On Conflicts of Interest #110, Will Porter and Kyle Anzalone update the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces targeted a number of civilian structures in recent days, including the crowded al-Shati refugee camp – one of the most densely populated places on Earth – killing 10 people, eight of them children. Al-Jalaa Tower, a high-rise building containing offices for the Associated Press and a number of other major media outlets, was also brought down by IDF strikes, making it even harder for the international press to report from the ground in the blockaded Palestinian territory.
In Coming to Palestine I defended, from a libertarian perspective, the Palestinians against Israeli/Zionist oppression. I am reluctant to repeat that case in a far shorter form here, but the horrendous current events throughout Palestine/Israel, including the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, cry out for comment. I can do no better than to link to Caitlin Johnstone’s piece “Fifteen Thoughts on Palestine.” It deserves careful reading.
I will add only a few thoughts. The mainstream criticism of the Palestinians, who object to being dominated by a settler colonial state, boils down to “But Hamas….” (This is not to say, of course, that all would be well if Hamas disappeared.) My answer to that objection is this: how long will take to learn that relentless oppression of a group breeds and nourishes the most violent (“extremist”) faction of that group? If you want the violence-minded constituents not to rise to the top or to fade away, you must stop oppressing the group! Don’t make violence appear to be the only alternative because all peaceful paths have been blocked.
Yet that is what Israelis and their bipartisan American-backers have consistently done for decades with their phony “peace process” and other subterfuge.
On COI #109, Libertarian Institute writer Connor Freeman returns to the show to break down this week’s events in Palestine.
Days of heated protests over looming evictions of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem prompted harsh police crackdowns, including around Al Aqsa mosque, among the holiest sites in Islam. The clampdown prompted flurries of Hamas rocket fire into Israeli cities, followed by hundreds of IDF strikes that hammered the blockaded Gaza Strip, leaving more than 100 Palestinians dead by Thursday night. At least six Israelis have also perished in the flare-up.
Connor, Kyle and Will give background on Israel’s decades-long military occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, where illegal settlements continue to expand onto Arab-owned property with full support of Tel Aviv’s advanced, US-funded military.
President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce American combat forces in Afghanistan failed after the large city of Kunduz was overrun in September 2015. This was the first Afghan city to fall to insurgents since the war began in 2001. This embarrassment was magnified after a C-130 transport aircraft crashed while taking off from Jalalabad that claimed the lives of six American airmen and five contractors. The Taliban claimed credit, but the Americans were unsure why it crashed. The American CIA’s aerial assassination program was failing to suppress the insurgency and senior American officials were angry. Someone wanted revenge and ordered an aerial attack on a hospital in Kunduz where Taliban fighters were being treated, killing 24 patients and 18 medical staff, leaving 33 persons missing and over 30 wounded.
Dr. Akram Kewidar, an assistant professor at the Israa University, Gaza, has sent me videos of the Zionist carnage occurring in the Palestinian enclave. Israeli bombs are reducing entire residential buildings to dust and rubble; bodies lie mangled in pulverized cars; corpses are strewn on the streets like the remains of flattened houses. As I write these words, nearly 83 people, including 17 children, have died; another 500 are injured.
There seems no possibility of respite in the ferocious Israeli attacks. Benny Gantz, the Israeli defense minister, has stated: "Israel is not preparing for a ceasefire. There is currently no end date for the operation. Only when we achieve complete quiet can we talk about calm." Even as the air offensive continues, plans are being made for a ground operation in Gaza.
In spite of the totally indefensible nature of what is going in Gaza, the desensitized and deafening support for Israeli terrorism continues. After speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 12, 2021, US President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House that "Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory." Biden is not even trying to hide his hypocrisy. He shows no parallel concern for Palestinians as Israel continues to assault Gaza in the most atrocious way.
From Conflicts of Interest with Kyle Anzalone:
Dave DeCamp, News Editor at Antiwar.com, returns to Conflicts of Interest to discuss Biden’s foreign policy through his first 100 days in office. As a candidate, Biden pledged to end the forever wars and scale back tensions with Iran. While he has reduced some US support for the Saudi-US war in Yemen, Biden has continued to provide Riyadh with the support needed to wage its lethal bombing campaign. In Afghanistan, Biden announced the withdrawal of US forces, though statements from administration officials reveal plans to continue the war through less transparent methods.
On the campaign trail, Biden pledged to save his former boss’s agreement with Iran. As president, he has dragged his feet and refused to undo Trump’s disastrous policies. Biden has kept his pledge for an aggressive China policy, however, increasing hostile US war games in the South China Sea and American support for Taiwan. Dave warns this path could lead to war.