Press TV has conducted an interview with Hafsa Kara-Mustapha, a journalist and Middle East expert, from London, to discuss the situation in occupied Palestine.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Collateral damage, there’s a great deal of collateral damage, according to our guest Mr. Michael Lane. Collateral damage – 1,600, well, actually closer to 1,700 now people have been killed with the majority of them being civilians. Your take, first of all, on what Mr. Lane said started all of this to begin with and just in general on the perspective that this is collateral damage.
Kara-Mustapha: I have to say, I’d like to thank Press TV first for allowing people such as these Israeli apologists coming on air because they’re a very good indication of the moral depravity of Israel and all those who support Israel.
Speaking of 1,500 dead, speaking of all the numbers of children killed as mere collateral damage, as if it was a sideline, is obviously an indication of the nature of what the Zionist entity is and what it represents.
Now, saying that Hamas is using the Palestinian population as human shields is a fallacious and a ridiculous excuse that’s been used over and over again.
And you’ll note in this Goebbels-like propaganda that Israel is using and that it’s friends are repeating, first it was the three Israeli teenagers and it was supposedly the work of Hamas – no evidence was presented – then we were told that it was because Hamas was rocketing the south of Israel. Now we recently heard that it was because of tunnels, and as recently as yesterday we heard the truce broken because of an alleged arrest of a soldier illegally invading the Gaza Strip.
Really, every single day we’re hearing a new set of lies to justify what is really a genocide. I think the word genocide is totally accurate and acceptable given that there are Israelis who are actually writing op-eds in major dailies explaining that genocide is actually justifiable.
When you have a society, an entire country, a nation that thinks that blowing up children into pieces, that blowing up hospitals and clearly marked schools is a justifiable act, you clearly are witnessing a nation in its dying days because that is the kind of moral decay that we’ve only see of the country’s nations such as the NAZIs or such as the fascist movements. Really there is no other explanation for that.
Press TV: Your take on that, Ms. Kara-Mustapha, that basically this was about eradicating the tunnels and Israel has basically done what it meant to do and will move out on their own terms.
Kara-Mustapha: I’m very pleased to hear that, and I’m very pleased to hear that from Mr. Lane because it actually means that Israel has engaged itself in a conflict that it cannot win.
When it went into Gaza three weeks ago, when it sent in the ground troops, that is, it never thought that with all its sophisticated weapons, with all its technology, it would actually lose so many soldiers on the ground. Obviously it’s very easy to pound from the air and destroy indiscriminately and slaughter basically thousands of innocent civilians.
However, when it’s face-to-face combat, that’s the real kind of warfare, we see the utter failure of the Israeli army. So, what they’re doing now, they’ve found this excuse for what they call the terror tunnels as a sort of face-saving operation. They need an excuse to withdraw from Gaza now because obviously they’re losing day-in day-out soldiers, and so they need this face-saving operation so they can say we’re destroyed these tunnels so now we can go.
Of course that’s a ridiculous excuse. They have the technology. They could have with any, I mean this is almost basic infra-red kind of equipment that I think you can actually buy in a hardware store in any city which is to see what’s going on underground. So really there’s no need for a ground invasion to destroy tunnels if these tunnels were such a threat to Israeli security.
Of course we all know that these tunnels are the lifeline of the besieged population of Gaza because that’s where they’re getting their food, their clothes, everything that they need for basic dignified life, which obviously they’re deprived of because Israel stops almost everything going into Gaza.
Just to give you a simple example, the sheer depravity of the nation state of Israel is that they actually stopped chocolate being imported into Gaza because it exceeds the amount of calories the population of Palestine is allowed to enjoy. This is modern-day slavery and lack of human rights in its most blatant form.
Obviously this latest excuse to put the blame on the tunnels is actually an indication that Israel has failed miserably. What it has achieved, it’s revealed its incredibly ugly nature to the international community.
I think it strengthened the reserve and the resolve of the Palestinian people like never before. I think this time around the Palestinian people who’ve been deprived of everything have risen up and said, you know, this is enough.
When you look at the number of Israelis killed, the Israeli soldiers that were killed, unlike the death toll on the Palestinian side which is essentially civilian, I think that you’ll see that at the end, despite all the horror, despite all of the destruction, is actually a moral victory for Palestine and an absolutely defeat for the state of Israel.
Press TV: The guest says that if they want peace they could easily have a two-state solution. It doesn’t seem that there’s very much land left for the Palestinians to actually form a state. Your take, overall, what will it take to bring peace to the Palestinians?
Kara-Mustapha: First of all we have to pick up on something that’s very important that’s going around in particular in the US, which is that this is a consequence of Hamas or its policy or the fact that it won elections in 2007.
The people of Palestine have been oppressed, have been murdered, have been victim of ethnic cleansing for the past 60 years. Hamas only came to being in 1987 but prior to that, what about Sabra Shatila?
What about Deir Yassin?
What about all the massacres that have taken place?
What about the Six-Day War?
What about all the expulsions?
This idea that somehow the suffering of the Palestinian is just a recent phenomenon that only dates from 2007 is preposterous. I cannot believe that this ring of lies is still actually used as an argument for American audiences. I can only accept that for the people, for the Americans who still believe that Elvis is going to come back on earth, this might make sense.
But for anyone with a basic knowledge of history and the situation in the Middle East, this is a question, this is a country, a nation that was deleted from the map in 1948, with its entire population – half of it – expelled: the other victim of ethnic cleansing; and they’ve been rebelling against this injustice for the past 60 years.
Every time they have used their right entrenched in international law to resist occupation. This is incredibly important: it is written in international law that people who are illegally occupied have the right to resist their occupation. Every time they have done that they have faced the absolute butchery and excessive force of the Israeli army with the total backing of the supposedly democratic states. It’s unacceptable.