Monday, January 19, 2009

The 22-Day Slaughterhouse: A Lesson Better Learned

The Israeli leaders are claiming victory in their latest atrocity, the 22-day-long slaughtering of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip; destroying 4000 homes and damaging 16,000 more, killing upwards of 1,500 people, wounding and injuring more than 5,000, destroying government buildings (used and needed by ALL the population), mosques, schools, UN buildings, even hospitals -- the biggest destruction in this department, the best equipped Gaza City's Quds Hospital, in the process obliterating half of the available capacity in Gaza City for taking care of the sick and the injured, making sure that the number of murdered will continue to rise for weeks to come.

And that is called victory by the Israeli sadists. Victory? Against a trapped and captive, starved and oppressed population living on their millennial, ancestral lands, lands which they refuse to let the Israelis steal more of?

Hardly a victory, of any sort. Hamas is still there, and is still the legitimate, democratically elected representative of the people; the destruction will be repaired, even if it takes years; the dead will be buried, and in the process of all the funerals more will join the ranks of the freedom fighters in Palestine. Meaning, the resistance to Israeli barbarities will continue for years to come.

All that the Israelis victoriously and successfully showed to the world was that they are a sick bunch of sadists with no conscience. All they proved was that they could very swiftly kill many, many hundreds of innocent children in their homes and schools and even when injured and in hospitals, do the same to women and men of different ages, by bombing and bulldozing buildings in thousands, using illegal white phosphorus bombs; all, in order to get an entire nation to 'change its behavior'. Isn't that the official definition for 'terrorism'?

The Israelis proved they can destroy buildings. That's all the 'victory' they got.

The Palestinian people, if they needed any further confirmation of the treacheries against them from their human brothers and sisters in high places, just witnessed the impotence of not just the 'World Leaders' in stopping daily massacres against them; but more importantly, the Arab leaders (no news really to Palestinians), and very particularly the Egyptian Hosni Mobarak. Mahmoud Abbas, likewise, lost any credibility he may have had.

In other words, it was re-affirmed for the Palestinian people that, in their just struggle against Israeli occupation and atrocities, they must rely more on their own abundant resourcefulness and resilience.

I think one major lesson must follow: one of the stated aims of the Israeli military operations was to destroy the tunnel systems developed by the Palestinians in Gaza, around the southern border with Egypt. However, as admitted by the Israelis, '"The operation did not deal an irreversible blow to the tunnels industry," Mr Diskin, the head of the Shin Beth internal security service, said' (see here).

In view of how frustrated the Americans became over the years in Vietnam exactly due to an elaborate tunnel system created by the Vietnamese freedom fighters-- the tunnel systems developed by the Vietnamese played a key role in their long-term, military victory against first the French and later the American invaders -- the tunnel systems created in Gaza must be given an important strategic place in the fight the Palestinian people are waging against the Israeli occupiers. So, one lesson must clearly be: a more extensive tunnel system, more elaborately constructed, is needed. Not just in Gaza, but in all the occupied territories.

The land, as the Vietnamese realized very early in their fight, is the thing that cannot be taken away by invading armies. It may be occupied for an hour or two, a day or two, a year or decade or two, even several decades and more, but the aggressor always has to cede it back. For the aggressor has no game other than deflect and delay. By killing more Palestinians, who are legitimately exercising their right of defense against occupation, Israel is doing nothing other than deflecting and delaying a just outcome. Justice may be delayed, but in this case it shall not be denied.

So, dig deep into the earth that is yours.

Long Live the Palestinian People!
Long Live Free Palestine!
Justice will be had!

Post Script: For a general overview of the tunnel system created by the Vietnamese, you can see our four-part series of quotations from a book by Tom Mangold and John Penycate, titled, The Tunnels of Cu-Chi (1985):
Introduction: here ...
Strategic Import/Structure:  here ...
Resource Management:  here ... and
Tunnels' Defense:  here.

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