Photo courtesy of Forbes

“For 4000 years, the Gaza District was a thriving and bustling spice hamlet along the Silk Road. Pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves … all passed through Gaza … This once thriving spice capital in now barely recognizable in the emaciated strip that is actively being starved, scorched and sealed by the Israeli military.” (Lila Sherif)

The title of the article comes from a comment made by Donald Rumsfeld when he was US Defence Secretary for President George Bush and when they learnt that the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission chaired by Dr. Hans Blix found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Rumsfeld was petrified and in sheer desperation to find a rationale for a preplanned invasion of Iraq he came out with that hocus-pocus, similar to the infamous “unknown unknowns”. He was an expert in camouflaging untruths. The US then went on to drop over 100,000 bombs and missiles on Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa in Syria and other areas occupied by ISIS. In Mosul alone, US killed over 40,000 men, women and children. Even before that invasion and under the previous Clinton administration his foreign secretary Madeline Albright was asked by a journalist about her views on the death of nearly 600,000 Iraqi children caused by US imposed economic strangulation of Iraq. Her response shocked humanity. “We believe the fruits of the siege are worth it,” she said.  It is the same type of reasoning and explanation that is now being dished out by Hitlerite Netanyahu and his Gestapo commanders to justify their savagery in Gaza.

Having bombed and pulverized nearly two-thirds of Gaza’s homes and buildings including schools, hospitals, places of worship and refugee camps, having killed more than 13,000 Gazans including over 3,000 children and women; having killed 45 journalists so far and having made at least 1.2 million Gazans homeless, the Israeli military is now hunting for weapons and terrorist hideouts to justify to the world what it had done. In the name of a “specifically targeted operation” based entirely on Israeli and US intelligence, Israeli soldiers had raided Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, to show the world how Hamas had used that hospital as its command centre and a bunker for weapons. According to one doctor there they came out almost empty handed. According to a CBS news reporter, who was taken along with the troops in the armoured vehicle, Namer, the evidence produced so far had been, in his word, “underwhelming”. Having seen what the troops displayed to the journalist his report concluded that it was no “unequivocal proof” of Netanyahu’s claim that his “theological mad cult” Hamas was using that hospital as a hideout. But the soldiers had told him that it would take time to display everything.

In the meantime, IDF posted the picture of a weekly roster time table of the hospital written in Arabic and showed to the world that and said that it contained the names of terrorists on daily duty there. In the absence of hard evidence, there are only two options for the military to justify its operation. Either plant their own weapons secretly and claim that they belong to Hamas or repeat Rumsfeld’s rigmarole and say absence of evidence is no evidence of absence. It has now been revealed that Hamas did not even plan to attack the Supernova music festival. Truth is always the first casualty in a war.

Where do all this leading to? There is no call for a cease fire from the so-called democratic and civilized Western governments except to propose extended pauses to allow a meagre amount of humanitarian aid to filter through to the comfort of the starving, wounded and dying. Netanyahu himself has shown extraordinary generosity to send two trucks of fuel daily just to keep the water and sewage system operational. But the Arab world with all its fuel stock is absolutely powerless to drop even one litre of fuel into Gaza while carrying business with Israel as usual. Like the Western governments the Arab rulers too have blood on their hands.

Once the genocide is completed and another Nakba set in motion Netanyahu would demand “security control” – a euphemism for total control – over Gaza before annexing it to Eretz Yishrael Hashlema or Greater Israel. What is unfolding from forty days of savagery and genocide is the violent removal of yet another hurdle to realize the eternal dream of Zionist forefathers such as Theodore Herzl (1860-1904) and Ben Gurion (1886-1973) to conquer Palestine, get rid of the Palestinians and create Greater Israel with the name Palestine erased out. To Netanyahu and his far right coalition, Gaza invasion is yet another step to scrap the irrelevant 1995 Oslo Accords with its two state solution. To put it bluntly, Palestine or its diplomatic nomenclature “Occupied Territories” has become a nuisance not only to Zionist Israel but also to the US, its Western partners and most shockingly to Arab rulers themselves. The Zionist position needs no further elaboration. But why Palestine a problem to the other two? To the US and its partners, Palestine issue is an obstacle to realize the larger agenda of an American designed Middle East Order (MEO) in which the conservative Arab rulers and Israel would normalize their relations, keep the natural resources at the disposal of the imperial power and protect the region from any radical challengers.

Whether it is the Democrats or Republicans the US government is pro-Israel. America’s continuous opposition backed by the force of arms to former governments of radical Arab rebels such as Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt, Muammar Ghaddafi of Libya, Hafiz al-Assad of Syria and Saddam Hussain of Iraq and its support and tolerance to brutal leaders like the one currently in power in Egypt, who came to power after killing 800 Egyptians to put an end to the Arab Spring, demonstrates the true design of America’s MEO. Also, when the Muslim world, inspired by OPEC’s financial clout and a successful mullah led revolution in Iran in 1979, was agitating for an Islamic World Order with the Gulf region as its epicentre, US immediately reactivated the historic Shia-Sunni split in Islam to divide the Muslim world religiously. Wahhabi Saudi Arabia with its giant oil wells became US’ eternal friend replacing Shah’s Iran.

It was to widen the US-Sunni Muslim friendship and bring Israel also into the extended family that a set of agreements were signed on September 15, 2020 between Israel and United Arab Emirates including Bahrain to normalize relations among them. Saudi Arabia too under its modernizer Prince Mohamed bin Salman was ready to join this concert of Middle East before Hamas intruded with its deadly message for independence from Israeli occupation and terror. It reminded the Arab regimes that without an independent Palestine no normalization of relations with Israel is ever possible. Thus, Palestine struggle has become an unwanted distraction to formalize the MEO agenda. The solution therefore is to leave Palestine under the care of Israel, and the conservative Arab regimes in spite of their ineffective condemnation of the present tragedy seem to be prepared to go along with the US plan. But this is bound to fail and will escalate the violence beyond the borders of occupied territories. Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Houthis from Yemen had already joined the fray. Above all, millions of peace loving people from all parts of the world are demonstrating and calling for an immediate ceasefire and to bring Netanyahu and his war mongers before an International Court of Justice.

But there is one unknown or hidden factor in this macabre tragedy. What is hidden by the corporate media is the reaction of ordinary people in the Gulf countries. Television pictures have shown demonstrations against Israeli genocide from all parts of the world but not from Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries. Uncorroborated messages from there reveal that voices of support to Palestinians in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are quietly being silenced. Obviously, the Arab regimes feel that they are sitting on a volcano. The kings, emirs, sultans and presidents of that region know very well that their subjects are not seeing eye to eye with the rulers on the question of Palestine. A regional intifada if not another Arab Spring cannot therefore be ruled out unless the carnage is halted. US’ Middle East concert like the 19th century European counterpart is therefore bound to fail.