Tasnim – An American author and former diplomat from Washington condemned the Tel Aviv regime as “extremist” and “apartheid” and said Israel that fears the continuation of the mass protests along the Gaza border may wage another war on the enclave.
“Another war between Hamas and Israel is, indeed, likely,” Michael Springmann, the former head of the American visa bureau in Saudi Arabia, said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“Extremist, apartheid Israel evidently fears the continuation of the highly-visible Great March of Return protests,” he said, adding, “This is reflected in Netanyahu’s comments about the possibility of another military operation in Gaza.”
J. Michael Springmann served in the US government as a diplomat with the State Department’s Foreign Service, with postings in Germany, India, and Saudi Arabia. He left federal service and currently practices law in the Washington, DC, area. Springmann’s works and interviews have been published in numerous foreign policy publications, including Covert Action Quarterly, Unclassified, Global Outlook, the Public Record, OpEdNews, Global Research and Foreign Policy Journal.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 130 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza Strip border on Friday, according to the enclave’s Health Ministry. Since March 30, Israeli forces have killed about 205 Palestinians during the weekly protests dubbed the “Great March of Return” along the Gaza border. Most of the dead and the thousands wounded were unarmed civilians against whom Israel was using excessive force. What is your opinion about the developments and the Israeli regime’s crimes?
Springmann: Apartheid Israel doesn’t distinguish among the victims of its crimes. It freely murders journalists, such as Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, who covered the Great March of Return. Additionally, doctors, like the Canadian, Tarek Loubani, and medical workers, notably Razan al-Najjar, a 21-year-old nurse, were shot dead by Israeli soldiers during that same event. The total number of killed and wounded has reached the point of being mind-numbingly incomprehensible. Josef Stalin, Secretary-General and, later, Premier, of the Soviet Union, summarized it best: “One man’s death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”
That’s Israel’s goal: to kill so many that they are not real people with lives and family but just numbers. The European and American mainstream media cooperate in this. They bury reports of Zionist atrocities on their newspapers’ back pages in small, box items. Television and radio either ignore the casualties or minimize them, justifying their actions by noting that “Israel has the right to defend itself.”
The same media push the mysterious death of Jamal Khashoggi until it is a major, worldwide news item. He was just one man they can focus on while ignoring Israel’s vicious attacks on many Palestinians during the March of Return. Yet, they ignore the savage death of Rachel Corrie, whom an Israeli soldier brutally killed in the spring of 2003. He ran over her with a bulldozer–twice. The difference is, Rachel Corrie directly challenged Zionist destruction of Palestinian homes while Khashoggi was mildly critical of Saudi Arabia and had ties to the Washington Post, Washington, D.C.’s principal newspaper.
Tasnim: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on last Wednesday warned Hamas that the Israeli military is edging closer to yet another full-blown military operation against the Gaza Strip to put an end to the Hamas-organized protests on the Gaza border. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last Tuesday that the Great March of Return protests cannot be allowed to go on, urging the Israeli cabinet to back tougher measures. In response, the chamber of Joint Operations of Palestinian Groups reaffirmed commitment to the fight against Israeli occupation and to supporting the protests. Do not you think another all-out war between Hamas and Israel is imminent?
Springmann: Another war between Hamas and Israel is, indeed, likely. Extremist, apartheid Israel evidently fears the continuation of the highly-visible Great March of Return protests. This is reflected in Netanyahu’s comments about the possibility of another military operation in Gaza. And Defense Minister Lieberman is right: the marches cannot continue. They demonstrate Israel’s bankrupt policies of violence towards Palestinians. Independent journalists and news organizations are getting the word–and pictures out. The rest of the world is, apparently, seeing through the sham that Israel is a peaceful, democratic state. And the Zionists are getting nervous. With enough marches and enough innocent peoples’ deaths, outside pressure on their corrupt, incompetent, and illegitimate government might develop into an irresistible force, possibly leaving them no option but to reform.
That’s why a short, sharp war is increasingly attractive. Yes, there might be international protests. Yes, there might be demands to reduce support for Israel. Yes, there might be negative press. But, Israel has seen this before: in Operation Cast Lead. Beginning at the end of December 2008, the military action slaughtered nearly 1,400 Palestinians at the cost of 13 Israelis. In the summer of 2014, Operation Protective Edge murdered more than 2200 Palestinians, including over 500 children. Yet, Israel still exists, Israel is stronger than ever, Israel has Donald Trump’s backing.
Tasnim: Israel has rejected international calls for probes into recent deaths and insisted that its open-fire rules for Gaza will not change. Some Western states, particularly the US and Britain, who call themselves champions of human rights, have supported the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes against Palestinians. The UN has also failed to restore the rights of the people. What is your take on that?
Springmann: My take on those countries which support the Zionists’ attacks on Palestinians and the UN’s failure to restore the Palestinians’ rights? Both groups do not care about the Palestinians. They are an awkward people–they don’t give up and they don’t give in. They refuse to disappear and they refuse to surrender their rights.
The West, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, see a greater advantage in dealing with the Zionists than with the Palestinians. Israel buys more weapons from them, engages in dirty deeds for them, and provides political and military intelligence for them. How can the Palestinians compete with that? The Palestinians are more interested in their land, cultivating their vineyards and olive trees. They aren’t able, willing, or interested in buying Mach 3 jet fighters at exorbitant cost.
The UN is a talking shop. It has no central direction, no army, no navy, and no air force. Any action it could or would take requires the Security Council’s approval. And the United States, Britain, and France control that organization. They also use their sway in the General Assembly to support Israel and undercut Occupied Palestine. And Palestine, even including the Diaspora of millions, is small, weak, and without great influence.