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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

“US Jewish organization condemns Pope Francis for comparing refugee centers to ‘concentration camps’’

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Response to another reader’s comment accusing someone of supporting Hamas terrorists:

Yours is an uninformed response, seemingly taken right from the official Israeli government crib sheets for making comments in newspapers abroad.

Honest and informed people do not regard Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Indeed, in the organization’s early days, Israel secretly supported Hamas in hopes of destroying Arafat’s Fatah.

Then, when Hamas had some political success as a result of its many effective charitable and organizing efforts, it suddenly became a terrorist organization according to Israel. And using its intimate political connections to get the United States to agree was a mere formality. So, Hamas became a terrorist organization by the same process we read of in Alice in Wonderland when the roses were painted red.

We have no less a figure than Jimmy Carter, one of the most intelligent and conscientious statesmen of his time, who has described the realities of Hamas vis-à-vis Israel, having met all the parties involved.

Israel only uses the “terrorist” ploy to prevent an effective democratic party from unifying the Palestinians.

That is what is really feared. Just as Israel hates democracy in any neighboring countries, a fact relatively few outsiders understand. Israel’s good friends in neighboring countries are all kings or tyrants. Tyrant in Egypt. Absolute monarch in Saudi Arabia. King in Jordan. Relationships with these and others run deep, and the word “democracy” never passes anyone’s lips.

The House of Saud and Israel are close friends and virtually secret allies, sharing many mutual interests including fears around democratic and human rights and concerns around defending the influence of wealth in the region. They often work secretly together on the same projects, as in Syria. It was not always so, but after 9/11, the House of Saud was terrified that the United States would attack them, and it started bending over backwards to cooperate.

The King of Jordan is a virtual servant of Israel, and he is well known in his own country for having no independence of thought or action. That’s why any critic in Jordan pointing out the fact out ends up in prison.

Israel got on extremely well with Egypt’s dictator, Mubarak, for thirty years, Mubarak receiving his annual “assistance” payments from America so long as that continued to be the case. Egypt’s flirtation with democracy was brought to a quick and deadly end shortly after its first elected president dared make a few brief statements angering Israel. Through a combination of covert activities by Israel and the United States, a new tyrant was installed in Egypt, again a man with whom Israel has good relations, a man doing Israel such favors as building a section of wall between Sinai and Gaza which extends a metallic skirt deep underground.

Israel’s long-existing list of governments which it wanted the United States to topple – including Iraq, Syria, and Iran, Ariel Sharon having been quite open at times about his murderous demands in the name of “democracy” in the Middle East – were all governments which did not toe the line with Washington, preserving for themselves some portion of their own legitimate national interests, something not accepted by Israel. That really is the key fact for any government’s having been listed, not any lack of democracy, because Israel simply has some of its best relationships with non-democratic (and extremely corrupt) governments.

Well, the principles applying to Israel’s major neighbors apply also to its closest and smallest, Palestine. That’s why Israel still props up Mahmoud Abbas as “president,” a man who has not faced an election for years and has no basis in fact for his title.

Abbas also is a rather Stepin Fetchit type of personality, someone Israel finds useful even though they almost never talk even to him.

Hostility to democracy in its neighborhood is why Israel, early on after an observed clean election in Gaza, sent troops charging in to arrest properly elected representatives, a totally illegal act.

That’s why Israel openly threatened the head of Hamas with assassination, a totally illegal act.

That’s why Israel did assassinate some Hamas officials, totally illegal acts.

That’s why we had the Nazi-like blockade of Gaza declared, Nazi-like because in its early period it actually included a calorie count of the minimum necessary calories to sustain life, that count controlling the level of allowed food imports. You could not buy a candy bar in Gaza.

That extreme measure, once it was known to the public, came under US pressure, and it was eased, but the Palestinians of Gaza still sit in many ruins from Israel’s bombing because they cannot import many basic building materials. And I don’t think anyone with an open mind believes Israel has any right – beyond might – to even impose any blockade.

It is absolutely savage, and no one who is not a partisan of the genuine terrorists, the Netanyahu government, can accept it.

By the way, not all readers may be aware but recently, for the third time I believe, Israel sprayed herbicides on large swaths of Gaza limited arable land.

Imagine, in that crowded place with many, many children, spraying herbicides? America’s arrogant use of Agent Orange in Vietnam is still causing birth defects and deaths all these years after the war.

Israel previously used this horrible technique of spraying herbicides, multiple times, on Bedouin in the Negev region they wanted to force away from where they lived.

That’s getting awfully close to Nazi methods I think all decent people can agree.

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