Gaza goes unnoticed by candidates

More than 112 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli military attacks and bombings in the last five days, yet none of the presidential candidates have condemned these attacks. Israel says they are aiming at the rocket-launching squads that killed one Israeli civilian, but amid the dead; half are civilians, including a number of women and children, according to British newspaper The Guardian.

When the attacks first began five days ago, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai warned, "Palestinians are bringing upon themselves a greater Shoah."

"Shoah" is the Hebrew word used to denote the Nazi Holocaust inflicted on the Jews. But Vilnai’s anti-Semitic words have gone unnoticed by presidential hopefuls despite all the rhetoric emanating from pseudo-scholars on the anti-Semitic phenomenon.

Given the dirty game of politics in presidential elections, this doesn’t surprise me. If any of the senators were to condemn the 112 Palestinian deaths, they would lose their Jewish vote and most likely their nominee, and Palestinians would go on living as non-people to the world.

Even though we watch the bloodshed and rebellion from afar, we cannot and should not let it go unnoticed. Let the candidates play their role of the unabated politician, but what is happening in Gaza is in fact an unprecedented massacre, presented as a saliently biased conflict by journalists and officials alike. Granted, Hamas should not be using rockets against civilians, though the rockets are literally made from oven pipes and crushed soda cans, but by the same token, the Israeli military should not collectively punish Palestinian civilians for the crimes of others.

Relatively few Israelis have died from the homemade Qassam rocket that Hamas militants used to fire into Sderot or Ashkelon, towns bordering the Gaza strip. When the deaths of 112 people and injuries of 350 others by Israeli militia are all due to the rocket launchings that killed one Israeli citizen, and not a single presidential candidate condemns the attacks, it reassures me that the only change a new president would bring is a new face to the podium and a new family to the white house.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has called on the international community to support Israel’s actions. She said there was no "moral equation" between Palestinian victims and Israeli victims. "I cannot accept condolences saying that there are victims on both sides," Livni said.

There have been photos passing around the Internet of a father burying his 6-month-old baby. The baby’s colorless face is covered in dry blood and its small body wrapped in a white sheet. Perhaps this baby was the rocket launcher, but no, not a victim, according to Livni’s justification that civilians can be targeted for death.

While morality is left to linger in the homes of Israeli officials, victims of those living in the world’s most densely populated area have not, and probably will not, succumb to the international pressure of a peace process between Palestinians and Israelis as long as Israel continues its air and ground offensive on Gazans. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already suspended peace talks with the West. This just proves that peace cannot be calculated into a formula like an algebra equation.

The Palestinian has essentially come to be the Homo sacer, a figure in Roman law who is excluded from civil rights, lives in exile and may be killed by anybody. When Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben used the concept of Homo sacer to describe "bare life" in one of his books, he used the persecution of the Jews as an example.

It is really beyond me how any human being, whether to the left or right of President Bush, can ever support such a government.

Americans send in billions each year to secure Israel with military supplies and death tools. It is because of this that I boycott elections. I boycott the governing body that lays the grounds for Israel’s unprecedented actions in Gaza.

Not because I am Palestinian or American, but because I am a humanist who opposes all categories of Zionist crimes; more notably, the massacre of human beings.

In essence, we are just as excluded from life as the Homo sacer or Palestinian. By ignoring our human right to advocate human rights, neither we nor any candidate will ever change anything in our society. The Palestine-Israel conflict has never been about religion, but about politics. Think about this schism when you roll up your sleeve and vote for your desired and dehumanized candidate.

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