January 08, 2009
The Murder of Gaza
The artist Mark Wilson recommends this article in The Guardian by Oxford professor Avi Shlaim. Its conclusion is below. For some of the history supporting that conclusion, see Professor Shlaim’s full essay, and also read this, by Professor Saree Makdisi of UCLA and author of Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation.
A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practices terrorism — the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfills all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel’s real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination.
The first picture below (all are from The Guardian website) shows the crater made in an Israeli street by one of the homemade rockets from Gaza. To date they have killed four Israelis. For each casualty, Israeli bombs and bullets have so far killed more than a hundred Gazans. This number will rise hugely as the invasion continues. As with our own bombardment of cities in Iraq, most of the victims will be civilian noncombatants.
The second picture shows a relative weeping for the ten members of a family killed when Israelis bombed a school run by the United Nations in Gaza. The last picture shows mourners praying over the victims of that air strike. Click to enlarge images.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 08, 2009 11:02 AM
I think this analysis is upside down. Yes, Israel has bigger bombs. But Rocket attacks by Hamas are an act of war. It is hard to twist that one around too many ways. Continuous re-arming during ceasefire is an act of war. We might consider calling a spade a spade. Yes, Israel is bigger than Palestine, but it is not bigger than Arabia. Paternalism, even ethnocentrism, is not fascism. "Rogue state" loses its meaning in this case.
I could not disagree more with my friend and fellow Novocollegian.
The act of war was cutting off supplies. If you cut off my electricity, food, and medicine, you have openly declared war on me, and there's nothing I can do but respond in kind. Bottle rockets are not threats; but they are the hoped-for provocation that Israel needed, a chance to look tough after its recent failure in Lebanon and to exploit one last time the Cheney presidency. That's not moral equivalence, because such a thing can never exist between one extremely powerful, i.e. nuclear-armed, state, and one powerless and hopeless group of near-captives.
If those were my family members you'd killed, you could count on having made a multi-generational time bomb, and there would be deaths on your side to compensate. Pretty much like the situation we've created in Iraq…
Thank you for stating the facts in a most concise and powerful way possible.