Lavinia Moore (SA) writes to The Australian re Gaza 17Nov12 November 17, 2012

Sadly Gaza is in the news once again. Putting aside the obvious questions regarding the timing of Israel’s assassination of a Hamas leader, there seem to be other factors that ought to be considered when seeking some way to resolve the “Palestinian Problem”, so-called.

In the decades that followed the Second World War, that horror which was inflicted upon millions of ordinary people, numerous peoples in many countries, some in far flung corners of the world, took the opportunity as part of creating a new world order, to gain independence from colonialist, and primarily European, occupation.
In the process which sadly often involved trauma for ordinary people, it seemed that most people did not lose sight of the basic premise which was that peoples wherever they lived and whosoever they were, had a right to self-determination, independence and freedom from foreign occupation of their own land.

Yet despite the events of the Second World War, and despite the obvious independence movements, and despite the inevitability of the end of old empires, the Europeans, in some perverted last colonialist gasp, decided that there would be one more act of occupation. One more dispossession of people who were deemed to be “other”.

During the British mandate, the colonial minders ruled Palestine. I expect some may have thought that in that post world war period in the face of obviously growing demands for independence, that when the British left, Palestine would be free again. Did they ever dream that not only would they not gain independence, but that their fate was even worse? Who among them would have thought that for decades, even into the 21st century their dispossession would continue unabated, as would the genocide and oppression.

That this was permitted to happen in the wake of the Second world War beggars belief. The only explanation is that Palestinians were considered “other”. That is, their feelings and rights were not to be considered as the same of those in power to commit this act. Those of a superior kind.

It is a disgrace that the world has permitted this to happen. But perhaps we ought not be surprised that two of the countries who ignore the plight of Palestinians are countries that themselves have never fully recognised the dispossession and genocide that underpinned their own country’s birth.

Palestine must be recognised as a sovereign state and accorded rights as such.

And when some speak of “de-escalation of tensions” perhaps they ought to be reminded that when colonial occupiers act in ways that mimic their European ancestors of bygone centuries, they ought to be condemned just as most of us would condemn the actions of the early colonial settlers of our own countries whose disregard of indigenous peoples’ rights included theft of their land and murder of their children.

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