Burning Inferno of Gaza
By Asif Haroon Raja
Israel’s Unbated Madness
Over five weeks have passed, but the temper of humiliated Israel, seething with rage is not cooling down and it is behaving like a ferocious bull in the China shop. Narcissist Israel has arrogated itself the right of slaughter indiscriminately without fear of accountability or moral obligations. Its military is using regular forces and 300,000 reservists, 250 tanks and hundreds of AFVs under the barrage of drones and 250 jets against the besieged Palestinians relentlessly, and treating them as vermin to be snuffed out. Gaza has been turned into a rubble and a graveyard for children. Till Nov 15, the death toll has crossed 12,000 including 5000 children with an average of 122 dying daily. 30,000 are injured and 1.5 million internally displaced.
Attacking hospitals in disregard to the infants in incubators, patients in intensive care, on dialysis and pregnant women are most heartless acts. 50,000 people driven from their homes due to bombings had taken shelter in Al-Shifa, the biggest hospital in the city. The hospital was first surrounded by tanks and then stormed, killing many civilians and patients. Now the hospital is being forcibly emptied and the critically injured children are being evacuated to the UAE.
26 of the 36 hospitals including a children hospital and a Chrisian hospital Al-Hali have been bombed making them dysfunctional. 226 healthcare workers lost their lives. Journalists, UN aid workers, have been killed. 225 schools including UNRWA were bombed. No Hamas fighters, command centres, weapons dumps or Israeli hostages were found. Relief efforts are being hampered and calls for humanitarian ceasefire are rejected. Sheep-like western media is accepting the falsities of IDF like Gospel truths and turning a deaf ear to the cries and shrieks of the victims.
The goal of the invaders bombing hospitals, schools, worship houses, bakeries and vital facilities is to make Gaza uninhabitable, and compel the people to abandon their homes and lands and opt for another migration. Hamas is just an excuse; the real motive is to ethnically cleanse Gaza of Palestinians. The ghastly war has triggered one of the biggest internal migrations of people in recent decades.
Joint US-Israel Venture
War in Gaza is a joint US-Israel venture to re-annex the narrow Strip along with huge gas reserves in Gaza, to build a two-way canal to undermine one-way Suez Canal, and an alternate route to the Chinese BRI through Gaza.
Netanyahu, pursuing ultra-nationalism, is using war as an opportunity to silence his political opponents and judiciary at home. Joe Biden has his own set of problems at home. His presidential campaign in 2024 depends heavily upon the American Jewish lobbies, and the 1% wealthy who dominate the Industrial Military Complex, media, banks etc. Governed by his political agenda, he is supporting Netanyahu’s genocidal policy which denies Palestinians the right to exist.
Biden’s administration is providing complete cover to Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, which has now been converted from a concentration camp into a slaughterhouse. Biden will go down in history as an accomplice to the continuation of the genocidal war till the accomplishment of objectives. Calls for a ceasefire have been dismissed by all the American policy makers.
Discriminatory role of Backers of Israel
After the flare-up in Gaza, Antony Blinken (thrice), the UK PM Rishi, EU Commissioner and the US President Biden (Oct 18, 2023) visited Tel Aviv to bolster their sagging morale. Biden not only pledged Netanyahu America’s “iron-clad” support and unconditional security assistance, but also accused Hamas of using civilians as human shield, and agreed to the false stance of Netanyahu that Hamas was using hospitals and schools as command centres and for concealing war munitions in the basements connected with tunnels. He supported removal of Hamas from power. The Pentagon claimed that Hamas had used Al-Shifa hospital for military purposes but didn’t furnish any evidence.
The US vetoed the UNSC resolution proposed by Brazil, calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. Out of 35 US Congress members, only two opposed Israeli aggression. Russia’s resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire was also rejected by the US, France, Japan and the UK on 16 Oct. 99 of the 100 US Senators co-sponsored a resolution affirming support for Israel.
The US Senator Linzey Graham warned Iran that if it tries to escalate the matter, its oil trade will be cut off.
The British intelligence gathering and electronic warfare system RC-135 is monitoring Northern Gaza while the US jets are surveying the entire area to detect any movements in Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and elsewhere.
The US, EU and UK stood up in full support of Israel and are initiating urgent steps to isolate Gaza, condemn Hamas and to gather support for the aggressor Israel. The aim is to keep the conflict in Gaza localized and to prevent it from expanding.
Washington has already doled out a 14.5-billion-dollar military package to Tel Aviv and also sent its two aircraft carriers to the region in order to forestall reactions from any Arab State or Iran. The Pentagon directed Central Command to be ready to dispatch thousands of JDAM air-to-surface bombs to Israel. More laser guided missiles are being sent for the ethnic cleansing of Gazans.
Blinken went on a whirlwind tour to convince/pressurize the Gulf States not to support Gaza and to recognize Israel. He had to wait for hours to meet MBS at Riyadh. He assured the host that the US wouldn’t deploy its forces in the ME. At Doha, Blinken requested the Emir of Qatar to persuade Hezbollah not to open the 2nd front.
Wall Street raised alarm bells that the Pasdaran (IRGC) are sending forward their jihadis towards the border of Syria. News about the presence of Wagner Group in the Middle East (ME) was circulated. Germany approved $323 million weapons export to Israel. The latter is demanding 600 Switchblade offensive drones from Washington.
India pledged support to Israel since the racist and fascist chemistry of the two imperialist states matches. There are hundreds of Indian soldiers serving in the IDF.
Humanitarian Pause. On 16 Nov, UNSC finally passed a resolution moved by Malta, calling for ‘urgent and extended humanitarian pause and corridors in Gaza Strip to allow essential supplies and medical evacuation, after four failed attempts. 1000 children are being evacuated daily. The latter has sent 51 planes of food and relief goods as part of a $1.5 million aid package.
Responses to Israeli Aggression from the World
Worldwide protests are going on against Israeli aggression. Big demonstrations took place in the USA and other western capitals. The Irish PM forcefully condemned the Israeli apartheid and fascist policies. Voices were raised by the British, EU, American and Canadian parliamentarians.
Dual policies of the US and UK are being censured by the people. It is argued that if the Holocaust of the Jews at the hands of German Nazis is mourned, why not the Naqba of the Palestinians in 1948 and the current 2nd Naqba.
The toughest statement came from a prominent political leader of non-Muslim South Africa who stated that their Embassy in Tel Aviv will be closed and all kinds of diplomatic, cultural and economic linkages snapped with Israel.
China, Russia, North Korea, African, Middle Eastern and Asian leaders have castigated Israel for its inhuman policies and the US for its unjust support.
Response of the Muslim World
The OIC and the Arab League (AL) responses are so far lackadaisical and are not in line with the gravity of the situation. The reasons are that the OIC is a toothless organization, the AL dominated by Saudi Arabia is governed by selfish interests, and the Muslim world as a whole is a house divided and under the perverse influence of the USA.
The Arab States that are directly linked and affected by the unresolved Palestinian dispute have given up their support for the marooned Palestinians and are eager to befriend Israel.
Saudi Arabia stalled the fast-moving process of diplomatic recognition of Israel, which was at the verge of a breakthrough.
Kuwait’s resolution over Gaza in support of the Palestinians defeated the US resolution with a thumping majority.
Tunis announced Jihad against Israel and gave permission to the citizens to take part in the Jihad.
Qatar closed the supply of gas to the EU. Emir of Qatar stated that till such time Israel stopped attacking Gaza, gas will not be supplied, and added that further attacks will not be tolerated.
Iran’s FM gave a message that if Israel didn’t stop its aggression, then the thumbs of all the parties in the region already on the trigger would get activated. Erdogan was upfront in condemning Israel and he declared Israel a terrorist state.
Jordan cancelled the summit in Amman which was to be attended by Biden. Its Foreign Minister stated that forcible expulsion of the Gazans will be unacceptable.
No Muslim country including Pakistan voiced support for Israel and condemned Hamas. However, their cold and callous indifference is discernible. Public pressure in the West is stronger than in the ME.
Response of Militant Groups
Hezbollah under Nasrullah has heated up the 2nd front in Lebanon and the 3rd in Syria. Hezbollah-Hamas are now jointly conducting offensive acts. They have sufficient stock of guided missiles and possibly drones.
The Yemenis and Afghanis and jihadi elements in Pakistan are raring to help the Gazans in distress. Possibility of radical Islamic groups like Al-Qaeda and dozens of others badly mauled by the western forces might volunteer to come in aid of the Hamas.
Dual Standards of the Western World
Hypocritical and double-dealing UN, the US and the West are expressing serious concerns over the offensive acts of Hamas and are bracing to announce punitive actions. Biden stated that there can be no return to the status ante quo once the guns fall silent.
The so-called champions of democracy and human rights had framed the international laws and new laws on terrorism after 9/11 to penalize the targeted countries and to cover up their crimes against humanity.
All Muslim liberation movements that were legal in the past were converted to terrorism. Abettors, facilitators and sympathizers were also not spared. Hamas as a resistance group to resist Israeli aggression is viable in the light of the UN 29 resolution,
Not a word has ever been uttered against the record-breaking cruelties and tyranny of Israel and India against the Palestinians and the Kashmiris since 1948. The international institutions like ICJ and ICC defend their sins, and the UN and HRW remain muted.
All the sinful acts of Israeli and Indian brutes were justified under the plea of self-defense, while a bullet fired by the freedom fighters in the illegally occupied lands for the protection of their honor is dubbed as terrorism.
For them, Russia is an aggressor, Putin is a terrorist and involved in war crimes in Ukraine and the Ukrainians are victims of aggression. These rules are not applicable to Israel and India, carrying out ethnic cleansing and genocide of Kashmiris and Palestinians. The US enjoys immunity to trample sovereign countries, support insurgencies and proxies to destabilize elected governments, establish torture dens like Guantanamo Bay, Bagram Base and Abu Ghraib Jail.
Dual standards and hypocrisy of the US, UK, EU and Canada, the self-proclaimed champions of universal human values have been fully exposed in this war. Their sermons on morality, humanity, human, international laws, democracy, fairness are for the civilized Global North only, and not applicable to the unprivileged Global North.
Exhilaration of Merchants of Death
While there is a global outcry over the Israeli barbarities, the global arms manufacturers are jubilant since the Gaza war has helped in furthering their profits from arms sales. The US Military Industrial Complex is the initiator and promoter of the global arms industry and the biggest beneficiary, which thrives in wars and conflicts. Biden admitted recently that military aid and weapons sales help the US economy.
From the end of 2nd WW in 1946 to 2001, there were 248 armed conflicts, of which 201 were initiated by the USA. Huge profits were made during NATO’s expansionism into Eastern Europe and the 20-year war on terror. In return for providing security to the oil-rich Gulf States, big arms deals were brokered. The Ukraine war is another source of earning where Kiev is being armed to teeth; and now Gaza is boosting arms sales and enriching arms companies. American politicians and businessmen are rolling in wealth owing to the sale of arms to the needy countries.
The major US arms manufacturing companies are Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman. The European companies that are thriving are BAE Systems in Britain, France’s Dassault and Thales; German Rheinmetall. In the Far East, South Korea’s Hanwha Aerospace is making profits. The smaller ones are Vitec, Firstec, Kawasaki and Mitsubishi.
The Gaza conflict is costing a lot to the Zionist state, and as per estimates, the cost could be well above $ 50 billion, which is 10% of GDP if the war stretches to a year. Its losses would be compensated by the USA.
To be concluded
The writer is a retd Brig Gen, war veteran, War Course & MSc War Studies qualified, defence, security and political analyst, international columnist, author of five books, served as Directing Staff in Staff College Quetta, defence attaché Egypt and Sudan and Dean of the Corps of military attaches, held high staff and command appointments, after retirement he was appointed Colonel of the Battalion he commanded, he chaired Thinkers Forum Pakistan for 4 years, takes part in TV talk shows.