It is hard to be neutral in such a one-sided conflict. Israel has still not learned the main lesson of the past 60 years: There is no military solution to its conflict with the Palestinians, short of genocide--to which Israeli actions in Gaza approach very closely. So soon after the failed Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Jewish state is making the same mistake again. Do we need to start wishing for as high as possible Israeli casualties, so that the lesson will be learned at last? Only if the international community does not rise to its responsibilities and put a stop to it.
Gaza update: As might be expected, casualties are mounting. Ha'aretz reports (Jan 4 online) 30 Israeli soldiers wounded, two seriously, but 20 Palestinian civilians reportedly killed by Israeli shelling of a shopping center in Gaza City. And as also might be expected, the death toll is entirely one-sided. Implied in this disproportionate response to the relatively light damage and casualties caused by Hamas rockets fired into Israel (which is itself a reaction, albeit illegal, to Israel's blockade of Gaza) is the assumption that Jewish lives are worth more than Palestinian lives; as a Jew who grew up in the United States, I can attest that this has long been a prevalent attitude. But Jewish parents also taught their children that "two wrongs do not make a right," a lesson that seems to be falling on too many deaf ears these days.
Israel's righteous fury and its victims in Gaza. That's the title of an online article by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, now chair of the history department at the University of Exeter. An excerpt from the first paragraph: Israel is engulfed once more with righteous fury that translates into destructive policies in the Gaza Strip. This appalling self-justification for the inhumanity and impunity is not just annoying, it is a subject worth dwelling on, if one wants to understand the international immunity for the massacre that rages on in Gaza. Please read the rest.
American public opinion on Gaza attacks. Glenn Greenwald documents what he calls a "disconnect" between the views of Americans and their political leaders, with much more skepticism about Israel's actions among the former than the latter. Barack Obama, please take note (and also of the large protest march in New York City on Saturday.)
New York Times opinion page's relative silence on Gaza. I wonder if this reflects a division of opinion on the editorial board?
International foot-dragging designed to weaken Hamas? That's the suggestion of a news analysis in Ha'aretz, a newspaper worth watching at the moment. If so, those nations taking such a stance are complicit in the war crimes currently being committed by Israel.
J Street questions and answers about Gaza. This liberal Jewish organization takes a mildly critical but nevertheless constructive stance towards Israel's actions in Gaza, which it rightly brands as counterproductive. Check it out at this link.