Not much posting last week because of intermittent internet access, sorry. I’ll be making up for it this week. I left the following comment on another blog – it covers a lot of what I’d like to say about Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza.
1. Hamas’ rocket fire into Israeli towns is wrong under any circumstances and must be condemned.
2. Israel broke the last ceasefire, by which Hamas was abiding at the time, when it launched a ground raid into the Gaza Strip on the day of the US election. It apparently violated another truce when it launched this latest assault. The question of proportionality aside, in this sense Israel has already broken rules by which it or any other international actor would be expected to abide.
3. We don’t know how many civilians have been killed/maimed, but there is no basis for claiming Israel has done a ‘stellar job’ at sparing civilians from harm. We do know that the IOF is dropping US-made bunker-busting bombs on one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. They have bombed a police graduation ceremony, several Islamic University buildings, a Hamas sports center, mosques, and several UN clinics and facilities. We know that dozens of women and children have already died and hundreds more are injured. This is on top of the collective punishment inflicted by Israel’s blockade on Gaza, which has seriously depleted medical, power, and food stocks.
4. Israel is not really in the same situation as other Western powers who have faced popular insurgencies. Hamas’ home-made rockets rarely hit their targets. But supposing the analogy is legit, those nations that reacted with reckless and overwhelming military assaults against popular insurgencies tended to be ineffective and deserving of moral condemnation for the wanton ‘collateral damage’ they caused. Nothing different in this case.
5. Americans cannot look at the attack on Gaza as disinterested observers from an outside party. We are directly complicit in the conflict so long as our taxes and government continue to be a major means of support for the Israeli military apparatus. People absolutely need to apply their morals to this issue and take the appropriate civic action.
For me, the best coverage of the conflict is at the Heathlander. Most of the claims above can be sourced from there.