↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Strangulation of the Palestinians in Gaza - Chris Hedges

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert uses words like war to describe the fight to subdue and control Gaza. But it is not war. The Palestinians have little more than old pipes fashioned into primitive rocket launchers, AK-47s and human bombs with which to counter the assault by one of the best-equipped militaries in the world. Palestinian resistance is largely symbolic. The rocket attacks are paltry, especially when pitted against Israeli jet fighters, attack helicopters, unmanned drones and the mechanized units that make regular incursions into Gaza. A total of 12 Israelis have been killed over the past six years in rocket attacks. Suicide bombings, which once rocked Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, have diminished, and the last one inside Israel that was claimed by Hamas took place in 2005. Since the current uprising began in September 2000, 1,033 Israelis and 4,437 Palestinians have died in the violence, according to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. B'Tselem noted in a December 2007 report that the dead included 119 Israeli children and 971 Palestinian children.

The failure on the part of Israel to grasp that this kind of brutal force is deeply counterproductive is perhaps understandable given the demonization of Arabs, and especially Palestinians, in Israeli society. The failure of Washington to intervene -- especially after President Bush's hollow words about peace days before the new fighting began -- is baffling. Collective abuse is the most potent recruiting tool in the hands of radicals, as we saw after the indiscriminate Israeli bombing of Lebanon and the American occupation of Iraq. The death of innocents and collective humiliation are used to justify callous acts of indiscriminate violence and revenge. It is how our own radicals, in the wake of 9/11, lured us into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. [ for more click on the heading]


Post a Comment

<< Home