by DENNIS BERNSTEIN
Dennis Bernstein: Noted Documentary Filmmaker, John Pilger, is somebody who knows a great deal about the Gaza Strip, and about the extreme conditions Palestinians there have been forced to endure under a Brutal Israeli Occupation. Pilger has actually made two films about it with the same name, twenty-five years apart: “Palestine is Still the Issue.” Pilger, a London based Australian journalist, is a widely respected, Emmy award winning documentarian. His articles regularly appear world-wide in newspapers such as the Guardian of London, the Independent, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times.
JP: Thank you Dennis.
DB: You know a great deal about the situation. You’ve made not one film, Palestine is the Issue, but two. Let me get your initial response to we’re continuing to hear reports of massive bombing and injury, and death to civilian life, to children.
JP: Well, the first thing is the….we should be disgusted. That is a normal, human response, to this. And the second is that we ought not to be surprised, but we should understand this has nothing to do with Hamas, or rockets. It is an ongoing assault on the Palestinian people. And especially the people of Gaza, which began a very long time ago and the plan is to effectively get rid of them as an entity. And I’m not exaggerating, it’s often difficult to reach back to the history in times like this, but it’s very important that we contextualize it.
The infamous Plan D that was executed in the late 1940s just before Israel came into being was to expel the population of Palestine; to get rid of them. And 369 villages were attacked, the people thrown out, the record is there. Historical record is very clear, Israeli historians, Benny Morris through, have documented this, the Hebrew archives have thrown it up.
The sum of it is that we see a form of genocide under way in Palestine. And this is the later stage. And what your listeners should be in no doubt about is that although Israelis are doing the bombing, it’s really the United States that is really pushing the buttons. Because it’s only Israelis who are flying, the American planes. Those are American planes supplied for this very exercise, and if you look at the response of President Obama you understand that this is, in effect, an American/Israeli assault on a people who live in effectively in an open prison.
The United Nations special reporter, Richard Falk has likened their situation to the Warsaw Ghetto. When in Warsaw and Poland the Jewish Ghetto there rose up against the Nazis, who were crushed. These days fascism is not a word easily used, nor should it be. But we have as close to a fascist state in Israel, and those historic parallels that Faulk draws, actually to be correct. So we’re seeing an historical process at work here, and it is up to the rest of the world to recognize that, and do something about it.