Blame the Gazans— Punish them

According to the Palestine Papers, Saeb Erekat, the so-called chief Palestinian negotiator, once stated, “”If someone sneezes in Tel Aviv, I get the flu in Jericho.”

That was probably the only thing that makes sense Erekat ever said regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Except it wasn’t actually true, unless we think of Erekat, at the moment he made that statement, as every Palestinian in Gaza and replace “Jericho” with “Gaza”. So “if someone sneezes in Tel Aviv, Palestinians in Gaza were soon to be blame for it.”

Yesterday, as I woke up to the news of an attack that took place in Eilat, some 20 kilometeres south of Israel, the first thing that ever came to my mind was, “who the hell did it?”

As my brother excitedly narrated to me the details of the oddly mysterious incident, I was asinine enough to wish the assailants weren’t from Gaza. I naively said to my brother, “let’s hope they don’t turn out to be Gazans.”

Immediately then, I frenziedly went through reports of the incidents on the internet, hoping against hope the blame wouldn’t be placed upon Gaza or at least by some miraculous power, some organization outside of Gaza would officially adopt the attacks and relieve the Gazans of this insane irrationality where the Palestinians in Gaza would be eventually held responsible and “pay a heavy price” for the crimes they never committed.

Only on my previous post on this blog, I wrote, “I was being punished for a misdemeanor I never committed in the first place,” Of course, I didn’t know then that my words were as prognostic as to come into play a couple of days afterwards.  

Soon enough, I was skimming a bit of news related to the incident under the title, “Barak: Gaza is the source of terrorist attacks on southern Israel”

My mind at that exact moment was this way, “but man, wait, that’s not true. I mean no one in Gaza claimed responsibility for the attack, you know, Hamas would have done, had it been them but err, I mean, you can’t just say it’s Gaza when it’s not bla bla bla”

Baloney. He wouldn’t listen. Or he wouldn’t have to listen. And he wouldn’t believe me. And he wouldn’t bother who claimed responsibility and who didn’t. And to be more accurate, that’s exactly what the so-called IDF wanted; that’s what they had been waiting for. An excuse, no matter how lame, baseless and prejudiced it might be, to exercise its favorite habit of bombing, demolishing and killing Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

In fact, Israel never needed a pretext to start bombing Gaza. Israel’s warplanes do every day shell the hell out of Gaza. This was a pretext for exercising extrajudicial execution the outcome of which is still on the rise. And yes, it didn’t take long for the aerial, ground and naval operation to get under way. You can’t tell me Israel would miss this chance.

I tweeted, “”Gaza is the source of terrorist attacks on southern Israel” is as well founded as “Gaza is the source of the Ozone hole” but, yea, whatever!”

Who cares on what basis Barak’s accusing finger is pointed— exactly the same way Netanyahu’s is pointed in the photo of the above piece— toward the Palestinians in Gaza claiming they perpetrated the Eilat attacks? No basis whatsoever except the very one on which Israel is truthfully regarded as an Apartheid state: the Palestinians in Gaza are no Jews. 

But what if by any means Palestinian militants in Gaza are behind the Eilat attacks? Why would Israel kill two little children? Collateral damage? Could one, then, consider the six Israeli civilians killed in the attacks as collateral damage, given the fact that two Israeli soldiers were also killed?

Of course, not. I wondered whether my little sister was a bit stupid when she innocently (naively?) commented on the Eilat attacks saying, “ya haram!” (oh pity!)? Or was that the honest and unimpeachably good-natured involuntary reflex of an innocent girl commenting on the death of another? 

I knew I had the same feelings as she did, but after all it wasn’t thoughtful to display such emotions publicly this way. At least for the memory of the several would-be martyrs paying the “heavy price” the Israeli prime minister referred to.

Couldn’t it be that Mahmoud— a boy aged thirteen years just like my sister who made the above remark is— had the same comment, the same feelings, when he came to know Israeli civilians were killed in the attack— Off record:  three massive bombs just hit the area nearby, and Israeli warplanes are intensely flying over Gaza city at the moment. 

Why was Mahmoud killed then? 

Is that the way Israel will keep lashing out, indiscriminately killing innocent civilians in blind retaliation? Isn’t this “violence, brutality and a cowardly act of terrorism against innocent civilians”, Mrs. Clinton?

Or perhaps this is a life not worth feeling sorry for— oh dear, I can say I literally write under the fire. That was one of our missiles, you know.  Why wouldn’t the U.S. president and his secretary offer their “deepest condolences” for the families of these little children as well? 

Indeed, that Obama is the first Black American president was the biggest lie in the U.S. presidential history. He looks awfully whiter than the other wealthy Zionist white congressmen.

Gaza is a Palestinian territory occupied by Israeli military forces and has been living under siege for more than five years. Those people living in the Gaza Strip are the real victims. They are the real oppressed. There is a humanitarian crisis, a collective punishment, injustice, and occupation that needs to be addressed. Israel should be held accountable for its crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip before we go about criticizing the people for firing few missiles onto their oppressor as an act of protest and defiance. Violence is never inflicted by the oppressed. US-made F16s, Apaches, unmanned overhead drones, gigantic warships, Merkava and other tanks and this whole massive war machine are the real sources of violence. 

Indeed, as a friend put it, “the only ‘self-defense’ justified by a colonial occupier is to withdraw from those occupied lands. Very, very simple.” And “Israel justifying this massacre as self-defense is like a robber justifying killing the victim because they wouldn’t hand over their wallet.”



That was a really insightful look into the gazan. Thank you.

Mohammed Suliman

Mohammed Suliman's picture

Mohammed Rabah Suliman, 22, is a Palestinian student and blogger from Gaza. Mohammed currently undertakes graduate studies at the London School of Economics. He blogs at Gaza Diaries of Peace and War, and can be followed on Twitter.