We received this letter from Israel that highlights the different priorities of the Israeli government. It seems protecting the poor is not one of them!
Israel’s defence industry has developed an anti-rocket defence system called Iron Dome. This system is designed to shoot down the short range unguided rockets that are lunched from the world’s largest open prison known as the Gaza Strip. These rocket attacks against the people of the southern town of Sderot, that is right on the border with Gaza, plus the slightly further away town of Ashkelon, was the reason given for the genocidal war launched in January 2009 against Gaza.
The real reason, however, for the attack on Gaza was to redress the humiliating result of the attack by Israel on Southern Lebanon in 2006 the result of which was horrific damage inflicted on the Muslim part of Beirut by Israel and heavy attacks by rockets from the Hezbollah in Lebanon on northern Israel even as far as the City of Haifa [regular readers of this site will remember Yossi Scwartz’s reporting from Haifa during a rocket attack]. The result of this 2006 war, now known as the Second Lebanon War, was to make the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert extremely unpopular because for the first time Israel had lost a war, and what was worse, lost to what Israel regards as a terrorist organization.
As a child growing up in the poor area of the East End of London I remember the ruins of the bombing inflicted by the German bombers, and later by their rockets the V1’s and V2’s. I and my friends used to play in these ruins as I expect the children of Gaza play in the ruins of their homes today. Their homes remain ruins, because Israel will not allow building material in to the Strip, citing that they could be used by Hamas. One ruin has always stuck in my mind from my childhood. My mum pointed it out to me. It was in Whitechapel, the Rivoli Cinema struck by a V2. All those who were inside were killed. A Mosque stands on the place now.
The people of Sderot have been pinning their hopes on this new Iron Dome defence system. These people are largely Jews who came from Arab countries known as Sephardim, deliberately sent to the south as a sort of defence buffer against the rich mainly European commercial centre of Israel. The same applies to the towns of Northern Israel.
The town has very high unemployment, some say as high as 50%. The traumatized children of Sderot live in fear of hearing the sirens of an incoming rocket attack giving them only seconds to run into the shelters that every school and kindergarten has. The buildings in Sderot are not built to withstand these rocket attacks; some of the older ones are even made of wood.
Well the anti-rocket system is ready and has been tested and proved a success. The cost was of course astronomical. The Americans are very impressed, and may even buy it. So why do I read in the newspaper Haaretz that the people of Sderot are angry, and are going to protest? According to Haaretz one resident was quoted as saying "After nine years of terror and nightmares, I think we deserve to get a little security,” adding, “After all, the taxes we pay to the State of Israel are the same taxes that residents of the centre of the country pay”.
Well, you see, the Israeli Defence Force has decided not to deploy the system, but to put it in storage until the time when it will be needed. Some of the missiles will be deployed around air bases in the south to protect those very expensive airplanes. It seems that after spending millions of the people’s tax money on this system, those same people are considered less valuable than the tools of war.
This highlights the evil that is capitalism. It values commodities over humanity. Throughout history we have seen how the rich use the poor to further their own ends. It is only socialism that values people that produce the goods, above the goods they produce.
February 4, 2010