New Humanist

GAZA STRIP: The Irrational Logic of War

By Guillermo Sullings, Humanist Spokesperson of Argentina

(Saturday, December 27, 2008 ) The recent bombing of the Gaza Strip by Israel are shocking the whole world, first because of the number of victims, and second because of the possible consequences that an escalation in fighting could bring about in a world that is on the verge of nuclear disaster.

The attempt by Israel to justify this bloody bombing as part of their struggle against attacks by Hamas is merely another attempt to validate a massacre through the hypocritical and irrational arguments with which domineering warmongers are leading the world towards a disaster.

Once again it should be recalled that the growth of terrorism in recent times has been largely a consequence of, and a response (also violent and irrational) to, an escalation of abuses by the great military powers against weaker nations. In this context, attempts at differentiating the violence of the formal armies which oppress and massacre entire peoples, from the terrorist violence that sows death and horror, as if the former was legal and permissible and the latter illegal and reprehensible, is part of the hypocrisy of international politics.

In the tiny territory of the Gaza Strip, more than one and a half million Palestinians are living, or trying to survive, trying to get what work they can in Israel itself, and subsisting on the “humanitarian aid” of the UN. The recent blockade by Israel on the pretext of considering it hostile territory because it also harbors the terrorism of Hamas, showed just how far they are going to keep this population under a permanent blackmail system of reward and punishment. In this situation, the popular support that violent groups may have among the population is not surprising.

It is also worth recalling that the Gaza Strip is a territory that belonged to Egypt, and that Israel occupied 40 years ago, until recently it became part of the territory controlled by the Palestinian National Authority. This approach, of invading territories, either to remain permanently or else to negotiate a slow withdrawal in exchange for maintaining control and power in some other way is the same approach used by the U.S. and its allies to discipline the world and manage its natural resources.

No wonder then, that before such arrogant actions, ever more monstrous reactions arise, which the powerful then use to justify stronger repression, fuelling the vicious cycle of violence that could rapidly lead us all to a nuclear catastrophe, as most of the players in existing world conflicts are nuclear powers. And do not forget that the current international economic crisis renders these players even more dangerous, since they may use war as a “political solution” to a situation that has escaped their control.

Of course, all the world’s conflicts could be resolved peacefully, as long as we move towards the concept of a Universal Human Nation, in which all countries take care to ensure that all peoples can develop, and have a land where they can work in peace, without pressure or blackmail. It must also be understood that cultural and religious intolerance are forms of violence which are often used to justify, with irrational logic, escalations of physical violence. Much work will need to be done so that all peoples become aware that in a world of intolerance and injustice, no one will be able to live in peace. But this awareness must start with what is most urgent: de-escalation of the situations of extreme tension, and dismantling the factors of pressure and blackmail.

Therefore, the most important and essential thing throughout the world is for all invading forces to withdraw from occupied territories, and for nuclear disarmament to begin now.

And in this particular case, not only should Israel immediately stop attacking the people of Gaza, it should also rethink its oppressive and intransigent policy towards the Palestinian people. In turn, the Palestinian people should realize that it is necessary to seek a solution through peace alliances with other peoples of the world, and stop believing in the obstinacy of violent suicide.

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