Posted by: Lister | January 21, 2008

Qassam and provocation

Gideon Levy in Haaretz:

Here we have the yardstick for security success: the number of Palestinians killed. As in the most primeval wars, the heads of the defense establishment are boasting about the number of people Israel has killed.

[…] Has the daily mass killing in Gaza improved the security situation? No, it has only made it worse. Has it reduced the number of Qassams? No, it has led to their proliferation. So why are we killing? We need “to do something” and there needs to be “a price tag.” These are hollow cliches. A review of recent newspapers presents a clear picture: As long as the U.S. president was still in the country, Israel refrained from liquidations, and the number of Qassams decreased. When George Bush left, we resumed killing and, as a result, Sderot has faced the most difficult days it has ever known.

[…] All of the killings, of armed and unarmed, have only led to an escalation of the violence on the other side. For every “senior Jihad commander,” for every Qassam launcher killed, seven others immediately emerge. The killing is useless, and the defense establishment boasts about it only to satisfy public opinion.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak should understand this better than anyone. He has certainly read a book or two about history, and he knows that it is impossible to forcefully extinguish a determined and protracted struggle for freedom, like that of the Palestinians. He is also the person who once said in a television interview, courageously and frankly: “If I were a Palestinian, I would join a terror organization.”

And while I’m talking about provocation, Palestinian deaths rose in 2006:

Israeli security forces killed 660 Palestinians in 2006 – three times more than in 2005, according to an Israeli human rights group.

B’Tselem, which monitors human rights in the occupied territories, said the figure included 141 children.

At least 322 had taken no part in hostile acts, the group said.

In the same period, the number of deadly Palestinian attacks on Israelis has fallen – 23 Israelis were killed in 2006 compared with 50 last year.

The facts are clear:
Israeli deaths halved, Palestinian deaths at the hands of the IDF tripled. Israel has less to respond to, and yet increases its response. The weaker the Palestinians get, ie: the less Israel has to fear their response… The more Palestinians die.

Bush and NATO are similarly callous when it comes to fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. And there was Kissinger’s line regarding target selection in Cambodia: “Anything that flies on anything that moves.”

That’s how America avoids targeting civilians. That’s right, I admit it — they don’t aim at civilians. They just aim at anything that moves.

Gush Shalom:

“With our own hands we are uniting a million and half people against us, in bitterness and hatred” says Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc). “The inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are completely dependent on Israel for their most basic livelihood. This complete dependence was created, consciously and deliberately, by all governments of Israel since 1967. The state of Israel cannot now just shrug off its responsibility for the fate of the inhabitants of Gaza. The people of the Gaza Strip have already been living for a long time in terrible squalor, on the very edge of starvation. Now we push them even much deeper into hell.



  1. The quote of Barak, above, is mentioned in a CNN interview, where Barak clarifies what he was trying to say:

    ZAHN: I wanted to share with our audience something you said back in March of 1998, and I quote, you said: “If I were a young Palestinian, it is possible I would join a terrorist organization.” Until the settlement issue is resolved, you do understand the mind set then you’re saying of these Palestinian terrorists?

    BARAK: No, I just made this remark in kind of relation to the way that the circumstances under which a human being is born influences its frame of mind. I think that even the settlements is an excuse.

    So Barak understands that the circumstances will shape who you become. But he doesn’t mean he understands the mindset of the terrorists.

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