jeudi 29 novembre 2018

The American right has its very own Gaza at the Mexico border

La droite américaine a son propre Gaza à la frontière mexicaine

Claims from American politicians and officials that migrants threw rocks and used children as human shields sound awfully familiar

Oscar Rickett

The scenes broadcast from the US-Mexico border on Sunday were typically depressing. Facing a protest by migrants from Central America, US border agents fired tear gas into a crowd that included children.

A few days earlier, an agent in Arizona was acquitted on charges of involuntary manslaughterafter he fired his service weapon through the border fence, killing a 16-year old boy.

The response from US President Donald Trump, his administration and his allies in the media has been characterised by the kind of wounded, evidence-free fury we’ve come to expect. It has also revealed, again, a parallel between the American right wing and its counterpart in Israel.

For a supremacist culture that exists in the US and is being powerfully incarnated by Trump, the humanity of others and their needs cannot be faced and dissent of any kind is met with fury

From the outset, the reaction to the use of tear gas by American agents – which Mexico has called to be investigated – from those who would defend it, has focused on a couple of details that anyone familiar with the way Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration deals with its own violence at the Gaza border fence will be familiar with.

Namely, that rocks were being thrown and that children were being used as human shields. There is no evidence for the latter claim and the testimony of migrants, along with video footage, suggests that rocks were only thrown in response to the tear gas attacks, which caused a number of people to faint.

Those administering the violence were quick to claim that it was they who were actually the victims in the whole situation.

Central American migrants - mostly from Honduras - run along the river near the border crossing at Tijuana, Mexico (Guillermo Arias / AFP)

"Our agents were being assaulted," Carla Provost, the chief of the US Border Patrol, said. "A large group rushed the area, and they were throwing rocks and bottles at my men and women."

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen accused the migrant organisers of the so-called “caravan” of using women and children as “human shields”, “putting vulnerable people in harm’s way”.

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