The Oct. 7 surprise attack by Hamas fighters that killed about 1,200 Israeli civilians was a cowardly, evil event.

          Since then, the Israeli army has waged total war against the entire population of Gaza. Last week the total Palestinian death toll hovered around 20,000 people, with the number of children killed estimated  between 5,500 and 10,000.

          With their vaunted intelligence organization caught either napping or complacent, the Israelis retaliated with a plan that seems calculated to sweep all Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip.

          Attacking from the north, the Israelis told the locals to head south, then bombed convoys of fleeing refugees. Pushing south as if a giant armed broom, the Israelis began bombing southern Gaza – again telling residents to pick up and move south.

          And, while the Israelis are launching the missiles and dropping the bombs, the ammunition they are using comes from the good ol’ USA. At the end of November, the Wall Street Journal had tallied about 15,000 US bombs and 57,000 artillery shells shipped to Israel.

          The Oct. 7 surprise attack by Hamas fighters that killed about 1,200 Israeli civilians was a cowardly, evil event.

          Furthermore, more than half of the total munitions employed by Israel are “dumb bombs,” whose lack of precision guarantees civilian deaths.

          Still, with opposition mounting in the US to our government’s unwavering support of Israel, President Biden recently bypassed Congress with the “emergency” sale of 1,400 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel.

          Just earlier, the US had vetoed a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. And, in October, our country vetoed another resolution that would have condemned all violence against civilians in the Israel/Hamas war. Then our representatives began trying to craft a watered down cease-fire resolution while simultaneously working to head off an international investigation into violations of the Geneva Convention in the war between Hamas and Israel.

          Earlier this month, Biden’s own White House staffers held a vigil calling for a Gaza cease-fire. After acknowledging Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing,” he encouraged Israeli restraint – where he had just said no restraint has been shown.

          The Oct. 7 surprise attack by Hamas fighters that killed about 1,200 Israeli civilians was a cowardly, evil event.

          But, there are two sides to the underlying conflict in old Palestine.       

          In a September appearance at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed the assembly a map of “The New Middle East” which showed an Israel that included both Gaza and the ostensibly Palestinian West Bank (where 190 Palestinians have been killed since Oct.7). Palestinians were left with no territory.

           The elimination of Palestinians from Palestine began in 1948 when Zionist extremists waged a war of terror that saw more than 750,000 Palestinians forced from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers. Palestinians refer to this as the “Nakba” – the “calamity.”

          The state of Israel was consolidated upon this foundation. That is why so many Palestinians are confined in Gaza. Their ancestors were previously displaced.

          And, while Israeli law makes it illegal to cite the Nakba, one of Netanyahu’s ministers revealed the full scope of their plans in a November interview with Michael Hauser Tov of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Hauser reported:

          ”Israeli security cabinet member and Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter (Likud) was asked in a news interview on Saturday whether the images of northern Gaza Strip residents evacuating south on the (Israeli Defense Force’s) orders are comparable to images of the Nakba. He replied: ‘We are now rolling out the Gaza Nakba. From an operational point of view, there is no way to wage a war – as the IDF seeks to do in Gaza – with masses between the tanks and the soldiers.’

          “When asked again whether this was the ‘Gaza Nakba’, Dichter – a member of the security cabinet and former Shin Bet director – said ‘Gaza Nakba 2023. That’s how it’ll end.’

          “When later asked if this means Gaza City residents won’t be allowed to return, he replied: ‘I don’t know how it’ll end up happening since Gaza City is one-third of the Strip – half the land’s population but a third of the territory.’”

          As the original Nakba removed Palestinians from their homes in 1948, the goal of the Gaza Nakba is to sweep them out of Gaza. (And, it is an example of pure propaganda that Israel calls its army a defense force.)

          That is textbook ethnic cleansing. The United States government has been Israel’s arms merchant of death in reducing Gaza to rubble, killing thousands of civilians and displacing the rest.

          Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, sent a letter to President Biden last week that said, “Israel has the right to go to war against Hamas.”

          After all, the Oct. 7 surprise attack by Hamas fighters that killed about 1,200 Israeli civilians was a cowardly, evil event.

          But, Sanders said, Israel “does not have the right to go to war against innocent men, women, and children in Gaza.”

            He added, “it is being done with bombs and equipment produced and provided by the United States and heavily subsidized by American taxpayers. “Tragically, we are complicit in this carnage.”

            (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party.)

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