Have you ever heard of British Gas? Or perhaps the BG Group? Or
what about the Consolidated Contractors Company? OK, then what
about Tony Blair, Mahmoud Abbas, Ehud Olmert? I guess these last
three are recognisable. But what do all these names share in
common? Two things Gaza and gas.
In 2000 a $4 billion US dollar gas field was discovered just off
shore from the Gaza strip. The field is under waters that, by
international recognition, makes it the property of the
Palestinians. Kind of like the oil and gas that lies in the
waters recognised as belonging to East Timor. Just like the East
Timor gas and oil there are powers that want to deprive the
Palestinians of any claim to or control over their natural
Just as Israel controls the fresh water and other resources that
flow into Gaza, they want to ensure that the 'right'
Palestinians control access to the vast gas field and the
benefits that will flow from it. As they say, wars have been
fought for less. And that is exactly what the carnage in Gaza
has become. A war over natural resources and who controls them.
Our moribund media have been reporting for the last three weeks
that it was the Palestinians who 'started' this latest round of
ethnic cleansing. However, even a cursory Google search will
reveal the lie that these so called 'reports' are. On November 4th
2008 the IDF crossed into Gaza and killed four Palestinians and
therefore broke the cease fire that had been negotiated in June.
The fact that this has not been discussed and that our
mainstream media has been prepared to lie about the facts that
led to the resumption of the armed Palestinian resistance
demonstrates, beyond doubt, that at the highest levels of
business, the networks to keep us ill informed are working like
a well oiled machine. Now, back to the names listed above.
Back when Tony Blair was Prime Minister of England, he
intervened in negotiations between British Gas (now the BG
Group) and the Egyptian government and attempted to ensure that
Israel got first dibs on the gas. His attempt to broker a deal
between the Abbas' Palestinian Authority and the Israeli
government helps explain the reasons why the PA is touted as
'moderate'. However, when one examines the deal we find that
Abbas is set to reap a personal fortune from a deal with Israel.
His PA is a ten percent owner of the 'rights' to the field along
with the Consolidated Construction Company and the BG group.
Just three weeks before Israel unleashed its weapons of mass
destruction, the Israeli cabinet signed off on a deal with the
PA to buy the gas from them. As the so called “Middle East Peace
Envoy” Tony Blair played a key role as he shuttled back and
forward between Britain, Egypt and Israel. And, in the middle of
all this, he obtained a “peace” award from that other war
monger, George W. Bush. Ironic isn't it?
As I write this I find the whole thing is like the script from
some Hollywood movie. Yet, nowhere in this script do I see a
hero. I fail to find a single 'reputable' voice in the
mainstream media that as been prepared to speak out. Now, that
is a bit harsh because there are many that have spoken out but
like the Palestinians who live under occupation and deprivation,
their voices are excluded or occluded from the discourse that
normalises the Israeli aggression and killing.
The script that has been written and is repeated continually in
the mainstream media, is that Palestinians are bad, Israelis are
good. Neither definition is true. There are good and bad on both
sides. One just has to look at the Israeli peace movements and
armed forces resisters. I suggest that if you were forced to
live under the inhumane conditions that those in Gaza and the
West Bank are forced to live under, that it wouldn't be too long
before you decided that passive acceptance was not getting you
The fact that only three Israeli citizens have been killed in
the latest carnage while nearly one and half thousand
Palestinians have been killed (and almost a quarter of them
children) demonstrates once more the valuelessness of human life
when it stands between outrageous fortunes and those who seek
The apparent 'unilateral cease fire' that Israel has announced
and the fact that the almost impotent rockets continue to be
fired from Gaza shows that there is more to this than the 'we're
defending Israeli lives' line being run by their government.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to
securing wealth, no lives are important except those who hope to
gain the most from the suffering of others.
Just like in East Timor, the war in Gaza is not about human
safety or security. Nor are the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or
Somalia. Each of these conflicts comes back to something very
basic. Access to resources and the means to control and benefit
The people of Gaza know that Abbas will sacrifice them for his
own ends and they don't trust him at all. Perhaps if we were to
step into their shoes for a moment we might realise how
despondent they feel after being sold out by successive
politicians who supposedly represent their interests. Arafat
failed them (although he did try) but Abbas has been too warmly
embraced by the West to be seen as a credible Palestinian
leader. Perhaps a better term for 'peace negotiations' would be
“piece negotiations”. The only bit that needs deciding is who
gets what pieces.
Meanwhile names that we know and many that we don't will
continue to allow the killing to go on and for many more
thousands to suffer. Perhaps what we in the West should be doing
is taking back our media and for once, highlighting the real
context in which the genocide in Gaza is being perpetrated.