Left Flank is very pleased to be able to post this extended analysis of Israel’s war on Gaza by British-based socialist Kevin Ovenden, set in its regional and international context. Kevin has been a leading activist in Viva Palestina and narrowly escaped death at the hands of the IDF as part of the first Gaza Flotilla. We previously published his analysis of the UK riots here last year.
What means this war?
By KEVIN OVENDEN
The response from Western capitals and their allies to Israel’s latest war on Gaza was as expected.
There was no hand-wringing about a “no-fly zone” to protect civilians; no clichéd demarche from Paris calling for “humanitarian corridors”; no emergency London or Doha conference to agree “non-lethal” defence supplies to the people of Gaza; no total or even token sanctions on Israel; no calls for Binyamin Netanyahu to step down; no media castigation of the “regime” in Tel Aviv; no arms or billions in largesse flowing from Western allies in the Persian Gulf and Turkey to those fighting an illegitimate, murderous aggressor.
Instead, there was full-throated support for Israel. Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague led the pack in laying “principal responsibility” for the aggression on its victims — the Hamas government in Gaza and those who elected it. His subsequent advice that Israel risked “losing international support” through a ground invasion merely indicated the West’s preferred parameters for this bout of slaughter.
All predictable, perhaps wearily so. Why then rehearse this litany of hypocrisy? Because if we become inured to it, let it stand as a harsh fact of life in a cynical world, then unwittingly we allow the West and its allies to shift the narrative in the Middle East, to frame events and to determine which questions will be asked and which buried. And not just there.