The US Congress voted to support Israel; they voted for new arms supplies, while President Obama has made useless gestures and continues to equate Hamas' firecrackers with Israeli deadly bombing, expert on Israeli-Arab relations James Petras told RT.
RT: Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu has praised soldiers for their conduct during the Gaza operation, saying 'they acted in the most wonderful and admirable way'. What would you say to that?
James Petras: There is no question that the policy of the Israeli government is to destroy life as we know it in Gaza. They have destroyed all the working facilities of electricity, water supply, sewage systems; they are making it unlivable because the ultimate goal is an exclusively Jewish-Israeli state. They want to drive the entire Palestinian people out of the inhabitable region. This is one of the most brutal attacks we have seen since the demise of the Third Reich. I think there is no question that worldwide opinion is extraordinary horrified by what is going on, but Israel continues to act because it feels it has impunity, that is the US government continues to supply arms and provide diplomatic protection for the genocide which is taking place, and the EU wrings its hands, but continues to engage in business as usual with Israel. I think that world public opinion is shocked, but there is no one raising a hand to tell Israelis ‘You will pay the price of this’.
IDF spokesman Peter Lerner said on the situation in Gaza: “We need to realize the challenge that Israel is facing. We are sitting in our towns, in Tel-Aviv, in Jerusalem and Beersheba and even all the way to Haifa, and our citizens have to be able in 15 seconds to 30 seconds to go to a shelter because of Hamas' bad decisions. This is the reality we are not willing to live by and this is why we are operating. Every single time Hamas has had an opportunity to de-escalate the situation with a ceasefire, every time they escalated it. There will be no more people killed if Hamas would have abided by the internationally brokered ceasefire on Friday. What did they do? They chose to escalate, they chose to increase aggression, they chose to exasperate the situation, and this is the unfortunate outcome. We cannot and we will not be living under this type of threat.”
RT: Netanyahu has also called for the international community to 'stand with Israel'. Given the mass protests around the globe against Israel's actions in Gaza, what international reaction can we expect to the Prime Minister's statement?
JP: The question is who will stand with Israel. The great majority of people in the world are appalled and condemn Israel, every country in the world, I would say the majority, condemns Israel’s brutality. The major force in the West that is supporting Netanyahu, his war against the Palestinian people are the Zionist organizations, particularly here in the US, they are unconditional supporters and apologists for every crime that Netanyahu has done, whether it is schools being bombed or ambulances being attacked. They are the unconditional supporters in a fashion that is clearly in line with the totalitarian thinking that encompasses groups that give unconditional support to genocidal regimes.
RT: What do you make of the Western response to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza?
JP: Up to now we have not seen pulling back. The Congress unanimously voted to support Israel; they voted for new arms supplies. Obama has made useless gestures and continues to equate Hamas' firecrackers with Israeli deadly bombing. I think there is no question that the US government is tied hand and foot to the Israeli killing machine, and the Israeli government has a fifth column organized in exerting enormous influence on the US Congress and on the US executive. We do not have free and independent government in this country; it is one of the great ironies in history that the world power is subject to a set trap in the Middle East.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.