Palestinian oppression and despair in stark relief in Netanyahu’s war

People inspect the rubble of the destroyed Abu Hussein building hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in the early morning Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (photo: AP / Adel Hana)
This conflict won’t be resolved without an honest accounting of the roots of occupation and exclusion.

By Alice Rothchild | The Seattle Times | May 19, 2021

Palestinians have clearly reached a breaking point after suffering from 72 years of racist and exclusionary policies by the Israeli government, its ongoing seizure of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the increasingly rightward, tending toward fascistic, political parties.

Gaza is roughly a 26-by-6-mile strip of land with 2 million people living under a brutal 14-year siege where, until last week, they were struggling to control a rampant COVID-19 outbreak. Now, in just nine days, using the most advanced and lethal weaponry the United States can provide, an estimated 219 Gazans have been killed, including 63 children, 1,500 injured with 72,000 internally displaced. Dozens of educational facilities, six hospitals and 11 primary health care centers have been damaged, and water, sanitation and electrical infrastructure bombed. Israel is not allowing the entry of vaccines, and it damaged the only testing lab. There would be no available hospital beds and a shortage of critical medications and oxygen if someone were to be diagnosed with the virus.

Despite President Joe Biden’s unwavering support for Israel, framed in the “Israel has a right to defend itself” and there is “no daylight between us” mantras, and his late and tepid suggestion that a cease fire would be really welcome, there are voices in Congress accusing Israel of gross human-rights violations and functioning as an “apartheid state.”

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