to “protect their civilians.”

It should be noted that Hamas did not take responsibility for the rocket fire that supposedly prompted the Israeli airstrikes. Indeed, they have been developing an explicitly non-violent approach of late. That means the extremely disproportionate Palestinian casualties are an even more blatant case of collective punishment by Israel.

8 Responses to “Israeli Airstrikes: Collective Punishment and US Hypocrisy”

  1. One forgets to mention that this latest round of violence started when Israel decided to kill a local militia leader.

    Apparently Israel can start fights and Palestinians are blamed for retaliating.

  2. Secretary Clinton calls for calm, eh? This same woman sees no problem with leading tens of thousands of private mercenaries, supporting drone strikes, advocating crushing sanctions against innocent civilians, and blustering endlessly about all options being "on the table."

    Warrantless searches? Airport gate rapes? Indefinite detention without due process? Torture? Extrajudicial executions? Hey, she thinks these are grand ideas. Someone with a hint of integrity would have resigned in protest long ago. Hillary? Not a chance.

    Does this woman feel no shame? Is there no one in the media with enough courage to call her out for her blatant hypocrisy?

  3. the poor people of the occupied lands. why cant the government of iran arm then palestinian for defence purposes against israel? why cant the bahrainis or yeminis be armed ? this is what we call double standards and total hypocrasy

  4. The Pantsuited One–that sanctimonious fraud who's impersonating a Secretary of State–is beyond the pale.

  5. I really hate war. Why can't just people live without fighting.

    Baby Eagle

  6. the problem that the US has is it itself, doing EXACTLY the same thing in its Predator strikes in Pakistan, more CIVILIANS are killed than terrorists and even the alledged terrorists killings are suspect. Are they in fact terorists or civilians that the US says are terrorists just because they killed them!

    The US Supreme Court says that EVEN Captured UNLAWFUL Combatants have Geneva Artcle 3 Civilian rights and those rights include a trial before execution in a Normal court.

  7. And Hamas can send thousands of missiles into Israel but Israel should shut up about it.
    The problems in the area were begun and were fomented by the British Colonial Office which was determined to obstruct any Jews from building any factories to produce items which England could supply. The Brits encouraged enmity where none existed and kept it up till it became too costly to stay.

    No sane human who was not born in a Muslim country will ever decide to live under Muslim rule. As far as the Arabs go, not a single one of their gioernments professing Muslin faith has ever been the least bit benevolent to its populace.

  8. If ignorance be bliss you are truly blissful