Last Friday in response to Palestinian protesters at the Gaza Strip Israeli forces fired upon protesters at the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip for entering what the Israelis call the buffer zone, killing 4 and wounding 178 by bullets and another 777 were wounded by tear gas. This incident was just the latest in what has been one of the largest and longest protests in Gaza in recent history.
Starting on March 30, the Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting in varying numbers about the recent Israeli Egyptian blockade essentially trapping the Palestinians in Gaza. Another reason for the recent unrest is the all-time high Palestinian youth unemployment rate at 60%. People living within the Gaza Strip say the living conditions are the worst they have ever been.
The grand casualty total
for the protest to date is at 45 dead more than 6000 wounded with 18 medical personnel and journalists among the wounded. Israeli officials say that Hamas is behind the protests but there has not been a single rocket fired during the entire time of the protest. Although the protesters couldn’t be characterized as stoic monks, the protests have not escalated above a few Molotov cocktails and rocks being hurled at the Israeli forces at the fence.
Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry, said Israeli forces also targeted medical service points twice with quantities of unidentified gas east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. A number of victims experienced convulsions, severe vomiting and suffocation as a result of their exposure, he said.
Amnesty International on Friday called for governments worldwide to impose an arms embargo on Israel following the country’s “disproportionate response” to the demonstrations along the border fence.
“The nature of these injuries shows that Israeli soldiers are using high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters that do not pose imminent threat to them,” an Amnesty report noted.
And all of this happening at the same time of the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Israel. Where during a long speech he had after meeting with Israeli officials he made no mention of the events but did mention Iran as a totalitarian state and felt the need to mention Assad as a cruel leader toward civilians. This is just illustrating the hypocrisy of standards that Israel gets compared to all other nations. I mean just imagine if there were protests against Assad and he decided to fire upon them killing 45 and wounding hundreds more, the US would be leading the outcry of murderer, tyrant and other slanders not to mention the extreme military action that would’ve followed. But Israel doesn’t even get a bop on the wrist in a speech decrying the events that took place.
The reasons for this I will not go into right now and I’m sure a lot of people know why it is this way but that’s another conversation for another day. The reason I mention this story is because it illustrates how politicians are just giving empty platitudes when they say the reason we must go to war is because of freedom, democracy (and other vague buzzwords they use) and we can’t allow a tyrant to continue in power and then they go on and support countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel, showing that in reality they have other more nefarious reasons for wanting military intervention in the areas they are advocating about, and they are just trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
Now, this does not necessarily mean that I support the protesters in Gaza or that I think that the Israeli’s reaction was completely unwarranted although I will say it was definitely an overreaction. My point is more about the hypocrisy when nations like Israel go around moral policing other countries for doing things not half as bad as what they do and act as though they’re on some sort of moral high ground when in actuality they are the ones that deserve sanctions and embargoes.