Ilan Pappé is an Israeli historian at the University of Exeter, UK, and below some extracts from his insightful article.
The Historical Perspective of the 2014 Gaza Massacre
.....The pretext determined the timing – but the viciousness of the assault was the outcome of Israel’s inability to formulate a clear policy towards the Strip it created in 1948. The only clear feature of that policy is the deep conviction that wiping out the Hamas from the Gaza Strip would domicile the Ghetto there.
Since 1994, even before the rise of Hamas to power in the Gaza Strip, the very particular geopolitical location of the Strip made it clear that any collective punitive action, such as the one inflicted now, could only be an operation of massive killings and destruction. In other words: an incremental genocide.
This recognition never inhibited the generals who give the orders to bomb the people from the air, the sea and the ground. Downsizing the number of Palestinians all over historic Palestine is still the Zionist vision; an ideal that requires the dehumanisation of the Palestinians. In Gaza, this attitude and vision takes its most inhuman form.
The particular timing of this wave is determined, as in the past, by additional considerations. The domestic social unrest of 2011 is still simmering and for a while there was a public demand to cut military expenditures and move money from the inflated ‘defence’ budget to social services. The army branded this possibility as suicidal. There is nothing like a military operation to stifle any voices calling on the government to cut its military expenses.
Typical hallmarks of the previous stages in this incremental genocide reappear in this wave as well. As in the first operation against Gaza, ‘First Rains’ in 2006, and those which followed in 2009, ‘Cast Lead’, and 2012, ‘Pillar of Smoke’, one can witness again consensual Israeli Jewish support for the massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip, without one significant voice of dissent. The Academia, as always, becomes part of the machinery. Various universities offered the state its student bodies to help and battle for the Israeli narrative in the cyberspace and alternative media.
The Israeli media, as well, toed loyally the government’s line, showing no pictures of the human catastrophe Israel has wreaked and informing its public that this time, ‘the world understands us and is behind us’. That statement is valid to a point as the political elites in the West continue to provide the old immunity to the Jewish state. The recent appeal by Western governments to the prosecutor in the international court of Justice in The Hague not to look into Israel’s crimes in Gaza is a case in point. Wide sections of the Western media followed suit and justified by and large Israel’s actions.
This distorted coverage is also fed by a sense among Western journalist that what happens in Gaza pales in comparison to the atrocities in Iraq and Syria. Comparisons like this are usually provided without a wider historical perspective. A longer view on the history of the Palestinians would be a much more appropriate way to evaluate their suffering vis-à-vis the carnage elsewhere..........
.......A world that would stop employing double standards in its dealings with Israel is a world that could be far more effective in its response to war crimes elsewhere in the world............