22 November, 2012
Israeli tanks are stationed at an Israeli army deployment area near the
Israel-Gaza Strip border on November 21, 2012. (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)
“Unless the people of Gaza are allowed food and medicine and material to rebuild their blown-up country, then there is no justice until that happens and probably be no peace,” Don DeBar, an anti-war activist and journalist said in an interview with RT.
RT: Given the experience of previous ceasefires between Israel and Hamas – how long do you expect this to last?
Don DeBar: Well unfortunately earlier they had included the lifting of the blockade of Gaza in the peace agreement, and just here and now that is not the case. The reason for the entire extension of the hostilities – the precondition – has not been lifted, which is the starving of the 1.5 million people of Gaza by Israel illegally. So until that blockade is lifted, any act of violence that comes out of Gaza – as mild as they are, are really the acts of self defense from a people that are being starved to death. So until that precondition is removed, there should be no peace, and certainly there will not be.
RT: Gaza is celebrating the truce, with the head of Hamas declaring it as a victory over Israel. How much of a victory for Hamas is it?
DD: Their condition degraded from being starved to being starved and bombed, and now the bombing apparently will stop. And so that is the reason to celebrate, as meager as it might seem, in the face of starvation. But the real crime here is the fault of the Arab nations, including Egypt and the others. Egypt has no problems supporting a revolution with material, a quote-unquote revolution in Syria. They had no problem allowing material to be smuggled into Libya to overthrow the Libyan government, and yet they’ve been acting as a gatekeeper for Israel, even under Morsi, at the various crossings into Gaza. Rather than the Egyptian population marching into Gaza and standing with them, which it sounded like it was going to happen a couple of days ago, now we have this. Again, we’ll see what happens – but unless the people of Gaza are allowed food and medicine and material to rebuild their blown-up country, then there is no justice until that happens and there probably be no peace.
RT: Is it a victory because they’re not being bombed anymore?
DD: I would consider it a victory also if I were being bombed – but they need to be dealing with the material things of life, and they need food, medicine, construction materials, water – the things everyone else needs and feels entitled to, and the things everyone else is allowed under international law – and to go to war over it when they’re denied.
RT: The previous war four years ago, while even bigger in scope, didn't stop Hamas attacks in the long-term. Do you think the latest Israeli offensive has managed to achieve its goal?
DD: No, other than to destroy some of the means of self defense that the Gazans had. Again, the precondition to dealing with that is to give people, if not justice, at least enough to survive and have a decent life. Right now it’s 1.5 million people in an open-air prison camp without food, without medicine, without the material means of survival except through those crumbs that are allowed to pass through the hands of the Israelis. Until that changes, Israel will not see peace and it should not.
RT: Few expected Israel to sign up to a ceasefire hours after the terror attack on its capital in the last 24 hours – most expected retribution instead. What was the key factor that made this truce possible?
DD: Probably Hillary Clinton and her going there. Morsi has a serious problem and it may hinge on that. The revolution that took place in Egypt has been guided by the people from the streets, and the real hot button issue that certainly diverges between leadership and people there is how the leadership deals with Israel. And the people in Egypt are not happy with the situation in Gaza even before these recent hostilities, and if Morsi did not do something and look as if he did something, then his position would become extremely untenable. It may well be just them just trying to keep Morsi in there and his compliance is what’s behind this most recent effort. But it will fail.
RT: Netanyahu's reportedly just said Israel's next mission will be to stop weapons smuggling from Iran to Gaza. How does he plan to do that?
DD: It sounds like they’re beginning a PR offensive against Iran, and it's going to justify some sort of Israeli strike against Iran. It will probably happen before the election, if it does happen.