Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gaza: Pro-Stuff/Anti-Stuff

You see a long of characterisation in the debate of the current conflict in Gaza as pro/anti, i.e. pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian etc. This seems to me to be a misnomer; what do we mean, that we are pro-everything Israel/Palestine does? How can you be, as each is a aggregations of hundreds of thousands of people each with their own views and opinions and actions.

I am pro-justice and pro-peace. I want justice and peace for all. This might mean some have to make more concessions that others and that some have to forgive more and some will have to realise that are in a position to change the dynamic for the good. As such we should oppose the military action because it moves us away from pro-justice and pro-peace and for no other reason.

Here is what I mean; listen to the reactions of people supporting a bombing campaign - it hardly seems reluctant...

Whereas Israeli commentator Gideon Levy understands the humanity of the issue;

The public's shocking indifference to these figures is incomprehensible. A thousand propagandists and apologists cannot excuse this criminal killing. One can blame Hamas for the death of children, but no reasonable person in the world will buy these ludicrous, flawed propagandistic goods in light of the pictures and statistics coming from Gaza.

One can say Hamas hides among the civilian population, as if the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv is not located in the heart of a civilian population, as if there are places in Gaza that are not in the heart of a civilian population. One can also claim that Hamas uses children as human shields, as if in the past our own organizations fighting to establish a country did not recruit children.

A significant majority of the children killed in Gaza did not die because they were used as human shields or because they worked for Hamas. They were killed because the IDF bombed, shelled or fired at them, their families or their apartment buildings. That is why the blood of Gaza's children is on our hands, not on Hamas' hands, and we will never be able to escape that responsibility.

Other links of interest...

Asymmetric War: A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery

Going Global: Fallout from Gaza Assault Reaches Afghanistan

The Phyrric Victory...

This raises a question that every Israeli and its supporters now needs to ask. What is the strategic purpose behind the present fighting? After two weeks of combat Olmert, Livni, and Barak have still not said a word that indicates that Israel will gain strategic or grand strategic benefits, or tactical benefits much larger than the gains it made from selectively striking key Hamas facilities early in the war. In fact, their silence raises haunting questions about whether they will repeat the same massive failures made by Israel’s top political leadership during the Israeli-Hezbollah War in 2006. Has Israel somehow blundered into a steadily escalating war without a clear strategic goal or at least one it can credibly achieve? Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms? Will Israel’s actions seriously damage the US position in the region, any hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process?

To blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.


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