Step forward Tzipi Livni, the West's great 'peace' candidate, for whom the mass murder of Gazan innocents seems a price worth paying to enhance her electoral prospects.
Livni has just uttered these immortal words, straight from the Madeleine Albright school of political inhumanity:
"There is no humanitarian crisis in the Strip, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce."Alas, judging by opinion poll evidence, most Israelis appear to share Livni's crass indifference to Palestinian suffering.
Indifference and denial usually go hand-in-hand. Such was the empty psychology, the emotional void, of many Germans while Jews were being slaughtered in the concentration camps.
How bitterly ironic that large parts of the Israeli public, encouraged by their leaders, harbour those kind of mendacious, denialist emotions towards the Palestinians. One is bound to ask: how can this 'civilized' society, with greater reach of the facts, act in such collective denial?
Part of the answer, surely, lies in the deep Zionist indoctrination affecting every layer of Israeli life, a siege psychology that can blind even the more thoughtful citizen to Palestinian suffering.
Another part of the answer lies in the de-personalisation of that inflicted suffering through the proxy actions of the state.
In his fine new book, Disappearing Palestine, Jonathan Cook talks, in this regard, of the "industrialized" killing that constitutes the Occupation and siege of Gaza, both accurately described as "laboratories" for Israeli experimentation:
"It is my contention that Israel has turned the increasingly confined spaces left to the Palestinians not only into open-air cages but also into laboratories where experiments to encourage Palestinian despair, and ultimately emigration, are being refined...Israel has been able to develop a more aggressive and transparent form of imprisonment for the Palestinians under occupation. It has 'industrialized' Palestinian suffering..." (p 7)Christopher Gunness, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, adds immediacy to that assessment in describing Israel's ongoing "strangulation" of Gaza:
"The situation is absolutely disastrous. Your viewers must realize that for over a year and a half now, there's been a blockade, strangulation -- if you like -- of Gaza. So, we, as the largest humanitarian agency working on the ground in Gaza have been unable to get the sorts of medical supplies and other humanitarian aid in. So, long, long lists of drugs and other medical supplies which in the U.S. would be considered standard in any hospital, they are just not available in Gaza."With all the transparent evidence of such killing and deliberate persecution, it comes down, ultimately, to a clear choice. Either Livni is right: there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza - and, thus, no need for a humanitarian truce. Or Gunness is right: Israel is pursuing a wanton "strangulation" in a deliberate effort to intensify a humanitarian crisis.
Take your pick. Condemn Israel without equivocation. Or, as with Zionist apologists from Obama to One Voice, remain dutifully quiet over the massacre of Gaza.
Whatever one's view, whatever comes to pass, Livni's words are on the record, in the archive, installed in the memories of every Palestinian, noted by millions around the world.
Perhaps, one day, when the 'international community' has its own moral epiphany, we'll hear them repeated as an article of evidence at Nuremberg.